Things Mary (And What You Might Have) Learned from Smeagol/Gollum

In Movies, Random/Humor on February 16, 2012 at 9:23 pm

by:  Mary Coan

Before we begin, I think it is appropriate to warn you that if you aren’t familiar with this most famous CG quasi-gremlin (played by Andy Serkis), you should probably find something else to read. You should also find a cliff, because if you don’t know the Lord of the Rings, you don’t know life.

1.       “We be nice to them if they be nice to us.”

Gollum’s own charming version of the Golden Rule serves as a reminder to any manner-less git (cough cough, Samwise Gamgee) that relationship maintenance is essential to physical, emotional, and intellectual success. Considering that Gollum strangled his best friend, and then lived in a cave where he regularly talked to himself, he sure knew a lot about functioning friendships.

2.       Go exercise!

If anyone knows about clambering over every boulder and pointy-edged outcropping, it’s this little freaker. Though we can argue that his posture needs work, Gollum burns some marathon calories in his adventures through Middle Earth. Here’s an ex-hobbit with real energy – remember the fight scene in Mount Doom? That little cretin launched himself at Frodo. And his jaw has got to have some serious muscle.

3.       Make your carbon footprint miniscule.

You don’t see Gollum doing laps around the Black Gate in a segway, do you? Never. Gollum truly understood the importance of leaving (Middle) Earth unsullied. He always travelled on foot, for starters, and whenever a fire is lit (usually by the soft Samwise…no surprise there), Gollum moans like a Nazgul finally hitting puberty; talk about dedication to living in a beautiful and unpolluted world!

4.       Explore!

After many sheltered years in the Shire, and many more sheltered years in a drippy cave, Gollum, bless him, wasn’t ashamed to reveal his ignorance. Despite his extensive knowledge of the Dead Marshes, Gollum didn’t really possess any other “street smarts.” For the love of the power of Andúril, he didn’t even know what “taters” were! And still, without a pause, Gollum asked, “What’s taters, precious?” Gollum searched for answers and sought understanding. Given all his geographic exploration, we can forgive Gollum’s choice to not explore bathing.

5.       Be happy.

Though Gollum arguably had some of the most severe personality issues in recorded fiction, his highs were high. After catching a fish in the Forbidden Pool below Henneth Annûn, Gollum sings a chipper little tune. Mind you, it is a simple little song, it’s not exactly Barry White murmuring in your ear, but it’s charming and gleeful all the same. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84zZPUYimWU

6.       “My PRECIOUS!”

Gollum’s passion for the one Ring is one unmatched by any other. His mental and physical dedication to the Ring are incredible; he follows it across Middle Earth, befriends Frodo to be near it, and even happily dies in Mount Doom alongside it. I might advocate for a greater, more animate and reciprocal outlet for your own passions, but if you bring a fraction of the energy and dedication Gollum did, you’ll be sure to succeed.

7.       You are your own harshest critic.

We’ve all caught ourselves doing something silly and muttered, “stupid, stupid,” under our breath, but we’ve got nothing on the sort of daily self-deprecation that Gollum endured. The destructive dualism of Smeagol and Gollum tore Gollum to pieces, but he trucked on through the Dead Marshes (nast), Gondor, Shelob’s Lair (ew ew ew!), and Mordor itself. Though Samwise spent his waking hours doubting Gollum’s reform (rightly so), Gollum truly made some huge steps forward in his days with Frodo and Sam. And let’s be honest – who wouldn’t find Samwise Gamgee excessively annoying? After the third complaint about lembas bread, I’d have slapped that roly-poly fool back to the Shire.

Gollum may be creepier than a man wearing a trench coat and short shorts (think about it), but his crazy self can teach us a thing or two about living like decent human beings. Keep these seven bits of advice in mind, and you’ll be happier than our favorite little creature when he tears into fish still “raw…and wriggling!”


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