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Old 06-06-2017, 09:02 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Boromir88 View Post
I agree that Wormtongue's confession is to the murder of Lotho, not eating him.

It is a great topic though, because it's the skill of Tolkien to leave questions like this up to the freedom of the reader. You could easily argue yes, as you could no.

Putting myself in as Grima's defense attorney for a moment, the confession to the murder is undeniable. But the evidence of cannibalism is so slim there's no way he would be convicted in a court of law

It's solely based on the word of a liar, and quite an effective liar as this blast from past will show. A liar trying to save his own skin and use a "mob's morale outrage" against the only victim he had left to blame.

*takes off defense attorney hat*

I do agree that cannibalism is as low that the poor and mean characters in the story can fall. It's a sign of complete moral depravity (as noted with Saruman's orcs getting fed "man-flesh.") There is another character that has fallen so low, there's also accusations of cannibalism:
The Wood-elves tracked him first, an easy task for them, for his trail was still fresh then. Through Mirkwood and back again it led them, though they never caught him. The wood was full of the rumour of him, dreadful tales even among beasts and birds. The Woodmen said that there was some new terror abroad, a ghost that drank blood. It climbed trees to find nests; it crept into holes to find the young; it slipped through windows to find cradles.~The Shadow of the Past

And in this wonderful thread, SpM and I have it out, where I and a few others again put on a defense attorney hat and try to get Gollum off baby-eating charges.
I too am inclined to think the cannibalism accusation is just Saruman being a colossal jerk (as usual). Perhaps- given the nature of Isengard's catering- his mind tended to run along those lines anyway?

Not sure it's comparable to the case against Gollum, though, which I'd say is a good deal stronger- and from a skim of that thread, you and Sauce aren't so much concerned with disputing the alleged baby-eating as with pleading insanity on behalf of the accused.
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