For all the Lord of the Rings fans reading my blog...
Smeagol is my all-time favorite character from Middle Earth. How can you resist that face? (I am being completely serious.) I like him for more then that face though... I also can really relate to him for a couple reasons:
1. He is the underdog. I tend to gravitate towards that and he reminds me of myself. Also, the interactions he has with the other characters is so indicative of how we often treat misunderstood people or people we don't get along with (I have been on the giving and receiving end of this). Frodo only fights against the assumptions that Smeagol is all evil a little bit, but has too many of his own problems to really fight for Smeagol. Gandalf saw what Smeagol had to offer and who he could be if shown love. It is our beloved Sam who is the most guilty of encouraging Gollum though. Sam does not see anything worth caring about in Smeagol and often reinforces Gollum's hold in Smeagol's life. It is interesting that the hero of the tale is a cause of Gollum re-entering the story... but that is a metaphor for another time. In other words, I can relate to the struggle Smeagol has to rid himself of Gollum when so much of what he hears and sees reinforces his ideas that he is worthless. It challenges how I treat others to see if I am seeing them through God's loving eyes of my own eyes.
2. I have lived with my own Gollum before. It is still a daily battle to chose a side too: Self or Christ in myself. Unfortunately Gollum does not have Christ to redeem him. He has to redeem himself and he tries soooo hard!