Who actually gave Grima his nickname, 'Wormtongue'? I doubt his parents did. I would guess it would be either Saruman or the Rohirrim.

  • Most likely Rohirrim, they also nicknamed Gandalf. This is just an immediate answer a better one will come i'm sure. Commented Jun 6, 2014 at 12:32

1 Answer 1


Wormtongue seems to be a nickname used by the Rohirrim - as Gandalf says to Théoden:

But first send for Éomer. Do I not guess rightly that you hold him prisoner, by the counsel of Gríma, of him that all save you name the Wormtongue?

I can't think of an occasion that Saruman calls him Wormtongue explicitly. After their defeat at Isengard he refers to him as "Worm", presumably referring both to the previous nickname and to his debased status.

  • 4
    I prefer to think he had it when he applied to be the King's personal adviser..."Sire, we have two applicants for the post: Aolf Trueheart and Grima Wormtongue. Who do you want to interview first?"
    – Oldcat
    Commented Jun 6, 2014 at 23:08

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