Tag Archives: Peter Jackson

The Fellowship of the Ring “Shadow of the Past” (2001)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

After Bilbo takes his leave of the Shire (leaving all Hobbiton in an uproar), Frodo finds himself the owner of Bag End and heir to almost all that Bilbo possessed, including a certain golden ring that he found once, deep in the Misty Mountains. Gandalf already has his suspicions about that ring, given that right before he gave it up, Bilbo had begun to act odd, almost violent towards his old friend.

But most alarming is what he called the ring: “My Precious,” a term that only Gollum had ever used up until now. Things might have turned ugly, but when Gandalf put some force behind his words, Bilbo found himself again and gave the ring up of his own free will (possibly the only person to ever do so).

The Fellowship of the Ring “Shadow of the Past” (Film Scene) (2001)

Even though Frodo had a pretty good idea that Bilbo was leaving, it still hurt that the old hobbit was gone. But if he hoped to get any answers/help from the wizard, Frodo is going to be disappointed, because Gandalf is setting out immediately, where he won’t say, except that there are “questions, questions that need answering.” Before he leaves, he makes sure the Ring is sealed inside an envelope and placed “somewhere out of sight.”

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After Gandalf’s hasty departure, Frodo stares down at the envelope containing the Ring, wondering what on earth he’s actually inherited, when the music kicks up into a living nightmare (that’s how I’ve always thought the music sounded.) The scene abruptly shifts to Mordor, a hellish wasteland dominated by the mountain of fire, Mount Doom and the imposing tower of Barad-Dur, atop which sits the devilish Eye of Sauron (so far we’ve only had a fleeting glimpse of that, when Gandalf lightly brushed the Ring with his fingers).

 

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The music twists and turns, harsh trumpets and other brass instruments dominating the theme. This is our first look at Mordor after the Prologue, and the music needs to quickly establish that this is a very bad place (and it succeeds). But there’s more: after we hear the screams of Gollum confessing what little information he knows (“Shire!” “Baggins!”), Mount Doom erupts and the 9 Black Riders are seen departing Minas Morgul, with a brief introduction of their theme.

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The scene shifts again: now we’re back to Gandalf, who has ridden out to the city of Minas Tirith in Gondor and observes the increased activity in Mordor. With no time to lose, he rides into the city and begins to scour the archives, pouring through old documents until he finds what he is looking for: a long-forgotten scroll written by Isildur, that describes how the Ring came into his possession (already the ring was “precious” to him) and what it looked like before it cooled and shrunk. Originally, there were letters of fire surrounding the band, and only extreme heat would be able to bring them to light again. This is what Gandalf has been seeking: a way to prove once and for all whether or not this mysterious Ring is THE Ring.

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A quick note about this brief scene in Gondor: you’ll note that the short fanfare does not match up to the main Gondor theme (first introduced in The Council of Elrond, a story I’ll tell next time). This is because at the time Shore created this part of the score, he had not yet conceptualized what Gondor’s theme would sound like. This short fanfare that we do hear could be considered a musical “placeholder.” It quickly sets the scene, but is otherwise not that important.

You can become a patron of the blog at: patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

See also: Film Soundtracks A-W

For more Fellowship of the Ring, see also

The Fellowship of the Ring “The Shire” (2001)

The Fellowship of the Ring “The Wood Elves/Passing of the Elves” (2001)

The Fellowship of the Ring “The Treason of Isengard” (2001)

The Fellowship of the Ring “A Knife in the Dark” (2001)

The Fellowship of the Ring “Flight to the Ford” (2001)

The Fellowship of the Ring “Many Meetings” (2001)

The Fellowship of the Ring “The Ring Goes South/Fellowship Main Theme” (2001)

The Fellowship of the Ring “The Bridge of Khazad-Dum” (2001)

The Fellowship of the Ring “Lothlorien” (2001)

The Fellowship of the Ring “In Dreams” (2001)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂 Have a great day 🙂

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The Fellowship of the Ring “Many Meetings” (2001)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

After barely (and I mean barely) escaping the clutches of the Black Riders, Frodo awakens after several days in the hidden valley of Rivendell, home of Elrond (Hugo Weaving), the near-legendary son of Earendil, brother to Elros (the first king of Numenor and Aragorn’s distant ancestor), and the father to three children: Elladan, Elrohir and Arwen (Liv Tyler, more on her later).

The Fellowship of the Ring “Many Meetings” (Soundtrack only) (2001)

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The visual introduction to Rivendell is stunning, but I am sad to report that the location (with all the waterfalls) does not exist in real life, making Rivendell one of the few locations not to be completely based in a real-life environment. The musical backdrop is full of tranquil choral voices which highlight the fact that Rivendell is a place where one can find peace of mind, no matter what they’ve gone through (and recently Frodo has gone through quite a lot).

The Fellowship of the Ring “Many Meetings” (Film Scene) (2001)

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As the name of this piece implies, many meetings take place in this scene: Frodo is reunited with Sam, Merry and Pippin, who are all overjoyed to see Frodo recovered, but, to Frodo’s joy, there is one more meeting (more like a reunion), as he sees a considerably aged Bilbo sitting and working on his book (appropriately, there’s a brief refrain of “The Shire” at this moment). The two sit and talk for a while, and Frodo finally accepts that, however much he wanted to be like Bilbo as a child, his own adventure was turning into something completely different.

Keep in mind now that Frodo (at this stage) believes his part in the story is ending. The Ring, so far as he knows, should be safe in Rivendell, therefore he and Sam and the others should be ready to go home to the Shire before long. Unfortunately, the hobbits are soon to discover that they aren’t going home any time soon.

The Fellowship of the Ring “Gandalf and Elrond talk” (Film Scene) (2001)

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Meanwhile, Elrond and Gandalf have been holding their own meeting and Elrond lays out the cold, hard truth: the Ring cannot possibly stay in Rivendell, not with Sauron AND Saruman looking for it. Between the two forces Rivendell would fall sooner or later, and it’s not really up to the Elves to fix the situation anyway. After living in Middle-Earth for thousands of years, most of the Elven peoples are leaving, heading across the Sea to the Undying Lands. Someone else will have to resolve the situation with the Ring.

Gandalf believes he has a solution then “It is in Men, that we must place our hope.” But Elrond is dubious (and in his mind rightfully so). You see, he was there, 3000 years ago, when Isildur defeated Sauron and cut the Ring from his hand. Elrond took the Numenorean prince into the heart of Mount Doom and begged him to destroy the Ring on the spot, and end evil for all time. But even in those few minutes of possessing the One Ring, Isildur’s heart had been corrupted and he refused. Ever since, Elrond has lost faith in any “strength” that Men may possess.

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A council is being called and delegations from all corners of Middle Earth are arriving: we see Boromir (Sean Bean), riding in from Gondor; Legolas (Orlando Bloom) from the Woodland Elves in Mirkwood; Gloin and Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) to represent the dwarves. Together, hopefully, they will be able to decide what to do with the One Ring.

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Howard Shore hit the nail on the head when he wrote the music for “Many Meetings.” The piece functions in the same way that “Lothlorien” does after the Moria scenes, since Rivendell immediately follows the frantic chase in “Flight to the Ford.” Now that the danger is (temporarily) passed, everyone has a chance to breathe and relax and the music encourages this feeling. Truthfully, I could listen to this music for several hours and not find it boring. I also love how everything in Rivendell seems to be infused with a golden light (in a similar vein, Lothlorien is predominately silver), and everything feels warm and very much alive.

That’s all for me today, I am beginning to feel better, but still not quite 100%. I hope you enjoyed “Many Meetings”

You can become a patron of the blog at: patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

See also: Film Soundtracks A-W

For more Fellowship of the Ring, see also:

The Fellowship of the Ring “The Shire” (2001)

The Fellowship of the Ring “Shadow of the Past” (2001)

The Fellowship of the Ring “The Wood Elves/Passing of the Elves” (2001)

The Fellowship of the Ring “The Treason of Isengard” (2001)

The Fellowship of the Ring “A Knife in the Dark” (2001)

The Fellowship of the Ring “Flight to the Ford” (2001)

The Fellowship of the Ring “The Ring Goes South/Fellowship Main Theme” (2001)

The Fellowship of the Ring “The Bridge of Khazad-Dum” (2001)

The Fellowship of the Ring “Lothlorien” (2001)

The Fellowship of the Ring “In Dreams” (2001)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook  🙂

*all images are the property of New Line Cinema 

The Fellowship of the Ring “The Wood Elves/Passing of the Elves” (2001)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

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Frodo and Sam watch the Elves leaving Middle Earth

Actually, if I’m totally honest, one of my favorite musical moments didn’t even make it into the theatrical cut of the film. “The Wood Elves/Passing of the Elves” is a brief scene that takes place during Frodo and Sam’s initial journey out of the Shire (before they meet up with Merry and Pippin). They’re making camp for the night when Frodo hears beautiful singing in the distance, and recognizes it as belonging to what he calls “wood elves.”

The Fellowship of the Ring “The Wood Elves/Passing of the Elves” (2001)

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Elves are my favorite fantasy race because of Tolkien (and these films)

The Fellowship of the Ring “Passing of the Elves” (Song only) (2001)

The song doesn’t even last a minute in the film, but the sound is downright haunting (as it is meant to be). The lyrics are from “A Elbereth Gilthoniel,” a song taken from the book and are in praise of one of the Valar (essentially a “god” of Middle Earth) named Varda, who is also called Elbereth by the Elves. The song has a mournful quality to it, which seems strange because all of the Elves are returning home to the Undying Lands, so you’d think it would be more happy. But I believe this moment is bittersweet (as Frodo and Sam see it) because while the Elves are going home, they’re also leaving Middle Earth, and they’re never coming back. And once the Elves are gone, the world will never quite be as ‘magical’ again.

I understand why this scene was initially cut (due to pacing and story reasons; in the theatrical cut, we go from Bilbo’s brief voice-over directly to Gandalf arriving at Isengard), but I feel the story is better with this detail re-inserted. It helps to emphasize that the time of Elves is ending (a point referenced more than once later on) and soon they will all be gone, one way or the other.

This is a little shorter piece today, but I wanted to share it because it’s so beautiful.

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

See also: Film Soundtracks A-W

See Also:

The Fellowship of the Ring “The Shire” (2001)

The Fellowship of the Ring “Flight to the Ford” (2001)

The Fellowship of the Ring “Shadow of the Past” (2001)

The Fellowship of the Ring “A Knife in the Dark” (2001)

The Fellowship of the Ring “Lothlorien” (2001)

The Fellowship of the Ring “Many Meetings” (2001)

The Fellowship of the Ring “The Treason of Isengard” (2001)

The Fellowship of the Ring “The Ring Goes South/Fellowship Main Theme” (2001)

The Fellowship of the Ring “The Bridge of Khazad-Dum” (2001)

The Fellowship of the Ring “In Dreams” (2001)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂

*all images are the property of New Line Cinema

The Fellowship of the Ring “The Shire” (2001)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

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Fellowship of the Ring “Concerning Hobbits” (Film Scene) (2001)

There are dozens of musical themes in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, but very few are quite so dear to me as “The Shire,” one of the earliest themes we hear in The Fellowship of the Ring.

After the Prologue establishes how the story came to this point, we meet Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood), who has been waiting for Gandalf (Ian McKellan) to arrive. Today is Bilbo Baggins’ 111th birthday and most of the Shire has been invited (with the rest turning up anyway).

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Fellowship of the Ring- “The Shire” (Film Scene) (2001)

Most of this scene is a conversation between Frodo and Gandalf, talking about Bilbo’s party, how the reputation of the Baggins family never recovered after the “incident with the dragon” in which Gandalf was “barely involved”, and also how Bilbo has been acting more odd than usual in recent weeks.

Fellowship of the Ring “Concerning Hobbits/The Shire” (Soundtrack) (2001)

There’s a brief cut-scene here which shows Bilbo frantically searching Bag End for something (revealed to be the Ring, which had been sitting safe in Bilbo’s pocket the entire time). There is also a lovely moment when the Hobbit children come running up to Gandalf’s cart and beg for some fireworks. And just as they think they won’t get any, a small flurry of fireworks comes out of Gandalf’s cart, to the delight of the children.

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A lot of the finer details of this theme are lost in the dialogue and rumble of Gandalf’s cart, so I’ll highlight some of my favorite parts:

  1. Underlying most of the theme (Before the well-known flute solo) is what sounds like a harpsichord, a keyboard instrument that plucks the strings instead of beating them with a hammer (like a piano does). There is an inherent rustic quality to a harpsichord that puts one in mind of the countryside and is a perfect instrument for describing the Shire musically.
  2. As Bilbo describes the different qualities of Hobbits, the music takes a rather quirky turn, with short bursts from the flutes and strings. This symbolizes both Bilbo’s good humor in describing his fellow Hobbits and the general innocence of the Shire’s residents.
  3. The music takes a more soothing turn as Bilbo describes what Hobbits really love (and it’s not food): peace, quiet and good-tilled earth. The strings really take over here, with the harpsichord fading back.
  4. Lastly (and this is the part most people love best), after Frodo jumps off the cart, we hear the enchanting flute solo as Gandalf rides his cart up to the gate of Bag End. Though the entire piece symbolizes the Shire, it is this flute solo that really encapsulates the peacefulness that exists here. This is what everyone imagines the countryside to be like, and if the Shire really existed, people would go there and never come back.

I love watching this scene, it always makes me smile, no matter how bad a mood I’m in at first. Howard Shore does a great job of using the music complement the scene and it just sounds amazing. I hope you enjoy listening to “Concerning Hobbits/The Shire.”

See also: Film Soundtracks A-W

You can become a patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

See also:

The Fellowship of the Ring “Shadow of the Past” (2001)

The Fellowship of the Ring “The Ring Goes South/Fellowship Main Theme” (2001)

The Fellowship of the Ring “Many Meetings” (2001)

The Fellowship of the Ring “A Knife in the Dark” (2001)

The Fellowship of the Ring “Lothlorien” (2001)

The Fellowship of the Ring “The Treason of Isengard” (2001)

The Fellowship of the Ring “The Wood Elves/Passing of the Elves” (2001)

The Fellowship of the Ring “The Bridge of Khazad-Dum” (2001)

The Fellowship of the Ring “Flight to the Ford” (2001)

The Fellowship of the Ring “In Dreams” (2001)

Don’t forget to Like Film Music Central on Facebook  🙂

*all images are the property of New Line Cinema