Gríma Wormtongue was a Rohirrim man of the Third Age. He served Saruman and ultimately betrayed him. Gríma was the son of Gálmód, an unknown man of Rohan. Little is known about Gríma’s life prior to his service with Saruman. He is described as “a wizened figure of a man, with a pale wise face and heavy-lidded eyes” when he is the adviser and Saruman’s spy in the court of Théoden
of Rohan. He was likely coerced into Saruman’s servitude through a mixture of intimidation and reward (It is implied that he was promised Éowyn, the king’s niece, from Éomer’s accusations). He enters the story when the Thee Hunters and Gandalf The White arrive at Edoras. Gríma speaks for the weakened King and insults them, naming Gandalf “Láthspell, a bearer of ill news”. Gandalf purges the poison spirit from
and releases him from Saruman’s control, to Wormtongue’s chagrin. Gríma is offered the chance to redeem himself if he rides with Rohan to fight the White Hand, but he turns this down and flees for Isengard, spitting at the King’s feet. A guard uses his helmet to pour water and wash the stone spat on “that he defiled”. (all LOTR, TT, King Of The Golden Hall). After the Battles of Isengard and Helm’s Deep,
Gríma was trapped in Orthanc. Following the argument between Gandalf and Saruman and the breaking of Saruman’s staff,
Gríma angrily threw a heavy stone at Gandalf, (Or Saruman, nobody could tell) missing. That heavy stone was Saruman’s Palantír. This foolish act led to Saruman torturing Gríma severely. Gríma and Saruman were found on the road by the returning Hobbits after the destruction of the One Ring. Gríma was reduced to a crawling slave, and when Gandalf gave him the thought of freedom, he “only shot a glance of his gleared eyes full of terror, then shuffled behind Saruman” (LOTR, ROTK, Many Partings). When the Hobbits returned to The Shire they found it under the control of Sharkey (Saruman). With most of the Shire being liberated, the Hobbits marched to Bag End, where they found Saruman and
in Bag End. Frodo pleaded for Wormtongue to free himself, Saruman mocked him; citing his weakness and his murder (and probable cannibalism) of Lotho Sackville-Baggins. This was the last straw for the crawling and weak Wormtongue, who drew a knife and slit Saruman’s throat. He then attempted to run away but was shot down by Hobbit archers.
“‘Then I will’ said Saruman ‘Worm killed your Chief, poor little fellow, your 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.’” – Saruman revealing the fate of Lotho. Return of the King, The Scouring of the Shire.