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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
What exactly is Tom Bombadil?
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Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Apr 23 2013, 9:14pm

Post #76 of 111 (242 views)
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i don't think in actuality ... [In reply to] Can't Post

 

....but i +love+ this idea!!! +very+ creative, ltnjmy!!! : )

which would mean merry and pippin hung out with manwe and varda -- a very amusing scenario.

ha!! wonderful image... thank you. : )


cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel

(This post was edited by Maciliel on Apr 23 2013, 9:18pm)


Darkstone
Immortal


Apr 23 2013, 9:41pm

Post #77 of 111 (232 views)
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A Marty Stu [In reply to] Can't Post

He's Tolkien.

When he says “Tell me, who are you, alone, yourself and nameless?” He's talking directly to the reader.

******************************************
The audacious proposal stirred his heart. And the stirring became a song, and it mingled with the songs of Gil-galad and Celebrian, and with those of Feanor and Fingon. The song-weaving created a larger song, and then another, until suddenly it was as if a long forgotten memory woke and for one breathtaking moment the Music of the Ainur revealed itself in all glory. He opened his lips to sing and share this song. Then he realized that the others would not understand. Not even Mithrandir given his current state of mind. So he smiled and simply said "A diversion.”



Ardamírë
Valinor


Apr 23 2013, 10:09pm

Post #78 of 111 (229 views)
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I forgot about this interpretation [In reply to] Can't Post

I've read it somewhere before (maybe here and a post by you?). I think it's an interesting idea, but I prefer to read to be able to read the book as it's own "universe" with everything that's there actually being there. So Tom has to be something, even if I don't know what it is.

"...not till now have I understood the tale of your people and their fall. As wicked fools I scorned them, but I pity them at last. For if this is indeed, as the Eldar say, the gift of the One to Men, it is bitter to receive." -Arwen


Smeagol Bagginsess
Rivendell


Apr 24 2013, 5:23pm

Post #79 of 111 (204 views)
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Okay, let me put it this way. [In reply to] Can't Post

Merry or Pippin can be considered heroes, right? if they were given the Ring to finish the mission, I think most will agree they would have succumbed to it's temptation much sooner than Frodo (remember Sam's temptation at Cirith Ungol?). But they were not, and hence they were able to do the "good" deeds. So there's practically no difference between Gollum and Merry/Pippin (if they had the Ring).The Ring makes the key difference here.

Consider Gollum's situation. He held the Ring for five hundred years and then kept searching for 60 years. And worst of all he saw Sauron face-to-face and then was tortured by his orcs. I'd say that's enough to turn someone completely loopy with absolutely no chance of turning back to his old self. But the fact that he still showed signs of his "hobbitness" showed that he had some "purity" left in him.

Because of Frodo's sympathy, the Smeagol part was actually guiding them because he liked Frodo and not because of the Ring. That's something not very different from Sam. But that's of course until they come to Shelob's Lair, where Mr.Gamgee ruins everything. I think he's nothing short of a Tragic hero. Or perhaps I should say, Smeagol is the tragic hero and Gollum is nothing but a villain.

I am the Grandson of Samwise Gamgee. My grandpa loved Frodo uncle and Frodo uncle loved his pet, Smeagol. So I am named Smeagol Bagginsess! Ain't I cute?


CuriousG
Valinor


Apr 24 2013, 5:50pm

Post #80 of 111 (190 views)
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I appreciate that distinction [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Smeagol is the tragic hero and Gollum is nothing but a villain.




Ardamírë
Valinor


Apr 24 2013, 8:37pm

Post #81 of 111 (215 views)
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Sam's role in Gollum's villainy [In reply to] Can't Post

I know this one gets mentioned a lot, but I'm of the opinion that if Smeagol really had wanted to renounce his villainy, he would have done so. It might not have been at the same point, but he certainly still could have done it.

That said, I haven't read the passage in quite some time, so maybe rereading it would change my mind.

"...not till now have I understood the tale of your people and their fall. As wicked fools I scorned them, but I pity them at last. For if this is indeed, as the Eldar say, the gift of the One to Men, it is bitter to receive." -Arwen


Darkstone
Immortal


Apr 24 2013, 8:52pm

Post #82 of 111 (214 views)
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Well [In reply to] Can't Post

Smeagol/Gollum was an addict, and addicts will use anything for an excuse. "You made me do this" is the most common. It's always someone else's fault.

******************************************
The audacious proposal stirred his heart. And the stirring became a song, and it mingled with the songs of Gil-galad and Celebrian, and with those of Feanor and Fingon. The song-weaving created a larger song, and then another, until suddenly it was as if a long forgotten memory woke and for one breathtaking moment the Music of the Ainur revealed itself in all glory. He opened his lips to sing and share this song. Then he realized that the others would not understand. Not even Mithrandir given his current state of mind. So he smiled and simply said "A diversion.”



CuriousG
Valinor


Apr 24 2013, 9:18pm

Post #83 of 111 (209 views)
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They needed to use "I statements" with Gollum [In reply to] Can't Post

like you're supposed to do in interventions.


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Apr 24 2013, 9:26pm

Post #84 of 111 (232 views)
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maybe something like.. [In reply to] Can't Post

 
"gollum, when you try to eat the skin off my eyeballs, it makes me sad."

"gollum, when you deliberately lead me into shelob's lair and abandon me there, it makes me not trust you."



cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


CuriousG
Valinor


Apr 24 2013, 9:46pm

Post #85 of 111 (196 views)
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What's the logic behind those? [In reply to] Can't Post

Honestly, I can't figure it out. If I have an addiction and am self-destructive, I am probably rather self-absorbed and don't care too much about others' feelings or I wouldn't be hurting them. So if I heard, "When you disappear for a week on drugs, I worry about you," I would more likely reply, "I don't care" or "Quit worrying" instead of, "Oh no, I hurt you? I'm so sorry. I'll change my behavior."

I understand that accusatory and insulting "you statements" aren't helpful ("You are a drunk and a fool. You are headed for disaster."), but how do the "I statements" do any better?



PS. Sorry about the trust issue you developed over the whole spider thing, which you blew out of proportion anyway. We had no map, I got lost, you ran the wrong direction, and you blame me for it? Then when I came to help, your gardener attacked me. I'm the one with trust issues now, ME!!


(This post was edited by CuriousG on Apr 24 2013, 9:48pm)


elaen32
Gondor

Apr 24 2013, 10:02pm

Post #86 of 111 (187 views)
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Depends on the level of addiction [In reply to] Can't Post

and the relationship that the addict and the questioner have IMO. In my experience, many addicts already have a level of guilt about their addiction and behaviour, even if this is buried deep under the self-centredness of the addiction. In some, reinforcing this guilt using "I statements" does not make them reconsider their actions. Their guilt worsens and they become angry, often accusing the other person of putting pressure on them by amplifying the guilt. The addict then can often blame that person for their continuing addiction. As a Tolkien example- Bilbo's reaction to Gandalf at Bag End in FOTR when Gandalf tells him that he has had the ring for quite long enough and should pass it to Frodo. Bilbo's reaction is classic- he gets angry because he knows what the right thing to do is but cannot bring himself to do it due to his addiction. Gandalf says "There's no need to get angry", to which Bilbo replies "Well if I am angry , it's your fault" implying that Gandalf is putting too much pressure on him over the Ring
Having said that, "I statements" do have a place in therapies with addiction etc- some people do respond to this appraoch. I guess the skill is that of the therapist in determining what techniques to use with which client

"Beneath the roof of sleeping leaves the dreams of trees unfold"


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Apr 24 2013, 10:02pm

Post #87 of 111 (185 views)
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hah! lmdao! [In reply to] Can't Post

 
i dunno, actually. i just patterned my jest after language i've heard in various media. maybe that construction allows for the recognition of causation, but doesn't trigger as much defensiveness?

lmdao re the ps...

"then when i came to help, your gardener attacked me." (!)

i can clearly see why you have trust issues.

"bagginses, when you steals my preciousss it makes us feel murderous."


cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Apr 24 2013, 10:05pm

Post #88 of 111 (189 views)
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also, i wish to say [In reply to] Can't Post

 
while it is in my nature to jest about jest about anything (see the play on words there?), i absolutely do not want anyone to mistake my jesting for having no empathy fo or understanding of individuals who struggle with addiction, and the people in their lives.

there. for the record.

cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel

(This post was edited by Maciliel on Apr 24 2013, 10:06pm)


CuriousG
Valinor


Apr 24 2013, 10:16pm

Post #89 of 111 (178 views)
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Yes, re-reading my own statements [In reply to] Can't Post

I got carried away and certainly don't want to mock anyone dealing with substance abuse issues. We all know people with them, and their difficulty isn't anything to make fun of.

Though I remain perplexed about the I-statements. Not saying they're wrong, but experts say to use them, and I don't understand how they help. Will find that answer elsewhere.


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Apr 24 2013, 10:21pm

Post #90 of 111 (168 views)
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agreed // [In reply to] Can't Post

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


CuriousG
Valinor


Apr 24 2013, 10:26pm

Post #91 of 111 (186 views)
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Explosive personalities [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, veering way off topic here, but Bilbo's reaction reminds me of another situation. A relative was taking classes on dealing with school children with explosive personalities. I said, "So 'calm down' doesn't work?" She replied, "Just think how angry you get when someone says that to you." I never had thought about it before, but it's true, it probably is the worst thing you can say to an upset person, though we all seem to say it as a gut reaction. No wonder it doesn't work on Ringbearer hobbits either.

As another comparison with addiction which veers a little more on topic (but still a sad distance from Bombadil's identity), I saw drawings once made by addicts where the majority would write the word for their addiction in larger letters than their own name, literally seeing it as greater than they are. That's how the Ring affects people too, both Gollum and then Frodo in Mordor. The Ring is not an allegory for drugs and has a sinister purpose behind it that inert chemicals don't, but psychologically, Tolkien was very accurate about its mechanics.


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Apr 24 2013, 10:46pm

Post #92 of 111 (157 views)
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also want to add... [In reply to] Can't Post

 
i know we have a wide circle of people here, some of whom may be experiencing these issues, and who look towards this place for solace or inspiration or a time-out, and i want to be respectful of that.

for any of our company who are struggling, i wish you strength, i wish you peace, and i wish you well.

with care --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Apr 24 2013, 10:58pm

Post #93 of 111 (155 views)
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The discussion is fine. [In reply to] Can't Post

The humour is directed at Gollum and used to flesh out considerations of his interaction with the Ring; there's no denigration of real-world people with drug issues here.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


Smeagol Bagginsess
Rivendell


Apr 25 2013, 10:51am

Post #94 of 111 (142 views)
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Well, here's the passage [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I know this one gets mentioned a lot, but I'm of the opinion that if Smeagol really had wanted to renounce his villainy, he would have done so. It might not have been at the same point, but he certainly still could have done it.

That said, I haven't read the passage in quite some time, so maybe rereading it would change my mind.


"Gollum looked at them. A strange expression passed over his lean hungry face. The gleam faded from his eyes, and they went dim and grey, old and tired. A spasm of pain seemed to twist him, and he turned away, peering back up towards the pass, shaking his head, as if engaged in some interior debate. Then he came back, and slowly putting out a trembling hand, very cautiously he touched Frodo’s knee — but almost the touch was a caress. For a fleeting moment, could one of the sleepers have seen him, they would have thought that they beheld an old weary hobbit, shrunken by the years that had carried him far beyond his time, beyond friends and kin, and the fields and streams of youth, an old starved pitiable thing."

---- TTT, The stairs of Cirith Ungol


That I think signifies very much Smeagol's old self. As Tolkien says "a weary old hobbit, shrunken by age beyond friends and kin ..." . Smeagol was definitely changing for the good, and I believe if what happened next was not there there was actually a fair chance that Smeagol would have tried to lead Frodo and Sam through Shelob's lair without the spider finding out (he knew the secret ways).

And read the next few lines:

"But at that touch Frodo stirred and cried out softly in his sleep, and immediately Sam was wide awake. The first thing he saw was Gollum - ‘pawing at master,’ as he thought.

‘Hey you!’ he said roughly. ‘What are you up to?’

‘Nothing, nothing,’ said Gollum softly. ‘Nice Master!’

‘I daresay,’ said Sam. ‘But where have you been to - sneaking off and sneaking back, you old villain? ‘

Gollum withdrew himself, and a green glint flickered under his heavy lids."


---- TTT, The stairs of Cirith Ungol

When Sam first confronts him and accuses him quite rudely, quite unlike Gollum he responds gently denying that. Those are key points to consider.

And when Sam says (again quite rudely) Gollum as an "old villain" then all is lost.

The above passage just points to the fact that had Sam not interfered there was a great chance for Smeagol's redemption.
Tolkien considered the fall of Smeagol to be one of the most tragic scenes of LOTR and what's more, it comes through the most selfless character of all. Sam is actually very good at judging others' character (say Faramir for instance) but one of his greatest strengths turns into his greatest weakness here. Remember, after carrying the ring just for a while, he too learns to pity Gollum.

And I think that's what Tolkien wanted to show through the character of Gollum/Smeagol. That love can overcome the roughest of villains while through hate and suspicion evil arises.

I am the Grandson of Samwise Gamgee. My grandpa loved Frodo uncle and Frodo uncle loved his pet, Smeagol. So I am named Smeagol Bagginsess! Ain't I cute?

(This post was edited by Smeagol Bagginsess on Apr 25 2013, 11:00am)


Ardamírë
Valinor


Apr 25 2013, 6:29pm

Post #95 of 111 (112 views)
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Not Sam's fault [In reply to] Can't Post

I read through it and I cannot agree with you. Gollum is known to be dangerous, wily, and only after the Ring. Sam wakes up and sees him touching a sleeping Frodo. What would your first thought be? And let's be clear here, Gollum's whole purpose of taking the hobbits through Shelob's lair is so that she'll eat them and he'll get the ring. So it's not like he's some poor, misunderstood person - he is a villain, and Sam, though not knowing his motives, is right. If Gollum really wanted to repent, he could have told the hobbits about Shelob and helped them through the pass. He didn't, and he's a villain.

"...not till now have I understood the tale of your people and their fall. As wicked fools I scorned them, but I pity them at last. For if this is indeed, as the Eldar say, the gift of the One to Men, it is bitter to receive." -Arwen


CuriousG
Valinor


Apr 25 2013, 6:59pm

Post #96 of 111 (102 views)
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Somewhere in between, for me [In reply to] Can't Post

I wholly agree that Gollum was leading them to their intended deaths and is responsible for that villainy. But this scene is where he does come close to regretting his plans, and seeing the other two sleeping all hobbit-like, he years for his own hobbity past.

It was Tolkien himself (I think in one of his Letters) who criticized Sam for his behavior which extinguished Gollum's wavering on his decision to betray them.

I'm somewhere in between on who's to blame. I think there was just 1% of Smeagol left, so the odds of Gollum repenting again were next to nothing. This was the chance, and Sam blew it. But Sam knew, as you say, that Gollum is up to no good most/all of the time, and he'd overheard the Stinker/Slinker debate where the bad part of Gollum had primacy, so his suspicion is understandable.

To me it's more like the bad alignment of planets. Maybe a child has had an exceptionally bad experience, and their parents are tired from work and don't want to hear about it, and the lack of sympathy sets the child off on a path of bad behavior. It happens. And the parents are technically responsible for not doing the right thing and listening to what's wrong, but everyone gets tired and isn't at their best all the time. That's how I see this one.

My what-if would be: what if Frodo had woken up first, since he was much more trusting of Gollum? How far would Gollum have gone in his regret of his treachery? Would he really have decided against leading them to Shelob, or just have another Slinker/Stinker internal debate where he decides it's still what he's going to do? Would he ever stop craving the Ring, and knowing that Frodo wouldn't give it to him, wouldn't he always be plotting treachery and violence to retrieve it?


Smeagol Bagginsess
Rivendell


Apr 25 2013, 7:12pm

Post #97 of 111 (102 views)
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I never said it was Sam's fault. [In reply to] Can't Post

Seeing his suspicious nature, it was natural for him to do that and I am not blaming him. I just said his suspicion was actually a "weakness" in THIS case.

"And let's be clear here, Gollum's whole purpose of taking the hobbits through Shelob's lair is so that she'll eat them and he'll get the ring. So it's not like he's some poor, misunderstood person - he is a villain, and Sam, though not knowing his motives, is right. If Gollum really wanted to repent, he could have told the hobbits about Shelob and helped them through the pass. He didn't, and he's a villain. "

Well, that's the complete opposite of what I am trying to explain. Sure Gollum brought the hobbits to Shelob's cave. But then (judging from JRRT's description) his "hobbit" senses of "love" and "care" became so strong that Smeagol overcame Gollum here (which is quite clear). I think it's quite evident from the passage that Smeagol was repenting his actions (not Gollum). " ... a spasm of pain seemed to wist him ... " Smeagol (not Gollum again, mind you) truly loved Frodo as a master. If Sam hadn't woken at all, who's to tell if Smeagol would have broken up and revealed his plan about Shelob? And to tell he should have revealed the plan much sooner, well love and trust doesn't develop between two so adruptly.
And talking about killing, even the Gollum part was not purely evil I suppose. He could always have broken his promise and have fled from them. Then killing them unaware. Or simply he could have misguided them at the Marshes.

Gollum had the Ring for over 500 years, it was far too difficult for him to forget about it completely. You cannot expect someone so ruined to forget about his "precious" this quickly, but Smeagol's attachment to Frodo shows exactly that. "love can overcome the roughest of villains while hatred and suspicion breeds evil".

Again. Smeagol is a tragedy. But Gollum is a villain.


Ardamírë
Valinor


Apr 26 2013, 8:37pm

Post #98 of 111 (83 views)
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I can't agree [In reply to] Can't Post

My problem with that, though, is that it makes Smeagol/Gollum some tragic figure who was not responsible for his own actions. It's all Sam's fault because he behaved as naturally as anyone would in a similar situation. Same didn't blow anything. If Smeagol/Gollum had truly wanted redemption, he would have repented. Smeagol could have said "Hey, listen, I know you think I'm sneaking and an old villain, and I was, but now I'm rethinking things and I'd like to say sorry and help you for real now."

Personally, I think that if Frodo had woken up to Gollum pawing him, he would have reacted worse than Sam did. Frodo is addicted to the Ring, too, of course, so I think he would have freaked out.

"...not till now have I understood the tale of your people and their fall. As wicked fools I scorned them, but I pity them at last. For if this is indeed, as the Eldar say, the gift of the One to Men, it is bitter to receive." -Arwen


Ardamírë
Valinor


Apr 26 2013, 8:43pm

Post #99 of 111 (85 views)
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We're so opposite on this [In reply to] Can't Post

I know that's the opposite of what you're trying to say, but it's how I read the scene. I just can't accept the idea that Sam is the reason that Smeagol didn't repent. That's not making Smeagol responsible for his actions - which he is. He had every opportunity to reveal his plan, and he chose not to. It's really as simple as that, at least to me.

"...not till now have I understood the tale of your people and their fall. As wicked fools I scorned them, but I pity them at last. For if this is indeed, as the Eldar say, the gift of the One to Men, it is bitter to receive." -Arwen


Smeagol Bagginsess
Rivendell


Apr 27 2013, 5:07am

Post #100 of 111 (125 views)
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From J.R.R.T's letters: [In reply to] Can't Post

  
“For me perhaps the most tragic moment in the Tale comes when Sam fails to note the complete change in Gollum’s tone and aspect….His (Gollum’s) repentance is blighted and all Frodo’s pity is (in a sense) wasted. Shelob’s lair becomes inevitable”

Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter #246

Well, it does seem that he is blaming Sam for not noticing Gollum's soft reaction.


Also,

"The blighting of Gollum's repentance was due to the logic of the story. If it had happened the entry into Mordor and the struggle to reach Mount Doom would have been different, with the reader's interest shifted to Gollum. I think between repentance and love for Frodo on one hand and the Ring on the other, Gollum would have tried to satisfy both in some queer twisted and pitiable way. He would have stolen or used violence to take the Ring, but having satisfied "possession" he would then for Frodo’s sake have voluntarily cast himself into the fire. The effect of a partial regeneration by love would have given Gollum a clearer vision when he claimed the Ring. He would have perceived Sauron's evil, realized that he did not have the power to use it in Sauron's despite, and realized that the only way to hurt Sauron would have been to destroy the Ring and himself – which would also be the greatest service to Frodo."

Letters of J.R.R> Tolkien, Letter # 246

It seems, at least JRRT thought that Smeagol could have been a tragic hero.

But of course, that's what his works are. Everyone can have different opinions and I don't mind that at all. Angelic

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