One of literature’s greatest, and most complex villains will finally see his day in court thanks to a Turkish judge.
Thanks to a serious lack of free speech in Turkey, the court is trying to determine if a Turkish citizen was insulting the country’s president by comparing him to Tolkien’s Gollum. Which is comical in itself, but wait till you hear their plan for determining if it’s an insult.
The judge ruled that a committee of experts should assess whether Gollum is good or bad. Specifically, they’d like two academics, two psychologists (or behavioral scientists), and a movie or television expert.
So, what’s the verdict?
Well, unfortunately we won’t find out until February when the court reconvenes, but that won’t stop the speculation.
Personally, I need some clarification on what character the committee is actually reviewing. If they are only reviewing Gollum, then he most definitely is 100 percent bad. Since Gollum is essentially the manifestation of the greed and power-lust caused by the Ring. However, if we’re talking Smeagol then the answer gets a little more complicated.
The Smeagol we encounter in “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” has already been consumed by the power of the Ring, so it’s hard to determine his true nature. Based purely on the nature of most hobbits (which Smeagol was at one point), he’s probably good.
If we’re talking about both Smeagol and Gollum, well then I have to go with both. He is both good and bad.
Of course, at the end of the day, determining whether a fictional character is good or bad is a waste of time. It’s also a matter of opinion…which we should all be entitled to.
More on the Story: NY Times
…just for fun: