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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
The Original Trilogy Score Compared To The Hobbit's Score (So Far)


Mar 18 2013, 9:56pm

Post #1 of 12 (516 views)
The Original Trilogy Score Compared To The Hobbit's Score (So Far) Can't Post

I was recently listening to the original trilogy's soundtrack and found myself drawing a judgement of A Unexpected Journey's compared to the original masterpiece. For me, even though there are some chilling and epic tracks in AUJ's score I feel that compared to FOTR's soundtrack (our first introduction to Middle Earth) it doesn't quite hit the bar that FOTR set. I will never forget that shot of the Fellowship passing those rocks accompanied by "The Ring Goes South" - Such an epic cinematic moment!

I'm holding back final judgements so far- not least of the fact that we've only seen the first part of 'The Hobbit' but that I feel that the decision to split to three films really hurt Shore's composition that had originally been intended for two films. I for one am excited to hear what Shore brings to the next two installments!

Any opinions?


Mar 18 2013, 10:02pm

Post #2 of 12 (329 views)
It's true that the score is not as magnificent as LOTR [In reply to] Can't Post

But that's just because so much has been taken from there. I think the 'main theme' of The Hobbit as I dub it (i.e. the theme you hear when the Dwarves are journeying, fighting etc) is good because of it's similarity to the Fellowship theme, with it's epic symphony of brass instruments.

One piece I did love though was the Dol Guldur theme. So simple, but so creepy: just like something out of a horror film. Again this reminds me of Minas Morgul, which is incredibly creepy (I think) in the LotR films.

"True courage is about knowing not when to take a life, but when to spare one."

Tol Eressea

Mar 18 2013, 10:15pm

Post #3 of 12 (315 views)
I agree. [In reply to] Can't Post

The score for AUJ isn't bad per se. And there are a few cues that i like quite a lot-- all the Misty Mountain variants are great, and the music when Bilbo's running out of Hobbiton "on an adventure" is taking something we're already familiar with and fashioning something brilliant out of it.

But i've watched Fellowship several times over the last few months, and there are so many times when the score just leaps out and grabs you with how brilliant it is. Just in Moria alone there are several. AUJ's score doesn't even come close to that.


Mar 19 2013, 9:29am

Post #4 of 12 (319 views)
its all about opinions... [In reply to] Can't Post

Isn't it..?? Personally I love the AUJ score and think its equal to anything in LOTR but just because I or anyone else thinks one thing and has eloquent reasons to back it up doesn't make someones opposing view wrong.the music from the rings movies will always hold a special place in my heart because it was the introduction to the music of middle earth,does this mean it is actually superior or is it like hearing a song that got played in a club or at a school disco when you were younger and being filled with great memories..??who knows?again this is only my take on it and we're all entitled to our personal views.
I do think that because there are repeated themes from rings,it does 'dilute' the originality of the AUJ score a tad,but these repeated themes are necassary because we are visiting some of the same places,people etc so may be that is what strikes some people as making it inferior.
On the whole though I think its magnificent and obviously the misty mountains/dwarves themes are utterly fantastic.it will be interesting to see what comes over the next two movies of course,will Mr Shore and Mr Jackson be able to come up with a marriage of images and music to rival the 'lighting of the beacons'?? I'm hoping so,and quietly confident they can. Wink

Arrow....black arrow,I have saved you to the last.you have never failed me and always I have recovered you.I had you from my father and he from old.if ever you came from the forges of the true king under the mountain,go now and speed well


Mar 19 2013, 3:08pm

Post #5 of 12 (281 views)
Not comparable yet... [In reply to] Can't Post

... as we will get much more characters and places and their respective score and themes, while AUJ reflected a lot of the characters and locations of FotR.

Beorn, Mirkwood, Spiders, Thranduil, Woodland Realm, Tauriel, Laketown, Barrel Scene, Bard, Desolation of Smaug, Smaug himself (although I guess we heard his basic theme already), music for the battles...


Mar 19 2013, 4:10pm

Post #6 of 12 (281 views)
The Hobbit track didn't match up with LOTR [In reply to] Can't Post

But it had it's jewels, like Misty mountains theme (both dwarven and Neil Flynn's), Over the Hill with amazing climax that almost got to par with 'Gandalf the White' and Eagle rescue which made me tear up. Heart

Pessimists have no disappointments.


Mar 19 2013, 4:32pm

Post #7 of 12 (292 views)
On a semi-related note... [In reply to] Can't Post

Has anyone else tried playing (at the same time) a Hobbit track with a LOTR track?

You get some great combinations!


Mar 19 2013, 5:24pm

Post #8 of 12 (267 views)
LOTR [In reply to] Can't Post

Like them both so far, but gotta go with the LOTR trilogy. Of course, we've got 3 movies worth of music to enjoy vs. only 1 for The Hobbit, so I'll reserve final judgement until 2014.

As three great Jewels they were in form. But not until the End, when FŽanor shall return who perished ere the Sun was made, and sits now in the Halls of Awaiting and comes no more among his kin; not until the Sun passes and the Moon falls, shall it be known of what substance they were made. Like the crystal of diamonds it appeared, and yet was more strong than adamant, so that no violence could mar it or break it within the Kingdom of Arda.


Mar 19 2013, 5:59pm

Post #9 of 12 (263 views)
Definitely can't compare yet [In reply to] Can't Post

Until TABA is released, I don't wanna judge anything on the trilogy fully. It's only one third of the story. I feel we'll be getting much more new themes and tunes in the later films than we did for AUJ.

Lover of Medieval Fantasy
"I know what I must do. It's just... I'm afraid to do it."


Mar 20 2013, 10:33pm

Post #10 of 12 (241 views)
The Fun Thing [In reply to] Can't Post

about the AUJ score is listening for the themes of LOTR. They are like Easter Eggs to tell you what who or what character is in play. And the music can tip you off about motives. There is a brisk argument concerning the use of the Nazgul theme for Thorin's run at Azog. People in the know tell us it's in a different key or something and that leads to endless speculation. I am enchanted with the Misty Mountain theme and sing it all the time. There isn't a theme in LOTR one can do that with, IMHO.


Mar 21 2013, 7:57pm

Post #11 of 12 (216 views)
hobbit soundtrack [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree wholly that it is not and never will be as great as the trilogy especially FOTR but the Hobbit does have some great pieces.


Mar 28 2013, 2:27pm

Post #12 of 12 (200 views)
I LOVE all of em! [In reply to] Can't Post

I absolutely love all of the scores! I think LOTR hold more of a nostalgia for me, but I like that AUJ is a new taste mixed with some old themes. Have you guys ever read the book "Music of the Lord of the Rings"? It's an incredible book. Howard Shore describes in GREAT detail, each song, note, section, key change, tempo, etc. I'm hoping one will come out for The Hobbit.

Here's a link to the book:

Keep in mind, unless you're a music major or have a music background, some of the sections might be difficult to understand (stuff like "minor 5ths, major 4ths") but overall, it's a great read.

P.S. I'm going to try emailing Howard Shore through his website to see if he will be touring with his LOTR orchestra ever again, or if he will for the Hobbit. I would be in love. And I want to ask him if he ever needs a violin player, I'm available for the rest of my life. Haha!


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