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Jay

The Themes of Howard Shore's The Hobbit

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I love how that one piece comprehensively explores the main thematic ideas of the trilogy. Great stuff.

Yeap! A brilliant prologue indeed.

Oh and Jason the rising and falling theme from The Woodland Realm you named tentatively as Thranduil's theme underscores his discussion with Thorin so I think it is rather Thorin's Pride motif than anything associated with Thranduil as Thorin flat out refuses the king's bargain (out of pride).

Shore clearly should have used the Nazgûl theme there. Would have made more sense.

I know! That what I was thinking in the theater! Why isn't there the Ringwraith theme in full choir (recorded 10 times and the takes super imposed on top of each other to make it sound more epic) for this dialogue scene? All we got was this small and appropriate piece of music that had thematic relevance to the scene and character. Lame!

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DOS 2-01 Thrice Welcome

2:43-2:52 Bilbo’s Baggins/Took theme (Took)

I don't think that's it. This part (which is not used in the film) would have appeared when Bard enters in his home and his daughters are here to welcome him, so I think it's some sort of short musical idea for Bard's family (which shares similarities with Bilbo's theme, I'll give you that).

2:27-2:38 The Politicians of Laketown (C Section)

ROTFLMAO

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Yeah its bad enough it wasnt used in ROTK, now DoS hasnt got it either???

TABA will have it right?

At least we get that short burst of chorus during the Siege of Minas Tirith to make up for it

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It plays when the company gets captured trying to steal weapons in Lake-town.

I think that is an inverted version of the "Politicians of Laketown" theme. You know, the one played on the clavicord.

Why an inverted form of Politicians rather than a direct evocation of Laketown?

The Laketown melody goes: D-AAA-GGG-FFFE ; D-AAA-GGF

The Laketown Capture melody goes: D-A-A ; D-A-A ; D-A-G-F ; D-A-A ; D-A-A-A-G-F-E

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DOS 2-01 Thrice Welcome

2:43-2:52 Bilbo’s Baggins/Took theme (Took)

I don't think that's it. This part (which is not used in the film) would have appeared when Bard enters in his home and his daughters are here to welcome him, so I think it's some sort of short musical idea for Bard's family (which shares similarities with Bilbo's theme, I'll give you that).

Maybe the part isn't used in the film because the scene iinvolving Bilbo was cut? ;)

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DOS 2-01 Thrice Welcome

2:43-2:52 Bilbo’s Baggins/Took theme (Took)

I don't think that's it. This part (which is not used in the film) would have appeared when Bard enters in his home and his daughters are here to welcome him, so I think it's some sort of short musical idea for Bard's family (which shares similarities with Bilbo's theme, I'll give you that).

Maybe the part isn't used in the film because the scene iinvolving Bilbo was cut? ;)

Unlikely. Right before that statement, you've got the music for the spies sequence, and right after it, you've got Bilbo's Fussy theme for when the Company enters inside Bard's house. I don't see how a scene with Bilbo could fit into that.

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DOS 2-01 Thrice Welcome

2:43-2:52 Bilbo’s Baggins/Took theme (Took)

I don't think that's it. This part (which is not used in the film) would have appeared when Bard enters in his home and his daughters are here to welcome him, so I think it's some sort of short musical idea for Bard's family (which shares similarities with Bilbo's theme, I'll give you that).

Maybe the part isn't used in the film because the scene iinvolving Bilbo was cut? ;)

Unlikely. Right before that statement, you've got the music for the spies sequence, and right after it, you've got Bilbo's Fussy theme for when the Company enters inside Bard's house. I don't see how a scene with Bilbo could fit into that.

Why not? It's only 10 seconds, good enough for Bilbo to have a little tete-a-tete with a dwarf, saying he's far from home. PJ probably cut it, feeling, rightfully so, that it puts off the pace.

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How about 1:28 to 1:33 of Bard, a Man of Lake-town (which plays as Bard knocks the dwarfs weapons away) is that relat d to his theme? Or a different theme?

It seems to me the same theme that we hear at 1:34 of Smaug, and reminds me You Know My Name.

This part, however, is not used in the film, but I think it is a kind of action version of Bard's theme.

It absolutely is used in the film.

Really???
I do not remember when! Could you remind me?

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Maybe the part isn't used in the film because the scene iinvolving Bilbo was cut? ;)

Unlikely. Right before that statement, you've got the music for the spies sequence, and right after it, you've got Bilbo's Fussy theme for when the Company enters inside Bard's house. I don't see how a scene with Bilbo could fit into that.

Why not? It's only 10 seconds, good enough for Bilbo to have a little tete-a-tete with a dwarf, saying he's far from home. PJ probably cut it, feeling, rightfully so, that it puts off the pace.

When? When they're waiting in the water for Bain to tell theme to come in? Nah, I don't buy it.

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How about 1:28 to 1:33 of Bard, a Man of Lake-town (which plays as Bard knocks the dwarfs weapons away) is that relat d to his theme? Or a different theme?

It seems to me the same theme that we hear at 1:34 of Smaug, and reminds me You Know My Name.

This part, however, is not used in the film, but I think it is a kind of action version of Bard's theme.

It absolutely is used in the film.

Really???

I do not remember when! Could you remind me?

I said where right in my post you quoted. It plays when Bard and the company had their brief skirmish when he finds them in the rocks.

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How about 1:28 to 1:33 of Bard, a Man of Lake-town (which plays as Bard knocks the dwarfs weapons away) is that relat d to his theme? Or a different theme?

It seems to me the same theme that we hear at 1:34 of Smaug, and reminds me You Know My Name.

This part, however, is not used in the film, but I think it is a kind of action version of Bard's theme.

It absolutely is used in the film.

Really???

I do not remember when! Could you remind me?

I said where right in my post you quoted. It plays when Bard and the company had their brief skirmish when he finds them in the rocks.

Yes, I know that.
When I said that does not appear in the film, I was referring to his appearance on the track Smaug, which in the movie seems to me to have been deleted.

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DOS 2-01 Thrice Welcome

2:43-2:52 Bilbo’s Baggins/Took theme (Took)

I don't think that's it. This part (which is not used in the film) would have appeared when Bard enters in his home and his daughters are here to welcome him, so I think it's some sort of short musical idea for Bard's family (which shares similarities with Bilbo's theme, I'll give you that).

Maybe the part isn't used in the film because the scene iinvolving Bilbo was cut? ;)

Unlikely. Right before that statement, you've got the music for the spies sequence, and right after it, you've got Bilbo's Fussy theme for when the Company enters inside Bard's house. I don't see how a scene with Bilbo could fit into that.

I agree.
At the second viewing of the film I paid much more attention to the music and this part is clearly referring to Bard's family and it seems to me that it was composed starting from the Bard's theme.

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Why would Shore write a theme for Bard's family that sounds sooooo similar to his theme for Bilbo?

Yeah. It really sounds like one of Bilbo's theme to my ears as well.

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Can we assume that scene was heavily edited or altered after scoring? It has two puzzling uses of Bilbo's thematic material that don't fit.

Possible, but I have to see the film with more attention, because it appeared to me that the editing of the actions in that scene was perfectly natural and consequential.
From what I remember we see Bard circumvent the spies and we hear the music associated with it. Then we see Bard open the door of his home by an outside point of view and the music stops. We cut inside the house now: Bard has just entered and is welcomed by the children; here you should enter the music segment in question. Following the scene where Bilbo and the dwarves come out from the toilet of the house and we hear the Bilbo's Fussy Theme.
The duration and the tone of that segment is perfect for the scene and just hearing it on the soundtrack before seeing the movie made ​​me think of the children of Bard.

Doesnt that quite contradict the other instances in which Shore used these themes? One mights stretch that reasoning to the toilet scene, but not for the Took theme, IMO.

However, it remains always connected to an action in which it takes part Bilbo, so for me it is not a contradiction in itself.

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The duration and the tone of that segment is perfect for the scene and just hearing it on the soundtrack before seeing the movie made ​​me think of the children of Bard.

It made me think of Bilbo, because it's his theme....

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Doesnt that quite contradict the other instances in which Shore used these themes? One mights stretch that reasoning to the toilet scene, but not for the Took theme, IMO.

Yeah, that's fair enough.

I can imagine the transition from Bilbo's "Took theme" to his "Fussy theme" representing his realisation that he has to climb through a lavatory in an alternative cut (though, as Luke says, the current edit does play out perfectly naturally).

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I hear another rendition of the 'House of Durin' theme at 3:06 in 'My Armor is Iron'.

Hmm, maybe!

Difficult to say really. That brass line isn't quite clear underneath there.

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Maybe Doug can shed light on this?

This is just a sliver of a longer theme that Shore wrote for Bard's family. His initial sketch was more fleshed out, but there wasn't really a place in the film to use the rest of it. We originally touched on it--briefly--in the liners, but decided that there wasn't enough on the album to justify the discussion. And yes, the liners did mention the similarity to Bilbo's theme.

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Maybe Doug can shed light on this?

This is just a sliver of a longer theme that Shore wrote for Bard's family. His initial sketch was more fleshed out, but there wasn't really a place in the film to use the rest of it. We originally touched on it--briefly--in the liners, but decided that there wasn't enough on the album to justify the discussion. And yes, the liners did mention the similarity to Bilbo's theme.

Thanks for the info Again Doug!

It sounds so very much like Bilbo's material so it was no wonder many of us were confused.

Another theme to add to the list then Jason! ;)

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Maybe Doug can shed light on this?

This is just a sliver of a longer theme that Shore wrote for Bard's family. His initial sketch was more fleshed out, but there wasn't really a place in the film to use the rest of it. We originally touched on it--briefly--in the liners, but decided that there wasn't enough on the album to justify the discussion. And yes, the liners did mention the similarity to Bilbo's theme.

Thanks Doug, illuminating as always.
I hope that the more developed version of the theme can find space in the extended edition of the film or, more likely, in the third film.

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Doug, what specifically did the liners originally say about it being similar to Bilbo's theme? Is there a reason that a theme for Bard's family should be related in any way to theme for a hobbit from the Shire?

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Yes, can we expect to see it return and will there be then a more apparent link to the character of Bilbo and the Shire music? Or was this one of the themes that didn't make it fully into these films?

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Maybe Doug can shed light on this?

This is just a sliver of a longer theme that Shore wrote for Bard's family.

I love being right. ;)

Why would Shore write a theme for Bard's family that sounds sooooo similar to his theme for Bilbo?

Why would Shore write a Mirkwood theme that is so similar to his Smaug theme? ;)

And why would Shore wrote a Bilbo's burglary activities theme that is so simlilar to Thorin's pride theme?

The scores are riddled with themes that sound similar. Deal with it, LeBlanc!

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At this point I honestly dont see the point of having themes signifying different characters or situations be so similar.

Twice in a single score too. That's quite a big flaw if you ask me.

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2:27-2:38 The Politicians of Laketown (C Section)

ROTFLMAO

I know it's funny, which is why I posted this:

-I couldn't really think of a way to decribe the music at

DOS 1-14 Protector Of the Common Folk 2:50-3:05

DOS 2-01 Thrice Welcome 2:27-2:38

I called them the B and C sections of the Politicians theme respectively, but I am not really happy with that monicker... and didn't somebody say one of them was really a variant of the main Lake-town theme?

And no one replied.

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-I couldn't really think of a way to decribe the music at

DOS 1-14 Protector Of the Common Folk 2:50-3:05

A continuation, or like a B-section to the Politicians theme.

DOS 2-01 Thrice Welcome 2:27-2:38

It's likely just a variation of the Politicians theme, playing around with retrogrades of the 3 note structure the Politicians theme is built off of. Certainly not a "C-section".

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I just posted a big update to the main post(s) of the thread. Some of the changes made include:



1. Removed UNKNOWN THEME #1, re-labled it's entries as House of Durin (History of the Ring combo version)


2. Renamed UNKNOWN THEME #2 to Thorin's Pride, also renamed "Thranduil's Theme" entries to also be Thorin's Pride


3. Added The Arkenstone appearance from "Wilderland" (0:16-0:19)


4. Renamed "Smaug's Rhythm" to "Dragon Sickness", because I noticed it plays in the film when characters discuss the effect Smaug is having on Thorin or Thror, and when Thorin approaches Bilbo and asks about the Arkenstone


5. Renamed that bit in Quest of Erebor to be Gandalf's Theme instead of Bilbo's Theme (Took section)


6. Renamed "Tauriel's Second Theme" to just be the B Section of Tauriel's Theme


7. Renamed the section we've been talking about of Thrice Welcome to "Bard's Family Theme" instead of Bilbo's Baggins/Took Theme (Took section)


8. Removed the Warg Rider appearances in Flies and Spiders because I was wrong about that.


9. Added Erebor Theme to 1:28-1:32 of Flies and Spiders


10. Added Smaug's B Theme to 4:57-5:11 of My Dear Frodo


11. Added The Politicians of Lake-town (Inverted) to 2:44-2:58 of Durin's Folk


12. Added Erebor Theme to 1:28-1:33 of Bard, a Man of Lake-town





Changes I haven't made yet:



1. The Beorn's Theme stuff, cause I still don't really get it....


2. I believe the Arkenstone Theme appears in "Smaug", but I forgot the timestamp

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Did Doug ever chime in on this 'Thorin's Pride' theme? Because I'm still not sold on the concept. Are we sure that piece in 'Riddles in the Dark' is a rendition of it, because I'm struggling to see how 'Thorin's Pride' can tie in there.

On the soundtrack, it mostly tends to score scenes involving Thorin's distrust of Elves. So where Thranduil turns away, him coming across Orcrist, the scenes in Desolation of Smaug. I know it's played near the end of AUJ, but I suppose this could have been Jackson's choice. And if, say, we were to discard that bit in 'Riddles in the Dark' as merely sounding like it, it would just be 'Brass Buttons' that posed a problem.

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Did Doug ever chime in on this 'Thorin's Pride' theme? Because I'm still not sold on the concept. Are we sure that piece in 'Riddles in the Dark' is a rendition of it, because I'm struggling to see how 'Thorin's Pride' can tie in there.

On the soundtrack, it mostly tends to score scenes involving Thorin's distrust of Elves. So where Thranduil turns away, him coming across Orcrist, the scenes in Desolation of Smaug. I know it's played near the end of AUJ, but I suppose this could have been Jackson's choice. And if, say, we were to discard that bit in 'Riddles in the Dark' as merely sounding like it, it would just be 'Brass Buttons' that posed a problem.

Riddles in the Dark doesn't contain the theme nor does the Brass Buttons.

I think the places where it is heard in AUJ are:

The Prologue,

The Troll Hoard

Out of the Frying-Pan (tracked into the film just before Bilbo saves Thorin by leaping to his aid)

This thematic idea seems to play in scenes involving Thorin's pride and the connected ideas of his remembrance of the lost glories of Erebor, his grudge against the elves and the stubborness that brings him and his companions misery as a result of his foolish pride. I guess you could also add his sense of burden as the heir of Durin's line into this mix of ideas I think it conveys.

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