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 is best known for the voice of Chucky in the Child's Play film series.


In Book

Wormtongue was once a man of Rohan, but betrayed them for 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. They went to the Shire to cause mischief. Frodo offered Wormtongue the chance to leave Saruman, but Saruman pointed out that Wormtongue killed his cousin Lotho, and presumably ate him. When Saruman told Wormtongue to go with him, something snapped, and Wormtongue slit Saruman's throat with a knife, and was in turn killed by three hobbits with arrows.

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 after Théoden's son Théodred was wounded by orcs, Wormtongue poisoned him in his sleep. Saruman promised to give him Eowyn in return for his service. When Eomer stood against him, Wormtongue banished him. 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 has been spilt 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 final 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, as both are the more cowardly and pathetic servants of the 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, since he did not appear in Deathly Hallows Part 2).
  • Brad Dourif shaved off his eyebrows in order to play Wormtongue.


            Middle earth sbg-1-1024x257.pngVillains

Dark Armies
Leaders: Morgoth | Sauron | Saruman
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 | 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

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