1. The Advisor
She does not think he notices her, a lowly kitchen maid, but he does.
Of course he does. He notices everything.
Gríma sees that, although she serves others, she makes certain that she is the only woman who serves him. He notes that she presents him with his favoured foods, that she colours almost imperceptibly when he nods to her, that a dark needful light flares deep in her eyes if he speaks his thanks, so quickly gone that even observant Gríma is never sure that he has seen it.
He knows she is called Lathwyn, but he does not know what name her parents gave her.
When talk at the table grows lively, and those speaking wave their arms about, Gríma sees that Lathwyn flinches, as if she is expecting a blow.
Gríma has noted, when she is bent close serving him, that she has a small white scar across her upper lip, and that her nose is not quite straight, as if it had once been broken. He hears, from men who speak as if they have reason to know, that she has scars on other areas of her body as well, and he wonders at this.
Lathwyn does not, as so many other serving women do, turn coy eyes on the Lords Théodred and Éomer; quite the contrary, she avoids their gazes, although Gríma suspects that only he recognizes it for avoidance and not simple respect.
Gríma also sees that the Lord Théodred is intrigued by her seeming indifference. The Heir of Rohan is not used to being ignored by women of any age, and he watches her curiously, as if searching for a chink in armour.
He is not the only man whose gaze is drawn to Lathwyn; many men look at her with easily-read intentions in their eyes, but she does not appear to know this.
Gríma understands why these men watch her, for her rough, carefully demure clothing cannot hide her lush curves, generous bosom, nor the provocative sway to her hips. The tight braid she wears cannot contain unruly curls of strawberry hair which softly caress the nape of her neck and ears like a lover's touch.
She is more modest in her dress than are the other servants. She does not kilt her skirts up to show her ankles, nor does she lean too far forward when serving.
But to men, she looks like a woman waiting to be undone.
Although he marks Lathwyn's beauty, Gríma is not stirred by it, nor by the spark deep within her eyes which tells him that he is the man she wishes to undo her. His affections and ambitions are bent toward the Lady Éowyn, and he will not be swayed by something as easily-gotten as a kitchen wench.
Gríma notices all these things, and he knows that he can use them to his advantage. He knows he can use her to his advantage, for it is clear that Lathwyn will do anything he ask of her.
The Lord Théodred has long been a thorn in Gríma's side, for the Heir is what keeps Gríma from gaining complete control over Théoden King, and thus, Rohan itself. Ever has Gríma searched for a way to draw Théodred's attention away from his father the King, to no avail.
Gríma sees that the Lord Théodred looks for a way to draw Lathwyn's interest, simply because she shows him none.
Gríma Wormtongue is not a man to let such an opportunity slide by.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.