The Return of the King

The Return of the King

by

J. R. R. Tolkien

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Gollum, originally a hobbitlike man called Sméagol, is of Frodo and Sam’s former companion who betrayed them on the Stairs of Cirith Ungol. Desperate to reclaim the Ring, which he held for many years before Bilbo took it, he follows Frodo and Sam to Mount Doom in secrecy. On the slope of the mountain, he attacks Frodo and attempts to take the Ring. Sam threatens Gollum with his sword but shows him mercy and demands that he leave the hobbits alone. Instead, Gollum continues to follow Frodo and Sam to the very edge of the mountain’s chasm, biting off Frodo’s finger to finally reclaim the Ring before falling into the fire of Mount Doom and destroying it and himself. Many characters, including Frodo and Sam, pity Gollum. They understand that his desperate desire for the Ring is the main source of his cruelty and treachery. Still, despite being shown mercy many times, Gollum is eventually destroyed by his own lust and greed.

Gollum Quotes in The Return of the King

The The Return of the King quotes below are all either spoken by Gollum or refer to Gollum. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Hope vs. Despair Theme Icon
).
Book 6, Chapter 3 Quotes

Sam’s hand wavered. His mind was hot with wrath and the memory of evil. It would be just to slay this treacherous, murderous creature, just and many times deserved; and also it seemed the only safe thing to do. But deep in his heart there was something that restrained him: he could not strike this thing lying in the dust, forlorn, ruinous, utterly wretched. He himself, though only for a while, had borne the Ring, and now dimly he guessed the agony of Gollum’s shrivelled mind and body, enslaved to that Ring, unable to find peace or relief ever in life again.

Related Characters: Frodo Baggins, Samwise Gamgee (Sam), Gollum
Related Symbols: The Ring
Page Number: 238
Explanation and Analysis:
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Gollum Character Timeline in The Return of the King

The timeline below shows where the character Gollum appears in The Return of the King. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 5, Chapter 4
Hope vs. Despair Theme Icon
Loyalty, Love, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
...used the Stone to challenge Sauron. Pippin wonders why Frodo and Sam are travelling with Gollum, and why they’re taking such a dangerous route. Gandalf can’t give him a clear answer... (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 2
Loyalty, Love, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Frodo and Sam understand from the orcs’ conversation that they’ve seen Gollum in Mordor and that he’s wanted alive. Sam tells Frodo he knew that Gollum wasn’t... (full context)
Hope vs. Despair Theme Icon
Loyalty, Love, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
...before he can reach it. When he returns to Frodo, he tells him he’s seen Gollum nearby. Sam goes to sleep while Frodo keeps watch. (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 3
War, Greed, and Nature Theme Icon
...Sam turn a bend in the road, Sam is struck by a weight and finds Gollum has come to seize the Ring from Frodo. Sam draws his sword, but Frodo and... (full context)
Power, Wisdom, and Mercy Theme Icon
...the Black Riders to make their way to Mount Doom. Sam regains consciousness and sees Gollum at the edge of the chasm fighting an invisible figure. (full context)
War, Greed, and Nature Theme Icon
Gollum bites down on something with his fangs. Frodo becomes visible again, and Gollum holds the... (full context)
Loyalty, Love, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Power, Wisdom, and Mercy Theme Icon
...is overcome with joy to see Frodo become himself again. He’s glad to know that Gollum is gone forever, but Frodo says that Gandalf was right: Gollum did have a part... (full context)