Gollum left the Mountains in pursuit of Bilbo a few years after losing the Ring, but the trail was cold. He made his way to the edge of Mordor, where he met the monstrous spider Shelob and became her spy, worshiping her and bringing her food. He was eventually captured by Sauron's forces and tortured, but he revealed only the words "Baggins" and "Shire". His testimony alerted the Dark Lord of Mordor to the existence and significance of Hobbits in general and the Baggins family in particular. He was freed, but was soon caught by Gandalf and Aragorn, who interrogated him about the Ring and placed him in the care of the Wood Elves of Mirkwood. He escaped custody and descended into Moria.
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