Science Fun of the Week
(June 9th, 2017) Get ready for your weekly dose of science fun. Today: A precious case from Middle Earth.
Is Tolkien's character Gollum physically or mentally ill? Medical students from the Royal Free and University College Medical School, London, tried to answer that question in a 2004 article in the BMJ:
“Sméagol (Gollum) is a single, 587 year old, hobbit-like male of no fixed abode. He has presented with antisocial behaviour, increasing aggression, and preoccupation with the 'one ring.' (...) His forensic history consists of Deagol's murder and the attempted murder of Samwise Gamgee. He has no history of substance misuse, although like many young hobbits he smoked 'pipe weed' in adolescence. Sméagol has forgotten many memories of his childhood, and we have limited collateral history on his premorbid personality. Before obtaining the ring he was an inquisitive child with odd interests, who enjoyed causing mischief and solitary activities such as burrowing under trees to look at roots. He dislikes himself, stale raw fish, and 'hobbitses.'”