I Am Gollum



Among the questionable creative decisions made by Peter "Dead Alive" Jackson in the latest Lord of the Rings installment was the change in the origin of Gollum's onomatopoeic name from a swallow to a cough, a cough which, while hacking in nature, sounds suspiciously like phlegmy throat clearing as opposed to any debilitating malady that might be brought about by insane devotion to a magic Ring. As a chronic throat clearer myself, and someone who already receives his fair share of ribbing therefor, I'm forced to take umbrage. And I'll take all the umbrage I want, thank you.

As for the movie itself, movie reviews 'round these parts are taken care of in another place, and I'm not about to step on anybody's toes by offering my own meager analysis. Instead, I'll just tell you what I thought of a few of the actors.

Karl Urban as Eomer: HOT.
Brad Dourif as Wormtongue: Bad ASS.
Miranda Otto as Eowyn: Also hot, but in a cute way.
Liv Tyler as Arwen: Still thoroughly unengaging.
John Rhys-Davies as Gimli: Hey! Isn't it funny how he's shorter than everyone else? He's a dwarf, get it? Har har! Dwarves are small!
David Wenham as Faramir: Also hot, also cute, but in a Viking way.

Until next year, then.


what's his name as aragorn: head way too small, looks like an aspiring rock star not a king.

yeah. and he's ALWAYS wet. what's that about?

my two comments are:
1)everybody's got to leak a little
2)he makes ME wet.

umm.....let's pretend i didn't say that.

Matt, what is it with you and big hairy men? Should I be getting concerned here?

my girlfriend started a lesbian opera club and YOU'RE the one who's concerned?

I just ran across this thread while looking for some other Tolkien comments on Gollum..

If any of you have actually listened to the recordings of Tolkien himself reading The Hobbit, then you would know that the "gollum" sound is in fact just what Andy Serkis does.. a rather gurgly cough. Nowhere in any of the books does it refer to the sound as a swallow, though I myself too assumed it was rather a hiccough or maybe a gulp.

Tolkien's word..and his "gollum" are Gospel! Peter Jackson and Andy Serkis didn't change anything.

"'Bless us and splash us, my precioussss! I guess it's a choice feast; at least a tasty morsel it'd make us, gollum!' And when he said gollum he made a horrible swallowing noise in his throat. That is how ge got his name, though he always called himself 'my precious.'"
-The Hobbit, p. 72 (1992 Ballantine Fantasy edition)

Granted it seems to suggest that "gollum" and the "swallowing noise" are separate, but a reasonable reading is that they're at least related. Furthermore, Andy Serkis doesn't make any swallowing sounds at all that I remember, and the passage doesn't say anything about coughing.

You're right, G! All hail the small hobbit-sized deity "gollum," whose name cannot be uttered by any except the high god Tolkien, or those who smoke five packs of cigarettes a day and generate sufficient quantities of phlegm globules.

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This page contains a single entry by hb published on December 25, 2002 10:05 AM.

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