1. Emanate understanding and compassion
2. Make her feel like everyone abandoned her
3. Make her believe you are the only one who can make her feel all better
Needed to be said
Gríma: “Oh he must’ve died sometime in the night. What a tragedy for the King to lose his only son and heir. I understand his passing is hard to accept especially now that your brother has deserted you.”
Éowyn: “Leave me alone, snake.”
Gríma: “Oh, but you are alone. Who knows what you have spoken to the darkness, alone, in the bitter watches of the night, when all your life seems to shrink, the walls of your bower closing in about you, a hutch to trammel some wild thing in? So fair, yet so cold like a morning of pale Spring still clinging to Winter’s chill.”
Éowyn: “Your words are poison!”
Yes, the words spoken by Gríma Wormtongue in the film were originally ascribed to Gandalf in the book. However, as the creative team had not found a way and place for Gandalf to deliver the speech to Éowyn, they chose to give the words to Gríma for one simple reason: these words had to be said.
The fact that they come from Gríma gives them a completely different context, though. Seeing as his connectedness with Éowyn, the speech coming from his mouth signals a possessive, obsessive, and yes, loving tendency he has towards her. Philippa Boyens herself said that the speech in this context and this particular delivery is “typical stalker” given the desperate want of Gríma’s to be the man (or rather worm) on Éowyn’s side, making her face her own inner world and promising to make it all better for her.
Temporary lapse of reason
Through compliments and an insight into her emotions and musings, he could, theoretically, make himself indispensable to her. For a moment it almost seems as if he will succeed in his attempt at wooing her. As she closes her eyes for a moment, almost giving in to the caring and insightful words of Gríma, the truth about his words rings true. Finally, there is someone who understands her, finally, there is someone who could care for her as Théoden should have done.
Just as easily as the words have taken her in, with the same ease and brevity the moment passes, as her eyes open and take in the face of the person who spoke them. Suddenly, she distances herself from Gríma physically as well as emotionally, having realized that whatever the truth of the words may be, the person behind sullies them with his poisonous aftertaste.