Chapter Two: The Shadow of the Past-Part Two

Gandalf continues to help Frodo understand how the ring came to him. He tells him about a people, much like hobbits, called Stoors. Of the Stoors there is a family of great wealth. A grandmother is head of the family. The most curious and inquisitive of the family is named Smeagol. He began to forget about the beauties of the sky and trees around him and began to look down, interested in roots and under water.

This in a way foreshadows what’s to come. Those who look down tend to represent looking toward the devil. We can infer that something about Smeagol in the future will come out in a not so good way. Looking down is never good.

Gandalf explains that one day Smeagol and his friend Deagol were out by the lake one day. Deagol was fishing. Suddenly a huge fish caught his line and pulled him under the water. While underneath, Deagol spots a small, shiny object. He grabs it and later discovers that it is a ring. Smeagol sees the ring and becomes instantly jealous. He pesters Deagol, trying to convince him to give the ring to him. When Deagol refuses, Smeagol grabs him by the throat and strangles him. Thus claiming the ring.

No one had ever discovered what had happened to Deagol. Smeagol had discovered the disappearing magic of the ring and began to use it for wrong. People scorned and shunned him. They began to bully him and mock him. Smeagol started gurgling in his throat so they began to call him Gollum. Everyone wanted him gone, so his grandmother kicked him out of the house.

Gollum began to fish for food with his bare hands. He ate them raw and hid in caves. One day, he saw the sun and it felt as though it was burning him. He cursed the sun, and while looking up at it, he saw the misty mountains. He decided then to go live in the shade of the mountains. He traveled by night and began burrowing his way into the heart of the mountain where he and the ring could not be discovered.

Frodo instantly recognized Gollum’s name. Frodo was surprised that Gollum, such a vile creature, could be distantly related to hobbits themselves. This knowledge leads Frodo to realize how close he is to suffering the same fate. Gandalf even says that it could have happened to anyone, even a hobbit.

Gandalf explains that Gollum still had a part of his old self in him. He didn’t entirely become Gollum, in fact it rather was a separation of personalities in him. Both Smeagol and Gollum were there.

Gollum hated and loved the ring. He would have never gotten rid of it. He couldn’t. The ring decides when it leaves. Bilbo was the first ever to choose to leave the ring. The only one for a long time. It was more than just luck that brought Bilbo to the ring. There was another power at work.

Isildur had once had the ring, and it conveniently slipped off his finger when he had been caught. The ring does what it wants. Despite all the other evidence suggesting that this ring was the one ring, the inscription in the fire alone proves it. And Gandalf only discovered that it truly was the ring while in Frodo’s house at that very moment.

Gandalf spoke with Gollum himself. He lied and played games, but some truth came of it. Gollum eventually came out of the misty mountains for the longing of the ring. Gollum figured out where Bilbo came from and meant to go after him to get his ring back. He even tried to come to the Shire, but Gandalf left his investigation for he thought he had better things to do. Which turns to be a mistake.

After Gandalf had finally spoken to Gollum, Gollum slowly made his way down to Mordor.

Gollum had hoped to find aid in getting his revenge, but was instead taken and tortured. He made a grave mistake searching for aid in the dark lands. Sauron discovered where the ring went.

Frodo panicked and was frightened. He thought it a pity that Bilbo hadn’t killed him, but Gandalf states that it was pity that stopped Bilbo from killing him. Frodo says he has no pity for Gollum. Gandalf implies that if he saw Gollum, he would change his mind. Frodo thinks Gollum deserves death. Gandalf proceeds to explain to him why he doesn’t, putting Frodo’s perspective in a new light.

Frodo simply wants to be rid of the ring, and Gandalf says getting rid of it isn’t enough. It has to be destroyed, and Frodo has to try to destroy it.

The ring was made by Sauron himself in the fires of mount doom, therefore it must be destroyed in the same fire. Frodo asks why he was chosen by the ring and Gandalf says there is no way of explaining. Frodo does not want the ring, so he offers it to Gandalf. Gandalf refuses it, stating he cannot take it from him. It tempts him too much. Taking the ring would destroy him.

Frodo hopes dearly that another bearer will soon take the ring away. Without telling Gandalf, Frodo wishes he could have gone with Bilbo. To go on a nice holiday with him. Bilbo made no mistake in choosing his heir, according to Gandalf. Finally, Gandalf explains what Frodo is to do, and that he is to do everything under the name of Underhill to avoid the use of Baggins, of which Sauron now knows.

Gandalf thinks that Frodo should not go alone. Just after he states it, he pulls Samwise Gamgee right from through the window to outside.

Sam quickly defends himself by saying he was cutting the grass. Gandalf obviously does not believe him. He believes he was eavesdropping. Sam is terrified that Gandalf will turn him into something unnatural and begs Frodo to not let him do it.

Sam explains that he listened because he couldn’t help it. Hearing about elves caused him to want so badly to see elves and he begs to be brought along to meet them. Ganalf laughs, realizing he is no threat.

Sam definitely doesn’t want Frodo to leave, but Frodo tells him that it can’t be avoided. To keep Sam from telling anyone, Frodo tells him Gandalf will turn him into a toad if he does. Seeing Sam tremble at the thought, Gandalf offers to let Sam come along, to keep Frodo in good company with a great friend. Sam becomes very excited, thinking it great he will be able to see elves. And then Sam begins to cry.

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