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Gollum, originally known as Sméagol, was a creature of Stoorish origin. The name Gollum was derived from the disgusting gurgling noise he made in his throat. His birth can be estimated to have happened c. the year 2430 of the Third Age. His death date is given as March 25, 3019. His life was extended far beyond its natural limits by the effects of possessing the One Ring. At the time of his death, Gollum was about 589 years old, a remarkable age for a creature who was once a Hobbit, but he had been deformed and twisted in both body and mind by the corruption of the Ring. One of his chief desires was to possess the Ring which had enslaved him, and he pursued it for many years after he lost it.

Once a Stoorish Hobbit, Sméagol spent the early years of his life living with his extended family under a Matriarch, his grandmother. Around the year TA 2463 Sméagol became the fourth Bearer of the One Ring, after Sauron, Isildur, and Déagol. Déagol was his cousin, and on Sméagol's birthday they went fishing in the Gladden Fields north of Lothlórien. It was there that Déagol found a gold ring, after being pulled into the water by a largefish. Sméagol demanded the ring as a birthday present and strangled Deágol when he refused. Sméagol was quickly corrupted further by the ring and, banished by his people, was forced to find a home in a cave in the Misty Mountains. The Ring's malignant influence twisted his Hobbit body and mind and prolonged his life far beyond its natural limits. He called it his "Precious" or his "Birthday Present," the latter as a justification for killing Déagol.

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