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Favorite themes from LOTR an TH soundtracks

Registered User

Jan 9 2014, 4:40am

Post #1 of 15 (423 views)
Favorite themes from LOTR an TH soundtracks Can't Post

Hello Ringers! Long time reader, but this is my first official post. I will spare you all an intro, and get to the meat of the post. I am a HUGE fan of Howard Shores scores for the LOTR and TH, and I was inspired by an earlier post about everyone's favorite places in ME. So how about everyone's favorite themes in Middle Earth. Since we have met most of the themes (aside from maybe Dain and company), what is everyone's top themes. I found this to be a tough exercise, as there is a bunch of amazing themes over these 5 films/soundtracks so far. I am really interested to hear everyone's favorites! I know Shore beautifully builded on top of many of themes (and hopefully will build on more from DOS). Anyways,
Here are my top

1) Fellowship theme
2) Shire theme (with all it's variants)
3) Rohan theme
4) Gondor theme
5) Laketown theme
6) Erebor theme (the one from the extended edition of AUJ soundtrack, that I never heard in the actual film. one of my FAVORITES! Do you think we may see it? Dain?)
7) Misty Mountains (I.E. the main Dwarf theme from AUJ)
8) Tauriel-Tauriel/Legolas battle theme (Especially the theme from the Forest River- unsure if that is still just Tauriel or both her and Legolas when they are battling)
9) Smaug theme (I absolutely love this theme and I cannot believe it sits at #9!! - This just goes to show how amazing Howard Shore is)
10) Ring theme

Anyways, those are my top 10. There are so many others I absolutely love, but figured top 10 was a good start. I am REALLY interested in hearing what everyone else's favorites are! Maybe I missed some!
Cheers all!


Jan 9 2014, 7:33am

Post #2 of 15 (285 views)
Sorry. [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm very disappointed with The Hobbit music so far. I bought the CD for AUJ, and was unimpressed. Likewise, unmoved by the music in the movie, and unimpressed by DOS, as well.

Very sad. I went home from all the LotR movies with themes filling my head, and I still listen to the recordings with delight. The Hobbit just isn't in the same league. After seeing these movies I can't recall any music at all.

To answer your question, my favorite themes from LotR are:
1) Rohan theme
2) Gondor theme
3) Dwarrowdelf theme
4) Fellowship theme
5) Shire theme (with all its variants) (no apostrophe in possessive pronouns)

My favorite sequences, by far, are several tracks from FotR, TTT, and RotK, especially the Minas Tirith and beacons tracks.

I rather liked the Misty Mountains when sung by the dwarves in AUJ, but nothing on the record or elsewhere in the movies.

(This post was edited by Elizabeth on Jan 9 2014, 7:42am)

Registered User

Jan 9 2014, 8:14am

Post #3 of 15 (250 views)
ok [In reply to] Can't Post

Sorry to hear. The more I listen to the Hobbit soundtracks, esp DOS, the more I like it. FOTR, TTT, ROTK, AUJ, DOS all had parts that didn't move me.
And, yes, I do know the difference between it's and its. Auto-correct and typing on a phone got me. Also, I somehow got the word "builded" verses built in there via auto-correct. I probably didn't capitalize a few things in my post either. If and when I post on here again, I will make sure to proof-read my post.

Thanks for your reply! My top 4 were all pretty interchangeable

The Shire

Jan 9 2014, 9:21am

Post #4 of 15 (226 views)
:) [In reply to] Can't Post

1. The Breaking Of The Fellowship
2. The Shire Theme
3. The House of Durin Theme
4. Rohanís theme
5. Minas Morgul theme
6. The Feast of Starlight
7. Gondorís theme


Jan 9 2014, 9:27am

Post #5 of 15 (227 views)
A couple of my favorites [In reply to] Can't Post

I absolutley adore the House of Durin theme. (I think thats the one I mean Wink) Especially the moment just after the Master says "Welcome!" and Bard realises what is coming. And all its variants too.

And of course the Rohan theme. Especially that first time the Violin(?) comes in by itself. Amazing.


Jan 9 2014, 10:38am

Post #6 of 15 (210 views)
Hmm, I may have to agree [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
I'm very disappointed with The Hobbit music so far.

I think I may have to agree with you Unsure Unexpected Journey's score was far too cut 'n' paste for my liking from the previous trilogy and Desolation boasts, to my ears anyway, approximately two memorable tunes.

Having said that, there are some crackers so far:

The Misty Mountains theme (especially as sung by the dwarves although it was used too frequently and, at times, inappropriately during the film)
The flight of the eagles at the end (gorgeous and on a par with anything else Shore has created)

"Feast of Starlight" when Tauriel is talking of the stars (right from the clarinet (?) through to the choral section - divine)
The Lake Town theme (which, to my mind, is just about as distinctive and memorable as any other theme from Middle-earth)

The thing is, though, what with the lack of new characters and locations in TaBA, the possibilities for new themes are fairly limited. It would seem Dain is our main hope!

PS As for LotR, apart from the obvious, the Dwarrowdelf theme is a great favourite - gets me every time. I think it was the first piece Shore scored, am I right?

"I have walked there sometimes, beyond the forest and up into the night. I have seen the world fall away and the white light of forever fill the air."

Grey Havens

Jan 9 2014, 11:00am

Post #7 of 15 (206 views)
Mae govannen! [In reply to] Can't Post

Just had to jump in and say: Welcome! Great first post. Glad you finally decided to de-lurk!

I love the scores for the LOTR movies as well as AUJ and DOS. I never spent as much time thinking about the LOTR scores, but have spent a fair bit of time with that of AUJ. I just got the DOS one last week so am still working on getting to know it! Thusly, so far AUJ remains my favourite score when considered as a whole.

Not sure I can rank different themes with respect to how much I like them. Every single one to me comes to epitomize the thing it represents; Shore's themes do a fantastic job of capturing the essence of a people, or a place, or a thing. I could probably pick a single favourite, though: the Misty Mountain theme (especially when first sung by all the Dwarves in Bag End!). After that, any attempt on my part of ranking them would be pointless since I think they're pretty much all fantastic.


Jan 9 2014, 2:28pm

Post #8 of 15 (179 views)
Some of my favorites [In reply to] Can't Post

Generally there are none of the soundtracks I don't like, but some of my favourites are:

* Breaking of the fellowship
* Misty Mountains "battle-theme"
* Rohan soundtrack
* Minas Tirith
* Lighting of the beacons
* Dwarrowdelf
* Fellowship theme
* Laketown theme
* Smaug theme
* Spiders theme

In no peticular orderSmile


Jan 9 2014, 2:56pm

Post #9 of 15 (181 views)
not sure I can name favorite themes [In reply to] Can't Post

... and, although I'm very familiar with themes in LOTR, I am not at all with The Hobbit. So all in my list would be from LOTR.

The themes can often sound so different in different uses so it *might* be a little easier to list favorite cues.

But if I had to pick some off the top of my head...

The Minas Tirith Theme which is sometimes referred to as the Silver Trumpets theme.

Nature's Reclamation which ranges from the moth music to the March of the Ents to the Rohirrim riding down to the fields of the Pelennor.

Gandalf's Farewells which is what we hear as the Fellowship stumbles out of Moria and again when Gandalf farewells the Hobbits at the Grey Havens (this is not the Grey Havens theme).

Dwarrowdelf - because every time I hear that cue, to this day, my heart soars with memory of how in love I was with the FOTR movie.

and to limit it to five so I can get to work...

The Destruction of the Ring which embodies the entire movie in a musical phrase: "Whole step vs half step... and the whole step wins." (Christian Kuhn)

It's heard twice:
As the tower of Barad-dŻr begins to crumble after the destruction of the Ring. As the choir, singing lyrics from Don't Let Go comes to it's climax, we see the relieved face of Gandalf where a shuddering smile starts to form.

As the shock wave from the explosion of Barad-dŻr passes over the land in front of the Black Gate. The ground opens up and swallows the Orcs and the Black Gate, leaving an island intact upon which the Army of the West stands. As the choir, singing lyrics from The Mountain of Fire comes to it's climax, Mount Doom, itself, explodes.

I wrote about this music here: http://newboards.theonering.net/...i?post=121851#121851

The gist is, when I first heard this track, I got to the last half of The Crack of Doom music and the choir built to such an emotional pitch, I wanted to stand up and shout. When I related my reaction at Doug Adams' blog, another person replied, "I did."

The Destruction of the Ring is first heard at 1:33 and again at 2:20 in this video.
I'm pretty sure it was the climax at 2:50 that made me want to stand up and shout.

For anyone wanting a reminder of the themes in LOTR, they can follow the link in the footer to my soundtrack site and find a link for 'THEMES' in the left navigation frame.

LOTR soundtrack website ~ magpie avatar gallery
TORn History Mathom-house ~ Torn Image Posting Guide


Jan 9 2014, 6:13pm

Post #10 of 15 (151 views)
Here we go... [In reply to] Can't Post


1. Rohan (epic beyond words)
2. The Road Goes Ever On (wonderfully used at the end of FOTR and during Sam's speech in TTT)
3. Nature Reclaimed (It's used during the Moth scene, the Last March of the Ents, and the Ride of the Rohirrim)
4. Gondor (another epic theme; The Lighting of the Beacons is it's best use)
5. Misty Mountains (great song and epic theme)
6. The Shire (nostalgic and beautiful)
7. Laketown (just perfect)
8. Lorien (hauntingly beautiful)
9. Moria (great use of vocals)
10. The Evenstar (another beautiful and sad theme)

There are plenty of other greats, including the Ring theme itself. But those are my top 10.

The Grey Pilgrim, they once called me. Three hundred lives of men I walked this earth, and now I have no time...

Registered User

Jan 9 2014, 6:35pm

Post #11 of 15 (144 views)
The more I think about it.... [In reply to] Can't Post

the more I think about it, the more I probably could reorder mine. Rohan is absolutely amazing. My top 7 could easily change to look exactly like yours. Thanks for your thoughts after each. Mine exactly.

The more I listen to Laketown, the more amazing I think it is. Hopefully we hear Shore build on it during TABA. The sad part is that I am not sure if Laketown will have enough main focus in the story (like Rohan and Gondor) to take their theme to the epic level of say, Rohan. I just don't think the Hobbit story sets up nearly as well as LOTR when it comes to "epicness" of themes. Just my very humble opinion


Jan 9 2014, 9:03pm

Post #12 of 15 (131 views)
Hi Tlove and welcome! [In reply to] Can't Post

I love the LOTR scores- but have to say that the Hobbit ones I have not enjoyed as much-yet. In AUJ, the Misty Mountain, Erebor and House of Durin themes I liked. I really am not familiar enough with the DoS music yet to comment.
Hard to rank my preferences in LOTR- so many beautiful themes-
1) Any of the Elven music- I love choral music, so the multi-layered and unusual harmonies heard in Rivendell and Lothlorien are favourites. The Evenstar music, especially during the vision of Arwen at Aragorn's tomb, was very moving.
2) Rohan theme and variations
3) Shire theme and variations
4) The "Far green country" themes, heard in Minas Tirith when Gandalf tells Pippin about the Undying Lands, when Sam carries Frodo on Mount Doom, at the Grey Havens etc
Oh too many more- I love them all- but then I have got to know them extremely well, in a way that I just don't yet know the Hobbit musicSmile

Is there a Tolkien topic that you have wanted to look into more deeply and write about your thoughts on it? If so, we'd like to hear from you for the next TORn Amateur Symposium- coming in November. Happy writing!


Jan 9 2014, 10:26pm

Post #13 of 15 (125 views)
The Grey Havens theme! [In reply to] Can't Post

It slipped my mind entirely.

That would probably be my #8.

The Grey Pilgrim, they once called me. Three hundred lives of men I walked this earth, and now I have no time...


Jan 10 2014, 12:18am

Post #14 of 15 (115 views)
Dwarrowdelf is one of the best! [In reply to] Can't Post

So sad that it was only used in that one spot. I had really been hoping that Shore would use it as a basis for more Dwarf music in The Hobbit, but he hasn't.


Jan 10 2014, 12:48am

Post #15 of 15 (118 views)
Welcome tlove! [In reply to] Can't Post

I have to admit, I don't know the musical themes as well as others here, and I don't have the LOTR soundtracks, so these are a little more heavily weighted to TH movies and soundtracks, with some of the main LOTR movie moments.
  1. Misty Mountains Cold: the scene is Bag End is my absolute favorite, and I love all the reprises throughout AUJ
  2. Erebor: I agree with you, I love this theme, especially the bagpipes, and really hope we see it as a main theme in TABA
  3. Shire theme: as soon as we heard this at the beginning of AUJ, I smiled as it felt so familiar and took me right back to LOTR and M-e
  4. Ring theme: the definitive LOTR theme for me
  5. The Moth/Last March of the Ents
  6. Moon runes: the segments in both Rivendell at the crystal table and when the moonlight shines upon the keyhole in DOS are beautiful
  7. Tauriel's theme (during the spider scene and the barrel sequence)
  8. Lake-town theme: combined with that awesome first view of Lake-town
  9. Rohan theme: definitely iconic, and always makes me picture the first view of Edoras
  10. A Feast of Starlight: beautiful


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