"Láthspell I name you, Ill-news; and ill news is an ill guest they say."
address to GandalfThe Two Towers
III 6, The King of the Golden Hall
A name given to Gandalf by Gríma in Théoden's hall of Meduseld. Attempting to keep the King weak, Wormtongue pointed out that Gandalf always seemed to appear in the land of Rohan at times of hardship or war. His strategy did not succeed, for Gandalf broke his hold over Théoden, and he soon found himself exiled from Edoras.
The compound láðspel (literally, 'evil tale' or 'evil news') comes from Old English. It is in fact the almost exact opposite of the much more familiar Old English term gospel (which means 'good news').
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