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Timeline Event

Gríma Wormtongue, Saruman's agent, becomes Théoden's counsellor

Event Type: Political

Age: 3rd Age - The Stewards

Year: 3014


An event in the prelude to the Invasion of Westfold by Saruman; see that entry for an overview:
'How far back [Saruman's] treachery goes, who can guess?' said Gandalf. 'He was not always evil.... But for long now he has plotted your ruin, wearing the mask of Friendship, until he was ready. In those years Wormtongue's task was easy, and all that you did was swiftly known in Isengard; for your land was open, and strangers came and went. And ever Wormtongue's whispering was in your ears, poisoning your thought, chilling your heart, weakening your limbs, while others watched and could do nothing, for your will was in his keeping.'

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 6, The King of the Golden Hall

[After Gandalf's escape,] Saruman sent out wolves and Orcs in vain pursuit of Gandalf; but in this he had other purposes also... to do some injury to Rohan, and to increase the fear of him which his agent Wormtongue was building up in Théoden's heart.

Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 4, The Hunt for the Ring: Other Versions of the Story

Théodred and Éomer... were... devoted to the King, and high in his affections... and they did all that they could to thwart the influence over him that Gríma gained when the King's health began to fail.... Théoden was sixty-six; his malady may thus have been due to natural causes.... But it may well have been induced or increased by subtle poisons, administered by Gríma. In any case Théoden's sense of weakness and dependence on Gríma was largely due to the cunning and skill of this evil counsellor's suggestions. It was his policy to bring his chief opponents into discredit with Théoden, and if possible to get rid of them. It proved impossible to set them at odds with one another.... Gríma therefore tried to play them one against the other in the mind of Théoden, representing Éomer as ever eager to... act without consulting the King or his Heir. In this he had some success, which bore fruit when Saruman at last succeeded in achieving the death of Théodred.

Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 5, The Battles of the Fords of Isen

When Théoden became, as it seemed, prematurely old,... there was no effective central command: a state of affairs encouraged by his counsellor Gríma. The King, becoming decrepit and seldom leaving his house, fell into the habit of issuing orders to Háma, Captain of his Household, to Elfhelm, and even to the Marshals of the Mark, by the mouth of Gríma Wormtongue. This was resented, but the orders were obeyed, within Edoras.

Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 5, The Battles of the Fords of Isen: Appendix

[Said Éomer,] '[There] are some, close to the king's ear, that speak craven counsels....'

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 2, The Riders of Rohan

[One] of [King Elessar's] first tasks was the restoration of Orthanc.... Then all the secrets of the tower were searched. Many things of worth were found, jewels and heirlooms of Eorl, filched from Edoras by the agency of Wormtongue during King Théoden's decline.... Saruman in his degradation had become not a dragon but a jackdaw.

Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 1, The Disaster of the Gladden Fields: The Sources of the Legend of Isildur's Death

Elena Tiriel 13Jan05, 18Jan05, 30Sep05, 8Oct05

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