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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
musical moment: back in Bag End


Apr 20 2013, 10:37am

Post #1 of 7 (390 views)
musical moment: back in Bag End Can't Post

In it's own quiet way, the scene with Frodo and Sam back in Bag End is, for me, one of the most powerful in the films. Bilbo left the place full of books, maps and mementos; now it looks as if no one lives there.

As Frodo's narration tells us, "There are some wounds that won't heal...", music comes up softly in the background. The music sounds familiar enough, but...

I was listening to the LOTR Symphony the other day and recognized the music as the accompaniment to what Howard Shore calls the "Hymn Setting" of the Shire Theme and, checking back with Doug Adams' book, I see that he had identified it.

But the theme it self is absent. Frodo is back "in" the Shire but he is no longer "of" it. All these years down the road, I'm still impressed with the depth of detail in the score for these films.


Apr 20 2013, 12:01pm

Post #2 of 7 (240 views)
... [In reply to] Can't Post


Ziggy Stardust

Apr 21 2013, 1:39am

Post #3 of 7 (195 views)
One of the best soundtracks in my humble opinion. // [In reply to] Can't Post



Apr 21 2013, 3:06am

Post #4 of 7 (204 views)
Great observation! [In reply to] Can't Post

I too love this variation of sorts! Let me know if you come across anything else like this, I will have to check it out!

''We are very dangerous over short distances''


(This post was edited by flameofudun on Apr 21 2013, 3:08am)


Apr 21 2013, 3:44pm

Post #5 of 7 (178 views)
There is a word... [In reply to] Can't Post

For a time I struggled to come up with the precise word that describes the way Howard Shore's music connects with the story. Integrated didn't seem quite right, nor did integral. Then I read in Doug Adam's book his description of Shore's work as having integrity. That's it! There is this unique integrity with the deepest layers of meaning of the story. I really don't know of anything else like it.

Similar to what you are describing in Bag End, I like the tin whistle solo melody as Sam and Frodo, on the slopes of Mt. Doom, are trying to remember the Shire and rallying for the final climb. The melody seems to hint at the Shire themes with which the audience has become so familiar, but it never actually goes there. It's as if the music itself is trying to recall the grass, the strawberries, the feel of home. We, the audience have such a familiarity with the Shire music by this point that our ears long for it to be played, but it isn't really there.

(This post was edited by Harold.of.Whoa on Apr 21 2013, 3:44pm)


Apr 23 2013, 2:33pm

Post #6 of 7 (144 views)
I don't have words for it [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm glad there are other people, like Doug Adams, who can find the words to describe it.

But the theme itself is absent.

I noticed a similar moment in the soundtrack for The Hobbit. I'm not sure this piece of music appears in the film. But it's in #7 of the Special Edition soundtrack "The Adventure Begins". There's a moment where the music touches on what I believe is the Shire theme. It begins, but then doesn't continue with it. In my mind I am picturing this is when Bilbo is walking around Bag End in the morning, and realizes the dwarves are gone. At first he has that relieved, "Ahhh, everything's back to normal" feeling - the beginnings of the Shire theme - but then, it stops and there are some (to me) unrelated directions in the music. And I'm imagining that's when he's starting to realize, wait, he doesn't really want to settle back into normalcy, he wants something else, there's the start of a dawning realization, and there are these other notes starting to trickle in to represent that, as the music changes and goes on into other phrases/melodies.

I don't have the technical expertise to describe it, but that's how I sounded to me. And I'm not sure if that particular section of the music is heard in that scene, I'd have to watch it again, but I imagine he routinely writes much more than is actually used.

But I know exactly what you mean, dijomaja, the level of detail and the alignment between the music and what's going on in the story, and the ethereal beauty of it, is just, well, I just have no words :-).


Apr 25 2013, 10:44am

Post #7 of 7 (144 views)
even better [In reply to] Can't Post

I have to agree with our colleague Magpie when she points out that, while some of the problems with the films get more noticeable over time, the appreciation for the score continues to deepen.

I've only seen AUJ once all the way through but I'll put it on and listen for the scene if it's in there.


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