Gollum was a Hobbit of the River-folk, who lived near the Gladden Fields. Originally known as Sméagol, he was later named Gollum after his habit of making "a horrible swallowing noise in his throat". Gollum was once a hobbit who became corrupted by the One Ring. His life was extended far beyond its natural limits by the effects of possessing the Ring, which he frequently referred to as "my precious" and "my birthday present". After having it stolen by Bilbo Baggins, Gollum slavishly pursued it for the rest of his life.
During his centuries under the Ring's influence, Gollum came to love and hate the Ring, just as he loved and hated himself. Throughout the story, Gollum is seen communing with his ego, torn between his lust for the Ring and his desire to be free of it.
- Sam: What we need is a few good taters.
Gollum: What's taters, precious? What's taters, eh? Sam: *Po-tay-toes!* Boil 'em, mash 'em, stick 'em in a stew... Lovely big golden chips with a nice piece of fried fish. [Gollum makes a noise of disgust while sticking his tongue out] Sam: Even you couldn't say no to that. Gollum: Oh yes we could. Spoilin' nice fish. Give it to us raw and w-r-r-riggling; you keep nasty chips. Sam: You're hopeless.
- "What's taters precious, what's taters, eh"
- "They are young, they are tender, they are nice! Yes they are! Eat them! EAT THEM!"