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Question about the Nazgul music

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Ah ok.  It's been a while since I've been entrenched in all this.

 

if only a new book would come out that would rekindle my interests...

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4 hours ago, Holko said:

Exact opposite! Tolkien himself says he uses goblin and orc interchangeably.

 

In early writings, they were different. Within the context of The Hobbit, Goblins are Orcs.

 

The Goblins of the films are clearly related to the Orcs. I like it: adds variety.

 

7 hours ago, Quintus said:

Not a necessarily bad idea, but HORRIBLY executed. In fact they literally couldn't have handled it any worse. 

 

I never particularly minded the choice. It gave me a moment’s “huh?” when I first saw it, but I then instantly recalled that this theme was used for the Mordor Orc Armies, for Sauron himself, and was intended to be used for Frodo’s vision of Barad Dur itself.

 

This wider application of the Ringwraith theme (and its development, the Power of Mordor) is also consistent in earlier versions of the score. I mean, look at its use in the Rarities’ iteration of the prologue. I doubt the Ringwraiths ever made an appearance there; and yet “their” theme is clearly present.

 

Also, keep in mind that in the two-film version, this scene was very quickly followed by the full revelation of Azog’s backstory (which was - in that cut - postponed to Beorn’s house), closely followed by the reveal of his allegiance with Sauron. The theme prefigures this.

 

Even within the three-film version, it’s a pertinent hint of a reveal that happens soon thereafter, if you watch the films back to back. It’s made all the more appropriate given the construction of Azog’s own material. Weren’t there hints of Ringwraith material around the Orcs and Goblins in the film?

 

I think that it works dramatically much better than what’s on the album: by highlighting Azog’s supremacy (in much the same way that the closeups of him grinning or Balin looking concerned) the theme brings forward Thorin’s folly. The original composition’s much too triumphant for that.

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It might've been more appropriate to use 'The Threat of Mordor' for that scene, that way it would be a clear part of the DNA of both Mordor and linking to Revelation of the Ringwraiths without explicitly stating it. The whole decision to use what they did in the film, to me, just sounds like they liked it as a temp track and couldn't pry themselves away from it - or didn't like what Shore originally wrote and plopped it there coz epic.

 

Some parts of the Hobbit films and scores seem to rely so much on nostalgia for the grandeur of what made LotR successful and when it's there, it's not subtle in the slightest.

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Can’t blame them for not going with Shore’s original composition: I’m a sucker for the Dwarvish music in these films, but in this case the triumphant sound of the piece is totally at odds with the desperation and folly of Thorin’s assault.

 

And while I do think that An Unexpected Journey uses nostalgia as a crutch way too often - particularly through the music - it’s really not that big an issue. A lot of the choices I find do work better than what’s on the album - for instance, the hymn variant (on tin whistle, no less) of the Shire theme for the final Rivendell scene, and especially the use of A Hobbit’s Understanding for Bilbo’s sparing of Gollum. It’s so much better than what’s on the album.

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1 hour ago, Incanus said:

The second version, the film approach with the Nazgûl theme doesn't leave much doubt to who is going to win the contest, at least not in my mind when the chorus is blasting the evil theme right from the start. It is a doomed effort from the get go.

If only the thought behind it was as cogent as you put it, because PJ's ultimate use of the Nazgul music sounds like a straight-up needledrop used for effect over substantive reasoning.

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Which doesn't make it ineffective.

 

Plus, they did go through the trouble of writing a new variation of the theme, and set it to new lyrics. If it was just a last-minute decision because the Ringwraith/Servants of Mordor music sounded cooler, they would have tracked or lifted it from somewhere and called it a day.

 

3 hours ago, Incanus said:

I would argue that Shore's first approach to the scene was written from Thorin's point of view, where his own arrogance, rage and pride drive him to face Azog when there is no chance of defeating him and thus the heroic Khuzdûl choir drives him on in this delusional dash only to be cut short

 

I'm sure that was the rationale, but it doesn't work with the sequence as we have it. The cutaways to closeups of Azog grinning and to Balin, Gandalf and Bilbo looking concerned - all conspire to make us the audience know that this charge is doomed from the moment it begins.

 

True, it ruins any chance of misdirection and surprise. But it creates great suspense instead, because - as Hitchcock put it - we now know something that the main character does not. The power of the composition and of the sequence lies in the inevitability of its outcome.

 

The music choice as it exists in the film, hightens this. I've seen the footage lined up with the original composition, and it just never clicked for me. Maybe in an alternate cut of the film.

 

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5 hours ago, Arpy said:

If only the thought behind it was as cogent as you put it, because PJ's ultimate use of the Nazgul music sounds like a straight-up needledrop used for effect over substantive reasoning.

The Ringwraith theme was a late revision I am sure and makes only a tad more thematic sense than Gondor Reborn for Thorin/Bilbo hug scene. I am sure that Shore could have written an equally effective thematically more coherent composition to replace his initial dwarf-centric approach if he had been given a chance/time and he could have used the bad guy themes from the Hobbit instead of such heavy-handed tactics as dropping the Nazgûl theme right in the middle of this story when there is thematically very tenuous link to it. Just think e.g. of a driving variation on the choral music from An Ancient Enemy used in the scene for Azog's reappearance and Thorin's rash charge. Would have made so much more sense.

 

But I fully acknowledge that such thematic considerations do rarely rule the film making process, especially when you are running out of post-production time. Ultimately you may have to go with your gut feeling and PJ went for the solution that felt most effective to him at that moment.

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The fact of the matter is that the use of the Ringwraith theme here is entirely consistent with its use in The Lord of the Rings.

 

Having said that, I do agree that

 

3 hours ago, Incanus said:

I am sure that Shore could have written an equally effective thematically more coherent composition to replace his initial dwarf-centric approach if he had been given a chance/time.

 

The Gondor Reborn one, though... Yeah, that doesn't make one lick of thematic sense. I mean, you could say that it has to do with what Gandalf says about how "Rivendell, Lorien, The Shire - even Gondor itself will fall" should the Quest of Erebor fail. But we all know that - musically - its a stretch if ever there was one.

 

But, in my book, every composer should get the chance to occasionaly use his themes a bit more freely for sheer impact. Wagner did it; Williams does it. Surely, Shore could be excused for doing it once or twice, especially given the volume of his work on the series.

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Perhaps the Gondor Reborn statement somehow links to the coming of the fourth age, with the Thorin's embrace of Bilbo a little nod to Frodo's quest which would bring about a new era of peace between the races? 

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4 hours ago, KK said:

Lol are we still trying to pin merit to the Nazgul/Gondor Reborn fiasco with some far-fetched leitmotivic rationalization theory? Thought we were past that by now...

 

The Gondor Reborn one - no.

 

The Nazgul one - also no, because as people seem to forget the use of the theme is entirely consistent with its use in The Lord of the Rings.

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On 9/11/2019 at 5:09 PM, Jay said:

Ah ok.  It's been a while since I've been entrenched in all this.

 

if only a new book would come out that would rekindle my interests...

 The Fall of Gondolin and Beren and Luthien we’re both released recently. 

 

Edit: although I assume you’re referring to a book by Doug

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7 hours ago, Doug Adams said:

 

The Music of the Hobbit Films was finished over four years ago. I have publisher's block. 

 

So it's taken four years of editing, eh? ;) Those damn publishers! Just published it yourself at arxiv.org.

 

What about the silents book - I might actually read that! You've been very... silent about it. :)

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53 minutes ago, Jurassic Shark said:

 

So it's taken four years of editing, eh? ;) Those damn publishers! Just published it yourself at arxiv.org.

 

What about the silents book - I might actually read that! You've been very... silent about it. :)

 

giphy (3).gif

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It's a damn shame that we have this great writer in Doug Adams and yet because of situations completely outside of his control we only have one book we can go out and buy from  him, despite the fact he's written at least two more.  Get your act together, publishing companies!

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10 hours ago, Jay said:

It's a damn shame that we have this great writer in Doug Adams and yet because of situations completely outside of his control we only have one book we can go out and buy from  him, despite the fact he's written at least two more.  Get your act together, publishing companies!

Here's hoping the new Amazon series can move things along. 

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