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Is Gollum good? Turkish judge consults 'TV expert' to find out

A simple meme posted over social media has spawned an official Turkish investigation into the legendary fictional character "Gollum" from "The Lord of the Rings."

Is "Gollum" a villain or a victim? This burning question currently occupies the minds of analysts and justices on a much politicized case in Turkey. The answer will determine whether Dr. Bilgin Ciftci, who has already been expelled from the Public Health Institution of Turkey, will end up going to jail for offending Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. It will also set a precedent for other cases of dissent and political satire.

Gollum is a fictional character from J.R.R. Tolkien’s legendary fantasy novels "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings." Who among the books' fans and movie viewers can ever forget the line “my precious” uttered by the “slimy, dark creature” called Gollum? The fictional character goes back and forth between good and evil, light and darkness, victim and villain, often talking to himself. Born a hobbit named Smeagol, he is corrupted by the titular ring. He says, “You are liar, a thief … murderer” and replies to himself, “I am not listening.” Whether one thinks of Gollum as primarily a victim or a villain, this petty creature sure oscillates between them. He refers to himself as “we” and forms memorable if grammatically disastrous phrases such as “we needs it, we hates it forever.”

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