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Gollum, also known as Sméagol, is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth world, appearing in The Hobbit and in a pivotal role in The Lord of the Rings. Gollum held the One Ring for many years until it was foung by Bilbo Baggins.


Early life

Sméagol was born in the 25th century of the Third Age, in a community of Stoor hobbits in Rhovanion. These people were good water-folk, unlike most hobbits. Once on a trip with his friend Déagol, they were alone boating, fishing, and exploring a pool. When Sméagol saw that Déagol had found a golden ring in the bottom of the pool, Sméagol coveted it, and murdered Déagol.[1]

Smeagol found that he became invisible by wearing the ring, and put this ability to evil uses such as eavesdropping and stealing. Smeagol was exiled from his community because of this, and he sought refuge under the Misty Mountains after some time, because of his developed hate for both the sun and moon.

The Hobbit

After a very long period of time, a hobbit called Bilbo Baggins found himself separated from his dwarvish companions (Their tale comes into the story The Hobbit), and blundering through the dark tunnels under the mountains. Before meeting Gollum, Bilbo happened to stumble upon the ring, which Gollum had lost. After losing a game of riddles with Bilbo, Gollum said he would lead Bilbo out of the caverns, but only after he retrieved his "Birthday Present". (What he truly meant to do was to murder Bilbo) After finding his ring missing, he (accurately) presumed that Bilbo had found it. Bilbo, having found that the ring makes the wearer invisible, used it to escape from Gollum, who unknowingly led him out of the mountains.

The Lord of The Rings

After overcoming his fear of sunlight and the goblins (Orcs), Gollum picked up the trail of Bilbo, which he proceeded to follow. He became sidetracked, as he was summoned to the land of Mordor by the Dark Lord Sauron. There, he was forced to tell what he could of Baggins, and where he came from. He was later released to continue his pursuit of the Ring.

Some time after his release from Mordor, Gollum was found in the Dead Marshes by Aragorn, who took him to Mirkwood and left him in the custody of Thranduil and the elves. When Gollum escaped, Legolas was sent to Rivendell to inform the Council of Elrond.

Gollum then meets up with Frodo on his journey to destroy the ring, and becomes his servant and guide. His desire for the Ring causes him to wait, and journey with Frodo for the time present. After much scheming and foiled plans to recapture the Ring, Gollum attacked Frodo at the Cracks of Doom, biting off Frodo's finger, and taking the Ring for his own. When dancing wildly with delight, he slipped, and fell into the chasm of lava along with the Ring, leading to Gollum's death, and with it the destruction of the One Ring and the final fall of Sauron.


In Peter Jackson's film adaptations of The Lord of the Rings, Gollum is voiced and played though motion capture by English actor Andy Serkis, who also plays the young Sméagol. One change in the film from the books is that Frodo briefly fought Gollum while the latter was celebrating in getting the ring back, leading to them both nearly falling into the pit.


  1. J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of The Rings