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Tolkien’s character - Gollum. What a great name. Just from the sound of it, you can tell that it is attached to a ne'er-do-well. Gollum is the slimiest character in J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy. If you are a true-blue fan of the books, you know that originally this character was a Hobbit named Smeagol. But his obsession with possessing the Ring deformed him into Gollum, a name he got after his habit of making "a horrible swallowing noise in this throat." According to a collection of literary authorities quoted on Wikipedia, Smé agol "still vaguely remembered things like friendship and love, while Gollum was a slave to the Ring who knew only treachery and violence." As Aragorn states: "His malice gives him a strength hardly to be imagined."

This is precisely what happens to people tangled in sin. Their names might as well be changed, because they have become what they live for. Their greatest strength becomes their capacity to sin!

[Lee Eclov, Vernon Hills, Illinois; sources: J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings (Houghton-Mifflin, 1999);]

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