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Lord Of The Rings: 20 Strangest Things About Gollum’s Anatomy

0

It's so rare for a literary character that dates back to 1937 to still have an impact today, but J.R.R. Tolkien created such a character in Gollum. This is thanks to the sheer amount of complexity that Tolkien a character that really could have been a throwaway monster. Of course, it didn't hurt that Peter Jackson and Andy Serkis brought the character to life in a ground-breaking way for The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

The skulking creature may have had a smaller role in The Hobbit, but he was an absolutely essential antagonist in The Lord of The Rings trilogy. There are a ton of characters who we love from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. After all, this is the series that gave us Frodo, Gandalf, Aragorn, Galadriel, Sam, Legolas, and Arwen-- but Gollum truly stands out amongst them.

He has invaded our hearts, minds, and even our souls thanks to his tragic story and complex sense of self. Not only did he have a vital role to play in the story, but Gollum also impacted audiences greatly due to his unique attributes. Some of these special characteristics have to do with his iconic way of speaking. Others have to do with his personality. And then there's his unique anatomy, which has eluded even the most dedicated Tolkien fans. This article will delve into some of Gollum's most fascinating and downright surprising physical and psychological elements, giving  readers an even deeper appreciation for this wonderful character.

Here are 20 Strange Things About Gollum's Anatomy.

20 The Ring Prolonged His Life, but Transformed him

One thing that fans forget about Gollum, originally known as Smeagol, is that he was actually far older than most of the other characters in Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. The character was born in TA 2430 and didn't pass until TA 3019 when he fell into the fiery pit of Mount Doom. The reason he lasted so long was because of his time with the Ring of Power. It actually prolonged his life. However, it also did something far more troublesome.

While Smeagol had the Ring, it poisoned his mind. It twisted his soul and his body into the creature we've come to know as "Gollum." Almost everything about Smeagol was lost due to the unnerving influence of the Ring.

19 Serkis Based His Voice On His Cat

In an interview with AFI, as well as in the behind-the-scenes content for The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Andy Serkis explained how he created Gollum's voice. Initially, Serkis was only brought in to audition to voice the character of Gollum, who was going to be completely added in via visual effects in post-production.

Serkis did a bit of research to find out how he could make the character's voice interesting. "Gollum" is called that because of the sound he makes, so Serkis attempted to organically find a way to work that into his performance. It wasn't until he watched his cat coughing up a hairball that he truly figured it out. By mimicking this, he was able to come up with a memorable voice that was true to Tolkien's work.

18 He Had Excellent EyeSight

After Gollum came across the Ring of Power, he became sick and twisted. This forced members of his community to force him into the caves. This is where he stayed for much of his life until he met Bilbo. During his time, Gollum was exposed to very little light, which meant that his eyes had to adapt to the darkness.

Luckily for him, the changes in his body allowed him to develop eye-sight far beyond most characters in Tolkien's series. He could see things moving in the shadows and easily hide from harm's way before the danger came close. Gollum could also see fish moving far under the water, which helped him to catch them. This skill also aided Gollum in his tracking of Frodo and the Ring.

17 Serkis Was Completely In Control Of The Character's Movements

Although Andy Serkis was originally brought in just to audition for Gollum's voice, Peter Jackson and the casting team adored his work so much that they actually hired him to perform the character out on set. This was the starting point for an evolution in CGI and motion capture technology that we'd never seen before.

Serkis was completely in control of the Gollum's movements. This included all of Gollum's facial expressions since the team loved what Serkis was doing so much. Serkis was then brought in during post-production to recapture the movements he had filmed. Very few times were things changed after it was shot. This was a major shift since Jackson was originally planning to create Gollum from scratch in post.

16 His inconsistent skin-tone

Thanks to Peter Jackson, we all have a very specific vision of how Gollum looks. However, the original text varied in its description of him. When Tolkien describes him in The Lord of the Rings and in The Hobbit, he uses language that states that Gollum is both very pale and very dark-skinned. In fact, in the novels, Gorbag and Shagrat describe Gollum as a "dark fellow."

Later on, Tolkien explained his supposed mess-up by claiming that sometimes Gollum wore dark clothing in order to hide amongst the shadows. Additionally, it made sense that Gollum was pale. After all, he spent most of his life living in caves where there was a lack of sunlight. This means that his skin would have become pasty and sickly.

15 His Stomach Became Used To Raw Food

Life changed for Smeagol when he was driven from his home. Not only did he adopt the persona of Gollum, but he also completely changed his eating habits because the Ring took up most of his time. He didn't care about cooking and preparing fine meals as most Hobbits do. He simply needed to eat to survive.

This meant that he caught and ate anything he could get his hands on. While living in a cave, there were only rodents and fish to eat, so he began to eat them raw. Because of this, his stomach became used to this making him dislike cooked foods later on. When Sam presented him with a stew in The Two Towers, he couldn't keep it down.

14 The Voice Caused Serkis To Spit Constantly

Creating Gollum's voice took its toll on Andy Serkis. Not only did the voice beat up Serkis' body, which always reacted to it, but it also caused his throat to get sore. To counteract this, a special drink was made for him between every take. The drink was basically honey and lemon with a bunch of other healthy ingredients, but drinking it contributed to Serkis constantly spitting while doing the voice.

Between the drink and the voice itself, Serkis was constantly throwing spittle on other actors when creating Gollum's signature grow. This ended up working for the character, so some of it was kept in the film and wasn't even manipulated via CGI.

13 He Developed Dissociative Identity Disorder

It's very challenging to accurately determine what psychological issues any literary characters have. Even if they were real-life beings and sitting in front of us, only a trained professional (such as a psychologist or psychiatrist) could make an informed decision. Still, it's pretty much agreed upon that Smeagol developed Dissociative Identity Disorder.

This disorder truly came to be when Smeagol was alone with the Ring in the caves. He still felt the push and pull of his better side, so he maintained his "good personality," as well as developed a darker side which was called "Gollum." This trait became one of the defining characteristics for the character in the books and the movies.

12 He Was imprisoned and hurt in Barad-dur

Up until the arrival of Bilbo Baggins, Gollum spent most of his time in a cave. Once Bilbo stole the Ring, Gollum was forced out into the wilderness to search for it. He then made his way South to Mordor, where all dark things were being drawn at the time. This is when he discovered Minas Morgul, the secret stair, and Shelob's lair.

Unfortunately, Gollum was caught by orcs and taken to Barad-dur, where he was beaten because Sauron wanted to know the location of the Ring. Gollum simply revealed the words "Shire" and "Baggins." The Black Riders were then sent there to retrieve the Ring, and Gollum was freed.

11 The Filmmakers Perfected His Muscle Movement For The Hobbit

Although Peter Jackson and his team had a challenging time creating Gollum for The Lord of the Rings trilogy, they found Gollum far easier for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Technology had improved in such a way that allowed Andy Serkis to wear his motion capture suit while filming, which simplified things greatly. Additionally, the filmmakers were able to improve upon Gollum's muscle movement.

Technology had progressed in such a way that the filmmakers could develop proper skeletal and muscle systems to use when building the digital character. A program called Tissue was created to help filmmakers mimic real-life muscles moving on an animal. This made it easier for them to show more detail in Gollum's body, especially when he moved.

10 He Was Caught By Aragorn

After Gollum was freed from Barad-dur in Mordor, he made his way toward The Shire, in search of the Ring, but was captured by the ranger Aragorn, who was known as "Strider" at the time. The two got to know each other decently well while Aragorn took Gollum to meet Gandalf. Aragorn even came to understand how Gollum became physically strong. He said that "his malice gives him strength hardly to be imagined."

Aragorn then met up with Gandalf, who interrogated Gollum in order to find out what he told Sauron. Gandalf then placed him in the care of the Silvan Elves in Thranduil's Kingdom in Mirkwood. Unfortunately, he escaped and retraced Aragorn and Gandalf's steps, eventually finding Frodo and the Ring.

9 He Was Quick With His Hands

It's possible that Gollum's skills with his hands originate to his time as a fisherman when he was simply known as Smeagol, but these skills really were developed when Gollum's entire body changed due to the malice of the Ring of Power. Gollum's arms elongated, as did his fingers. This allowed him to properly adapt to his dingy cave environment, which was filled with rocks to climb and animals to eat.

His long fingers allowed him to grab a hold of fish, and his speed made it far easier to capture them. This ability made Gollum far more dangerous to his enemies. On first glance, they wouldn't have been intimidated by Gollum, but upon seeing his body move like a flash of lightning, their opinion changed swiftly.

8 He Only Had Six Teeth

When Gollum's body drastically changed, so did his health. His sense of hygiene went completely out the window. Because he wasn't taking care of himself, he lost most of his teeth. The fact that he was chomping through the bones of raw animals also contributed to him losing all but six teeth; four on the top and two on the bottom.

In Tolkien's The Hobbit, Gollum is asked what he keeps in his pockets; one of Gollum's answers is a "teeth sharpening rock." This means that he carved his remaining teeth so that he could better chow down on tough raw meats, as well as use his mouth as a tool, much as a cat or dog do.

7 He was An Incredible Climber

Climbers usually have an easier time when they aren't so concerned about their bodies being all banged up. Gollum was just like that-- he had no care for his physical health. This meant that he happily subjected his body to cuts and bruises if it allowed him to climb where he need to go. Gollum's elongated arms and fingers also helped him to propel himself up impossible surfaces-- like the caves of Moria, where he started to follow Frodo and the Ring, and Mount Doom.

In fact, Gollum's scaling of Mount Doom is particularly impressive given that Frodo and Sam had a head start due to the altercation between Frodo and Gollum at Shelob's Lair. Even still, Gollum quickly maneuvered his way up to meet them before they disposed of the Ring.

6 Serkis Recaptured His Movements Multiple Times

Peter Jackson and his team of artists had their work cut out for them when it came to creating Gollum for The Lord of the Rings. Since this was before the days of advanced motion capture, Serkis was brought into a studio where he recreated all of his movements from the set. This time, he wore a motion capture suit that caught every minor detail.

Serkis' work on set was then painted out and replaced with the motion capture version, which was then replaced with a CGI version that mimicked all of his movements. Things were a lot easier when shooting The Hobbit as the technology had caught up to their work.

5 Light Bothered Him

Gollum had truly excellent sight since his eyes physically adapted to his cave environment. This meant that he could let in the right amount of light in order to see in the dark. However, once he left the Misty Mountain caves in pursuit of Bilbo and the Ring, he quickly found out that sunlight bothered his eyes. This makes sense because he hadn't seen sunlight (or any other form of light) for so long.

Throughout The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Gollum showed that he was still deeply uncomfortable with light, even after being out in it for a while. This means that his eyes adapted to the darkness so well that they've permanently stayed that way.

4 Elvish Materials Burned Him

Many forget that Gollum actually spent time with the Silvan Elves in Thranduil's kingdom in the Mirkwood forest. This was after he was taken there by Gandalf and Aragorn. During his time there, the Elves subjected him to treatment similar to what he received while locked-up in Barad-dur. This caused him to dislike Elves and the materials they used to harm him, and could also be the reason why he stated that an Elvish rope burned his skin.

However, this could also be because Gollum's body had adapted to rougher materials while living in a cave. He's unlikely to have come across a delicately-made rope or any other Elvish materials before. It makes sense that his body would be irritated by it. It's kind of like when we change laundry detergent.

3 He was A River-Hobbit

Before Gollum was known by that name, he was called "Smeagol" or "Trahald." He was a predecessor of the Stoorish Hobbits, who lived in the swamps close to the river. This is how they got the name "River Hobbit." Most of these Hobbits were fishers. It was in their genetics; it was how they made a living and how they passed the time. This is precisely why Smeagol was good at it, as we saw at the beginning of The Return of the King.

Before the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, Smeagol lived with his extended family, who were led by their grandmother. However, they drove him away once his mind became poisoned by the Ring.

2 Serkis Strained His Back playing Gollum

Everyone from Sean Astin to Viggo Mortensen received some sort of injury while shooting The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Andy Serkis' role was particularly physical, as it required him to crawl around on the floor all day long. This was especially challenging when he wasn't in a studio where all the rocks were made of styrofoam. Aside from a bunch of scrapes and bruises, Serkis didn't get notably harmed while shooting in the wilds of New Zealand.

However, he did strain his back when he was brought back to the studio for the motion capture work for The Two Towers. It seems like all of the crawling finally caught up with him.

1 There Were 964 Control Points On His Face

A very complex animation system was developed in order to bring the character of Gollum to life for The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The process to develop and execute this took about four whole years, but the end result was fantastic. It focused on 964 control points that were placed on a model of Gollum's face. These control points allowed animators to have the ability to move every minor detail in his face, making it easier to match the motion capture work that Andy Serkis was doing.

This incredibly convoluted and time-consuming animation system was one of the main reasons why the character of Gollum has stayed with all of us for so long, and, in all likelihood, will stay with us for all of time.

---

What do you think is the strangest things about Gollum's anatomy in The Lord of the Rings? Let us know in the comments below!

Lord Of The Rings: 20 Strangest Things About Gollum’s Anatomy

0

It's so rare for a literary character that dates back to 1937 to still have an impact today, but J.R.R. Tolkien created such a character in Gollum. This is thanks to the sheer amount of complexity that Tolkien a character that really could have been a throwaway monster. Of course, it didn't hurt that Peter Jackson and Andy Serkis brought the character to life in a ground-breaking way for The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

The skulking creature may have had a smaller role in The Hobbit, but he was an absolutely essential antagonist in The Lord of The Rings trilogy. There are a ton of characters who we love from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. After all, this is the series that gave us Frodo, Gandalf, Aragorn, Galadriel, Sam, Legolas, and Arwen-- but Gollum truly stands out amongst them.

He has invaded our hearts, minds, and even our souls thanks to his tragic story and complex sense of self. Not only did he have a vital role to play in the story, but Gollum also impacted audiences greatly due to his unique attributes. Some of these special characteristics have to do with his iconic way of speaking. Others have to do with his personality. And then there's his unique anatomy, which has eluded even the most dedicated Tolkien fans. This article will delve into some of Gollum's most fascinating and downright surprising physical and psychological elements, giving  readers an even deeper appreciation for this wonderful character.

Here are 20 Strange Things About Gollum's Anatomy.

20 The Ring Prolonged His Life, but Transformed him

One thing that fans forget about Gollum, originally known as Smeagol, is that he was actually far older than most of the other characters in Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. The character was born in TA 2430 and didn't pass until TA 3019 when he fell into the fiery pit of Mount Doom. The reason he lasted so long was because of his time with the Ring of Power. It actually prolonged his life. However, it also did something far more troublesome.

While Smeagol had the Ring, it poisoned his mind. It twisted his soul and his body into the creature we've come to know as "Gollum." Almost everything about Smeagol was lost due to the unnerving influence of the Ring.

19 Serkis Based His Voice On His Cat

In an interview with AFI, as well as in the behind-the-scenes content for The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Andy Serkis explained how he created Gollum's voice. Initially, Serkis was only brought in to audition to voice the character of Gollum, who was going to be completely added in via visual effects in post-production.

Serkis did a bit of research to find out how he could make the character's voice interesting. "Gollum" is called that because of the sound he makes, so Serkis attempted to organically find a way to work that into his performance. It wasn't until he watched his cat coughing up a hairball that he truly figured it out. By mimicking this, he was able to come up with a memorable voice that was true to Tolkien's work.

18 He Had Excellent EyeSight

After Gollum came across the Ring of Power, he became sick and twisted. This forced members of his community to force him into the caves. This is where he stayed for much of his life until he met Bilbo. During his time, Gollum was exposed to very little light, which meant that his eyes had to adapt to the darkness.

Luckily for him, the changes in his body allowed him to develop eye-sight far beyond most characters in Tolkien's series. He could see things moving in the shadows and easily hide from harm's way before the danger came close. Gollum could also see fish moving far under the water, which helped him to catch them. This skill also aided Gollum in his tracking of Frodo and the Ring.

17 Serkis Was Completely In Control Of The Character's Movements

Although Andy Serkis was originally brought in just to audition for Gollum's voice, Peter Jackson and the casting team adored his work so much that they actually hired him to perform the character out on set. This was the starting point for an evolution in CGI and motion capture technology that we'd never seen before.

Serkis was completely in control of the Gollum's movements. This included all of Gollum's facial expressions since the team loved what Serkis was doing so much. Serkis was then brought in during post-production to recapture the movements he had filmed. Very few times were things changed after it was shot. This was a major shift since Jackson was originally planning to create Gollum from scratch in post.

16 His inconsistent skin-tone

Thanks to Peter Jackson, we all have a very specific vision of how Gollum looks. However, the original text varied in its description of him. When Tolkien describes him in The Lord of the Rings and in The Hobbit, he uses language that states that Gollum is both very pale and very dark-skinned. In fact, in the novels, Gorbag and Shagrat describe Gollum as a "dark fellow."

Later on, Tolkien explained his supposed mess-up by claiming that sometimes Gollum wore dark clothing in order to hide amongst the shadows. Additionally, it made sense that Gollum was pale. After all, he spent most of his life living in caves where there was a lack of sunlight. This means that his skin would have become pasty and sickly.

15 His Stomach Became Used To Raw Food

Life changed for Smeagol when he was driven from his home. Not only did he adopt the persona of Gollum, but he also completely changed his eating habits because the Ring took up most of his time. He didn't care about cooking and preparing fine meals as most Hobbits do. He simply needed to eat to survive.

This meant that he caught and ate anything he could get his hands on. While living in a cave, there were only rodents and fish to eat, so he began to eat them raw. Because of this, his stomach became used to this making him dislike cooked foods later on. When Sam presented him with a stew in The Two Towers, he couldn't keep it down.

14 The Voice Caused Serkis To Spit Constantly

Creating Gollum's voice took its toll on Andy Serkis. Not only did the voice beat up Serkis' body, which always reacted to it, but it also caused his throat to get sore. To counteract this, a special drink was made for him between every take. The drink was basically honey and lemon with a bunch of other healthy ingredients, but drinking it contributed to Serkis constantly spitting while doing the voice.

Between the drink and the voice itself, Serkis was constantly throwing spittle on other actors when creating Gollum's signature grow. This ended up working for the character, so some of it was kept in the film and wasn't even manipulated via CGI.

13 He Developed Dissociative Identity Disorder

It's very challenging to accurately determine what psychological issues any literary characters have. Even if they were real-life beings and sitting in front of us, only a trained professional (such as a psychologist or psychiatrist) could make an informed decision. Still, it's pretty much agreed upon that Smeagol developed Dissociative Identity Disorder.

This disorder truly came to be when Smeagol was alone with the Ring in the caves. He still felt the push and pull of his better side, so he maintained his "good personality," as well as developed a darker side which was called "Gollum." This trait became one of the defining characteristics for the character in the books and the movies.

12 He Was imprisoned and hurt in Barad-dur

Up until the arrival of Bilbo Baggins, Gollum spent most of his time in a cave. Once Bilbo stole the Ring, Gollum was forced out into the wilderness to search for it. He then made his way South to Mordor, where all dark things were being drawn at the time. This is when he discovered Minas Morgul, the secret stair, and Shelob's lair.

Unfortunately, Gollum was caught by orcs and taken to Barad-dur, where he was beaten because Sauron wanted to know the location of the Ring. Gollum simply revealed the words "Shire" and "Baggins." The Black Riders were then sent there to retrieve the Ring, and Gollum was freed.

11 The Filmmakers Perfected His Muscle Movement For The Hobbit

Although Peter Jackson and his team had a challenging time creating Gollum for The Lord of the Rings trilogy, they found Gollum far easier for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Technology had improved in such a way that allowed Andy Serkis to wear his motion capture suit while filming, which simplified things greatly. Additionally, the filmmakers were able to improve upon Gollum's muscle movement.

Technology had progressed in such a way that the filmmakers could develop proper skeletal and muscle systems to use when building the digital character. A program called Tissue was created to help filmmakers mimic real-life muscles moving on an animal. This made it easier for them to show more detail in Gollum's body, especially when he moved.

10 He Was Caught By Aragorn

After Gollum was freed from Barad-dur in Mordor, he made his way toward The Shire, in search of the Ring, but was captured by the ranger Aragorn, who was known as "Strider" at the time. The two got to know each other decently well while Aragorn took Gollum to meet Gandalf. Aragorn even came to understand how Gollum became physically strong. He said that "his malice gives him strength hardly to be imagined."

Aragorn then met up with Gandalf, who interrogated Gollum in order to find out what he told Sauron. Gandalf then placed him in the care of the Silvan Elves in Thranduil's Kingdom in Mirkwood. Unfortunately, he escaped and retraced Aragorn and Gandalf's steps, eventually finding Frodo and the Ring.

9 He Was Quick With His Hands

It's possible that Gollum's skills with his hands originate to his time as a fisherman when he was simply known as Smeagol, but these skills really were developed when Gollum's entire body changed due to the malice of the Ring of Power. Gollum's arms elongated, as did his fingers. This allowed him to properly adapt to his dingy cave environment, which was filled with rocks to climb and animals to eat.

His long fingers allowed him to grab a hold of fish, and his speed made it far easier to capture them. This ability made Gollum far more dangerous to his enemies. On first glance, they wouldn't have been intimidated by Gollum, but upon seeing his body move like a flash of lightning, their opinion changed swiftly.

8 He Only Had Six Teeth

When Gollum's body drastically changed, so did his health. His sense of hygiene went completely out the window. Because he wasn't taking care of himself, he lost most of his teeth. The fact that he was chomping through the bones of raw animals also contributed to him losing all but six teeth; four on the top and two on the bottom.

In Tolkien's The Hobbit, Gollum is asked what he keeps in his pockets; one of Gollum's answers is a "teeth sharpening rock." This means that he carved his remaining teeth so that he could better chow down on tough raw meats, as well as use his mouth as a tool, much as a cat or dog do.

7 He was An Incredible Climber

Climbers usually have an easier time when they aren't so concerned about their bodies being all banged up. Gollum was just like that-- he had no care for his physical health. This meant that he happily subjected his body to cuts and bruises if it allowed him to climb where he need to go. Gollum's elongated arms and fingers also helped him to propel himself up impossible surfaces-- like the caves of Moria, where he started to follow Frodo and the Ring, and Mount Doom.

In fact, Gollum's scaling of Mount Doom is particularly impressive given that Frodo and Sam had a head start due to the altercation between Frodo and Gollum at Shelob's Lair. Even still, Gollum quickly maneuvered his way up to meet them before they disposed of the Ring.

6 Serkis Recaptured His Movements Multiple Times

Peter Jackson and his team of artists had their work cut out for them when it came to creating Gollum for The Lord of the Rings. Since this was before the days of advanced motion capture, Serkis was brought into a studio where he recreated all of his movements from the set. This time, he wore a motion capture suit that caught every minor detail.

Serkis' work on set was then painted out and replaced with the motion capture version, which was then replaced with a CGI version that mimicked all of his movements. Things were a lot easier when shooting The Hobbit as the technology had caught up to their work.

5 Light Bothered Him

Gollum had truly excellent sight since his eyes physically adapted to his cave environment. This meant that he could let in the right amount of light in order to see in the dark. However, once he left the Misty Mountain caves in pursuit of Bilbo and the Ring, he quickly found out that sunlight bothered his eyes. This makes sense because he hadn't seen sunlight (or any other form of light) for so long.

Throughout The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Gollum showed that he was still deeply uncomfortable with light, even after being out in it for a while. This means that his eyes adapted to the darkness so well that they've permanently stayed that way.

4 Elvish Materials Burned Him

Many forget that Gollum actually spent time with the Silvan Elves in Thranduil's kingdom in the Mirkwood forest. This was after he was taken there by Gandalf and Aragorn. During his time there, the Elves subjected him to treatment similar to what he received while locked-up in Barad-dur. This caused him to dislike Elves and the materials they used to harm him, and could also be the reason why he stated that an Elvish rope burned his skin.

However, this could also be because Gollum's body had adapted to rougher materials while living in a cave. He's unlikely to have come across a delicately-made rope or any other Elvish materials before. It makes sense that his body would be irritated by it. It's kind of like when we change laundry detergent.

3 He was A River-Hobbit

Before Gollum was known by that name, he was called "Smeagol" or "Trahald." He was a predecessor of the Stoorish Hobbits, who lived in the swamps close to the river. This is how they got the name "River Hobbit." Most of these Hobbits were fishers. It was in their genetics; it was how they made a living and how they passed the time. This is precisely why Smeagol was good at it, as we saw at the beginning of The Return of the King.

Before the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, Smeagol lived with his extended family, who were led by their grandmother. However, they drove him away once his mind became poisoned by the Ring.

2 Serkis Strained His Back playing Gollum

Everyone from Sean Astin to Viggo Mortensen received some sort of injury while shooting The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Andy Serkis' role was particularly physical, as it required him to crawl around on the floor all day long. This was especially challenging when he wasn't in a studio where all the rocks were made of styrofoam. Aside from a bunch of scrapes and bruises, Serkis didn't get notably harmed while shooting in the wilds of New Zealand.

However, he did strain his back when he was brought back to the studio for the motion capture work for The Two Towers. It seems like all of the crawling finally caught up with him.

1 There Were 964 Control Points On His Face

A very complex animation system was developed in order to bring the character of Gollum to life for The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The process to develop and execute this took about four whole years, but the end result was fantastic. It focused on 964 control points that were placed on a model of Gollum's face. These control points allowed animators to have the ability to move every minor detail in his face, making it easier to match the motion capture work that Andy Serkis was doing.

This incredibly convoluted and time-consuming animation system was one of the main reasons why the character of Gollum has stayed with all of us for so long, and, in all likelihood, will stay with us for all of time.

---

What do you think is the strangest things about Gollum's anatomy in The Lord of the Rings? Let us know in the comments below!

Fantastic Beasts Theory: How Grindelwald Lied About Credence’s Identity

0

Warning: Spoilers for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald ahead.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is chock full of plot twists and big reveals, but none is bigger than the moment at the very end of the film when Grindelwald finally tells Credence who he really is: Dumbledore's secret brother, Aurelius. For most of the film, the viewer is being led to believe that Credence is Corvus Lestrange (Leta Lestrange's brother), but even after this is revealed to be untrue (thanks to Leta accidentally murdering her infant sibling), no one could have expected this particular twist.

Of course, the Credence/Aurelius reveal is one that has fans spinning, especially as the Dumbledore family history is fairly well explored in the original Harry Potter series and a brother nearly two decades younger than Albus is never so much as hinted at. Of course, it's not the only part of the film that retcons established Harry Potter canon (The Crimes Of Grindelwald plays it pretty fast and loose with Harry Potter lore throughout), but it's the biggest one - and that leaves us to wonder if Grindelwald (and J.K. Rowling) are being a little less than truthful about Credence's identity.

Related: Credence Is Albus Dumbledore's Son In This Fantastic Beasts Theory

All that Grindelwald tells Credence is that he has a brother who "seeks to destroy him", and that his name is Aurelius Dumbledore. He backs up this assertion by telling Credence "There is a legend in your family that a phoenix will come to any member who is in dire need." and then, taking a chick that Credence has been caring for, he launches it into the air, where it catches fire and bursts forth as a phoenix. Dumbledore himself speaks in Fantastic Beasts 2 about the connection that his family has to the phoenix, which seems to suggest that Credence's bird proves that he is, indeed, a member of the Dumbledore clan.

However, there's a good chance that Grindelwald is lying. He's a manipulative Dark Wizard, and has a blood pact with Dumbledore meaning that he can't take down his biggest rival. There's little reason to doubt that he would happily lie to a powerful Obscurus in order to make him hate Dumbledore and attack him on Grindelwald's behalf (believing that he is doing it for himself, of course). It's also worth noting that Grindelwald spent most of the franchise seemingly uninterested in Credence himself, only wanting to foster a connection when he realized how powerful Credence could be - not the behavior of someone who knew his secret identity from the start and wanted to restore it.

There's also a simple way that Grindelwald could pass off his Dumbledore lie with the help of a spell that Hogwarts students start learning in their first year: Transfiguration. One of the most complex branches of magic, transfiguration isn't easy, but it is useful; and forms of transfiguration are used in many common spells. Grindelwald could easily have simply transfigured Credence's chick into a phoenix for a few moments - enough to convince the awe-struck boy (who was not raised in the wizarding world) of Grindelwald's lie.

Of course, there are plenty of rules around the use of magic that seem to only come up when they are useful, and it may be that it is impossible to transfigure something into a phoenix. At this point, we know that food is one of the Five Exceptions to Gamp's Law Of Elemental Transfiguration, and a phoenix could be one of the other unnamed four... but that seems like an extremely convenient stretch. In the original Harry Potter series, we see the Gryffindor class transfiguring all kinds of animals - hedgehogs into pincushions, desks into pigs, mice into snuffboxes. We also know that it's possible for a human to be transfigured into an animal (ferret-Malfoy) and for animals to be conjured (like the birds Hermione set on Ron). So it would seem fairly straightforward for Credence to have picked up a random chick out of the kindness of his heart, and for Grindelwald to transfigure it to sell him on a lie.

Related: Fantastic Beasts' Grindelwald Is A Better Villain Than Voldemort

It's certainly not out of the question for Grindelwald. After all, the wizard didn't shrink from murdering a toddler just so he could use a house, why would he be concerned about a little transfiguration to back up a useful lie? The truth will surely be revealed in Fantastic Beasts 3.

Next: All The Fantastic Beasts 3 Plot Clues In The Crimes of Grindelwald

Fred Savage Interview: Once Upon A Deadpool

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Fred Savage is a television icon who first appeared as Kevin Arnold on The Wonder Years from 1988 to 1993.  He has gone on to be a prolific actor appearing in multiple films and television shows.  His latest project, Once Upon a Deadpool, has him comically recreating one of his famous childhood roles as an adult.  He is kidnapped by the titular character to play The Grandson from the classic film The Princess Bride.

Screen Rant: First of all Fred, it’s great to see you wearing pants.

Fred Savage: Yes! Thank you so much. Last time was very uncomfortable.

Screen Rant: It’s good seeing that. How are your legs feeling? Are your legs okay?

Fred Savage: They’re getting back. They’re getting back. You know, after all of those days in the bed they atrophy a little bit. But they’re back. Strong! Strong! Thank you. Thank you.

Screen Rant: How does this come about? What do they tell you to get you on board for this? I’m sure it’s not a hard pitch, but how does this all come about? They say, you know, we want to do something with The Princess Bride, what are you thinking?

Fred Savage: Well, my initial reaction is that sounds like a terrible idea. Everyone’s going to see through that. That’s awful. Why would you do that? Don’t do that. And then Ryan doesn’t take no for an answer and then you end up on set, and then it turned out to be a really, really great experience, and a really fun thing, and you know, I guess your kids can see Deadpool, so I guess it’s all worth it, maybe? I don’t know.

Screen Rant: Yeah! Absolutely. You obviously worked with Ryan on this. How much of the stuff you guys did is on the page and how much of that is improvised?

Fred Savage: Well, they had a very clear idea of what they wanted for this. They had all of these things written down and they said if you say these things that we wrote down then we’ll let you go. So I did! And they did so, I mean, he’s a gentleman.

Screen Rant: So it worked out either way.

Fred Savage: It worked out.

Screen Rant: Going back to the set that you guys had and kind of reliving that from your childhood, that Princess Bride set, what was that experience even like walking through?

Fred Savage: Uncomfortable!

Screen Rant: It’s pretty accurate. I mean, it like the exact same thing.

Fred Savage: They did a really good job. I got to give tremendous credit to the production design team because they did an incredible job. People online, they have like split screens and they line them up. They did an amazing job. It was really impressive. But it was very surreal. Very surreal.

Screen Rant: You’ve done work in front of the camera in recent years but you have a very prolific career as a director as well on television and the Russos also started off the same way with Arrested Development, going on and doing that stuff and now a big part of the Marvel Studios. Do you have any desire working in the sci-fi/ superhero genre directing any of those kinds of films?

Fred Savage: Oh, absolutely! My kids, I have a twelve year old, and ten year old, and a six year old and so every…

Screen Rant: Right up your alley.

Fred Savage: Oh my god, every Marvel movie, every superhero movie we are just like first weekend, front row, so yeah. Obviously. I mean the things that they’re doing and the people they get to do them, both in front of and behind the camera, you are just working with people that are at the top, top of their game. Top of their field at everything. Yeah. It’d be amazing.

Screen Rant: What superhero would Fred Savage be eyeing to do if he were to get into this foray of the superhero films?

Fred Savage: Oh man, the thing that I’m personally loving are the comedic banter that Guardians of the Galaxy brought to everybody. Whether it’s Guardians or Deadpool, obviously, or Thor: Ragnarok. The sense of humor that’s coming through these is amazing so hopefully it would be something with a sense of humor.

Screen Rant: I love that answer. Obviously, you’re a director so I kind of got the sense that when you’re kind of picking apart the Deadpool story there’s a lot of you actually speaking, that’s all Fred I feel like. Is that all you and how you felt about some of the story?

Fred Savage: (Laughs) There is a lot of me in there, for sure and I think it’s all apart of what the Deadpool team does so well, which is really look at themselves which they do with a total lack of preciousness. That’s a big part of my personality as well, so those kind of dovetail nicely.

Screen Rant: One of my favorite scenes in this iteration, Once Upon a Deadpool, is where you said you’ve always wanted to fight Matt Damon.

Fred Savage: Yeah! Sure! Sure!

Screen Rant: What are some other celebrities that we can put on that list of who Fred Savage would always like to fight?

Fred Savage: Well, I’m a non violent man, as you may know. So there are very few people as someone both non violent and married that I would add to that list. So it’d really just be Matt Damon.

Screen Rant: Just Matt Damon.

Fred Savage: Just Matt Damon and he’s on that list alone. He’s on a lot of list alone and this is one that he just stands on top of with no one else with him.

More: Deadpool Schools Nickelback Haters In Once Upon a Deadpool Clip

Phil Lord & Chris Miller Interview: Into the Spider-Verse

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Phil Lord and Chris Miller are the dynamic filmmaking duo responsible for Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, The LEGO Movie, and the live-action comedy 21 Jump Street and its sequel 22 Jump Street.  They are also producers on Fox’s Last Man on Earth and Cartoon Network’s Unikitty!  The pairs most recent project is developing, and being producers for, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

Screen Rant: Guys, amazing job. I've already said this is probably one of the best films of the year. This is incredible.

Phil Lord: Oh, thank you.

Screen Rant: But in any universe, you kind of have to create your own kind of rules. And even as mind bending as this is, especially with multidimensions, what were some of the rules you guys created for the Spider-Verse?

Phil Lord: I mean, honestly, the biggest one was, we want to make sure we've experienced this through Miles eyes, right? And you have a single character that you're rooting for. And Miles Morales is such an interesting guy, with such an interesting family and constellation of people around him. And that emotional journey of, “I'm not sure I'm capable of doing this. But maybe with the help of everybody around me I can pull it off.” That was a universal thing that we wanted to make sure it was in the foreground of the whole movie.

Chris Miller: And so, at the end of the day, we're like, “If we're not experiencing this really through Miles point of view, we can't really be on it for too long.”

Screen Rant: Sure. Is there anything that you guys learned from working on The LEGO Movie that you were either able to take with this, or even stuff that you learned negatively on The LEGO Movie?

Phil Lord: I would say we learned that the audience rewards risk. And that movie, you know, took a lot of weird risks. And we weren't sure if anybody would like it. And it didn't really matter to us. We wanted to make sure that, you know, we're always pushing the boundaries forward. So, it really just raised the bar for what we thought people would accept.

Chris Miller: I had a similar feeling at the mix of this movie, as I did a mixing the sound for that movie. Where it's all coming together and it's all done on. And I had a feeling of like, “Wow, this is really special. I'm really proud of this. I just hope people appreciate it and appreciate all the love and hard work that so many people did.” And I felt the exact same way on this movie. And it's really, really nice to see when people seem to actually be appreciating it.

Phil Lord: You know, in both films there’s a sincerity to the message of it. And it's a message of inclusion and empowerment that heroism is not limited to a group of elite people. That it's accessible to everybody and belongs to all of us

Chris Miller: And is the responsibility of all of us. We're counting on you and everyone.

Screen Rant: Right. One cool thing about this that I hope doesn't go overlooked is the song selections in the soundtrack. How did that come about? Because the music is its own thing too. And it just plays together so well in this world.

Phil Lord: Well, you know, everybody has their own soundtrack, right? Especially these days. And we wanted to make sure that, when we were with Miles, that the movie sounded like something that Miles would be listening,

Chris Miller: Like his personal playlist. And then we went to Uncle Aaron's.  We thought he would have a little bit more of an old-school hip-hop kind of thing. And so, that will be what he's listening to.

Phil Lord: And we, we put Biggie in one of the test screenings. And people went nuts. We were like, “God, I hope we can pay for this. I don't know how to beat it.”

Chris Miller: But yeah, that was the idea. We wanted to have the feeling of, an authentic feeling of, what a kid in Brooklyn, who was a teenager, and what he's listening to. And what his world feels like. And it all came to together so well.

Phil Lord: And there’s bilingualism too, right? Like you go through his house, you could barely hear it, but like his mom has her own soundtrack going on, like in the house. And then you get to hear Spanish spoken without a lot of subtitles, or any subtitles. We wanted it to represent what it feels like to be in a city like New York or a city like Brooklyn.

Screen Rant: Well, I talked to the directors also, and they, as you guys told me earlier, nobody did, cast at least, nobody did read the script. They kept it pretty close to the chest. Now, you guys said you'd been working on this for two and a half years, even all the way up until last week. I would assume that you've had plans to flesh out Miles even further. Yes or no?

Chris Miller: [chuckles] You know, we have a lot of ideas. And the character of Miles is someone we've fallen in love with.

And we love from the books, but now we feel like protective of him. And so, there's so many possibilities with the multiverse.  There's so many ways to go with what Miles would be like now that he's comfortable in his skin. And is comfortable in a suit. But it's still so very early, that we were just trying to make the best movie we can right now. And then open the door for possible future anything.

More: Jake Johnson & Shameik Moore Interview for Into the Spider-Verse

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