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The One Ring Realized

Lisa Mason
by  Lisa Mason
The One Ring Realized

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The One Ring Realized

by  Lisa Mason
The One Ring Realized

The second edition text elaborated on Gollum’s long history with the ring and its status as a ring of power. Rationally, Gollum demands the answer to what’s in Bilbo’s pocket and furiously chases him down, causing Bilbo to accidentally put on the ring while stumbling and, in turn, discover its power. Through Gollum’s rantings, we discover his desperate, enraged, and pitiable nature. Bilbo invisibly tracks him through the tunnels and ultimately chooses a daring leap over Gollum to escape rather than stabbing the poor creature with his sword.

It was a drastic change with deeper characterization, improved storytelling beats, and higher stakes.

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - NOVEMBER 25:  A general view of a large Gollum sculpture installed by Weta ahead of the "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" world premiere at Wellington Airport on November 25, 2012 in Wellington, New Zealand.  (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND – NOVEMBER 25: A general view of a large Gollum sculpture installed by Weta ahead of the “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” world premiere at Wellington Airport on November 25, 2012 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

Tolkien’s submission of this new Hobbit content took place back in 1947 when he was in the midst of working on The Lord of the Rings. By then he had fleshed out the central importance of the One Ring and developed Gollum’s dependence on it. He took what he had newly established and applied it to Bilbo and Gollum’s encounter, submitting the revised chapter to his publisher alongside other notes and material for The Hobbit.

Tolkien received word that Allen & Unwin would address the corrections he made, but they made no mention of the drastic changes to Chapter Five.

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