The True Hero Of 'The Lord Of The Rings'

The True Hero Of 'The Lord Of The Rings'

How Gollum is the ultimate tragic hero.
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In today’s culture, there are a few things that are assumed to be considered “common knowledge” in the world of popular culture. Among them are "Forrest Gump," "Harry Potter," "Twilight," "The Great Gatsby," and "The Lord of the Rings." What I mean by common knowledge is that the majority of people are familiar with them in some way or another, regardless of if they have actually seen the movies or read the books. Most people will probably be able to identify characters or portions of the plots of these stories as well. For "The Lord of the Rings" in particular, I think it is fair to say that people who haven’t had much exposure to the story would be able to recognize the following characters: Gandalf and Frodo. I can say this fairly because, up until recently, I was one of those people without much exposure to the story. Nevertheless, it would be a stretch to presume that most people who are unfamiliar with the tale would have heard of or know much about the character of Samwise Gamgee. While this may seem logical since he is frequently thought of as a secondary character when compared to Gandalf or Frodo, it is actually quite ironic since many people who know the story of "The Lord of the Rings" and know it well (Tolkien included), would argue that Sam is actually the true hero and perhaps even the most essential character in the book.

For a story such as "The Lord of the Rings," the question of “Who is the true hero” is a loaded one, since so many play an integral role in the success of the journey and the (spoiler alert) ultimate destruction of the great ring of power. Among the characters who aided in the quest are Frodo, Gandalf, Sam, Merry, Pippin, Legolas, Gimli, Boromir, and Aragorn. These characters stand out among the masses because they were the 9 included in “the company” who seek out to destroy the ring. Despite their varying contributions—which all aided greatly in the fall of Sauron—as well as the profound impacts of heroes not included in this company, I decided to focus on someone a bit more unconventional in my argument of the question “Who is the true hero of "The Lord of the Rings?""

Personally, I have always been someone who is overly trusting and idealistic when it comes to characters or people with flaws. I spent a lot of time trying to rationalize giving traditionally "bad guys" the benefit of the doubt. What if their circumstances had been different? Did they genuinely believe in the righteousness of their actions? I think my open-minded, and perhaps naïve, hopes for people to be misunderstood results from a personal fear. What if that were me? What if I had been put in the same situations they were? The term “victim of circumstance” is one I use somewhat liberally to justify people’s actions that are otherwise unjustifiable. That said, I like to believe that there is a goodness inside of all people—even those traditionally thought of as bad.

Therefore, I am going to attempt to make a case for one of these misjudged characters.

Smeagol—a hobbit whose discovery, and subsequent infatuation, with the Ring led to isolation, physical decay, and the transformation into “Gollum”—is a character in "The Lord of the Rings" who is frequently thought of as a creepy, sneaky, manipulative, and obsessive. While it may be true that he embodies these qualities, there is much more to the character than is on the surface. Because without these qualities dominating the character, the Ring would have never been destroyed.

Even when overlooking his other contributions, it must be addressed that Gollum was the one who destroyed the Ring in the end. If he had not been there, the Ring never would have been destroyed. Since this was the objective of the entire story, Gollum is the hero. *drops mic*

Quite seriously, however, the character of Gollum is one who, without his presence in "The Lord of the Rings" the entire story would completely fall apart. To begin with, if he hadn’t found the ring, it never would have ended up with Bilbo and, later, Frodo. Quite possibly, it could have been found by either Sauron or another who sought complete power. In this case, the story would have been over before it even started. Gollum’s isolation—a factor that resulted in the development of some flawed personality traits (as mentioned earlier)—was actually essential for keeping the Ring safe for hundreds of years! This is a feat which many could not have accomplished—as exemplified by Bilbo, who was unable to protect the secrecy of the Ring for even a few decades.

Furthermore, Gollum guides Frodo and Sam to Mordor. The two were in desperate need of guidance and were on a time-crunch. They couldn’t have relied on finding their own way, and they knew this—enough to put their lives in the hands of someone they didn’t trust. Despite Gollum’s ulterior motives of leading the two to their ultimate demise at the hands—or, rather, eight legs—of a giant spider, the reality is that without his guidance, they never would have made it to Mordor.

Taking all of these things into account, there is no denying that Gollum’s presence is essential to the entire plot of "The Lord of the Rings" to hold up and for the quest of destroying the Ring to be successful. However, it may seem that Gollum cannot be the hero because he didn’t have heroic intentions. The reason that he kept the Ring safe and out of Sauron’s sight was because he was so possessed by it that he wouldn’t allow anyone else to know about it for fear that he would lose it. He isolated himself for this same reason—allowing the power that the ring had over him to control him. He offered to guide Frodo and Sam so that he could get them killed and then keep the Ring for himself. Finally, he destroyed the Ring because he was so outraged that Frodo declared it as his own that he bit off his finger and, successively, plummeted into the fires of Mount Doom.

I get it, Gollum is not the most wholesome guy. But being a hero is not about being a wholesome guy; it’s about getting the job done and, in this case, saving the world---which Gollum did.

However, since I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, I must make a case for Gollum’s character as well.

Gollum’s long-lasting internal struggle and ultimate destruction make him one of the most tragic heroes in literature. He struggles to not only battle external forces, but internal ones that are stacked against the success of his character. The inhabitants of Gollum’s body—Gollum, the creature, and Smeagol, the hobbit—are constantly at odds with one another. Gollum’s presence makes it impossible for Smeagol to succeed in overcoming the power of the Ring and behaving in a humane manner. Conversely, Smeagol makes it difficult for Gollum to ever be entirely successful in his endeavors as many of his intended plots for sabotage fall through. Because Smeagol exists within Gollum, I refuse to believe in the complete maliciousness of the character. Despite the plotting, manipulative creature that the Ring seduced him into, there is still a piece of Gollum that holds onto his life before the Ring and perhaps even desires it. This is highlighted through Gollum’s conversations with Smeagol.

All in all, everything that Gollum did with bad intentions was a result of his obsession with the Ring. The Ring’s great power was enough to scare even Gandalf. It was enough to possess Bilbo for years. It was even enough to lead Frodo to choose to forfeit the entire quest at the very end. Clearly, the Ring is powerful enough to conquer anyone and, therefore, Gollum cannot be blamed for falling victim to it.

Despite the impurity of his intentions at times, Gollum’s actions were heroic in establishing the success of the quest. The possession of the Great Ring of Power created the multidimensional creature of Gollum—a character whose complexity proved to be just what was needed for the Ring’s destruction, making him a hero.

Cover Image Credit: FanPop

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35 Major Life Facts According To Nick Miller

"All booze is good booze, unless it's weak booze."
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Fact: If you watch "New Girl," you love Nick Miller.

You can't help it. He's an adorable, lovable mess of a man and you look forward to seeing him and his shenanigans each week. While living the infamous and incomparable life of Nick Miller, and obviously Julius Pepperwood— he has learned many valuable laws of the land. And, although Nick refuses to learn anything from anyone besides his mysterious, old Asian friend Tran, he does have a few lessons he'd like to teach us.

Here are 35 facts of life according to 'Nick Milla Nick Milla':

1. Drinking keeps you healthy.

"I'm not gonna get sick. No germ can live in a body that is 65% beer."

2. Dinosaurs never existed.

"I don't believe dinosaurs existed. I've seen the science. I don't believe it."


3. A paper bag is a bank.

"A bank is just a paper bag but with fancier walls."


4. Having sex is similar to delivering mail.

"I'm like a mailman, except instead of mail it's hot sex that I deliver."

5. Moonwalking is a foolproof way to get out of any awkward situation.

Jess (about Nick): "Now he won't even talk to me. I saw him this morning and he just panic moonwalked away from me. He does that sometimes."

6. Using a movie reference is also a great way.

Cece: "Come on, get up!"

Nick: "No, I don't dance. I'm from that town in "Footloose."

7. There's no reason to wash towels.

Nick: "I don’t wash the towel. The towel washes me. Who washes a towel?"

Schmidt: "You never wash your towel?"

Nick: "What am I gonna do? Wash the shower next? Wash a bar of soap?"

8. Exes are meant to be avoided at all costs (especially if/unless they're Caroline)

"I don't deal with exes, they're part of the past. You burn them swiftly and you give their ashes to Poseidon."

9. IKEA furniture is not as intimidating as it looks.

"I'm building you the dresser. I love this stuff. It's like high-stakes LEGOs."

10. You don't need forks if you have hands.

Jess: "That's gross. Get a fork, man."

Nick: "I got two perfectly good forks at the end of my arms!"

11. Sex has a very specific definition.


"It's not sex until you put the straw in the coconut."

12. Doors are frustrating.

"I will push if I want to push! Come on! I hate doors!"

13. All booze is good booze.

"Can I get an alcohol?"

14. ...unless it's weak booze.

"Schmidt, that is melon flavored liquor! That is 4-proof! That is safe to drink while you're pregnant!"

15. Writers are like pregnant women.

Jess: "You know what that sound is? It's the sound of an empty uterus."

Nick: "I can top that easily. I'm having a hard time with my zombie novel."

Jess: "Are you really comparing a zombie novel to my ability to create life?"

Nick: "I'm a writer, Jess. We create life."

16. All bets must be honored.

"There is something serious I have to tell you about the future. The name of my first-born child needs to be Reginald VelJohnson. I lost a bet to Schmidt."

17. Adele's voice is like a combination of Fergie and Jesus.

"Adele is amazing."

18. Beyoncé is extremely trustworthy.

"I'd trust Beyoncé with my life. We be all night."

19. Fish, on the other hand, are not.


“Absolutely not. You know I don’t trust fish! They breathe water. That's crazy!"

20. Bar mitzvahs are terrifying.

Schmidt: "It's a bar mitzvah!"

Nick: "I am NOT watching a kid get circumcised!"

21. ...so are blueberries.

Jess: "So far, Nick Miller's list of fears is sharks, tap water, real relationships..."

Nick: "And blueberries."

22. Take your time with difficult decisions. Don't be rash.


Jess: "You care about your burritos more than my children, Nick?"

Nick: "You're putting me in a tough spot!"

23. Getting into shape is not easy.

"I mean, I’m not doing squats or anything. I’m trying to eat less donuts."

24. We aren't meant to talk about our feelings.

"If we needed to talk about feelings, they would be called talkings."


25. We're all a little bit too hard on ourselves.

"The enemy is the inner me."

26. Freezing your underwear is a good way to cool off.


"Trust me, I'm wearing frozen underpants right now and I feel amazing. I'm gonna grab some old underpants and put a pair into the freezer for each of you."

27. Public nudity is normal.

"Everbody has been flashed countless times."

28. Alcohol is a cure-all.


"You treat an outside wound with rubbing alcohol. You treat an inside wound with drinking alcohol."

29. Horses are aliens.

"I believe horses are from outer-space."


30. Turtles should actually be called 'shell-beavers.'

Jess: "He calls turtles 'shell-beavers."

Nick: "Well, that's what they should be called."

31. Trench coats are hot.


"This coat has clean lines and pockets that don't quit, and it has room for your hips. And, when I wear it, I feel hot to trot!"


32. Sparkles are too.

"Now, my final bit of advice, and don't get sensitive on this, but you've got to change that top it's terrible and you've got to throw sparkles on. Sparkles are in. SPARKLES ARE IN."

33. Introspection can lead to a deeper knowing of oneself.

"I'm not convinced I know how to read. I've just memorized a lot of words."


34. It's important to live in the moment.

"I know this isn't gonna end well but the middle part is gonna be awesome."


35. Drinking makes you cooler.

Jess: "Drinking to be cool, Nick? That's not a real thing."

Nick: "That's the only thing in the world I know to be true."

Cover Image Credit: Hollywood Reporter

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The Zodiac Signs As Bath And Body Works Scents

Just in case you want to know what scent you are!

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Bath and Body Works fans could be considered to be part of a cult. The scents draw you in as if calling your name, if you ever
wondered what your scent should be based on your zodiac sign, here it is!

Aries: Country Apple

The rather impulsive Aries takes their time picking and choosing the scents from Bath and Body Works. The soothing scent of a fresh apple orchard is just what they need on a daily basis to keep up with their shenanigans.

Taurus: Japanese Cherry Blossom

The personality of a Taurus is stubborn, or what I like to say, is stuck in their ways. When they first discovered this scent in middle school, this was it. This is the only scent you will find anywhere around a Taurus.

Libra: Pink Chiffon

Pink Chiffon is another cult classic. This best selling scent went out of style for a hot second but is back and bigger than ever.

Leo: Thousand Wishes

Thousand Wishes is a purr-fect scent for a Leo. The light scent adornes the wearer just the right amount to get the desired reaction from those around them.

Aquarius: Be Enchanted

The rather cold personality of an Aquarius is counteracted by the loving scent of Be Enchanted. The scent is just enough tenderness for the wearer to be relaxed.

Gemini: Moonlight Path

Gemini's constantly change their favorite scent and are in and out of the store almost weekly to by new lotions, candles, and body washes. You will never see a full empty bottle of anything, however, Moonlight Path is the scent they keep coming back to again and again.

Virgo: Sea Island Cotton

The clean personality of a Virgo must be matched with the clean scent of Sea Island Cotton.

Capricorn: Cucumber Melon

Another clean scent of Cucumber Melon is the exact thing a Capricorn needs. The balance and calming scents are what make this scent so attractive to a Capricorn.

Scorpio: Paris Amour

The light scent is what you would expect from an extreme sign like a Scorpio. The scent lightly washes over the wearer in almost a cloud that

Sagittarius: Cashmere Glow

Cashmere Glow is a perfect scent for the winter sign. The vanilla and golden peach scent is just the mixture that creates the perfect accessory in the chilly months.

Pisces: Warm Vanilla Sugar

This lovely scent accentuates the lovely personality of a Pisces. They can never get enough of this scent so they just keep buying and buying until they have a full stockpile.

Cancer: Velvet Sugar

Velvet Sugar is the perfect blend of red velvet and strawberries and a Cancer is always changing their mind. The wearer can tell if it is a more red velvet or strawberry kind of day, and that is the balance that they need in their lives.

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