Grima and Theoden

Hope and Banishment

Hope dwindling, casualties amounting, Westfold burning and a King overturned. A terrible fate has befallen Rohan. Their forces have been slaughtered by the Uruk-hai. The King’s son is on the brink of death, yet still, nothing has moved, all remains veiled in darkness.

There is no hope from within or out, their luck had run out. A couple of good Men stayed behind fighting for a good cause. Their voices muted by those in power to keep the plan of the Fall of Rohan alive and well.

Alone against evil

What do you do? What can you influence and change on your own? Could you stand alone against the evil that is spreading or would you succumb? Both sides now dwell in Rohan. Many whose only purpose was to save their own skin, have given in and adapted to the new rule. This is the easiest thing to do in this kind of situation, rollover, save your life from any prosecution or an even worse fate, keep your thoughts to yourself and live in misery.

Integrity falters and one loses oneself. The feeling of rebellion and injustice is still there, I believe, alive and kicking within them. However, the mind decides to protect life and overrules the little voice inside. Those who remain true to themselves and raise their voices against oppression have it worse, without finding foothold and support. They live in misery, although their will and hope are still there, covered in moss deep within them. 

The nature of evil

Any power seeking to overthrow another, be it a Wizard or an entire government, wants to expand and stay afloat no matter the cost of a life in the process. Human cost seems to be overlooked when there is a much greater “need” being fulfilled.

Those who rule, however, never have to see any of the losses that occur, for they hide within their walls, safely tucked away from the crude reality of the situation. The executors of their will, however, are a different matter. They compartmentalize in ways that keep them safe behind a shield of an emotionless facade.

The complacent are there to follow orders, they don`t bring any kind of decision into question. One should not blame them, for all of them had a reason for acting as they did. They were given good arguments about why they should do it, fueled by fear of losing their own lives, or the lives of their loved ones.

The perpetrators of the deeds, masterminds are the real culprits. Their greed and desire for power have grown far beyond any human interest. There is no need to see the people as victims because, in their minds, they are simply an obstacle to be removed from their path. 

A withered King

King Théoden is lost, his personality, his integrity – gone, dying silently under the spell of Saruman. Even the news of his own son`s death doesn`t move him. He only takes to Gríma. It is as if he were only a statue rotting away in front of his people and his family.

There is no person residing within him, only a hollow shell of a once-mighty man of Rohan, wilting away. He is only a figurehead in Saruman`s chess game. Still, all grievances are brought before the King, every concern is uttered, sadly, to no avail.

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Saruman has ever been our friend and ally. Why do you lay these troubles on an already troubled mind? Can you not see? Your uncle is wearied by your malcontent, your warmongering?

Gríma Wormtongue

Gríma is the King`s right-hand man, well, more like a leech. He has wormed himself into the halls of Meduseld and taken the position of a decision-maker, all in the name of the King. It is easy for him to simply transfer that power for his own selfish purposes. And since no one would dare rise against him for fear of being banished, his Rule over Rohan only becomes stronger. 

Seeing the Uruk-hai`s helmet bearing the white hand of Saruman and finding no way to excuse or explain his true master, being caught off guard, Gríma takes offense and attack of Éomer for even bringing it up in front of the King, given the King`s condition. When you can`t find a way to escape an accusation or turn it into something positive, you go against the one who brought it up. The offense is the best defense.

Boiling point

How long has it been since Saruman bought you? What was the promised price Gríma? Too long have you watched my sister. Too long have you haunted her steps.


At this point, Éomer has taken justice into his own hands and squeezed them around Gríma`s neck. He is fed up with his accusations and wrongdoing, so his last desperate stand is to face the “worm” himself. Through this violent encounter, we learn more about Gríma than he may have wanted anyone to see.

As Éomer attacks him, his eyes and facial expression show genuine fear. However, as he is held against a column by Éomer, Éowyn passes by catching his eye. This is where his expression turns to yearning, sadness, and loneliness. Everyone has a soft spot for something. There is always a window into a soul if we only look hard enough.

Unrequited love

Gríma, although being less than human in most respects, is all emotion when it comes to his unrequited love for Éowyn. There is pain he feels and a sense that he might never be enough for her. As opposed to many that are not aware of their mistakes and lack of integrity, Gríma knows he would never be good enough for her, as much as he may try doing all the wrong things.

He might also be somewhat ashamed for feeling this way, for having shown a crack in his own shield. Maybe if Éomer weren`t there to warn Éowyn of Gríma`s feelings, he might have a chance to be with her alone and maybe, just maybe, be given a chance at love.

Clearing the opposition

Gríma banishing Éomer
Photo by Ana Segota.

You see much, Éomer, son of Éomund. Too much.

Gríma Wormtongue

With this simple yet layered assertion, Gríma has outed himself. In his mind, there might be no greater reason for banishing Éomer, but to have access to his sister without any interference. He has also confirmed what Éomer had already assumed – Grima`s malicious intentions. For Gríma, Éomer was the last piece of an almost finished puzzle. Banishing Éomer, Gríma has gained freedom from the last opposition he had.

How has this banishment affected Éomer and his Company? Would their loyalty to Rohan fade? Read on in my next post.

Featured photo by Ana Segota.

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