The king has clearly been reduced. The tone of Theoden king has been bleached white. The predominant tone of Wormtongue is black: the black of the shadow. The shadow has consumed the king and he has long been in its depths. The white of the king is like that of some deep-sea creature who has long since been bleached white by exposure to the dark. Grima is the shadow of the king and this shadow has sapped the will of its victim. The king’s sword, a symbol of will, has been put away. There is a dividing line in this image. To the left Grima stands in shadow, he projects and embodies the shadow. To the right the king suffers the consequences of the shadow, he is reduced, subjugated by his denuded will. Grima is rising in this image and Theoden is slumping down. The shadow is beside and above the king.
Above: Theoden is being held in a wraith-like condition. The king is somewhere between man and wraith. The will of the king is in the service of Grima (a proxy of Saruman) just as the wraithkings will have been placed in the service of the Dark Lord.
Above the witch king
The Eyes of Wormtongue are the centre of the dark shadow. Grima’s eyes project into Theoden whilst the king’s eyes are withdrawn.