The Tolkien series returns this week, and it has a title.

I’ve missed posting here. This thing we’re doing works best when Diana and I post at one another’s blogs once a week. For the next little while, she has Penny Dreadful at Sourcerer and I have Tolkien here. If you need a refresher on my Tolkien series, here’s a page with links to everything I’ve written so far. The series is titled “Encounters with the Ring” because it focuses on scenes in which the other characters have to face the power of the One Ring and make choices.

The next installment of will focus on Gollum.


For my money, he’s one of the three most important characters in The Lord of the Rings. We can’t talk about Bilbo and Frodo until we talk about Gollum. He will take at least three or four posts to cover. I plan to handle him much the way I handled Isildur.

The first post will be an overview of Gollum’s very long life. I’ll do my best to put his life into the larger context of the history of Middle Earth, and discuss what we really know about him. The “what do we know?” question is important with Tolkien. Even though nearly all his fiction is written in third-person, it is not all written by the same narrator.

We have a collection of texts here that are written over thousands of years by elves, men, and hobbits. We have to look at them as historical documents if we want to make real sense of them. This is why Tolkien is so complex, and so enduring, I think.

Once I’m done with the overview, I’ll do a few posts about scenes from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit that are important from Gollum’s perspective. I’m not sure how many posts Gollum will take at this point. I may write about him all summer long. I know I have to cover the finding of the Ring and the murder of Deagol, the moment on the journey to Mordor where Gollum breaks, and the Hunt for Gollum at the very least. Here’s a very good dramatization of the hunt, and thanks to our friends at The Leather Library for sharing the video.

I can’t promise I’ll be able to do a post every week. This series is a labor of love, and even though I try to keep the installments short and use good art, these are literary essays. Literary essays take a lot of time. On off-weeks, when they occur, I’ll do roundups of Tolkien blogs I like. My three favorites are A Tolkienist’s Perspective, The Leather Library, and Sweating to Mordor. If you love Tolkien as much as I do, and you haven’t taken a look at all these blogs, you should go and do that.

My first Gollum post will run later this week.



Leave a Comment

  1. I cant wait. I am sure it will be immensely interesting. I really like the Isildur posts, and I know I will love these!


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