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The Themes of Howard Shore's The Hobbit

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Bloodboal said this:

On 1/2/2015 at 5:12 AM, BloodBoal said:

The Fallen:

- 01:45 - 01:58 features that martial melody for the Woodland Realm (the one heard in The Woodland Realm and The Gathering Of The Clouds)

- 02:40 - 02:45 might be Gandalf's theme (though I'm not sure about that)

- I think 03:26 - 03:35 features a theme. Don't know which one, though. Possibly 03:57-04:09 too. And I'm sure the last minute of the track features one or two themes in some guise, too,

 

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I call it poetically Breaking the Dragon's Spell in my theme listing HERE.

 

To my mind this music, while not exactly the same line, is also connected to the opening of the Fallen, the same siren call -like music which seems to be tied with Thorin's breaking of the dragon-sickness but also the consequences of the sickness, namely the death of Fili (and Kili) and ultimately of Thorin himself. There is a great hauntingly ominous and fey feel to it.

 

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This music carries in its ghostly siren call a feel of the other world, foreshadowing Thorin’s ultimate fate and perhaps the price he has to pay for his blind pride and greed.

 

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1 hour ago, SafeUnderHill said:

I think it might be the Death Motif. Also at 2:59 of The Ruins of Dale.

Some reliable sources tell me that the Death (also perhaps mortality) motif appears The Hobbit the Desolation of Smaug Disc 1, Track 7 ‘The Woodland Realm (Extended Version)’ 1:11-1:22.

Further appearances in the trilogy:

The Battle of the Five Armies: ‘The Gathering of the Clouds’ 2:03-2:29, 2:40-2:50; ‘The Fallen’ (2:50-3:04); ‘Courage and Wisdom’ 3:59-4:06.

9 hours ago, Doug Adams said:

 

No one's even scratched the surface. Trust me.

I am really interested to know more about the strong interconnectedness of the thematic material that has been discussed a bit over the years but apparently there is a good deal yet to discuss on this department.

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10 hours ago, Jay said:

 

He's probably referring to this:

 

http://www.musicoflotr.com/2013/01/bilbo-primer.html

 

Man, what a reminder that is of the glory days when we all assumed Baggins/Took and Bilbo's Adventure were the cornerstones of what the entire trilogy would be based around!  Until the dark times... until the whims of PJ.

 

True, but I suppose we'd all seen the film by that point and the writing was on the wall for the Baggins/Took theme at least.

 

Two points about Doug's comments:

 

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The Took phrase is often orchestrated for solo French horn, which is an unusually bold sound for Hobbit-based music.

 

Would I be right in thinking there's actually only one French horn rendition in the film (Axe or Sword)? Wonder if something went unused.

 

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This theme shows up about half-way through "Axe or Sword," but you also hear in the Trolls sequence.

 

I'm surprised Doug didn't mention The Unexpected Party when citing examples of the 'Fussy' theme.

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3 hours ago, Incanus said:

Some reliable sources tell me that the Death (also perhaps mortality) motif appears The Hobbit the Desolation of Smaug Disc 1, Track 7 ‘The Woodland Realm (Extended Version)’ 1:11-1:22.

Further appearances in the trilogy:

The Battle of the Five Armies: ‘The Gathering of the Clouds’ 2:03-2:29, 2:40-2:50; ‘The Fallen’ (2:50-3:04); ‘Courage and Wisdom’ 3:59-4:06.

 

On 04/01/2015 at 10:53 AM, BloodBoal said:
  On 04/01/2015 at 6:38 AM, Jay said:

Most of DOS doesn't use this endcap to Erebor, but the descending phrase shows up:

The Woodland Realm from DOS. This time it underscores the company being put into their cells

1:11-1:22 is where the descending theme plays. Erebor doesn't play any time around here.

This is what I call the martial idea for the Woodland Realm.

It also appears at 02:03-02:29/02:39-02:50 in The Gathering Of The Clouds, at 01:45-01:58 in The Fallen and 03:33-03:40 in Courage And Wisdom.

 

Death motif my ass!

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1 hour ago, SafeUnderHill said:

 

Excellent, thank you! That last one I think was discussed as being relate to death (being connected to Thorin and here with Legolas's mother).

 

The others were eye opening - I don't think I'd noticed that whole phrase recurring. I always thought the four initial notes (Db - A -Ab - A) were referencing that dwarvish suffering idea (plays over the opening titles of DOS just before the shire theme, and that features frequently directly after the Erebor 6 notes) - but it turns out they're completely different notes.

 

So any idea what the theme means in all those scenarios?

 

I think Doug mentioned the theme as a highlight when discussing BOTFA, I feel like there's more to it that we don't know.

 

OK, I completely disagree with what's going on here. I think there are two different ideas here:

 

The Elves' martial motif:

 

- The Woodland Realm: 01:11-01:22

- The Gathering Of The Clouds: 02:03-02:29/02:40-02:50

- The Fallen: 01:45-01:58/02:50 - 03:03

- Courage And Wisdom: 03:31-03:40

 

Always used with Elves onscreen. Nothing to do with death, as far as I can tell.

 

The death motif:

 

- The Ruins Of Dale: 02:58-03:08

- The Fallen: 03:25 - 03:48

- To The Death: 05:15 - 05:45

 

Which underscores moments leading Thorin to his death.

 

Makes sense to me.

 

So unless Inky has been told by Doug himself where the Death motif is, I'll stick with my interpretation, thank you very much!

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I agree with Bloodboal.  The connections are more obvious if you follow along with his score restore videos

 

http://www.jwfan.com/forums/index.php?/topic/23483-the-hobbit-score-restored-unused-howard-shore-music-restored-to-picture/

 

That first theme almost acts like a Thranduil theme, really (though he obviously has a lot of scenes without that theme)

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57 minutes ago, BloodBoal said:

So unless Inky has been told by Doug himself where the Death motif is, I'll stick with my interpretation, thank you very much!

There is no need to get angry!  I am not trying to rob you. I'm trying to help you. All your short JWFan years we've been friends. Trust me as you once did, hmm? Let it go. Peace out!

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I didn't read through the entire thread, so I apologize if this has been mentioned before, but it isn't on the main page and Google failed me, so...

 

5:49-6:00 of Brass Buttons seems to be a House of Durin statement, or at least a variant of it.

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I don't think that's the theme. The melody does sound somehow similar, but I don't see why the theme would appear here, during a moment that is all about Bilbo. It's more likely it's supposed to be some variant of one of Bilbo's thematic ideas (though if it is, I can't put my finger on it).

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It's clearly an upbeat rendition of the Threat of Mordor theme. A timely reminder that Bilbo has now claimed the ring for himself and could potentially rule over Middle-earth as an evil tyrant if he so wished.

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18 hours ago, BloodBoal said:

I don't think that's the theme. The melody does sound somehow similar, but I don't see why the theme would appear here, during a moment that is all about Bilbo. It's more likely it's supposed to be some variant of one of Bilbo's thematic ideas (though if it is, I can't put my finger on it).

It's been a while since I've watched the movie, but if my memory serves me (and more often than not, it doesn't), the bit in question isn't actually in the film.  Could it have been meant for the shot of Bilbo spotting the escaping dwarves in a different cut?

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22 hours ago, BloodBoal said:

I don't think that's the theme. The melody does sound somehow similar, but I don't see why the theme would appear here, during a moment that is all about Bilbo. It's more likely it's supposed to be some variant of one of Bilbo's thematic ideas (though if it is, I can't put my finger on it).

Ditto.

 

 

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6 hours ago, Gnome in Plaid said:

It's been a while since I've watched the movie, but if my memory serves me (and more often than not, it doesn't), the bit in question isn't actually in the film.  Could it have been meant for the shot of Bilbo spotting the escaping dwarves in a different cut?

 

Nope. It's for when Bilbo decides to spare Gollum's life.

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I have noticed that what I'm pretty sure is part of or is Bilbo's fussy theme sounds a lot like Malcolm Arnold's English Dance No. 3 (Op. 33) ascribed as Grazioso. This is simply from listening, not examination of sheet music or anything.

Example: Thrice Welcome (Shore) 3:14- 3:32

English Dance No. 3- Grazioso (Malcolm) 0:04-0:20 and throughout

You may not hear any resemblance, but when I did my Hobbit Trilogy Soundtrack Marathon this stuck out to me right away. Of course, Arnold's tune is a lot higher, and the fussy theme is more deep and bellowing. 

 

Anyone hear it?

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I hear it, but it doesn't mean that the resemblence is in any way intentional.

 

Shore's Middle Earth music is largely written in the idiom of the romantic period; but he rather ingeniously wrote the material around Bilbo in the idiom of the classical period to make it sound out-of-place, just like Bilbo is. This will inevitably create incidental resemblances between this music and classical pieces.

 

Written in this vein are not just Bilbo's fussy theme, but really all the Shire material used in the Bag End scenes that occur in The Hobbit's timeline.

 

Oh, and "The Valley of Imladris" needs be added to the catalog of themes at the top of the thread. Its appears twice: In "The Hidden Valley", 3:14 going forward; and again in the diegesis - sadly unreleased.

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On 5/22/2018 at 4:50 AM, Fal said:

Well, unreleased on CD.

 

Provided I understood your point, what would you like for the piece? My left arm? My right leg? My anus? Liver? All of the above?;)

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4 hours ago, Chen G. said:

 

Provided I understood your point, what would you like for the piece? My left arm? My right leg? My anus? Liver? All of the above?;)

I was referring to the menus for the Extended Edition DVD's

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I know you were (half) joking, but the larger distance between the pitches first and second phrase really changes the feel, from vaguely threatening (in the ME scores), to more overtly so (in Solo)

If that makes sense.

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Doug states in his book that those pitches as Gandalf is preparing to leave Bag End on his fact finding mission are actually the opening of the Pity of Gollum theme. Similar yet not the same as the pitches in the Woodland Realm, at least thematic meaning-wise. And those notes in The Woodland Realm seem to connect with Thranduil and appear later also in BotFA

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Is it sick that the FotR video is not available in my country but from these few words I know exactly which segment is being talked about? Yeah, I can see how it's a sped up Smeagol.

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3 hours ago, Incanus said:

Similar yet not the same as the pitches in the Woodland Realm, at least thematic meaning-wise. And those notes in The Woodland Realm seem to connect with Thranduil and appear later also in BotFA

 

Well, all the themes that hint at an underlying weakness in a character have this kind of arpeggiation (clearly derived from the Weakness and Redemption motif), be it Thranduil's isolationism, Gollum's enslavement to the Ring, the Dwarves' bitterness over their misfortunes. Even the old, tormented Thrain merit that kind of arpeggio under the Erebor theme.

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