Lord of the Rings Fans Uncover the Long-Awaited Reason Why Gollum Never Wore the One Ring

I would happily put on the One Ring. I know the consequences but I’d still do it. It’s mine after all. Of course, it’s tempting. It’s supposed to be. Throughout the films, we see just how tempting it can be.

But oddly enough, the character who perhaps loves the ring the most, Gollum, never puts it on.

Has cinema ever been better than The Lord of the Rings trilogy?

The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy trailer
Credit: New Line Cinema

He did wear the ring once on screen when Sméagol wears it in a flashback, but through The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films, Gollum is never seen with it on his finger. He only ever held it.

The same goes for the books, where J. R. R. Tolkien narrates that Gollum wore the ring many times in the past but the protagonists never saw him wearing it.

Thankfully, Tolkien went on to explain why Gollum didn’t wear it, but also why he avoided putting it on his fingers.

After Sméagol was exiled and became Gollum over time, he used the One Ring less and less because he already lived in darkness. He didn’t need its power of invisibility.

He often used it early on to catch fish with his hands or to attack Goblins and Orcs as they often used torches to illuminate the dark, removing the benefit of being unseen for Gollum.

However, he also stopped using it because it exhausts the wearer mentally and physically. Gollum simply couldn’t wear it anymore.

As reported by CBR, Tolkien writes, “Gollum used to wear it at first, till it tired him; and then he kept it in a pouch next his skin, till it galled him; and now usually he hid it in a hole in the rock on his island.”

Using the ring became an addiction and one that mirrors that of drugs and alcohol, it wore down Gollum and caused him to waste away.

As Bilbo said, he felt like “butter spread too thin” and this was due to his use of the ring. Though it was milder for Bilbo because he was a generally kind Hobbit, whereas Sméagol was already a horrid person, the ring magnified that. Something that may be explored in the next film by Andy Serkis.

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