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Late, is the hour, in which this conjurer chooses to appear. Lathspell I name him; ill news is an ill guest!
~ Gríma Wormtongue to Gandalf.

Gríma Wormtongue is a major antagonist in The Lord of the Rings series, first appearing as the secondary antagonist of The Two Towers and a minor antagonist in The Return of the King. He was a man of Rohan and chief advisor of King Théoden before being revealed to be an agent of Saruman.

In the movies, he was portrayed by Brad Dourif, who also portrayed Chucky in the Child's Play franchise, Jack Dante in Death Machine, The Gemini Killer in The Exorcist III: Legion, Mathias in Fading of the Cries, and Deputy Sheriff Clinton Pell in Mississippi Burning.


In Book

Wormtongue was once a man of Rohan, but betrayed his fellow citizens to serve Saruman, and manipulated Théoden, the king of Rohan, until Gandalf broke his control over him with his staff. He returned to Saruman afterward, and after the Ents destroyed most of Isengard they trapped Saruman and Wormtongue inside the tower of Orthanc.

After the One Ring was destroyed, Treebeard let Saruman and Wormtongue go, and they turned to the Shire into their personal fiefdom, exploiting the native Hobbits for slave labor. After casting Saruman out, Frodo Baggins offered Wormtongue the chance to leave Saruman, but Saruman revealed that Wormtongue murdered Frodo's cousin Lotho Sackville-Baggins, and presumably ate him. When Saruman then struck Wormtongue and insulted him; this final act of cruelty, something in Wormtongue snapped, and he slit Saruman's throat. Moments later, a guard of Hobbit archers opened fire and killed him.

In Film

Gríma Wormtongue in The Lord of the Rings film series.

Wormtongue was once a man of Rohan, but betrayed them for Saruman, and they were manipulating Théoden, the king of Rohan. It is strongly implied that he murdered Théoden's son Théodred by poisoning him in his sleep. Saruman promised to give him Théoden's niece Eowyn in return for his service. When Théoden's nephew Eomer stood against him, Wormtongue had him banished. Eventually Saruman's control over Théoden was broken by Gandalf. Théoden then tried to kill Wormtongue, but Aragorn stopped him, telling him that enough blood had been spilled on Wormtongue's account. Wormtongue went back to Saruman in Isengard.

He was trapped in the tower of Orthanc along with Saruman when the Ents flooded Isengard. His ultimate fate is only shown in the extended version, however; during Gandalf and Théoden's talk with Saruman, Wormtongue appeared and Théoden unexpectedly offered him the chance to go back to his side. Wormtongue wished to accept, in order to escape Saruman's poor treatment, but Saruman slapped him.

As Saruman was about to reveal where Sauron was about to attack next, Wormtongue grabbed a knife and stabbed Saruman in the back, twice. In an attempt to stop him, Legolas shot Wormtongue with an arrow, killing him, but the damage was done; Saruman fell from the balcony of Orthanc and was impaled on the spike of one of his war machines.



  • Wormtongue shares many characteristics to the Harry Potter character Wormtail: both are the more cowardly and pathetic servants of the main villains; both are traitors; and they have similar names.
    • Also, their death scenes differ and are partially omitted from the films (as Wormtongue's death is only shown in a scene exclusive to the extended cut, and Wormtail is not killed by his silver hand, he is either stunned or killed by Dobby, and if he survived it is likely that Voldemort killed him upon arrival at Malfoy Manor).
  • Brad Dourif shaved off his eyebrows in order to play Wormtongue.
  • Gríma Wormtongue inspired Grimer Wormtongue from Sonic the Comic.


            Middle earth sbg-1-1024x257.pngVillains

Dark Armies
Leaders: Morgoth | Sauron (Peter Jackson, Conquest, Shadow of Mordor) | Saruman (Peter Jackson)
Nazgûl: Witch-King of Angmar | Khamûl | Helm Hammerhand | Suladan | Isildur | Nazgûl Sisters
Balrogs: Durin's Bane | Gothmog | Tar-Goroth
Dragons: Smaug | Ancalagon | Scatha | Drogoth the Dragon Lord | Glaurung
Great Spiders: Shelob | Ungoliant
Werewolves: Carcharoth
Goblins/Orcs: Gorkil the Goblin King | Great Goblin | Azog | Bolg | Brogg the Twin | Mogg the Other Twin | Yazneg | Grishnákh | Gothmog | Gorbag | Zog the Eternal | Gazmog
Uruk-hai: Ugluk | Lurtz | Shagrat | Hodhvarz
Black Númenóreans: Mouth of Sauron (Battle for Middle-Earth) | Agandaur | Black Hand of Sauron | Hammer of Sauron | Tower of Sauron
Olog-Hai: Brûz the Chopper
Men of Darkness: Ar-Pharazôn | Gríma Wormtongue | Bill Ferny | Lheu Brenin | Easterlings | Corsairs of Umbar | Dunlendings | Haradrim
Various Creatures: Barrow Wights | Trolls | Wargs | Fellbeasts | Gûlavhar | Watcher in the Water

Corrupted Elves
Fëanor | Celegorm | Caranthir | Curufin | Maeglin | Celebrimbor

Corrupted Hobbits
Gollum | Lotho Sackville-Baggins | Ted Sandyman

Alfrid Lickspittle | Master of Laketown | Old Man Willow