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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Difference between soundtrack and movie for the Thorin-strides-through-flaming-trees sequence
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Roheryn
Grey Havens

Jan 17 2013, 5:34pm

Post #1 of 43 (716 views)
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Difference between soundtrack and movie for the Thorin-strides-through-flaming-trees sequence Can't Post

(aka, Ro's been thinking again...)

Not necessarily the most pressing issue around here, but I think I've figured out why the music in the big Thorin versus Azog showdown at the end differs between the soundtrack and the movie. This seems blindingly obvious to me now (and maybe someone else has already figured it out), though I'm sure some will disagree!

Originally, The Hobbit was supposed to be two movies, and it was fairly late in the game (June or July 2012 wasn't it?) that PJ switched it to three. The original AUJ when it was the first of two movies was supposed to end just after Barrels out of Bond, right? Therefore, the "15 birds in five fir trees" scene was NOT the end of the first movie. Thus, whatever was going on with Thorin and Azog, it would not have made sense to have a climatic battle scene between them right then and there. Some fight between them, sure, maybe, but not amped up to the tension and drama that we have in AUJ now. Thus, the music should have been different: what we hear on the soundtrack was written for the scene when it was NOT the end of AUJ, and is therefore not nearly as dramatic as what we hear in the movie as Thorin charges out of the pine tree and through the flaming trees. If I'm right, the switch to three movies (and subsequent need for rewriting part of that track) happened after the cd was too close to release (or already released? sorry, I don't know the date it was out but I'm sure someone around here can enlighten me) to make any changes on it.

The upshot of this: I'm guessing the Thorin/Azog showdown at the end was written a fair bit differently when there were only supposed to be two movies. Maybe Thorin didn't get nearly killed? And maybe even Bilbo didn't come out to defend him? Because surely there wouldn't have been a big lovefest between Thorin and Bilbo once they reached the Carrock. Anyways, interesting to speculate. But however it was written originally, I for one love the Thorin-striding-through-flaming-pine-trees bit (the most dramatic 30 seconds or so in the whole movie), and am quite happy to have it in there as it is now.

Happy to hear your thoughts on this!


FlyingSerkis
Rivendell


Jan 17 2013, 5:36pm

Post #2 of 43 (365 views)
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Erm, I thought the recording sessions didn't start until August [In reply to] Can't Post

After the 3 film decision had been made... so at the point of recording, Shore would have known he was recording the climactic battle scene at the end of Film 1.

Correct me if I'm wrong Smile

Then Manw and Yavanna parted for that time, and Yavanna returned to Aul; and he was in his smithy, pouring molten metal into a mould. 'Eru is bountiful,' she said. 'Now let thy children beware! For there shall walk a power in the forests whose wrath they will arouse at their peril.'

'Nonetheless they will have need of wood,' said Aul, and he went on with his smith-work.


Kassandros
Rohan


Jan 17 2013, 5:38pm

Post #3 of 43 (386 views)
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Only problem I see... [In reply to] Can't Post

The music was recorded after the trilogy decision was announced.

Also, Doug Adams has said that the music for the movie was set for awhile before the final film was cut. Not a last minute decison. He says they simply decided to use different music for the soundtrack.

all we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us...


Roheryn
Grey Havens

Jan 17 2013, 5:52pm

Post #4 of 43 (352 views)
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Well, there goes that theory then... [In reply to] Can't Post

But if it wasn't a late decision, why would they choose to put something different on the soundtrack than what is used in the movie? Just find that a little puzzling.

Oh well. I thought I was onto something. Smile Is it still possible that what was originally recorded was written before the trilogy decision? Maybe not. I'm just trying to look for a sensible explanation as to why the music differs -- Doug Adams may have said it was a simple decision, but surely there was still a reason they made it.


irodino
Bree


Jan 17 2013, 5:57pm

Post #5 of 43 (340 views)
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The issue is not that the music is more dramatic / different [In reply to] Can't Post

.. than in the soundtrack. The issue is the motive used in the movie, specifically the iconic Nazgul theme that seems as unfitting as the Benny Hill tune to be honest. I'd love to know the reasons why this particular melody was picked. Are we supposed to think it's a more general motive for something like.. hate? That deep within Thorin, things start to look like within a Nazgul? But that makes no sense either, if that were the case, the tune should have been less complete, more subtle, not the carbon copy from FOTR.

"The past tempts us, the present confuses us, and the future frightens us. And our lives slip away, moment by moment, lost in that terrible in-between."


MasterOrc
Rivendell


Jan 17 2013, 5:58pm

Post #6 of 43 (324 views)
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Good point...way to pick that out... [In reply to] Can't Post

I just received the extended cut CD and have been listening here at my office. I absolutely love it. Really relaxing to listen too while doing paperwork, etc...

Thanks!


FlyingSerkis
Rivendell


Jan 17 2013, 5:59pm

Post #7 of 43 (323 views)
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Doug's blog being down, I can't find a direct quote [In reply to] Can't Post

But he pretty much said "The CDs and the Films are simply two different media to show the soundtrack. There was a certain amount of material and a decision was made about what would be the best representation of that material in CD form and what would be the best representation in the film." (Again, I emphasise this is not a quote from Doug but I seem to remember him saying something along those lines).

What I take from this is that, in the example of the Azog/Thorin scene, there were several different compositions recorded for the scene. The version found on the soundtrack CDs was chosen for a certain reason - maybe Shore felt it was more consistent with the rest of the soundtrack and represented the best form he had in a musical and thematic sense. When it came to choosing the take for the film, it was probably more under PJ's control, and the context in the film meant that they chose a different perspective, possibly with a composition that felt more exciting to them.

Obviously this is just speculation on my part Smile

EDIT: One more thought: since the soundtrack CDs were locked well before the film was (a month?) Shore could have had a change of opinion in that time, and have somehow decided that the Nazgul theme was actually quite appropriate... we may find out sometime in the future what his rationale behind that would be Wink

Then Manw and Yavanna parted for that time, and Yavanna returned to Aul; and he was in his smithy, pouring molten metal into a mould. 'Eru is bountiful,' she said. 'Now let thy children beware! For there shall walk a power in the forests whose wrath they will arouse at their peril.'

'Nonetheless they will have need of wood,' said Aul, and he went on with his smith-work.


(This post was edited by FlyingSerkis on Jan 17 2013, 6:02pm)


bborchar
Rohan

Jan 17 2013, 6:05pm

Post #8 of 43 (311 views)
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I briefly mentioned this in another thread... [In reply to] Can't Post

...but what fits the movie doesn't necessarily fit the overall composition of the soundtrack. The soundtrack is going to parallel the movie in most instances, but the soundtrack is also trying to tell a musical story in and of itself, like a stand-alone symphony. That's what makes these soundtracks different from other movie soundtracks.


Kassandros
Rohan


Jan 17 2013, 6:10pm

Post #9 of 43 (308 views)
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Doug Adams has said the the music in the movie was by and large exactly what Howard Shore intended. // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

all we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us...


FlyingSerkis
Rivendell


Jan 17 2013, 6:15pm

Post #10 of 43 (317 views)
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Yes indeed. [In reply to] Can't Post

I should have mentioned that in my post. But he was certainly open to persuasion by Jackson (it's his film after all, in the end!). Anyway, the bottom line is he decided what he wanted on the CD, and he decided what he wanted in the film, and they were two different things.

Then Manw and Yavanna parted for that time, and Yavanna returned to Aul; and he was in his smithy, pouring molten metal into a mould. 'Eru is bountiful,' she said. 'Now let thy children beware! For there shall walk a power in the forests whose wrath they will arouse at their peril.'

'Nonetheless they will have need of wood,' said Aul, and he went on with his smith-work.


Kassandros
Rohan


Jan 17 2013, 6:26pm

Post #11 of 43 (310 views)
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It isn't a carbon copy [In reply to] Can't Post

There were a few tweets from Doug Adams about this. From what I can gather, it was supposed to be a nod toward the Nazgul theme, but not a quote of it. I believe it's the same progression but in a different key or with different chords? I forget the musical details. But he calls it the warg theme, so perhaps it even predates Azog's addition to the movie. It's possible that Howard Shore didn't realize that people would hear it as being so similar to the Nazgul theme and intended it to be more subtle. I'm sure he hears music differently than the average cinema goer, afterall. And I'd guess the reason for the Nazgul reference will become more clear in the next movie and may involve something of Azog's backstory that we haven't heard about yet or perhaps the ring that Thorin is shown to be wearing.

I thoroughly enjoyed the music in the movie and am a bit at a loss at why everyone is so worked up about it. But, then again, I know a few people who liked the movie have been staying away from this forum due to all the negativity and hostility. Some of these people have had valuable insights to share but have stopped posting due to this.

all we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us...


Oscarilbo
Lorien


Jan 17 2013, 6:31pm

Post #12 of 43 (287 views)
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again... [In reply to] Can't Post

this will be clarified, but Doug cannot speak of these details as they are part of DOS plot.

The difference is that the music originally was going to be more indirect, but as the scene became the climax of the movie, it needed to be much more direct, why? we'll find out next december.

"The World is Changed, I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air"


Bladerunner
Gondor


Jan 17 2013, 6:51pm

Post #13 of 43 (271 views)
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Perhaps it will be revealed that either Thorin or Azog is in possession of Thrain's ring of power.// [In reply to] Can't Post



RalphDamiani
Rivendell

Jan 17 2013, 7:03pm

Post #14 of 43 (301 views)
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My own theory [In reply to] Can't Post

Is that we've been calling this segment the Nazgul theme because of Lotr, but it is meant to have a grander scope here. Can't it be a theme for doom? Isn't that what befell the Nazgul, who were lured by the seduction of power and fell tempted to their greed? Isn't that theme central to the Hobbit? What about reckless revenge, isn't that what Thorin and Azog have in common, what drives them? One might look at the emotions stirred by these chants before suspecting it was carelessly thrown together or last minute decision.


(This post was edited by RalphDamiani on Jan 17 2013, 7:04pm)


Estel78
Tol Eressea

Jan 17 2013, 7:15pm

Post #15 of 43 (283 views)
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You could be on to something [In reply to] Can't Post

But whether they intended it or not, it is so ingrained to us as being the Nazgul theme. It always played when the Nazgul were on screen.

It's like the Imperial March accompanying Luke.


Roheryn
Grey Havens

Jan 17 2013, 7:24pm

Post #16 of 43 (269 views)
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Very true. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
But, then again, I know a few people who liked the movie have been staying away from this forum due to all the negativity and hostility. Some of these people have had valuable insights to share but have stopped posting due to this.



Best way to counteract all that is to flood the board with positivity, silliness, and the occasional love-fest. And on occasion to be heavily armed with pea-shooters.

I spent a while recently listening for the so-called Nazgul theme in the FOTR soundtrack, and it's in quite a few places: during the Nazgul attack on the Prancing Pony; the Flight to the Ford, A Knife in the Dark, and in the Prologue, were we see Sauron (no Nazgul). Each time we hear it it's a little different, and though I have a little bit of musical training I'm no good at describing the differences. So what we hear during the Thorin/Azog scene sounds to me like just another variation on the same theme, though this time more dramatic (with the heavy drums and pounding strings) than what we heard in FOTR. Interesting that Adams calls it the warg theme, since in FOTR it has nothing to do with wargs.

And I'm sure there *is* a reason for this particular theme in that scene -- which we'll hopefully discover in DOS. I still think it suggests Thorin going over to the dark side, and I think the music references Thorin, not Azog. I know not everyone sees this the same way, but in a way that's what makes it so neat -- there's lots of ways to interpret it. Smile


RalphDamiani
Rivendell

Jan 17 2013, 7:30pm

Post #17 of 43 (259 views)
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Actually, that's a good point [In reply to] Can't Post

Luke's theme and the Force theme have much in common, and Yoda's theme shares notes with the Force.

The Rebellion theme also has similarities to both of them. The Imperial March is used for both Vader and the Empire, and in the new films, to foreshadow the rise of the Emperor.

The Nazgul theme might as well be the Corruption of Sauron theme in another context, or the Mordor theme, or the Dol Guldur theme, or perhaps if they were to film the Silmarillion, the Morgoth theme.

It's foreshadowing Thorin's descent when he finally gives in to the dark side and doesn't let go. His hatred could have caused his death, and the death of Bilbo, Fili and Kili, in a less heroic turn of events. The latter two escaped this once, but we know they won't be so lucky near the end.


(This post was edited by RalphDamiani on Jan 17 2013, 7:33pm)


Roheryn
Grey Havens

Jan 17 2013, 7:32pm

Post #18 of 43 (246 views)
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Great theory! [In reply to] Can't Post

I really wasn't at all trying to suggest that anything was carelessly thrown together. On the contrary, I was just thinking about how that scene would have differed when The Hobbit was supposed to be two movies instead of three. And I wondered if the music could give us some hints. Maybe it doesn't, but I think it's still an interesting consideration.

But you're absolutely right, I think: that theme used for Thorin striding through the flames suggests something more than a simple reference to the Nazgul. The grander theme of succumbing to temptation, or anger, or greed, is perhaps what's suggested there. And I think *that* is extremely appropriate, and quite poignant.


dormouse
Half-elven


Jan 17 2013, 7:34pm

Post #19 of 43 (244 views)
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As far as the music goes, I don't have any idea why.... [In reply to] Can't Post

... they changed it, except that I'm sure there is a reason why that particular theme was used in the film and it will make sense in time.

But I do agree with your thinking on the scene itself. If the film had ended with the barrel escape, I reckon there would have been a closing scene on the river bank, with soggy dwarves hauling themselves out of barrels and Thorin finally recognising Bilbo as a valuable member of the company. When they altered the structure of the films I think you're right, that's when the scene in its present form evolved, because they needed a climax for the first film and a turning point in Bilbo's position within the company.

And I love the scene as it stands as well.


Lusitano
Tol Eressea


Jan 17 2013, 9:45pm

Post #20 of 43 (206 views)
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I thoroughly enjoyed the music in the movie and am a bit at a loss at why everyone is so worked up about it. But, then again, I know a few people who liked the movie have been staying away from this forum due to all the negativity and hostility. Some of t [In reply to] Can't Post

Excuse me but TORN is most certainly not a black hole of negativity and criticism for Pjs adaptations. The barrow downs, hall of fire etc are far more critical places than torn. Regardless of the validity of those criticisms, you can certainly find many other places on the net, who hate and dispise these films, much more so than around these parts.

So, unless those people you mention can only participate on a forum with constant nods of approval and praise for their opinions, tell them to join in!


Kassandros
Rohan


Jan 17 2013, 9:56pm

Post #21 of 43 (189 views)
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I was thinking of one or more specific persons, actually. [In reply to] Can't Post

And they are longtime, respected posters here. I'm not going to call them out by name, because I don't think they'd want that.

The point is - people who have shared their opinions in the past and provided valuable information have been leaving this board because of the atmosphere. I suppose that's more of a problem for the moderators and none of my business, but it's also the responsibility of the posters here. And I'm one of them. For now.

all we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us...


Lindele
Gondor


Jan 17 2013, 10:34pm

Post #22 of 43 (174 views)
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I don't understand [In reply to] Can't Post

why everyone keeps calling this the Nazgul theme. The first time we hear it is in the prologue of FOTR where Sauron meets the last alliance in battle, and there are no Nazgul.
Also, if you listen carefully, and look at the structure, the base line of the warg theme in AUJ is very similar to that of the 'Nazgul' theme.

As far as why the soundtrack is different...well making films is a very collaborative and constantly developing process...and it is obvious that the commercial album was put together long before Howard Shore finished scoring the film. Just like the prologue of the original FOTR soundtrack was not in the film. Someday we will get complete recordings and it will be like what is in the film. Then we will have the best of both worlds.


Lieutenant of Dol Guldur
Gondor


Jan 17 2013, 10:34pm

Post #23 of 43 (175 views)
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THEMES FOR THE FORCES OF EVIL [In reply to] Can't Post

When I first watched the film I was like: WTF?! But after thinking about it, it makes totally sense to me: It is one of the Sauron/Mordor themes or just "themes of evil" if you want

The first time this theme is featured in LOTR is during the prologue of FOTR. Very prominent when Sauron kills all these Elves and Men. I agree that later it appears very prominent almost every time the Nazgl appear on screen (also in TTT and ROTK) but it is just one of the Mordor themes/motifs written by Howard Shore for Middle-earth and not just for the Nine. Here's a list of different variations of Mordor-Themes:


- The so called "Black Rider Motif" - it's the one (usually but not always) with the choir I was talking about but as I said it not just represent the Nine but also Sauron (and Azog in this final battle of AUJ)

- There is this more rhythm-like motif which appears sometimes alongside the "Black Rider Motif" but also represents Mordor (appears during the Council of Elrond, Galadriels mirror and also very prominent as a more military version as a motif to represent the forces of Mordor attacking Minas Tirith (especially in ROTK: "Siege of Gondor") it also appears when Gorbag, Shagrat and the other orcs appear to take Frodo to the Tower of Cirith Ungol and it also represent very shortly Grishnakh only before he is killed by Treebeard
---> Parts of this rhythm are also used in: Azogs theme (AUJ: "The Defiler", "An Ancient Enemy", "Thunder Battle" or "Under Hill"), Necromancers Theme (AUJ: "Radagast the Brown (Extended Edition)", "Hill of Sorcery" and "The White Council") or a very fast version as the theme for the Hunter Orcs (AUJ: "Warg Scouts" and "Out of the Frying Pan")

- And then we've got the most prominent and a bit exotic Sauron/Mordor theme what appears very prominentely in Minas Morgul (ROTK: "Minas Morgul" or on the CR: "Coronal of Silver and Gold") or when Saruman speaks to Sauron in TTT (TTT: "The Three Hunters"). This melody appears in every LOTR movie. It appears when Saurons Eye is seen but also when the Witch King appears in Minas Morgul and also when the Mouth of Sauron appears at the Black Gate. It is also featured on the AUJ soundtrack (AUJ: "Radagast the Brown (Extended Edition)", "Hill of Sorcery" and "The White Council") but is only featured once in the movie itself when Galadriel speaks about the Witch King. So you can call it the Mordor theme, but you can also call it the Sauron theme or the Witch King theme.
---> The Evil of the Ring motif which is one of the very prominent themes of the whole LOTR soundtrack and which appears also as the theme for the Ring and sometimes also represents Gollum aswell is very similar to the Sauron theme. It makes sense while the Ring and Sauron are one and the same in a way. It appears during every title sequence of LOTR what makes sense too because Sauron is "The Lord of The Rings".

- Also there are several other cues which appear also as themes or motifs for Sauron and his servants. Especially one that appears alongside the Black Rider Motif especially in FOTR and one motif that appears in AUJ between the rhythm motif and the exotic Mordor theme

- And then we also got the orc-rhythm motif that appears to represent orcs (e.g. ROTK: "The Land of Shadow"), Uruk-Hai (e.g. FOTR: "The Fighting Uruk-Hai) or the goblins from Goblin Town (AUJ: "Under Hill). In a way it is a bit similar to the Mordor-rhythm but also appears alongside the Isengard/Saruman-theme


If you want you can use everyone of these themes, cues and motifs to represent every servant of Sauron or the Dark Lord himself. The use of the Black Rider motif during this final moment of AUJ only tells us that Azog is a servant of Sauron (a fact the book readers will know because in the books it was Sauron who once sent Azog and his orcs there to take Moria).
It makes it easier if you call these themes just as I do:

THEMES FOR THE FORCES OF EVIL

"There is only one Lord of the Ring, only one who can bend it to his will. And he does not share power."

(This post was edited by Lieutenant of Dol Guldur on Jan 17 2013, 10:38pm)


Lusitano
Tol Eressea


Jan 17 2013, 10:50pm

Post #24 of 43 (164 views)
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If you [In reply to] Can't Post

search the older posts from 2006 or 2009 for instance you certainly find many people who do not post here as often or not at all, sadly.

The atmosphere. Ok. I assume you are talking about the negativity towards the films and pj? If that is the case, that is, in my opinion, bery exaggerated.. Like i mentioned above, there are forums who are far, far more negative and critical of the films and pj. In fact, TORN is considered in such places as a fanboys site, where throngs of headless peasants bow to everything pj does or says. Unimpressed

So i assume you are actually talking about the atmosphere and negativity towrds people who dont enjoy the adaptations and criticize them? Rather than negativity against pjs films being a reason for some people who just appreciate praise for them?


(This post was edited by Lusitano on Jan 17 2013, 10:51pm)


Magpie
Immortal


Jan 18 2013, 3:02am

Post #25 of 43 (119 views)
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well... the 'official' name given to the music was the Ringwraith Theme [In reply to] Can't Post

and the lyrics used for the theme in LOTR is from "Revelation of the Ringwraiths"

The English version is:
We renounce our Maker.
We cleave to the darkness.
We take unto ourselves the power and glory.
Behold! We are the Nine,
The Lords of Unending Life.


But, I'm fairly sure that the lyrics in TH:AUJ are not from "Revelation of the Ringwraiths"

But I think you're right about tying it to the Warg music because Doug did some tweets about this. I quoted them in another post here which I won't look up because no one thought it was very interesting when I posted it the first time so why bother again. *shrugs*

I think the 'intent' of the music is being expanded from how it was used in LOTR. But beyond that, I have no speculations. I like RalphDamiani's theory. Sometimes theories sound good even when they prove not to be right. :-) That's why I don't delete my LOTR score theories when they're 'proven' wrong.


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