Fact Check

Does Video Show Andy Serkis Reading from 'Lord of the Rings' as Gollum?

The actor who played Gollum in the movie franchise recited a new audiobook version of "The Lord of the Rings."

Published April 5, 2022

 (Miguel Mendez/Wikimedia Commons)
Image courtesy of Miguel Mendez/Wikimedia Commons
A video shows actor Andy Serkis reading "The Lord of the Rings" and switching his voice to recite the part of the character Gollum.

A video of actor Andy Serkis switching voices while recording the audiobook for "The Lord of the Rings," and modulating his tone drastically when playing the character of Smeagol/Gollum, has gone viral on Reddit.

The video is real and was pulled from a clip of Serkis recording the audiobook for the publisher, HarperCollins U.K. Serkis, who played the character of Smeagol/Gollum in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy of films directed by Peter Jackson, is widely known for his distinctive voice modulations that helped him create the character.

HarperCollins shared a few clips of Serkis recording the audiobook in July 2021. The full audiobook was released in September 2021. The moment where Serkis switches his voice occurs after the first 15 seconds of the video:

In the books, Gollum is a monstrous character who was originally a hobbit named Smeagol before he was corrupted by the One Ring and transformed into Gollum. The name “Gollum” comes from the horrible gulping sound he makes from his throat.

Here is a clip of Gollum, as played by Serkis (with the help of CGI) in the movie:


“Andy Serkis.” IMDb, https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0785227/. Accessed 5 Apr. 2022.

"Andy Serkis Returns as Gollum in the New Audiobook of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings." HarperCollins Publishers UK, 2021, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sez-kWSsHr0. Accessed 5 Apr. 2022.

Liptak, Andrew. “Andy Serkis Is Recording The Lord of the Rings Audiobooks.” Tor.Com, 7 July 2021, https://www.tor.com/2021/07/07/andy-serkis-lord-of-the-rings-hobbit-jrr-tolkien-new-audiobook/. Accessed 5 Apr. 2022.

“Lord of the Rings: Why Smeagol Is Called Gollum.” ScreenRant, 14 June 2020, https://screenrant.com/lord-rings-smeagol-gollum-name-reason-why/. Accessed 5 Apr. 2022.

"The Fellowship of the Ring." www.audible.com, https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Fellowship-of-the-Ring-Audiobook/1705047572. Accessed 5 Apr. 2022.

Nur Nasreen Ibrahim is a reporter with experience working in television, international news coverage, fact checking, and creative writing.

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