My understanding is that the second Children of Ilúvatar are called to Mandos when they die and then move ... elsewhere. I think this applies to all men, halflings, etc and the only way to avoid it is not to die (which Gollum managed for a while). Also I think all second children move on, unlike the elves who can be left stranded in Mandos if they were evil, though I don't know if moving on involves any sorting into different destinations such as Heaven or Hell.

So I guess the obvious answer is that yes Gollum did go to Mandos, then elsewhere to some unknown fate since he was originally a hobbit, but do we have any evidence for or against this in the books or statements from Tolkien? It isn't obvious to me that there was enough of Sméagol left in Gollum to qualify him as a man.

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    Instead, I think we need evidence for his soul being processed differently after death. No one except Eru, not Sauron or the Ring, could have changed his fate, so his journey after death had to be the same as other humans, unless stated otherwise.
    – Eugene
    May 23, 2022 at 8:37
  • Elves aren't "stranded' so much as "detained". AFAIK, only Fëanor is under a permanent ban on reincarnation. There is some discussion on the voluntary decisions to remain in Mandos made by Finwë and Míriel in Morgoth's Ring.
    – chepner
    May 26, 2022 at 17:38

1 Answer 1


I think this is entirely unclear in the available text. Once you start prodding, a host of related questions arise.

Gandalf tells Frodo that continued wearing of the one ring by a mortal would eventually lead them to become a wraith, as evidenced by the ring-wraiths (wearers of the seven). It's not clear that removing the ring after that point, if it's even possible, would change the status of being a wraith. Does that count as being alive, and hence not 'elsewhere' via the Halls of Mandos or otherwise? Were the ring-wraiths still wearing their rings even in their non-corporeal form, or did Sauron have their rings in safe keeping separately? When Eowyn (or Merry if you prefer) slew the Witch King, did his ring drop on the ground? Did he show up in the Halls of Mandos or was his spirit rejected by the West as happened afterwards to Saruman's?

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    The first sentence is a reasonable, though unsupported, answer. The rest look to me like they should be questions (though I believe that some of them have already been asked and answered.)
    – Mark Olson
    May 23, 2022 at 20:06
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