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#1 2004-05-09 09:01:42

Cori
Istari

Why Did it take so long for Gollum to pursue the ring after it came to Bilbo ?

<font color="royalblue">  <font size="3"> My friend Johan asked this question about 6 weeks before he passed on ... i havent had the heart to pursue this question yet...but Staff and Cat had encouraged me to do so .... theres at lest a good 60 year or more ? gap between THE HOBBIT and the FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING.... so WHY did it take Gollum so long to find out where the ring was ....and WHY didnt he go after it right after Bilbo left with it ?? If he was so upset with loosing his 'Precious " you would think he would've moved 'heaven and earth' so to speak to find it and get it back  [122] !
That very question had my freind stumped....and myself also ....so I leave it open for comment before i bring forth any of mine!!!  [120]

~Cori  [123]  </font>   </font>


" Need Brooks no delay, yet late is better then never."

 

#2 2004-05-10 22:41:56

gwaihir
Maiar

Re: Why Did it take so long for Gollum to pursue the ring after it came to Bilbo ?

This is a damn good question,and bird is not going to participate here only because I do not want to go back into the Hobitt.There are many on the board more versed and happy with the Hobitt than I am,so I will leave it up to them.
    The only thing I can contribute is that Gollum,at one point was snared by the Necromancer and held prisoner.Dates and time held I do not have available at this time.Possibly,this could whitle away some of those 60 years.

 

#3 2004-05-10 23:22:44

Lomendil
Valar

Re: Why Did it take so long for Gollum to pursue the ring after it came to Bilbo ?

<font color="seagreen">  <font face="comic sans ms">  <font size="3"> Good question, Cori,

This kind of question, pertaining to Tolkien's choices of plot or other elements for his story, have made some of the most interesting discussions in the club, down from its beginnings.  Some examples that come quick to mind are the [I]Glorfindels[/I] discussion and the one about Aragorn and the Army of the Dead.  I'll see if I can help stimulate some response.

It seems to me that, countering Gollum's outrage and loss, would have been another factor.  The influence of the ring (possibly building on an inherent character flaw), had twisted and warped Gollum away from the society of other creatures.  He had no longer any interest in other beings, except as sources of nourishment.  Bilbo's riddle game woke the last vestiges of social feeling in Gollum, and those quickly dissipated again, as soon as he discovered his loss.  This twistedness had driven Gollum away from others, away from the light of day.  Gandalf tells Frodo, in The Shadow of the Past, that he had "...wormed his way like a maggot into the heart of the hills," to avoid the burning, blinding glare of the sun.  The ring had instilled in him a fear of light, companionship, free air, in fact all of the things which the rest of us consider normal and without which we would feel very deprived.

This, then, I see as the answer to your question.  This "slinking and sneaking" was infused so deeply into Gollum's very soul, that it did not cease once the ring had gone, but continued to hold him hostage to its evil influence, for--well, for 60 years, I guess.  Even the desperation born of his craving for the ring, and his wicked vengefulness against Bagginses couldn't move him out of his cave, until enough time had passed for his furtiveness to lessen and his desperation to grow.

Another factor that is likely is that he, like all things under the evil power of the rings, felt the growing urgency of Sauron's will, which helped, finally, to spur the impulse that overcame his reticence.

Even after Gollum finally ventured forth, he continued to hate light and anything representative of goodness or decency, such as Elvish articles or foods.  And, once out of his cave, he was irresistably drawn to Mordor, where the pull had originated, in the first place.

Okay, that's my take on it.  [B] <font size="4"> NEXT! </font> [/B] 

Cordially, Lómëndil </font>  </font>   </font>


"Still there are so many things that I have never seen. In every wood in every spring, there is a different green."
 

#4 2004-05-11 00:20:55

Éowyn
Maiar

Re: Why Did it take so long for Gollum to pursue the ring after it came to Bilbo ?

Good question, cori!

Bird, please consider writing a full answer, I'd be very interested in hearing your thoughts. (but shame on you for mis-spelling "hobbit"... tssss   [131] )

About the question why he didn't go after Bilbo straight away, I think it's safe to say that he was just plain scared. After all, he'd only ever dared to leave his underground lake while wearing the ring himself, he'd already gone a lot further in Bilbo's "pursuit", now here he was, in plain view of the back door, orcs with torches and even <i>daylight</i>, he wasn't invisible but Bilbo was. Even for Bilbo in his invisible form it was risky - almost impossible - to escape, for Gollum it would have been even harder.

Have to think about this some more, though...

[130]

É


I think, therefore I am - Descartes
I imagine, therefore I belong and am free - Lawrence Durrell
 

#5 2004-05-11 09:19:17

gwaihir
Maiar

Re: Why Did it take so long for Gollum to pursue the ring after it came to Bilbo ?

You right Eowyn. I did spell that wrong.Bad,bad bird. I spelled whittle wrong also.
    Actually,I did not have an answer.Just wanted Cori to know someone was reading his post.

 

#6 2004-05-11 19:09:20

whitestaff
Valar

Re: Why Did it take so long for Gollum to pursue the ring after it came to Bilbo ?

[B] <font color="darkblue">  <font size="3">  <font face="times new roman"> Let's get the dates out to see what we're dealing with here:

[U]2941[/U] : Bilbo gets the Ring from Gollum
[U]2942[/U] : Bilbo returns to the Shire
(Gollum waits 2 years...)
[U]2944[/U] : Gollum leaves the mountains to hunt down 'thief', hiding from light (and the poparatzi)
(where is Gollum looking for 7 years? I suspect his old ancestral home, the vales of the Anduin.)
[U]2951[/U] : Gollum turns towards Mordor (hears of a good bar there?)
(29 years pass...Gollum must be getting cranky by now. Dead Marshes are nasty, tricksy.)
[U]2980[/U] : Gollum nearing Mordor and (has tea with Shelob)
(After 30 years, tea with Shelob is getting old)
[U]3007-3012[/U] ?: About this time Gollum ventures too close to Mordor and is captured by Sauron (and forced to play Twister with an army of Orcs)
[U]3017[/U] : Gollum is released from Mordor and then captured by Aragorn in the Dead Marshes. He is brought to the north side of Mirkwood (where he is forced to brush his teeth.)
[U]3018[/U] : Gollum makes his escape from the Elves and makes his way into Moria but ultimately finds that the West Gate is closed. Five months later he finds Frodo and the Ring in Moria.

77 years total. </font>  </font>   </font>  [/B]

<font color="silver">  <font size="1"> Source: Tales of Years/LotR </font>  </font>


"Fool of a Took! This is a serious journey, not a hobbit walking-party."
 

#7 2004-05-12 07:47:35

gwaihir
Maiar

Re: Why Did it take so long for Gollum to pursue the ring after it came to Bilbo ?

Nice one Staff. I got a good laugh at of that.

 

#8 2004-05-18 20:38:59

Eärrámë
Administrator

Re: Why Did it take so long for Gollum to pursue the ring after it came to Bilbo ?

LOL@ Staff, good stuff! [120]

The Necromancer was driven from Dol Gulder during Bilbo's adventure. Sauron feined his retreat from Dol Gulder only to arrive in Mordor and declare himself openly.

So by the time Gollum made his way out he had much greater distances to travel before being snared by Sauron.

I can't imagine Gollum making good time. He would only travel on moonless nights. Or at least on nights when the moon was not near full. This would chew up perhaps 25% of his travel time. When white face and yellow face were in the sky he would be driven to hide in the deepest hole he could find. His only clear objective was to find his precious but he had no idea where to look for it. Much of his time would be spent searching for food and shelter from the bright faces. I suspect a significant portion of the overall elapsed time would be spend in search of food.

As fas as he knew, or at least guessed unless he heard some rumor, was that a Hobbit had gone East from the Misty Mountains. I have some recollection that when Gollum finally did make his way out of the mountains he went East and searched around the Lonely Mountain and those parts. Remember that Bilbo did not return to the Shire by the same route so ay news Gollum would have gotten in the mountains and the forest would be only of a Hobbit going East. When he finally started West again he got as far as the Misty Mountains and turned South. I think I recall Gandalf saying something about Gollum being drawn Southwards because of the long influence the ring had on him.

Once he finally made his way to the borders of Mordor and was snared by Sauron I can easily see several decades having passed. I'm sure Sauron didn't hold him for a short length of time as well. He may well have spend several years in Barad dur.

Frodo and Sam spend what, two weeks travlleing from Cirith Ungol to Mt Doom? They did it basically in the shortest time possible. I can see at least several months elapsing from Gollum's release to getting himself on the other side of the mountains with his erratic methods of travelling and foraging for food.

Gollums own mutterings along the way with Frodo and Sam hint at a fair amount of familiarity with the South, of Mordor and the surrounding lands.

The combination of Gollums own desire driving him in a direction that even he did not know and his feeding and shelter behavior can easily add up to decades traversing Middle-Earth.


In those days Tuor felt old age creep upon him, and ever a longing for the deeps of the sea grew stronger in his heart. Therefore he built a great ship, and he named it Eärrámë, which is Sea-Wing; and with Idril Celebrindal he set sail into the sunset and the West, and came no more into any tale or song.
 

#9 2004-05-19 00:08:48

Lomendil
Valar

Re: Why Did it take so long for Gollum to pursue the ring after it came to Bilbo ?

<font color="seagreen">  <font face="comic sans ms">  <font size="3"> Your reasoning makes a lot of sense, Ea~  You've got it pretty well worked out.  Gollum was shrewd and crafty, but not too big on logic.  He would have spent a lot of time noodling about in the ozone (or...er...um, mud, that is...), without reaching any useful conclusions or really getting anything done.  Conditioned as we all are to the world of media, it is hard, perhaps, for us to imagine what it would be like without it, but I can easily imagine that searching for something in Middle Earth would be a process of many years' duration.

Cordially, Lómëndil </font>  </font>   </font>


"Still there are so many things that I have never seen. In every wood in every spring, there is a different green."
 

#10 2004-05-24 21:33:00

Cori
Istari

Re: Why Did it take so long for Gollum to pursue the ring after it came to Bilbo ?

Wow !! you all surpassed anything i had an idea on with this thread !! Thanks so very much .. is too bad is late for my friend but this question had been nagging me as well for awhile...Thanks Staff for putting it down in a Time Line!! That really helps ...as far was what i said to him was that he may have had a hard time entering the shire too ...if he even made it that far which now i see doubtful ... LOL... the vigil of the Dunedain would've kept him at bay too for awhile ... but alas some of its a bit before Aragorn's time it seems ...or at least not till the latter years....
Earrame and Lomendil thanks again for your insights on this question !!
...and Gwahir thanks dear bird for your reply !!  [123]


[123] Cori


" Need Brooks no delay, yet late is better then never."

 

#11 2004-09-05 12:47:06

Re: Why Did it take so long for Gollum to pursue the ring after it came to Bilbo ?

I would say that the answers summarises my thoughts about it. I am quite sure that Gollum at first was scared that the Orcs would be able to lay their hands on him. I don´t think he was able to leave his hiding place until after the Battle of Five Armies, when a lot of Orcs were killed. Then he first went to the east, following Bilbo. It seems that he reached Esgaroth and Dale, both places were being rebuilded at the time, and heard about the Hobbit and the Shire. Going only on moonless nights, it must have taken a lot of time to get anywhere.


"Baruk Khazad, Khazad ai-menu"

"This is no rabble of Orcs, these are Uruk-hai." Gimli to Théoden king at the Gates of the Hornburg
 
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