Daedalic Entertainment’s The Lord of the Rings: Gollum video game sees players inhabit the titular character on his travels across Middle-earth, but potential players may be wondering when exactly this takes place. Chronologically, the books’ earliest depiction of Gollum is in The Fellowship of the Ring, when Gandalf describes Gollum, then known as Sméagol, killing his brother, Déagol, to secure the One Ring. The Lord of the Rings: Gollum takes place long after this, telling a story much closer to the events of The Lord of the Rings than to his long history as a possessor of the One Ring.
The slimy character of Gollum might seem like an unusual choice for a game protagonist, but Gollum’s character arc is one of the most fascinating in the world of Middle-earth. Examining his latter days before meeting the Ring-bearer provides an interesting if unusual setting for a game. Fans eager to continue the story of The Lord of the Rings in video games beyond this point should have more to look forward to in the upcoming new age of Lord of the Rings games, which are bound to venture into the story of other iconic characters in Middle-earth.
Lord Of The Rings: Gollum Starts In The Year 3012
After a brief prologue set in Mirkwood, The Lord of the Rings: Gollum opens in the year 3012, six years before Frodo sets out from the Shire on a quest to take the Ring to Mordor. This time period places Gollum in Mordor, and soon sees him captured in the tower of Barad-dûr. This gives a concrete date to a window established material in The Return of the King‘s Appendix B, which details the timeline of The Lord of The Rings‘ universe and says Gollum is captured by Sauron in Mordor “At some time” in the eight years following 3009.
Lord Of The Rings: Gollum’s Story Occurs Over Multiple Years
Gollum is released in 3017, at which point Aragorn captures him in the Dead Marshes and brings him to Mirkwood. The game doesn’t cover his journey with Aragorn, but it does return to Mirkwood afterward, covering events that take place in that year. This brings the latter sections of the game right up against the events of The Lord of the Rings, which start in 3018. All of these events take place near the end of the Third Age of Middle-earth, a several millennia period that ends with the closing of The Lord of the Ring’s narrative.
The choice of this time period makes sense for The Lord of the Rings: Gollum, giving it a setting and context that is easily recognizable to fans while allowing it to tell its own story. Rather than dealing with the quest of the Ring-bearer, the game is able to fill in the gaps of a story only briefly mentioned by Gandalf without having to take jarring liberties with any more familiar parts of the narrative. A poor launch for The Lord of the Rings: Gollum has proven disappointing for many players, but some fans will no doubt be able to find enjoyment amidst potential struggles.
Source: Daedalic Entertainment/YouTube