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Posts Tagged ‘Gollum’

An entire year in one page? Seems reasonable.

People who can read small print do this all the time.

People who can read small print do this all the time.

That being said, this page is rather vague. Sam and Rosie move into Bag End to take care of Frodo, who becomes withdrawn from public life. Merry and Pippin live at Crickhollow, and ride around in their armor and colors all the time. They become the most admirable hobbits in the Shire, along with Sam, somewhat. Frodo remains a bit of a hermit.

As a year passes, Frodo becomes ill again on the anniversary of Weathertop, and once again in March of the following year. He wears a necklace with a gem on it now, seemingly standing in place of the ring.

I’m trying to remember if this white gem has some meaning, but I really think that it’s just something that Frodo wears to fill a hole left by the ring’s absence. He plays with it from time to time – sort of a nervous tic. He definitely shows some troubling tendencies, but you have to give him some slack after all the emotional trauma he experienced. If someone in Middle-earth were to be good at diagnosing psychological issues, Frodo might have PTSD.

The lingering effects of the ring’s evil have some part in that, too. Frodo wasn’t exactly Sauron, but he had a strong connection to that ring. Gollum had that issue as well.

Today’s Gollum Meter: 48 – “Absence makes the heart…remember all those terrible things you did.”

But let us not forget, that last thing was pretty great.

But let us not forget, that last thing was pretty great.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-fairspoken

Less than a week, folks! How many more years will fly by us in that time? The beginning and end of the book really do accelerate the pace. Remember when like 17 years passed in a few sentences?

No one dies today.

“Frodo was ill again in March, but with a great effort he concealed it, for Sam had other things to…”

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I actually had a pretty solid plan of getting this post out at a reasonable time tonight, then literally EVERYTHING took way longer than planned, and here I am at good ol’ stupid o’clock pounding this out. I admit, this page deserves better.

Are these stickers?

Are these stickers?

The ring is gone. It fell into Mount Doom with Gollum, and Sauron’s power is destroyed. Everything in Mordor goes wild: towers falling, fires blazing, armies running in disarray; the Nazgûl are burnt out of the skies. Sam runs to Frodo and drags him outside before they’re engulfed in the churning magma, and the two lie in each other’s arms, just happy to have made it to the end of all things. Frodo wakens, and looks to be coming around to his former self. He thanks Sam for all he’s done.

Yep, that’s the end of all things. End of the book, right?

Today’s Gollum Meter: 92 – “I think you’re going to get a raise every time you come up again.”

NOPE. We’ve still got like 60 pages, you guys! Of course, this is the first point in the movie where the screen fades out, somewhat signaling an ending. There’s a lot of those.

Direct line quote, that.

Direct line quote, that.

Anyway, the main quest is over! The big bad is defeated! Much rejoicing! We’ll get to that, but now my narrative changes a little bit. I’ve been saying that I’ve committed to “taking the ring to Mordor” with this blog. Well, the text has done it, but I’m not done yet. However, saying something like “sailing on the last ship from the Grey Havens” just doesn’t have the same, um…ring to it. I’ll stick with my previous goal, even though it’s technically obsolete.

“‘Here at the end of all things, Sam.'”

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Frodo invisible. Sam down. Gollum in attack mode. This is it.

Sam comes to and sees a strange interaction. Gollum is fighting air, swinging left and right, until he makes a motion to bite something. Frodo appears, falling to the ground, and Gollum holds a finger and the ring. He dances and jumps for joy. After years and tracking, hunting, and stalking, Gollum finally has his Precious again.

Relevant.

Relevant.

The victory is short lived. Gollum steps wrong, and teeters over and into the chasm.

And if you have any knowledge of this story, you know how this happens already. This brings the end of the ring. Gollum is the final ringbearer, accidentally falling with it into the fire of Mount Doom. So, does that mean…

Today’s Gollum Meter: 87 – “I can’t go all the way to the top, but you’re the very reason that the evil is brought down. That counts for a lot.”

Yeah, I kind of always knew that Gollum’s rating would take a huge jump on his last day. I argued with myself about whether to bring it all the way up to 100, but that just didn’t seem appropriate. He does attack Sam and Frodo to get here, and now Frodo’s missing a finger. Nobody’s perfect.

OM NOM NOM.

OM NOM NOM.

We have one more page in this chapter, and I guess technically that’s when the ring is destroyed, but we can call Gollum gone. He falls far enough to kill him with or without lava, but this time, the floor is ACTUALLY LAVA.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-steerless

Oh, yeah, there’s a cool part mentioning how Sauron feels the power of the ring within Mount Doom, and turns his entire attention to it. His servants are lost without his guidance, so it seems like the battle around Aragorn falls utterly apart. That’s helpful for him.

“Out of the depths came his last wail Precious, and he was gone.”

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I feel as though I stand on a precipice, having taken this unfathomable journey, yet procrastinating. Almost every night, I put this off. It’s not because I don’t want to do it – I have thoughts and ideas about what to post from the moment I read/type each page – but I get stuck, teetering on the edge of committing to the plunge of writing another post, and thus bringing about the end of my night.

And so it is with Frodo as well.

After letting Gollum go, Sam turns to run after Frodo. He can’t see him, and so follows the pathway up Mount Doom until it reaches an opening in the cone. Darkness swallows what dim light there is, and Sam is hesitant to enter. Red light leaps from the chasms and fissures of the volcano, and in its shadows Sam sees Frodo standing still on the edge. Frodo turns to Sam, and declines to destroy the ring. It is his.

Just don't go cross-eyed.

Just don’t go cross-eyed.

All this time, a shadow has followed Sam. He didn’t see Gollum turn and sneak back.

Today’s Gollum Meter: 2 – “Pity is useless now.”

Frustratingly, if I wasn’t holding myself down to one page a day, we could be flying at this point. No one reads the climax of a book this slowly, and it hurts a little bit. You’ll see at the end of this post as well that this page ends on the worst cliffhanger imaginable. We all know what’s coming, but we – I – need to see it. We crave it, just like how Gollum or Frodo craves the ring. Events are moving quickly, though I won’t allow myself to keep at their pace. It’s maddening.

Anyway, you have to know where this is going. Three chapters only into the second half of Return of the King, and our big climax is mounting. That should give you an idea of just how much there is left after that. I may even be thinking that my estimated end time of March was a little early. I refuse to do the math, but we might just sneak into April. And the ring is going down this week. Still such a looooooong way to go.

No one dies today.

“Sam gasped, but he had no chance to cry out, for at that moment many things happened.”

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Is this what the ring really does?

So small a thing...

So small a thing…

Sam sees a vision in which Frodo, robed in white and holding a wheel of fire, commands Gollum to be gone. Though the vision passes, Gollum is significantly moved, and Sam takes the moment to step in. He tells Frodo to go on ahead while he deals with Gollum.

Standing there before the pitiable creature, Sam finally understands his wretchedness. Having held the ring but even for so short a time, Sam knows the pull that it has on the soul. Gollum grovels for his life, knowing that he will die with the destruction of the ring anyway. Sam lets him go.

This is not before the biggest foreshadowing of them all. “If you touch me ever again,” says the commanding Frodo, “you shall be cast yourself into the Fire of Doom.” Yeah, and since we aren’t troubled by spoilers…

SPOILERS!

That’s exactly what happens! Gollum does indeed touch Frodo once again later, and then Gollum is cast into the fires. Simple stuff, really.

Today’s Gollum Meter: 15 – “Ah, understanding. We still loathe you, but we can see something of ourselves in you.”

Going back to Sam’s vision, he sees Frodo as “a figure robed in white, but at its breast it held a wheel of fire.” The nature of the ring’s power is always vague, but this could be our best look into it. The ring’s central power is control. It controls those who its master commands. Wielded by someone with great power, it can command armies. Frodo has no such power, but his might is certainly greater than one so broken as Gollum. Perhaps Gollum sees the same vision, and it frightens him. I don’t see why, only now, Sam sees this image as well. Maybe it was finally time for us to understand a little better this thing on which the fate of the world hinges.

Such hinges.

Such hinges.

Meanwhile, Frodo says farewell to Sam. His final push will take him to his destination, and he plans to get there without any more help from his trusty gardener. It’s Frodo’s game to lose now.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-Dusst

When this ends, it’s going to get so dusty in here, you guys.

No one dies today.

“Gollum got up on all fours, and backed away for several paces, and then he turned, and as Sam aimed a kick at him he fled away…”

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And so we go on. Now that Frodo’s collapsed, he wants Sam to carry him again. Sam finds the going hard, but they’re making progress, so that’s better than nothing. He hardly notices something shadowy drop off from a rock nearby.

THWACK!

Holy blunt force trauma, Batman!

Holy blunt force trauma, Batman!

Sam comes to his senses to see Frodo battling a withered Gollum for the ring. The miles of following the hobbits have weakened the gangly creature further, and Frodo, even in his frail state, overcomes him.

HE’S BACK.

Today’s Gollum Meter: 0 – “Welcome to the lowest of the low, o ye final obstacle of total victory!”

I’m actually glad to see the consistency that Gollum would be worn down after all this journeying just like Frodo and Sam. Sure, he probably doesn’t need as much food or water to live on, but he also hasn’t been as good about keeping himself nourished. He’s even more skinny and hollow than previously, and that’s a hard feat to accomplish. Because of this, even Frodo can beat him.

Frodo, of course, is only waking up because he senses a threat to the ring, which is really all he can care about at this point. He can’t help it, but the will to protect this precious item is stronger than the will to survive.

Must...protect...preciouss...

Must…protect…preciouss…

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-Preciouss

-uss

Sso, that’ss about it for today’ss thoughtss. Let uss move on to tomorrow’ss page, where Frodo and Ssam will continue the lasst leg of their journey!

No one dies today.

“‘You cannot betray me or slay me now.'”

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Indeed, all is not barren in the land of Mordor. Sam finds a trickling stream from which to take more water. As he turns to go back to Frodo, he sees a shape climbing about the rocks near where Frodo is sleeping.

Nothing to see here!

Nothing to see here!

Sam runs back, scaring the thing off, but lets Frodo sleep a little more. When Sam can no longer keep himself awake, he rouses Frodo and tells him about the encounter. It was Gollum, of course. Sam falls asleep, waking to see that Frodo fell asleep again instead of staying up on watch.

Okay, sure. So, Frodo was told that he had to stay awake on watch because there was CERTAINLY a creepy little dude out to kill them, but then he fell asleep anyway. Responsible, that one.

Today’s Gollum Meter: 2 – “I fail to even see your purpose at this point.”

What I’m saying is that Gollum only slinks around behind Frodo and Sam. He doesn’t attack them, even though he has every opportunity to do so. He’s been following them for some time, staying just out of sight, but has never made any move. He could have taken the ring at any point, but has chosen not to. A villain without a plan can be very terrifying, though Gollum doesn’t strike many people as terrifying normally.

Good on Sam for hustling back, though.

I don't know, but yeah.

I don’t know, but yeah.

If he doesn’t run back, Frodo gets the worst Gollum has, whatever that is.

No one dies today.

“They went first to the little…”

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