Wednesday, November 11, 2015

"What If?" - Scenarios

The more we explore the smaller aspects of Tolkien's works, the more clear it is to me that each small aspect is incredibly significant in the end. On Tuesday, we spent most of class focusing on two groups' findings, and we entered debates over the significance of Gollum and Sam's roles in relation to Frodo and his quest for the ring. I thought it would be interesting to ask you all to embrace your creative side and think about how the story would have been different if Frodo and Sam had never received Gollum's assistance? For that matter, what would have been different if Sam had not followed Frodo when the Fellowship parted ways, and how would Gollum's role have changed then?


Estë said...

I think it is arguable that without Gollum, Frodo and Sam would have perished along the way. It was Gollum after all who showed them the helpful (albeit deadly and tricksy) path through Shelob’s lair. I think it’s possible the Hobbits would have found another way on their own but it seems very unlikely. They do, however, survive for several days within Mordor without Gollum and without being caught by donning orc-gear, so maybe they would have been able to sneak through the main gate or something similar. As for Frodo all on his own, again I highly doubt that he would have been able to make the journey without succumbing to the Ring. Sam plays such an integral role in the final stretches of the quest, and it is really easy to imagine Frodo and Gollum killing each other over the Ring if left alone. It is interesting to entertain these idea though, I do wonder why Tolkien chose to create the story in the way that he did.

Nessa said...

As far as the second question goes, I believe that, without Sam--assuming Frodo had the strength to carry the Ring without Sam--I think he would have begun to draw on the Ring's power more and more in order to control and direct Sméagol/Gollum. This would have been his doom. As he sought to dominate Gollum, he would have lost himself and probably drawn the Nazgul to him in moments.