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Does anyone know much about the character, Grima Wormtongue? I was pondering this thought yesterday as I was driving along the countryside. Where was he from, and how did he come about being in the service of Sauruman? He must have shown exceptional talent in the areas of knowledge and cunning for Sauruman to "appoint" him as his main spy to the halls of Theoden. Grima must have also been cunning with words, for despite his apparant negative affect on the rule of Theoden, the people of Rohan allowed him to remain. Granted they were intimidated by Grima's allegience to Sauruman, but he still must have won over the minds of some of Theoden's inner circle in order to be tolerated so long. Did Tolkien write elsewhere about Grima's background? Was he originally from Gondor, Rohan or elsewhere? Thanks for listening!
We don't know much of his background, only that he was from Rohan, son of Galmod and died on 3 November 3019, III (shot after the battle of Bywater).
Thanks Virumor. It surprised me that he was from Rohan and yet was so tolerated by the rest of them. I also wonder what was so special about him that Sauruman took notice of him in the first place. He must have been originally close to the king if his presence came to be know by Sauruman. I also wonder how he helped to influence King Theoden's failing health and clarity of mind. Do you think he was slowly poisioning the king? (perhaps low doses of arsenic) Has anyone really cared to research this vein of thought? Again, thanks Virumor for your answers. Have a good one!
The reason Grima managed to get so close to the king was because his father, Galmod, was Theoden's chief counsellor. He eventually took his father's position in court, and once there came to the attention of Saruman. At the time of the War of the Ring Theoden was 71 years old. Although this was not totally over the hill, Grima used his age to make the king feel decrepid. He may have used poisons on Theoden too, but Tolkien does not mention this. I think Grima's skill with words was his greatest weapon in poisoning the King's mind.
Thanks Val for your insight. Like I said earlier, it struck me as rather odd that he was tolerated by the rest of Theoden's court, even when it became apparant that Sauruman was probably not the friend Rohan once knew.

Another question along this line, why wasn't Theadrid made king when King Theoden's health failed so badly. Was it necessary for the ruling king to actually die first before passing the throne on to his son? Or did Grima manage to give the appearance that Theoden was alert enough to remain as ruler even though his mind was being so heavily manipulated by Sauruman's agenda? Just wondering why he was allowed to linger as the ruling king when ability to rule was so greatly compromised by poor health and poor judgement.
I believe Grima gained the control of the King and the reigns of power slowly and incidiously and it was a fate acomplished by the time anyone really noticed and then it was too late for any counter factions to form. Theodred was probably kept out of Edoras by the King's(?) orders through Grima (just like the Roman Generals were kept out of Rome) so that he wouldn't see what was happening and couldn't challenge Grima's rise to power.
I believe in the beginning Gríma was a noble man and a wise, apt councellor to Théoden, with only one weakness : he loved Lady Éowyn from the very first moment Théoden took her into his household after Théodwyn had died. But just like Maeglin's love for Idril, this love would and could never be answered as Éowyn was from a royal bloodline, whilst Gríma had no title whatsoever (not to mention, Éowyn had other interests than love in those days).

This realization, together with seeing the woman he loved and could never have each day, angered him and turned his love into mere desire, mere lust for a forbidden fruit.

And it is exactly this weakness, that Saruman exploited to make Gríma work for him. He promised him Éowyn if he and his new order would be victorious - which was a lie, of course.
Éowyn would either have been enslaved, or killed together with the rest of the Rohirrim, had Saruman's plans not been foiled.

In the end, Gríma is just another victim of his emotions, just like Denethor and so many others.
Where does the above come from?


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In the end, Gríma is just another victim of his emotions, just like Denethor and so many others.


If Grima is a victim of emotions then those emotions are negative, like greed, envy and lust. He was not an honourable man and his intentions and methods were not honourable whereas Denethor suffered because he strived to do the right thing by the means he had available which unfortunately left him slightly 'unhinged'.

It could have been as you said but I think it more likely that Grima was ensnared by Saruman because of his greed. He lusted after Eowyn and coveted her and the power that would come to him through marriage with her. She was the most noble woman in Rohan and he saw her as a means to rule. I don't think he was capable of loving her and I don't think he was a victim of emotion; he exploited his greed and the power that being Saruman's servant gave him regardless of what harm it did to those he professed to love and honour.

I cannot feel sympathy for Grima; he got what he deserved, unlike poor Denethor whose downfall was brought about by excessive use of the Palantir (for the good of Gondor) and the subsequent paranoia and despair.

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He was not an honourable man and his intentions and methods were not honourable whereas Denethor suffered because he strived to do the right thing by the means he had available which unfortunately left him slightly 'unhinged'.

I think initially he was an honourable man; otherwise he would never have become a counsellor of King Théoden's.

Furthermore, there's proof in form of a quote from TTT :

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'That word comes too oft and easy from your lips,' said Gandalf. 'I do not lie. See, Théoden, here is a snake! With safety you cannot take it with you, nor can you leave it behind. To slay it would be just. But it was not always as it now is. Once it was a man, and did you service in its fashion. Give him a horse and let him go at once, wherever he chooses. By his choice you shall judge him.'

I believe it was merely through Saruman that Gríma became the serpent he was in TTT - Saruman ensnared Gríma by using the latter's own weakness (his forbidden love for Lady Éowyn). Perhaps Gríma was spellbound by Saruman's voice all the way. Note that Gríma hated Saruman but never managed to leave him, until the point he killed Saruman as the latter was off guard.
I don't think that quote meant that Grima was once a truly honourable man - "...did you service in its fashion" sounds like Grima's loyalty was not given unconditionally.

It is extremely plausible that Grima was, for the most part, under the influence of Saruman's voice but what led him to be so? Did Saruman bewitch countless others with his voice for such lengths of time? If he could do that then he only needed to talk to Theoden himself (or anyone else for that matter) and he could do away with Grima. There must have been something in Grima that Saruman exploited. Greed. After a time Grima became to Saruman what Gollum became to the ring. By that time he may well have had little or no will left to disobey Saruman but if he had not been greedy and ambitious things may have been different for him.

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Give him a horse and let him go at once, wherever he chooses. By his choice you shall judge him.'


Even when given the chance to do the right thing he did not. Not a shred of honour in him. So corrupt was he that he fled back to the master he feared and hated rather than take the opportunity to redeem himself.

Can anything that corrupt love anything? For him 'love' was access to power, control, possession. That is not love. For him 'love' was a word that gave his lust a decent face.

By his choice I judge him - guilty!
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Even when given the chance to do the right thing he did not. Not a shred of honour in him. So corrupt was he that he fled back to the master he feared and hated rather than take the opportunity to redeem himself

I used the quote in my previous post to indicate that Gríma once was a honourable man, before Saruman destroyed this trait.

I don't argue about the fact that Gríma wasn't quite honourable in TTT. Twas even impossible to redeem, as the influence of Saruman on his mind was too great. Gríma was subjected to the power of the (then) Chief of the Istari Order, after all, not to a conjurer of cheap tricks.

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It is extremely plausible that Grima was, for the most part, under the influence of Saruman's voice but what led him to be so? Did Saruman bewitch countless others with his voice for such lengths of time? If he could do that then he only needed to talk to Theoden himself (or anyone else for that matter) and he could do away with Grima. There must have been something in Grima that Saruman exploited. Greed. After a time Grima became to Saruman what Gollum became to the ring. By that time he may well have had little or no will left to disobey Saruman but if he had not been greedy and ambitious things may have been different for him.

It's greed for you that made it possible for Saruman to get into Gríma's mind, for me it's love, although at the point Saruman ensnared Gríma this love had been developed into mere lust - the same aspect that Morgoth used to get into Maeglin's mind.

The fact that Saruman needed a tool in Meduseld, is because that in order to ensnare someone by using his voice, that person should be under the influence of his voice all the time, and it is clear that Saruman did not have time to be in Meduseld all the time - not only would it raise suspicion, but primarily because Saruman had important work elsewhere.

That's why he wanted to pick somebody close to Théoden, somebody with influence, to train him in using his voice to overpower and influence people - and it turned out the best candidate for that function was Gríma.

Perhaps Gríma and Saruman met years before the events in LOTR when Gríma was sent to Isengard as messenger, or ambassador.

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By his choice I judge him - guilty!

There was no other way for him to choose, really. The corruption of his mind by Saruman was simply too great.

In fact, it's surprising that Gandalf didn't understand this, or take this into account.

Gríma is like Gollum in many ways, and why then doesn't Gandalf show pity for Gríma, when he does for Gollum?

It is perhaps the difference between Gandalf the Grey and Gandalf the White; Gandalf the White, who remembers his death, and knows that time to save the Free Peoples of Middle-earth is running out, doesn't have any time for lost cases.
I know what you were saying but that quote does not show Grima was ever an 'honourable' man but that at one point he was not as dishonourable.

There is very little information given about Grima. We know he was ensnared (and again I say that Saruman must have exploited something dark within Grima), we know he hated Saruman, despised Theoden, lusted after Eowyn, cheated, lied and deceived but nowhere does it give any indication that he ever loved Eowyn let alone from the moment he saw her. That is speculation.

It's speculation, yes, and my opinion (note the 'I believe' in the beginning of that post) - which i stated in my first post on this matter. For me, it's a likely reason for Gríma's actions, just as there are others.

Without speculation, there isn't much room for discussing anything Tolkien related, or any material by any author, as no author reveals everything.

I for me enjoy going beyond what's written in the books, and contemplating about possible underlying reasons, which indeed involves some speculation.

Somebody who doesn't like doing that, should probably not be discussing any matters with me.

I don't see the fact that there's 'little information' about a subject, as a hindrance, to me it merely opens various opinions and viewpoints on the subject.

There's no magic in knowing everything. Magic is wondering why, what, how and where. Not knowing everything is what drives the discussion.

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I know what you were saying but that quote does not show Grima was ever an 'honourable' man but that at one point he was not as dishonourable.

To me, it does. The fact that "he was once a man" to me means that Gríma was honourable, especially in the Rohan society, which consisted of brave men and women, and where honour was probably dear to everyone. In that society, nobody would be called "a man" just for the sake of it, without having proven it.

I compare Rohan to the old Viking cultures in Scandinavia, but with horses instead of longboats. A society of fierce warriors.
There is nothing wrong with speculation as long as it is presented as such. I agree, there is a lot to speculate upon in Tolkien's writing. One can either speculate or extrapolate from what is available. In this case I am merely doing the latter.

Every society (even Rohan and Gondor) has its share of misfits and maybe Grima was one of Rohan's. He was clever and cunning and maybe he always had been which would have made him ideal for Saruman to control. Even if he had been an upstanding citizen of Rohan he could still have had those traits strong enough for Saruman to latch on to. Maybe Saruman could have controlled any one of the weaker-minded men but he needed someone with guile, cunning and intelligence not someone with strong morals and honour. Someone who could be tempted and bribed - someone like Grima.

Terrijane asked about information on Grima in the first post of this thread. As I said, there is little information about him. I don't mind discussing it as long as you don't mind me disagreeing with you sometimes. If we agree too much the universe will collapse in upon itself.
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Even if he had been an upstanding citizen of Rohan he could still have had those traits strong enough for Saruman to latch on to. Maybe Saruman could have controlled any one of the weaker-minded men but he needed someone with guile, cunning and intelligence not someone with strong morals and honour. Someone who could be tempted and bribed - someone like Grima.

I really don't think Saruman necessarily needed someone with the traits you mentioned. Don't forget that he still was able to influence Théoden, Éomer and company when they went to see him in Isengard after his defeat - if Gandalf hadn't been there, Théoden's company, which no doubt consisted of honourable and strong-willed men, would've been deceived and overpowered .

Saruman used the fact that Gríma had it for Éowyn, to ensnare Gríma. But even if Gríma didn't have any weak trait, he would still have been ensnared imo, one way or another, by Saruman's voice.

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Terrijane asked about information on Grima in the first post of this thread. As I said, there is little information about him. I don't mind discussing it as long as you don't mind me disagreeing with you sometimes. If we agree too much the universe will collapse in upon itself.

I don't care if someone agrees with me or not. Everyone is entitled to his/her opinion.
It is quite alright to voice opinions over literature, as long as we found those opinions on either the literature itself or on the stated beliefs of the author. If we fail to do that, then we are dealing with baseless speculation--a thing that is only good as far as its merit as a mental exercise, not as finding what may or may not be true about the literature in question.

That being said, I think if we refer to that chapter in TTT, "The Voice of Saruman," we will find that even though Saruman seemed on the point of influencing many present at this parley, he did not influence Theoden. You may recall Gandalf warning them that those who were not wary or who listened indescrimately to his Voice were liable to be ensnared by it.

There is no "lost despite himself" with Tolkien. He did not believe in Fate as it is commonly understood, or as the Vikings accepted it, nor did he put that into LOTR. He rather showed by his characters that although someone had done great evil, he could turn from it and seek pardon. Boromir does that before he dies. Denethor is given the chance to do so, but seems to refuse. Grima is likewise given the opportunity to turn back. The choice of horses was not the only time. Later, when Saruman is wandering around the Shire, Grima seems to want to leave him, but is afraid. In the end, he takes extreme means to end his slavery, but there was that about his manner which showed the struggle going on inside him.

Tolkien was certainly not drawing a simple character here, but possibly basing Grima on people he had seen up close during the World War. So obviously, evil--in this case Saruman--can use whatever means at its disposal including any tendency or flawed character trait that may leave a person vulnerable. But this is influence, not control. It does not become control until the person gives in to this influence and makes it into a habit. Grima could not seem to escape when he showed he wanted to because of the old habit which reasserted itself. Saruman knew this, and that's why he derided him to Frodo and kicked Grima. But if Grima had no will of his own left then he could not have even desired to leave Saruman. In the end, even though Grima has to kill Saruman to leave him, it shows that he wanted to finally reject the evil that had held him so long.
Grima may have finally rejected Saruman but he didn't do that out of a sense of honour or right and wrong. His killing of Saruman was to free himself. There was a struggle within Grima but I think it was one sort of evil versus another. There was no redemption for Grima.
Evil cannot overcome evil.

"'Wormtongue!' called Frodo. 'You need not follow him. I know of no evil you have done to me. You can have rest and food here for a while, until you are stronger and can go your own ways.'

"Wormtongue halted and looked back at him, half prepared to stay. Saruman turned. 'No evil?' he cackled. 'Oh no! Even when he sneaks out at night it is only to look at the stars. But did I hear someone ask where poor Lotho is hiding? You know, don't you, Worm? Will you tell them?'

"Wormtongue cowered down and whimpered: 'No, no!'

"'Then I will,' said Saruman. 'Worm killed your chief, poor little fellow, you nice little Boss. Didn't you, Worm? Stabbed him in his sleep, I believe. Buried him, I hope, though Worm has been very hungry lately. No, Worm is not really nice. You had better leave him to me.'

"A look of wild hatred came into Wormtongue's red eyes. 'You told me to; you made me do it,' he hissed.

"Saruman laughted. 'You do what Sharkey says, always, don't you, Work? Wel, now he says: follow!' He kicked Wormtongue in the face as he grovelled, and turned and made off. But at that something snapped: suddenly Wormtongue rose up, drawing a hidden knife, and then with a snarl like a dog he sprang on Saruman's back, jerked his head back, cut his throat, and with a yell ran off down the lane. Before Frodo could recover or speak a word, three hobbit-bows twanged and Wormtongue fell dead." (ROTK, Book VI, Chapter 8.)

I conclude from this passage that Wormtongue wanted to stay in the Shire. If he wanted to stay in the Shire, in the circumstances in which the Shire then was, it cannot have been from any spirit of greed. Look how far greed had got him! No, I think it is plain from this that he wanted to change.

Saruman, however, would not allow him a chance at a new life, not when Saruman himself was being exiled. So out of spite, not certainly from any sense of justice, he reveals Wormstongue's murder of Lotho. He attempts to put the full blame for this crime on Grima, even though it is plain that Saruman was the real author of this murder, as he was of the entire state of the Shire. The statement of Worm's, "you made me do it," says to me that Grima did not do this crime willingly, and would not have done it on his own. And if we look back to previous events in Rohan, we can see that he had never had a direct hand in murder as such. This sort of thing was out of character for him. He was the kind of person Saruman could manipulate, and of course, as far as wanting to be somebody in Rohan, Grima was guilty of complicity with Saruman. But murder? That was not his modus operandi.

So when Saruman deliberately thwarts the last chance Grima has at a changed life, at repentance, Grima takes what he sees as his only way out of servitude. And then he died. It was certainly not the death of a hero, but neither was it the death of a confirmed murderer. Rather, as Frodo said, it was the last stroke of the war. It was the end of someone too much a slave to his master to break free, who had nevertheless tried to break free at the end.
I'm still puzzled by the reason(s) why Gríma betrayed his King and country. JRRT has not written about it in his Letters, which is a pity.

I think Gríma was seduced by Saruman by the prospect of having Éowyn, and after he gave himself willingly to Saruman because of this, he was mentally controlled by Saruman from start to finish, and was more a victim than a villain. He never had the chance of backing away from his actions, as Saruman was too strong.

I don't see any other reason why Gríma would join Saruman, than lust for Éowyn. There's power, but Gríma, as Théoden's counsellor, already was the most powerful man in Rohan, after Théoden and his family, and was already in a respected position, so i can't see why he'd want more, especially since he must have realized that Saruman would rule Rohan, and no one else, after the victory of the White Hand, and that his Uruk-hai would slaughter every Rohirrim man, woman and child in the land.

The only price (and prize) for his betrayal seems to be Éowyn to me. Sometimes men do crazy things because of women -- look at the Trojan War, Marcus Antonius and Cleopatra, etc.
Miruvor, it is legitimate dramatization that the movie dwells on the putative lust of Grima toward Eowyn. It is only natural that PJ should have wanted to enhance this character's part and give him some "humanity" by doing this. But we should recognize that it is a departure from Tolkien. The book simply does not give evidence of lust as the motive here, but does allow us to conclude a greed motive. Of course, from a safe distance, we can see that any promises Saruman made to Worm about having a ruling hand in Rohan were empty words. But Grima did not see, not till much later.

There is no such thing for Tolkien has having "no will" in the matter. There is a such thing as having a weakened will, a will long used to habitual evil-doing. Grima made the culpable error of trusting Saruman. I grant that later it was really difficult for him to leave--not impossible, but very difficult. We see in Grima someone like the alcoholic or the drug addict who cannot seem to break his addiction. This is not true of all such addictions, but of many, and so what Tolkien shows is accurate. Only by a last desperate, seemingly despairing effort does Grima finally extricate himself from this slavery.
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We see in Grima someone like the alcoholic or the drug addict who cannot seem to break his addiction.


Towards the end that is pretty much how I see Grima. From the start he was probably very weak willed and greedy; someone Saruman could easily manipulate and control. For Eowyn or power, it doesn't really matter, it was a slippery slope he chose to go down. His fellow Rohirrim came to despise him, naming him Wormtongue. That would further isolate him and give Saruman more power over him. When he is offered the chance of redemption, does he really have a choice? He knows his fellow men now hate him, and further, he believes Saruman is about to destroy them all anyway. At that point a strong man would probably seek redemption and die bravely defending his king. Grima, however, was weak. He chose to flee from those who hated him, to be on what he believed would be the winning side.

Finally in the Shire he can take no more. The all powerful Saruman has reduced himself to bullying defenceless Hobbits, and Grima is trapped in his servitude like a drug addict to heroin. He is not even the side-kick of a powerful wizard anymore. They have been bested by a bunch of halflings. How much lower can Saruman take him?

Grima didn't do much to help himself, and took some easy roads to satisfy his greed. In that he is one of Tolkien's most despised characters, but similar to Gollum, he is very much a victim in that someone powerful and charasmatic beguiled him into doing much that was wrong.
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But we should recognize that it is a departure from Tolkien. The book simply does not give evidence of lust as the motive here, but does allow us to conclude a greed motive


Here's a quote from TTT :

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'Nay, Éomer, you do not fully understand the mind of Master Wormtongue,' said Gandalf, turning his piercing glance upon him. 'He is bold and cunning. Even now he plays a game with peril and wins a throw. Hours of my precious time he has wasted already. 'Down snake!' he said suddenly in a terrible voice. 'Down on your belly! How long is it since Saruman bought you? What was the promised price? When all the men were dead, you were to pick your share of the treasure, and take the woman you desire? Too long have you watched her under your eyelids and haunted her steps.'
Éomer grasped his sword. 'That I knew already,' he muttered. 'For that reason I would have slain him before, forgetting the law of the hall. But there are other reasons.' He stepped forward, but Gandalf stayed him with his hand.
'Éowyn is safe now,' he said. 'But you, Wormtongue, you have done what you could for your true master. Some reward you have earned at least. Yet Saruman is apt to overlook his bargains. I should advise you to go quickly and remind him, lest he forget your faithful service.'


To me, the above is evidence that Gríma lusted for Éowyn. Hence i don't see how Gríma lusting for Éowyn in the movies (though i don't remember such scene) is a departure from the book.

Anyway, the above quote shows that Gríma was bought by Saruman, and that Éowyn was the prize. To me, that's evidence that lust was the major factor for Gríma's 'fall'.

My first post here, in which i stated that Gríma once loved Éowyn, and that this love eventually turned into lust as it could never be answered is my personal belief, 'speculation' as you will. The reason why i believe this, is because an important recurring theme in JRRT's works is that in the beginning nothing is evil. Even Sauron and Melkor were not.

That's why i give Gríma the benefit of the doubt.
Forgive me, Miruvor, but even this wizard hasn't been able to memorize all the passages in LOTR, not even after reading it again and again over 30 years! You are right about this proving Worm wanted Eowyn. I wish you had brought this up first. The movie shows something that must have been extrapolated from Gandalf's speech here. In the movie, there is much different, eh? But I still believe Grima repented in the very end. That's what the text indicates to me. No one, not even an addict, is beyond redemption. He was not a hero, but he threw himself to the right side before his death.
I believe Gríma uses Gandalf's Houses of Healing speech about Éowyn ("the hutch to trammel some wild thing in", etc) in the movie, but apart from that i don't remember much of Gríma in the movies.

I'm pretty sure Saruman's and Gríma's demise aren't even shown in the theatrical version.

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But I still believe Grima repented in the very end. That's what the text indicates to me.

I'm not sure if he repented, but it's certain he at least freed himself of Saruman's influeence.

It's difficult to see how much of Gríma's actions were forced by Saruman, and how much he did out of his own twisted mind.

Near the end of the books, Gríma surely comes forth as somebody who's stuck in something against his will, or at least is sick of what he's done and wants to step out of it, but is unable to -- until he gets his chance when Saruman shows his back to him, and temporarily forgot about his thrall.

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I wish you had brought this up first.

Mea culpa. I sometimes forget to include the necessary quotes and documentation.
To pull this thread in a slightly differen direction.....

Has anyone read George MacDonald's two books dealing with the character Curdie (the first is called the Princess and the Goblin, the second, I think, is called 'Curdie and the Princess' but I am not sure). In any case, I am interested in an idea brought up in the second of these books. (bear with me, this does have something to do with grima in the end). MacDonald -- who was revered by C.S. Lewis and, I think, also by Tolkien -- enables Curdie to know what a person is by their handshake. The idea is that while some people are people, others may have started out as people but have turned into a beast of some kind in their spirits, minds, emotions, and actions. When C. meets someone and shakes their hand, whatever he feels - human hand, or furry paw or claw, slithery body of a snake, or whatever -- that is an indicator of what that person is or has become in their life.

Now to the bit about Grima. Every time I read the quote about Gandalf saying Grima is a snake now, but once he was a man, I can't help but remember MacDonald's story. If anyone else has read it (I haven't read it in a long while), do you think it's reasonable to theorize that Tolkien was influenced by this bit of Macdonald's worldview? Or is the idea of a traitor being a "snake" common enough that there's no real reason to look for a connection?
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Every time I read the quote about Gandalf saying Grima is a snake now, but once he was a man, I can't help but remember MacDonald's story.

Gríma didn't really turn into a snake... Gandalf used it as a metaphore.

It's not uncommon, though, for a counsellor to be a snake. In Disney's Robin Hood, King John's (or rather, Prince John the phoney King of England) counsellor is Sir Hiss, a snake : Prince John & Sir Hiss.

I think though, that this movie came out after LOTR was published, so JRRT couldn't have been influenced by that.

As for McDonald's, I don't think Gandalf ever shook hands with Gríma, so I can't see how this can be of any application here.
And snakes have always had bad public relations since the original apple peddling one near the dawn of creation.
True.

I think it reminds me of MacDonald's story because of the concept of starting out as a person but turning into something else through the choices & actions over a lifetime.

I didn't mean to imply that grima actually turned into a snake (the people in MacDonald's story didn't actually turn into animals, either -- it too was a metaphor).
I agree with the centiment that Grima was once a man and that his actions changed him.

The snake metaphor is a very apt one as, although not as bad as the Satan snake, Grima has sunk to a low place and become a lesser man.

He was, by the end, completely under the control of Saruman and he only refused the chance at redemption becaue he was literally between a rock and a hard place!

To answer Miruvor, no Saruman and Grima's demises do not appear in the theatrical versions. It does appear in the extended versions but is dramatically changed and is in the what would be The Voice of Saruman.

Wolf Smilie