Gollum is a fictional character from J. R. R. Tolkien’s legendarium. He was introduced in the children’s fantasy novel The Hobbit, and became an important supporting character in its sequel, The Lord of the Rings. Gollum was a Stoor Hobbit of the River-folk, who lived near the Gladden Fields. Originally known as Sméagol, he was corrupted by the One Ring and later named Gollum after his habit of making “a horrible swallowing noise in his throat”.
In the Appendix F to The Lord of the Rings, the name Sméagol is said to be a “translation” of the actual Middle-earth name Trahald (having to do with the idea of “burrowing”, and rendered with a name based on Old English smygel of similar meaning). The onomatopoeic name Gollum could on the other hand be original.
The Ring, which Gollum frequently referred to as “my precious” and “my birthday present”, extended his life far beyond natural limits. Bilbo Baggins found the Ring and took it for his own, and Gollum afterward pursued it for the rest of his life. Under centuries of the Ring’s influence, Gollum had come to love and hate the Ring, just as he loved and hated himself. Throughout the story, Gollum was torn between his lust for the Ring and his desire to be free of it.