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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.

Biography

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 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.

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 Éowyn in return for his service. When Théoden's nephew Éomer 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, 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.

Gallery

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Miscellaneous

Trivia

  • 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.

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See Also
007 Villains | 20th Century Studios Villains | A. Film Production Villains | Alvin and the Chipmunks Villains | Blumhouse Productions Villains | Cannibal Holocaust Villains | Child's Play Villains | Cowboy Bebop Villains | Dollars Trilogy Villains | EuropaCorp Villains | Fargo Villains | Farrelly Brothers Villains | Giallo Villains | Hannibal Villains | Killer Klowns from Outer Space Villains | Laika Villains | Luc Besson Villains | Middle-Earth Villains | Nepenthe Villains | Oz Villains | Pannonia Film Studio Villains | Pink Panther Villains | Ralph Bakshi Villains | Rambo Villains | Rankin/Bass Villains | Ridley Scott Villains | RoboCop Villains | Rocky Villains | Salo Villains | Sherlock Holmes Villains | Sony Pictures Villains | Stephen King Villains | Syfy Villains | The Addams Family Villains | Tom and Jerry Villains | Village Roadshow Pictures Villains | Warner Bros. Villains

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Saruman (Peter Jackson)

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