How the One ring changed Smeagol?
The character of Smeagol in J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” is one of the most complex and fascinating figures in the entire series. At first, he seems like a harmless, if somewhat peculiar, hobbit-like creature. But over time, we see him transformed into something else entirely: the twisted, malevolent creature known as Gollum. In this article, we will explore Smeagol’s transformation into Gollum and the factors that contributed to it.
Smeagol, as we first encounter him, is a hobbit-like creature who lives with his family in the caves of the Misty Mountains. He is a quiet, unassuming figure, given to fishing and keeping to himself. However, one day, while out fishing with his cousin Deagol, he becomes obsessed with a small golden ring that Deagol finds at the bottom of the river. Smeagol becomes so consumed by his desire for the ring that he murders Deagol in cold blood and takes the ring for himself.
This act marks the beginning of Smeagol’s transformation. In the years that follow, the ring begins to exert its power over him. Smeagol becomes increasingly obsessed with the ring, referring to it as “my precious” and growing more and more protective of it. He becomes paranoid and distrustful, believing that everyone is trying to steal the ring from him. Over time, his physical appearance also changes, as he becomes thinner, more haggard, and more animalistic.
It is at this point that Smeagol begins to be known as Gollum. The name “Gollum” is a reference to the sound that he makes in his throat, which sounds like a gurgling noise. This name becomes so closely associated with him that he eventually adopts it as his own.
As Gollum, Smeagol becomes increasingly isolated from the rest of the world. He retreats into the dark, damp caves of the Misty Mountains, where he spends his days muttering to himself and obsessing over his precious ring. He becomes a pitiable figure, racked by guilt and self-loathing, but also dangerous and unpredictable. He is driven by a desperate need to keep the ring safe, but also by a desire to destroy it, which he believes will free him from its grip.
One of the most interesting aspects of Smeagol’s transformation is the way that it is portrayed in the novel. Tolkien uses language and imagery to create a sense of unease and horror around Gollum. For example, he frequently refers to Gollum’s “yellow eyes,” which are described as “cruel and hungry.” He also describes the way that Gollum moves, which is often compared to that of a spider or a snake. All of this creates a sense of revulsion and fear in the reader, which mirrors the way that the other characters in the novel feel about Gollum.
However, it is important to note that Smeagol’s transformation is not solely the result of the ring’s influence. There are other factors at play as well, including Smeagol’s own personality and the trauma that he experiences. Smeagol is already a troubled and conflicted character before he ever encounters the ring. He is constantly torn between his desire for the ring and his own sense of morality. He feels intense guilt over the murder of his cousin, and this guilt is a constant source of anguish for him.
Furthermore, Smeagol’s transformation is also the result of the way that he is treated by others. The other characters in the novel are deeply suspicious of Smeagol or later came to be known as Gollum, and they frequently treat him with disdain and contempt.
Prateeksha Mukhopadhyay is a passionate writer known for her captivating and thought-provoking works. Currently, she is working as a content writer at Landscape Insight. In addition to her writing, Prateeksha is a student currently acquiring her BTech degree and an active member of the literary community, participating in readings, writing poetry, and other events.
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