Tag Archives: The Lord of the Rings

The Two Towers “Last March of the Ents” (2002)

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Last March of the Ents (2002)

I think we can all agree that the Ents are one of the greatest things about The Two Towers. After Merry and Pippin rescue themselves from the Uruk-hai, they head into Fangorn Forest and run straight into Treebeard, de facto leader of the few Ents that remain in Middle Earth. Ents…are like trees, sort of. They resemble different varieties of trees, but they have legs, and eyes and they can talk too. Oh and they live for a really LONG time. So long in fact, that regular events in Middle Earth like war very rarely bother them. They’d just as soon let the humans, elves and other races sort it out among themselves, despite the pleas Merry keeps making to them.

But just as Treebeard is set to take Merry and Pippin to a place where they can safely head off to the Shire, Pippin has an idea: he tells Treebeard to take them south past Isengard, having a fairly good idea of what the Ent will run into on the way.

See, while the Ents have been busy deep in the forest, Saruman the wizard has been busy having the forest surrounding Isengard chopped down as fuel for the furnaces helping to produce weapons and armor for his army. So when Treebeard comes to the slopes nearest the wizard’s tower, he emerges to find that acres of forest have been chopped down and completely destroyed, trees that he had known since they were seedlings.

That does it!! Exclaiming that “a wizard should know better” Treebeard lets out a howl of pain and anger that summons all the remaining Ents to his side as he explains to the hobbits:

“There is no curse in Elvish, Entish or in all the tongues of Men, for this treachery.”

Now the Ents will go to war, as they have not done for ages. But there is no optimism here: as the females of their species disappeared centuries ago, there are no more Ent children. Whatever losses they suffer in the coming battle will only hasten the extinction of their race, hence the reason this is called “the last march of the Ents.”

The Ents Attack Isengard

I love the scene when all the Ents are striding across the ruined plain, the Ent theme sounding clear in the background. This is one of those moments that is absolutely pure Tolkien and I never get tired of it. It’s such a sad theme, sad and bittersweet, but it matches the Ents perfectly.

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For more of The Two Towers, see also:

The Two Towers “Lament for Theodred” (2002)

See also: Film Soundtracks A-W

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The Two Towers “Lament for Theodred” (2002)

*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.

Note: I was actually going to do “Riders of Rohan” today but my headphones are missing right now and I didn’t want to wait all day to do a post, so I picked this one instead 🙂

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Theodred is a character that we, unfortunately, only “meet” after he has been mortally wounded by orcs at the Fords of the River Isen. (In the books we only learn of his death after the fact). He’s brought back to Edoras by his cousin Eomer, but he never recovers. In fact, a deleted scene was going to strongly hint that Wormtongue poisoned Theodred to make sure that he died.

The Two Towers “Lament for Theodred” (2002)

As King Theoden’s only son, the late prince is given a royal burial in the funeral mounds located outside the gates of Edoras, where all the kings of Rohan are buried. As the body is brought down to be interred into the mound, Eowyn (also Theodred’s cousin, being the sister of Eomer) leads a funeral dirge in Rohirric (the native language of Rohan).

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As strange as the words sound, Tolkien (being an expert in ancient languages) based Rohirric on a dialect of Old English. This is why, if you listen carefully, the words sound almost familiar, even though they’re not understandable. The basic gist of the dirge is that: death has claimed this noble warrior, and all will wail his passing. He will return home to Meduseld (the house of the king) no longer. The words sound harsh to the ear, but the raw heartache behind them is palpable.

This is clearly a very emotional moment for Eowyn, who has already lost her parents, seen her brother exiled and now must watch her cousin be buried. I’m sure she never imagined that she would witness Theodred’s funeral. It always hurts to lose a family member, but Eowyn does her best to keep her emotions in check (she is a princess of Rohan after all, being a niece of the king).

While Theodred is a character we barely get to meet, his death has far-reaching consequences. For one, Theoden has lived to bury his children (thus affecting him for the rest of the story). For another, this makes Eomer, the king’s nephew, the heir to the throne of Rohan. The problem is: Eomer is currenly riding north and growing more distant by the hour. Unless he can somehow be recalled, Rohan is going to be in a lot of trouble very quickly.

See also: Film Soundtracks A-W

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See also:

The Two Towers “Last March of the Ents” (2002)

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The Fellowship of the Ring “In Dreams” (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.

For now, this is the conclusion of The Fellowship of the Ring. “In Dreams” is technically not part of the main soundtrack (you only hear it over the end credits) but it is still a gorgeous piece of music that I want to share with you.

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

“In Dreams” possesses the same melody as “The Shire” and adds lyrics to make a heartwrenching song about meeting those we have lost “in dreams.”

When the cold of Winter comes,

Starless Night will cover Day

In the veiling of the sun,

We will walk in bitter rain…

But in dreams…I can hear your name…

And in dreams…We will meet again

When the seas and mountains fall

And we come, to end of days

In the dark I hear a call, calling me there

I will go there…and back again…

The song is performed by a boy soprano (backed by a choir in various sections) and it is simply beautiful to listen to. And you’ll notice that the final line is a nod to the subtitle of The Hobbit (“There and back again”) which is really cool. A brief personal story, every time I watch The Fellowship of the Ring with my mom, she will not let the DVD be taken out until she’s heard this song (that’s how much she loves it).

See also: Film Soundtracks A-W

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 “The Shire” (2001)

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

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 🙂

The Fellowship of the Ring “The Ring Goes South/Fellowship Main Theme” (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 the 9 members of the Fellowship of the Ring are assembled at the conclusion of the Council of Elrond, preparations are made for the group to leave Rivendell on their dangerous quest. (As a refresher, the Fellowship consists of: Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippin, Gandalf, Gimli, Legolas, Boromir and Aragorn).

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Aragorn at the grave of his mother Gilraen

Arwen and Aragorn (who are very much in love, despite Elrond’s wishes) make a final farewell, but it is not a happy one. We will learn later that Elrond has pressured Aragorn into dismissing Arwen’s love, to encourage her to travel across the sea when her father makes his last journey (if Arwen were to stay in Middle Earth with Aragorn, they would never see each other again). Aragorn is also confronted (by Elrond) regarding his destiny: he is the last surviving member of the royal bloodline of Numenor; he and he alone could unite the realms of men and become King, but Aragorn swears he does not want this destiny, he has never wanted it.

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Elsewhere, Frodo and Bilbo have their last moment together and Bilbo has some gifts for Frodo: his old mithril shirt (that can repel any blow) is given to him to wear secretly under his clothes. Frodo is also given Bilbo’s elven sword Sting, which (like all Elven blades) will glow blue whenever orcs are close by (it’s curious then, that Legolas’s daggers don’t glow blue as well). As Frodo goes to put the mithril shirt on, Bilbo catches a glimpse of “his” old Ring, and he pleadingly asks to hold it one last time. When Frodo draws away however, Bilbo has a frightening “Gollum” moment that scares them both (and reveals that the Ring still has a very strong grip on the old hobbit). Guilt-ridden that his Ring has placed Frodo in this mess, Bilbo apologizes for everything that’s happened, and the two say farewell.

The Fellowship of the Ring “The Ring Goes South” (Film Scene) (2001)

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Now comes the moment the Fellowship departs, crossing the bridge that leads out of Rivendell. As they do, a theme begins to build, starting with a single French horn, and slowly building in intensity. We have actually heard snippets of this theme before, beginning when Aragorn first takes the four hobbits “into the Wild.” It is the main theme of the Fellowship and now we are to hear it in full, in all its glory, along with the famous “Fellowship passing by” scene. It’s a grand moment, but sadly very short-lived, as the music immediately begins to die away after the climax and the scene moves on.

There are some gorgeous scenic views in this short sequence, and it never fails to impress me that the entire trilogy was filmed in New Zealand; it’s the perfect setting for Middle Earth (and I fully plan on visiting the country some day if I ever get the chance).

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)

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 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 “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.

Tauriel In LOTR

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

After Strider brings the four Hobbits to the former watchtower of Amon Sul (also known as Weathertop in the book), he gives all of them swords and then (predictably), leaves to have a look around. What happens next never fails to boggle my mind.

Keep in mind that everyone is aware that the Black Riders are hot on their trail and they do NOT want to be discovered by them. Why then, would they think it was a good idea to make an open campfire that could be seen for miles away? Frodo, jolting awake, discovers the fire and stamps it out, but it’s too late, the Riders have discovered them and converge on Weathertop.

It’s only now that the music really gets going. As the Hobbits run into the ruined watchtower, swords drawn, the strings take a spin-chilling leap into the upper register. I like to think that if the sensation of the hair on the back of your neck standing up was translated into sound, it would sound exactly like that. I also call this “Creepy-crawly music.”

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

Of course Frodo is the first to see the Black Riders appearing out of the darkness (in a moment that I absolutely love). The way they move in near unison, levelling their swords at the hobbits, it’s just scary! And the music does everything it can to heighten the tension, reinforcing that these Black Riders are really bad news.

The hobbits don’t stand a chance of course: Sam is blown away, Merry and Pippin are quickly knocked aside, leaving Frodo face to face with the leader of the Black Riders (a figure later named as the Witch King of Angmar). He knows that Frodo has the Ring, and he’s determined to get it. Terrified, Frodo slips the ring on and discovers what the Riders really look like. Instead of faceless black figures, the Riders are transformed into white, ghostly wraiths, skeletal shadows of the men they once were.

Weathertop-Nazgûl

All wear crowns on their head, and the leader looks almost handsome (in a ghostly way). I imagine that in life the Witch King had a silver tongue and knew how to be persuasive. I say that because at first he tries to coax/coerce Frodo into giving him the Ring, using all of his will to draw the ring within a finger’s length of his hand. But Frodo’s strength is greater than he realized and when Frodo is able to draw his hand back, the enraged Witch King takes the more direct approach: he stabs Frodo in the shoulder with his dagger.

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But before the Witch King can finish the job, here comes Strider!! And he’s come prepared for battle, not only does he have his sword, but also a flaming torch (the Black Riders aren’t fond of fire). Strider single-handedly wipes out (or scares off) the Riders, using his torch to set one on fire, out-dueling another and ending the fight by throwing the torch straight into the head of the last remaining Rider. The danger is gone, for now anyways, but there’s a big problem: the Morgul Blade has critically wounded Frodo. The only way to save him now is to get him to Rivendell as fast as possible. The chase is on!

“A Knife in the Dark” is not one of the biggest musical cues in The Fellowship of the Ring (it’s certainly not as memorable as, say, “The Shire”), but it fulfills its purpose in making the scene on Weathertop as terrifying as possible.

That’s all from Middle Earth!

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)

For more Lord of the Rings, 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 “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  🙂

*all images are the property of New Line Cinema