There was, at one point, a Lord of the Rings musical. Upon finding this out several years ago, I bought myself the soundtrack without ever having heard any of the songs. It was a good choice; it’s one of my favorite CDs.
One of the songs is called “Gollum/Sméagol”. I’ve always thought it a fantastic representation of Gollum’s struggle between his desire to be good and his lust for the Ring. He’s talking back and forth to himself about it in the song, Gollum being part that wants to choose evil, and Sméagol being the part that wants to choose good.
At one point, Gollum spits at himself in frustration, “Coward!”
“Not coward!” Sméagol insists (he’s never had the best grasp on grammar). “Not coward! We change!” Then he says it again, in awe of the idea. “We… change!”
Ultimately, he doesn’t manage it. He gives in to the temptation to choose the evil of the Ring one too many times, and it kills him. But I think that’s an incredibly powerful moment in the song. Sméagol gets a glimpse of the nature of change.
Change takes courage. Staying the same… anyone can do that. But changing? Changing when it’s necessary is not the act of a coward.
May we recognize that sooner than Gollum did.