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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
The so-called 'Nazgul Theme'
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axecrazy
Rivendell

Feb 26 2013, 1:06pm

Post #1 of 85 (1341 views)
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The so-called 'Nazgul Theme' Can't Post

A post by Brethil prompted this, but I thought it deserved it's own thread since this seems to be a common misconception all over the web. And I can't believe no one has brought this up before. The first time I watched Thorin unleash the majesty (yeah, those crazy tumblr gifs are awesome), I vaguely recognized the vocals... but I wasn't put off because vocal chanting was quite common throughout the score of the previous trilogy. Howard Shore likes to put variations on a theme, so I simply stored the observation away and enjoyed the remix and the moment. Afterwards, I l read the complaints with some amusement because I knew I had heard the remixed track in the previous movies, but I was also adamant that it was not during the Weathertop incident. I decided to keep an ear out for it during my LoTR marathon, and I didn't have to wait long for it.

The much debated remix track is almost the exact same piece (action beats and all) that plays during the Battle of Dagorlad at the beginning of in FoTR. Yes, you read that right. The Nazgul are nowhere in sight when we first hear this music. Stop and think about that for a moment please. The Battle of Dagorlad was a.... SHOWDOWN! Yes, a showdown to end all showdowns in Middle-earth. Which it absolutely did not accomplish in the long run, but that's beside the point. :)

So 'Charge of the Thorin Brigade', as I like to call it, is actually a showdown theme, and not the so-called Nazgul theme at all! The Nazgul don't really have a set theme (instrumental or vocal) as far as I can tell. Sometimes there are chants when they appear on screen, but the voice pitch and background instrumentals are always different. There is a hint of the Weathertop chant when a Black Rider passes over the Dead Marshes, but that's the last we hear of it for the rest of LoTR. And the reason we hear it then is because Frodo is having a flashback about the Weathertop incident...

Uh, yeah, that's it! Anyone else have any thoughts on this?


Aragalen the Green
Gondor


Feb 26 2013, 1:12pm

Post #2 of 85 (738 views)
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The same theme plays in FoTR... [In reply to] Can't Post

(I think) when the Nazgul enter the Prancing Pony to attack the Hobbits. I remember poor Barliman hiding behind the door as a Nazgul with sword walks past him, with the music and chanting from that theme.

'"Never laugh at live dragons, Bilbo you fool!" he said to himself, and it became a favourite saying of his later, and passed into a proverb.'


Brego93
The Shire


Feb 26 2013, 1:13pm

Post #3 of 85 (678 views)
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Hmmm... [In reply to] Can't Post

Interesting take. I thought it was a mordor related theme cause it didn't appear during any other battle, or showdowns, during the rest of of the lotr except those involving ringwraiths and Sauron at Dagorland. However that raises more questions than answers about Azog who is from Gundabad not Mordor. Is it played during the eowyn/witchking fight. That would give evidence to showdown theme?

"I don't know half of you as half as well as I should like and I like less than half of you as well as you deserve"


AshNazg
Rohan


Feb 26 2013, 1:17pm

Post #4 of 85 (679 views)
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Beginning to see credit in the zombie-Azog theories [In reply to] Can't Post

If indeed Azog has been reanimated by the Necromancer it would explain why a Mordor theme would apply to that character.


Xanaseb
Tol Eressea


Feb 26 2013, 1:24pm

Post #5 of 85 (624 views)
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Still sounds farfetched and ridiculous // [In reply to] Can't Post

Unsure

--I'm a victim of Bifurcation--
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Join us over at Barliman's chat all day, any day!
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axecrazy
Rivendell

Feb 26 2013, 1:41pm

Post #6 of 85 (657 views)
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Forgot that part [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
(I think) when the Nazgul enter the Prancing Pony to attack the Hobbits. I remember poor Barliman hiding behind the door as a Nazgul with sword walks past him, with the music and chanting from that theme.



Oh yeah. I guess I can see chanting being associated with them during the first film, but I hardly think they have a monopoly on it. I just listened to the invasion of the Prancing Pony, and even there the chant is different from Weathertop and the tree scene in AuJ.


Aragalen the Green
Gondor


Feb 26 2013, 1:53pm

Post #7 of 85 (630 views)
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Yes, different but similar [In reply to] Can't Post

After hearing the theme at the Battle of Dagorlad/Seige of Barad-dur, I thought of this music as a Mordor theme, but perhaps its more of a Evil vs. Good attack theme. Sauron vs. the Last Alliance, Nazgul vs. Hobbits, Nazgul vs. Aragorn and Hobbits, Azog vs. Thorin. Is there a name for this theme in the soundtracks?


In Reply To
Oh yeah. I guess I can see chanting being associated with them during the first film, but I hardly think they have a monopoly on it. I just listened to the invasion of the Prancing Pony, and even there the chant is different from Weathertop and the tree scene in AuJ.


'"Never laugh at live dragons, Bilbo you fool!" he said to himself, and it became a favourite saying of his later, and passed into a proverb.'


Earl
Forum Admin / Moderator


Feb 26 2013, 1:59pm

Post #8 of 85 (617 views)
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Welcome to TORn :) [In reply to] Can't Post

Nice thoughts.

I think though that the theme really is about the Ringwraiths, as in LOTR, the theme is always accompanied by a piece of text called "The Revelation of the Ringwraiths".

Like many people do, I too think the theme in The Hobbit has less to do with Thorin and more to do with Azog. We'll probably learn that Azog's motive is, in some way, tied to that of the Nazgul who are paving the way for the return of Sauron. The lyrics should give us a good idea of what the theme is meant to represent... if anyone can figure them out Smile


Glorfindela
Valinor

Feb 26 2013, 2:05pm

Post #9 of 85 (603 views)
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I must admit [In reply to] Can't Post

I thought that piece of music was absolutely fine in AUJ.

I suppose people just like to pick on the slightest thing in order to criticise it. Unimpressed


QuackingTroll
Valinor


Feb 26 2013, 2:05pm

Post #10 of 85 (606 views)
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Try here: [In reply to] Can't Post

http://www.elvish.org/...phonyTranslation.pdf


Earl
Forum Admin / Moderator


Feb 26 2013, 2:07pm

Post #11 of 85 (594 views)
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Thanks, but... [In reply to] Can't Post

... that's the LOTR symphony. And the lyrics are pretty much copy-pasted from Doug's liner notes and book.

The lyrics to songs in The Hobbit aren't/won't be in there.


QuackingTroll
Valinor


Feb 26 2013, 2:09pm

Post #12 of 85 (576 views)
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I assumed they'd be the same, sorry // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Earl
Forum Admin / Moderator


Feb 26 2013, 2:12pm

Post #13 of 85 (575 views)
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They may be the same, I'm not really sure... [In reply to] Can't Post

... to me, the lyrics don't sound anything like the 4 lines that comprise the text of "The Revelation of the Ringwraiths" in LOTR.


Lindele
Gondor


Feb 26 2013, 2:23pm

Post #14 of 85 (582 views)
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I brought this up a couple months ago [In reply to] Can't Post

but at the time I was not aware that the official title of the theme is the Nazgul Theme, that is why everyone keeps calling it that.


axecrazy
Rivendell

Feb 26 2013, 2:45pm

Post #15 of 85 (568 views)
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Thanks [In reply to] Can't Post

As for our favourite Gundabad Orc.... I won't say a link between him and the Necromancer is not possible, because I have a sneaky suspicion that PJ might take this route in order to tie the various plot threads and the major character arcs together. I also read an interview with RA where dropped a spoiler about certain creatures being present at the TBo5A. Those creatures make me think there is some sort of league between Azog and the Necromancer. We shall see. It might make the theme that played during Thorin's charge make a bit more sense. In any case, I think it's an awesome remix and was perfect for the scene.

A bit off-topic but.... Azog is mucho entertaining. Smile I love his facial expressions all through AUJ. Especially the evil grin just before Thorin reaches him during the tree incident... Evil


Angharad73
Rohan


Feb 26 2013, 2:46pm

Post #16 of 85 (560 views)
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I think it's fine, too [In reply to] Can't Post

I have absolutely no problem with the re-use of the theme in AUJ. I liked it in FOTR and I like it in AUJ. It's a fine piece of music.


Earl
Forum Admin / Moderator


Feb 26 2013, 2:52pm

Post #17 of 85 (558 views)
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That grin was pure evil wasn't it!? [In reply to] Can't Post

Azog grew on me.

I liked him in the flashback scenes with the dusk-red lighting on his pale skin. I didn't like him so much in the night-blue lighting he had throughout the rest of the movie. Also, maybe it was the 48 fps, but he looked a little plasticky to me. His skin looked a bit too smooth, though that might also be attributed to the lack of textures on it.

But after multiple viewings, he's sort of grown on me now. I like how he looks a little mad in that end scene after he thwacks Thorin with his mace.


Arannir
Valinor

Feb 26 2013, 2:53pm

Post #18 of 85 (554 views)
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I focused on that in one viewing... [In reply to] Can't Post

... and they are not the same.

With a different text they may make a lot of sense... don't know.

I think the editing was more a problem here than the actual use of the music.

If an image of Azog would have been on screen the moment the chorus starts we might have linked it more easily to him and his potential backstory.

But because it starts the moment Thorin is standing up, it is more closely connected to him, although it might work better in retrospective knowing about Azog, since him spreading his arms scored with that music is pretty epic imho (the image of Azog with his arms spread out was in general amazing, I think... some sort of negative messias image).


Oin's parasite
Rivendell


Feb 26 2013, 3:22pm

Post #19 of 85 (540 views)
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Barliman Butterbur... [In reply to] Can't Post

A fine fellow. Jolly, kind, loves his job, and a splendid mustache. One day he was just doing his job, cleaning the counter in his PJ's and nightcap when...BOOM!!!! Door to the fat jolly fellow's inn is lobbed off it's hinges! Barliman panics. He at once wets himself. He then leaps down behind the counter and clutches his Teddy Beorn tightly...the intruders pass, and Butterbur lives to eat another day.

"I've got parasites as big as my arm!"


Brethil
Half-elven


Feb 26 2013, 3:32pm

Post #20 of 85 (528 views)
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Welcome Axecrazy! Thanks for joining us! [In reply to] Can't Post

Thorin's walk down towards Azog is just about my favorite part of the film. It stinks that its at the end, so once its up I know its almost over! That and now I can't watch Azog nail him with that mace. Close my eyes for that.

As I posted in other places I am a bit thick when it comes to the intricacies of music in general, but your post and the other posters pointing out WHERE the theme has been used makes me think that my guess about Thorin's motive may be right. All the events we name - Dagorlad, the Wraiths passing Butterbur and this scene with Azog - all are scenes of rapidly approaching death, specifically from agents of darkness. I think Thorin in that scene has chosen death on his feet versus honorless death by falling, and maybe that's why the music is used there. Without Gandalf it would likely have been death then and there for Thorin.

"Charge of the Light Brigade..." That's great!!! And SUCH a Dwarven sentiment!

...she took the point at once, but she also took the spoons.


Macfeast
Rohan


Feb 26 2013, 3:51pm

Post #21 of 85 (538 views)
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Wouldn't that be weird, though? [In reply to] Can't Post

I mean, he isn't exactly killed beyond doubt the first time; He is given a wound that it is plausible to think he could survive, and given Balin and Gandalf's reaction to the story (and the look they share), I'm thinking that that's how we're supposed to react to it, and that we're supposed to see Thorin as being overly stubborn and optimistic in his belief that Azog is dead.

Certainly I could see there being a link between Azog and the Necromancer, but I would find it weird if they took "Thorin was being stubborn in his beliefs, Azog never died", and turned it into the plot-twist "Azog actually died, and Thorin was right all along". I dunno, it would feel like such a pointless plot-twist; If Azog was supposed to have been brought back by the Necromancer, why not have him killed, beyond the shadow of a doubt, before bringing him back? A beheaded Azog returning would have been a much more potent plot-twist (with an obvious plot-hook to build on in the continuing films), and would make the tie between Azog and the Necromancer much more powerful, imo, than Azog being revealed as having been dead at a later stage of the story.


(This post was edited by Macfeast on Feb 26 2013, 4:01pm)


Salmacis81
Grey Havens


Feb 26 2013, 3:58pm

Post #22 of 85 (533 views)
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Azog being "reanimated" [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
If indeed Azog has been reanimated by the Necromancer it would explain why a Mordor theme would apply to that character.




I know this theory has been brought up before, and I'm not sure if there is any evidence to support it, but I REALLY hope that Jackson and Co. have not made Azog into a zombie. It would be a completely ridiculous turn of events, and IMO, very un-Tolkien.

With that said, I never got the impression that the music indicated a tie to Mordor. I think it was just used because it goes good with slo-mo :D


Rostron2
Gondor


Feb 26 2013, 4:43pm

Post #23 of 85 (497 views)
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I second that [In reply to] Can't Post

Basing a theory about a character on the music is backwards. People don't do the music and then determine a major plot point from music. It's just not done.


Lieutenant of Dol Guldur
Gondor


Feb 26 2013, 4:57pm

Post #24 of 85 (482 views)
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I brought this up a couple months ago and some more times... [In reply to] Can't Post

... That's why I keep it short: It is one of the different Mordor themes.

Here is a page that shows all themes which have something to do with Mordor. While Azog is (I'm sure he is) a servant of Sauron* it is not wrong to use it in this context.

MORDOR THEMES

Azogs theme, the different Necromancers themes and the theme for the warg riders are also variations of one of the Mordor themes.



*At least he was the King of the Orcs of Moria during the entire occupation until his death when Sauron began populating Moria with his Orcs in 2480 (TA).


"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 Feb 26 2013, 4:57pm)


Esmeralda
Bree


Feb 26 2013, 5:14pm

Post #25 of 85 (469 views)
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I want a Teddy Beorn... [In reply to] Can't Post

 

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