Physical Appearance and Characteristics
In the first edition of The Hobbit Tolkien made no reference to Gollum's size, leading several illustrators to portray him as being very large. Tolkien realized the omission, and clarified in later editions that he was of average Hobbit size. The Lord of the Rings characterizes him as slightly larger than Sam.
Tolkien describes Gollum as either dark, bone-white or sallow (pale yellow); at one point the Men of Ithilien mistake his silhouette (seen from a distance) for a tailless black squirrel. In a manuscript written to guide illustrators to the appearance of his characters, Tolkien explained this by saying that Gollum had pale skin, but wore dark clothes and was often seen in poor light. The Hobbit states he has pockets, in which he keeps a tooth-sharpening-rock, goblin teeth, wet shells, and a scrap of bat wing.
The Hobbit describes him as thin, with only six teeth sharpened into points. Comparing him to Shelob, one of the Orcs describes him as "rather like a spider himself, or perhaps like a starved frog."
Gollum is described as "a small slimy creature" (in The Hobbit), and emaciated and gaunt, but possessing a vicious, wiry strength. In The Fellowship of the Ring, Aragorn states "his malice gives him a strength hardly to be imagined." In The Two Towers, Gollum's grip is described as "soft, but horribly strong" as he wrestles with Sam.
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