Why Bilbo Never Became A Creature Like Gollum In Lord Of The Rings

Since the One Ring turned Gollum into a creepy creature, it seems weird that the Lord Of The Rings hero Bilbo Baggins never became a similarly monstrous presence. The Lord of the Rings franchise is filled with dense lore that can sometimes be tricky to decipher. Not every viewer or reader is going to know the difference between a ring wraith and a barrow-wight and, for the most part, these distinctions don’t get in the way of enjoying the story. However, some confusing story details from Lord Of The Rings can feel like plot holes until they are explained by reference to the original text.
For example, the infamous question of why Frodo and the Fellowship couldn’t use the eagles to simply fly to Mordor is explained in-universe despite how much this might feel like an oversight. The eagles wouldn’t have allowed Frodo and Sam to sneak into Mordor since they are a massive, incredibly obvious threat to Saruman’s army. Similarly, eagles can’t bear passengers for an indefinite amount of time and would have likely run into the Nazgul on their way to the city. Similarly, the question of why one character who holds the One Ring becomes a monster and another doesn’t, has an explanation.
Bilbo Didn’t Have The Ring For As Long As Gollum In Lord Of The Rings

Gollum owned the One Ring for 500 years, during which time the powerful artifact turned him from an ordinary Hobbit-like creature into a monster. In contrast, Bilbo only maintained possession of the ring for 60 years, and he was a lot more careful about its corrupting influence. As a result, Bilbo did not become a monster like Gollum. He did, however, offer viewers a flash of his monstrous potential when he saw the One Ring in Frodo’s grasp. This was a chilling reminder of the ring’s corrupting influence which, according to one wild Lord of the Rings fan theory, could have led Gollum to kill Frodo’s parents.
In “The Shadow of the Past,” Tolkien explains that Hobbits are less susceptible to the Ring’s powers than humans. This could explain why, much like Bilbo is not as monstrous as Gollum, the discernibly Hobbit-like Gollum is not as deformed and unrecognizable as the Ring Wraiths. While Hobbits aren’t as susceptible as humans, they are still affected by the power of the One Ring. Every living character in the Lord Of The Rings can be corrupted by the Ring’s influence except, bizarrely, for Tom Bombadil. As a result, Gollum’s transformation is down to the sheer length of time he spent as the guardian of the One Ring.
Smeagol’s Transformation Into Gollum Explained

In Lord Of The Rings, Gollum isn’t Sméagol’s real name but rather a nickname that he earned thanks to his distorted voice. This unsettling voice and his warped physical appearance were caused by extended isolation exacerbated by his debilitating obsession with the One Ring. Sméagol and his cousin Deagol encountered the Ring while fishing on Sméagol’s birthday and the Ring immediately took hold of Sméagol, leading him to kill Deagol to obtain the object. Once the local riverfolk discovered this, Sméagol was exiled to the Misty Mountains where he eked out a grim existence for decades. This led to his transformation, creating the Lord Of The Rings villain.

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