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Jay

The Themes of Howard Shore's The Hobbit

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The moment you are talking about is at 4:29-4:36 of Flies and Spiders, and I had been wondering about that bit. Is that really a hint at Bilbo's Adventure? Reminds me more of the Shire theme...

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maybe it has already been dealt with, but any ideas why the Company's Adventure Theme (Misty Mountains) was not used in DOS ?

However, Doug Adams was on the most Recent track sounds podcast, and posited that since the company was now over the Misty Mountains, and their journey was getting darker and they were getting closer to Erebor, it made sense to stop using that theme and begin to use the House of Durin theme.

Oh, i always thought that the song was about the dwarven kingdom (erebor) that is located far over the misty mountains (as in further awat the misty mountains cold lies erebor).

If it was like that, it would mean the theme could be used for the whole trilogy... and should not have been named 'misty mountains'...

So it is just about the misty mountains then...

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maybe it has already been dealt with, but any ideas why the Company's Adventure Theme (Misty Mountains) was not used in DOS ?

The Misty Mountains theme is notated as The Company's Main theme in the main post here; The Company's Adventure Theme is a different melody (very similar to Bilbo's Adventure Theme)

As for why all three of the Company's themes were dropped from DOS, neither Howard Shore nor PJ have publicly commented on the decision that I'm aware of.

However, Doug Adams was on the most Recent track sounds podcast, and posited that since the company was now over the Misty Mountains, and their journey was getting darker and they were getting closer to Erebor, it made sense to stop using that theme and begin to use the House of Durin theme.

I've said it before, I'll say it again: I don't buy that excuse. The song (and therefore the theme) has nothing to do with the Misty Mountains. Yes, they are mentioned in the lyrics (and note that they say "Far over the Misty Mountains cold..."), but the song is not about them at all. So not using the theme because the Company is over the Misty Mountains is no good excuse to me. Moreover, I'm convinced that if they had stick to the two-films plan, Shore would have used the theme again after the Out of the Frying-Pan sequence, anyway.

Though, as I've also said, I don't mind anymore about the theme not being used, as I like the House Of Durin more and more as I listen to it. It's just that I don't find the reasons behind the theme not being used to make sense.

Did anyone else notice the hint of Bilbo's Adventure that plays when Bilbo names his sword (it's on the album too I think).

Well, apparently, LeBlanc didn't ;) (and me too). Nice catch!

The moment you are talking about is at 4:29-4:36 of Flies and Spiders, and I had been wondering about that bit. Is that really a hint at Bilbo's Adventure? Reminds me more of the Shire theme...

Sounds like Bilbo's Adventure theme to me.

Sounds more like the Shire to me.

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Hmm, you have gotten better, no Dougie D. Doug Doooooougolas Adams in the quote name this time ;)


Also, Bilbo's Adventure starts with two notes, the Shire theme starts with the same two notes, but with another quick note in between those two notes.

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Is it just me or does that unreleased cue in DOS when Bilbo is falling into the Forest River, sound like the music in Brass Buttons right before the Ring theme?

Here is a comparison of the two bits, in case I was not clear enough to make any sense:

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DOS 2-11 The Hunters

5:00-5:14 The Heroics of Legolas

I think what he is talking about is how that theme is applied to another character in this film.

I'm still surprised 5:00-5:14 Heroics of Legolas in The Hunters plays for a scene with Tauriel kicking ass.

Well it wouldn't surprise me if when Shore scored that scene, Legolas was doing stuff there, but then the film got edited afterwards and now Tauriel is doing stuff there.

About that: that's not The Heroics Of Legolas playing in that track (well, at least, it's not JUST that theme). There's also what you call the B section of Tauriel's theme as a counterpoint (so basically, you could call that The Heroics Of Tauriel), so the music in that scene makes sense.

Listen to 4'05 in the first video below, then 4'05 in the second video and finally 5'00 in the third video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXuBucIIv5M

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pr89WC7sDLE

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It really sounds like Shore connects the swirling swashbuckling string writing from RotK for Legolas and uses it for Tauriel's (and partly Legolas') heroic moment.

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It really sounds like Shore connects the swirling swashbuckling string writing from RotK for Legolas and uses it for Tauriel's (and partly Legolas') heroic moment.

Hi, where (tracks + time) can we hear that "heroics of legolas" theme in RotK please ?

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I don't know if this has been touched already, but does Bard have two themes? The first one is the theme depicted in Doug's notes, the upward reaching figure in Bb minor, and the second one I mean is the three note descending figure, like at the beginning of Protector of the Common Folk, or in heroic mode somewhere around the two minute mark in The Hunters.

Is there a distinction to the two?

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I don't know if this has been touched already, but does Bard have two themes? The first one is the theme depicted in Doug's notes, the upward reaching figure in Bb minor, and the second one I mean is the three note descending figure, like at the beginning of Protector of the Common Folk, or in heroic mode somewhere around the two minute mark in The Hunters.
Is there a distinction to the two?

If I'm reading you correctly, I already have that "second theme" marked as the B Section of Bard's Theme:

Bard’s Theme

DOS 1-11 0:09-0:36

DOS 1-11 2:34-2:41

DOS 1-14 0:03-0:18

DOS 1-14 0:46-1:04

DOS 2-01 1:28-2:04

DOS 2-02 2:44-3:00

DOS 2-03 1:22-1:44

DOS 2-11 1:32-1:59

DOS 2-11 1:59-2:15 (B Section)

I never noticed it appears in Protector of the Common Folk too..... though, that explains when when I first heard it in The Hunters, I KNEW I had heard it before somewhere!

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The 3-note figure acts more as an accompaniment device to Bard's material than an individual theme. Much like the descending thirds accompany Mordor. Both are used to reference their respective characters without necessarily quoting their themes.

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Yeah. As Jason said, Girions theme will likely be Bard's heroic theme, as he fulfills his destiny.

That moment you pointed GK is just a natural extension of the 3 note figure, not really a theme of its own.

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BB, have't had time to listen to that yet.


GK, I just re-listened to Protector of the Common Folk opening and it doesn't sound anything like The Hunters 1:59-2:15....

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We're just speculating dude, nobody knows for sure - heck, Shore might not even know yet.

I doubt Girion has any more flashback scenes in DOS EE or TABA, so either we've already heard the last of Girion's theme (two total appearances), or it will be used in TABA for Bard shooting Smaug with the last Black Arrow. Who knows!

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About that: that's not The Heroics Of Legolas playing in that track (well, at least, it's not JUST that theme). There's also what you call the B section of Tauriel's theme as a counterpoint (so basically, you could call that The Heroics Of Tauriel), so the music in that scene makes sense.

Good catch! I never noticed before that Tauriel's B Theme is playing on brass underneath the swirling strings from 5:00-5:14 of The Hunters! I'll add that instance of the B Section to the list, and rename "The Heroics of Legolas" to "Elven Heroics" or something then, sound good?

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BB, have't had time to listen to that yet.GK, I just re-listened to Protector of the Common Folk opening and it doesn't sound anything like The Hunters 1:59-2:15....

I could be confusing things. I'll give timestamps some time soon.

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OK then, main post updated.

BTW, did anybody notice when watching the film that the only time Thrain's Theme appears in the score is when the (9/13ths) company are climbing up a statue of Thror?

Also, I have 2:07-2:20 of "The Woodland Realm" marked down as the Mirkwood theme because, well, that's what it sounded like to me. But on my second viewing of the film, I realized that music plays when Thranduil is discussing the White Gems he wants to be paid by Thorin in order to set him free. So, am I wrong, and that's not the Mirkwood theme?

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OK then, main post updated.

BTW, did anybody notice when watching the film that the only time Thrain's Theme appears in the score is when the (9/13ths) company are climbing up a statue of Thror?

Also, I have 2:07-2:20 of "The Woodland Realm" marked down as the Mirkwood theme because, well, that's what it sounded like to me. But on my second viewing of the film, I realized that music plays when Thranduil is discussing the White Gems he wants to be paid by Thorin in order to set him free. So, am I wrong, and that's not the Mirkwood theme?

Jason the section you label as Thrain's theme consists of a stretched version of Erebor theme (SE Disc 2, track 10: 0:00-0:16), which then goes into the horn melody bridge and repeats the Erebor theme again. I might have missed it but how do we even know Thrain has a theme of his own in these films?

Also what you label the Dragon Sickness is just Smaug's alternating F major-F minor breathing-like "bellows" theme (alas I have no knowledge does this alternating pair of chords change during the score or is it always the same two chords) accompanied by the suspenceful rhythmic strings. Perhaps this accompanying nervous string motif has some significance of its own but it usually accompanies Smaug's themes, adding another layer of uncertainty and menace to him and his unpredictable psychotically manipulative persona. Does this motif recur anywhere where it would actually signify the dragon sickness, being driven mad by the treasure and wealth?

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So anyway why hasn't this and the other score related threads been merged into a "Howard Shore's Music of Middle-Earth" thread?

Is it because that would be the obvious thing to do?

A good question but I guess it would be too much of a jumble to make a coherent discussion out of all this OCD theme parsing in one giant thread about the music. ;)

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So anyway why hasn't this and the other score related threads been merged into a "Howard Shore's Music of Middle-Earth" thread?Is it because that would be the obvious thing to do?

A good question but I guess it would be too much of a jumble to make a coherent discussion out of all this OCD theme parsing in one giant thread about the music. ;)

You forgot the main reason: we want to annoy Quint.

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Because this has a main post full of information that needs to remain as a main post.

If you'd like to discuss it further please do so somewhere else, let's keep this thread clean please, just for discussing the themes of the score, thank you.

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what you label the Dragon Sickness is just Smaug's alternating F major-F minor breathing-like "bellows" theme (alas I have no knowledge does this alternating pair of chords change during the score or is it always the same two chords) accompanied by the suspenceful rhythmic strings. Perhaps this accompanying nervous string motif has some significance of its own but it usually accompanies Smaug's themes, adding another layer of uncertainty and menace to him and his unpredictable psychotically manipulative persona. Does this motif recur anywhere where it would actually signify the dragon sickness, being driven mad by the treasure and wealth?

Well I don't know if I understand everything you are saying, but yes the theme I call the Dragon Sickness theme is the chugging string motif you talk about, not the "breathing" thing. And yes it always plays when things relating to dragon sickness are seen or mentioned:

Dragon Sickness

DOS 2-04 1:57-2:10 - Thorin wants to head right into Erebor despite Bilbo wanting to wait for Gandalf

DOS 2-10 0:00-0:20 - Balin talks about a sickness lying on the treasure, and how it affected Thrain

DOS 2-10 2:00-2:37 - Smaug taunts Bilbo about what Thorin promised him in return for the Arkenstone

DOS 2-10 3:04-3:34 - Smaug says he is tempted to let Bilbo take the Arkenstone, in order to see it drive Thorin mad

DOS 2-12 0:14-0:24 - Thorin finds Bilbo, asks him whether he got the Arkenstone or not, Bilbo can see Thorin is going mad and doesn't give it to him

DOS 2-12 4:05-5:02 - Smaug begins mind games with Bilbo, who lies about being with dwarves (this takes place before the 2-10 appearances)

DOS 2-13 2:04-2:34 - Dunno, wasn't used in final cut

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Jason, the 'motif' you refer to is basically the third of the principle triad, alternating back and forth between the major and minor iterations of the chord's sonority. Its essentially the key note of what Incanus was the talking about. Sometimes it goes from major to minor (the note takes a step down) sometimes it goes from minor to major (note takes a step up). And its not necessarily always the F triad we hear. The key changes.

Essentially this is supporting music for the Smaug material and his theme. But perhaps it can have a specific correlation to the 'treasure madness' as you say.

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