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The Themes of Howard Shore's The Hobbit


Jay
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Phew! This has been a long time in the making. Many of you probably don't remember, but I actually started this same project for LOTR, around the time the TTT CR was about to come out... but never finished! This time I am determined to keep this up to date and complete, though!

I actually started this project over a year ago - right when the very music from AUJ was leaked (Radagast The Brown and Old Friends). However I moved away to other projects and never finished... until DOS score came and made me want to finish! I love all the themes from both scores so this was really fun to do.

I know there are other theme lists on the internet in various places, but I assure you I made this one entirely by myself, just by listening. I am not musically educated whatsoever, so I am sure there are mistakes throughout - some themes sound like each other, or can be variants of each other, or can blend together, etc. I encourage everyone to post their thoughts on any themes or places with potential themes - we can work together and get a definitive list going here!

So please peruse and post your thoughts! Thanks!

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Wow now that's some extensive work Jason! Kudos! :)

The theme you call on your list the Corruption of Mirkwood was actually confirmed to be connected to Radagast the Brown by Doug Adams as I just asked him about it a few days ago and he said it has to do with the powers of the wizard and not the darkness of Mirkwood as such. And it is indeed featured in scenes where both are mentioned so before it was a bit ambiguous what it represented.

My original question:

Speaking of Radagast I have always wanted to ask does the eerie boys choir/string motif which is featured in Radagast the Brown track and in the White Council connect with the wizard or to something more sinister?

And Doug's answer:

It's wizard material, to be sure! It speaks more to the wizards' powers than to anything sinister. I'll talk more about it down the line.
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Wow now that's some extensive work Jason! Kudos! :)

The theme you call on your list the Corruption of Mirkwood is actually confirmed to be connected to Radagast the Brown by Doug Adams as I just asked him about it a few days ago and he said it has to do with the powers of the wizard and not the darkness of Mirkwood as such. And it is indeed featured in scenes where both are mentioned so it was a bit ambiguous what it represented.

My original question:

Speaking of Radagast I have always wanted to ask does the eerie boys choir/string motif which is featured in Radagast the Brown track and in the White Council connect with the wizard or to something more sinister?

And Doug's answer:

It's wizard material, to be sure! It speaks more to the wizards' powers than to anything sinister. I'll talk more about it down the line.

Yea, I saw your post in the other thread where you mentioned that, and I just hadn't changed my listing yet, I guess cause I haven't thought of a better name for it yet :P

Radagast's B Theme?

Radagast's Powers?

Radagast In Mirkwood?

Radagast The Healer?

It's kind of tricky to pinpoint exactly what it represents.... I mean, watch AUJ 1-10 Radagast the Brown video here and AUJ 2-04 The White Council video here at these timestamps:

The Corruption of Mirkwood

AUJ 1-10 0:37-0:50

AUJ 1-10 1:12-1:39

AUJ 1-10 2:05-2:13

AUJ 2-04 6:40-7:30

What is the connection?

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The Corruption of Mirkwood

AUJ 1-10 0:37-0:50

AUJ 1-10 1:12-1:39

AUJ 1-10 2:05-2:13

AUJ 2-04 6:40-7:30

What is the connection?

I would say that the wizard himself is the connection. I don't have any suggestions for the name yet as the exact meaning is as you say elusive.

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The Corruption of Mirkwood

AUJ 1-10 0:37-0:50

AUJ 1-10 1:12-1:39

AUJ 1-10 2:05-2:13

AUJ 2-04 6:40-7:30

What is the connection?

I would say that the wizard himself is the connection. I don't have any suggestions for the name yet.

Well,

AUJ 1-10 0:37-0:50 - Radagast is running through Mirkwood and sees dying animals
AUJ 1-10 1:12-1:39 - Radagast finds Sebastian the hampster dying in Mirkwood
AUJ 1-10 2:05-2:13 - Radagast tries to heal Sebastian
AUJ 2-04 6:40-7:30 - Saruman and Gandalf discuss the shadow growing over Mirkwood
To me, the connection is Mirkwood.....
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I would say that the wizard himself is the connection.

Yep. The moment it appears in The White Council is when Saruman talks about Radagast's overconsumption of mushrooms, not about the darkness over Mirkwood.

That's when it starts, but the theme keeps playing as they keep discussing Mirkwood....

Anyways, I'm sure Doug knows what he's talking about of course, but you can see why I named it that way originally, before Doug ever talked about it....

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Yeah I dubbed it The Shadow Over Mirkwood myself as it did to my mind connect with Sauron's corruption of the forest but I have to go and rewrite good portions of my analysis now. :P

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you forgot to mention the Company's main theme in Misty Mountains in the track-by-track thematic breakdown. ;)

Yea, honestly, I did't feel like including anything in Blunt The Knives, Misty Mountains, Song of the Lonely Mountain, or I See Fire because Shore had nothing to do with them, and they are not technically the film's score....

I want more of the B Section of Gandalf The Grey’s Theme!!

You and me both! I *love* the variations in AUJ when he leaves the company at the farmhouse, and when he shows up in Goblintown to save the day. It is very disappointing Shore chose not to include those cues on the OST!

It is a damn shame that most of Bilbo's Themes, and all of the Company's Themes disappear in DOS (along with Lothlorien, Rivendell, Saruman, Radagast, and practically Gandalf's too)... though I am sure all will return in TABA, of course. Well, maybe not The Company's themes - who knows what happened there (Why isn't there ANY theme for the unified company in DOS, when they had THREE distinct themes in AUJ?).

I hope the Dwarf Lords theme returns in TABA as well (I wonder if the main theme will be used for Dain, and the B section for his people as a whole?)

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It is a mystery indeed! But since neither Rivendell nor Saruman is part of the film, that is understandably missing.
My biggest disappointment is the lack of Bilbo's, Gandalf's and Radagast's themes in DOS. Gandalf's B Section is gorgeous - so are all of Bilbo's themes. I love all of the new elven material, though.

Edit: Great list, btw!

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Bilbo's Fussy Theme is impossible to miss so I noticed that right away in DOS, but I didn't even notice that Bilbo's main theme returned in DOS on my first few listens!

Of course we haven't heard the music that didn't make the OSTs yet, so who knows what fun the films and eventual CRs and Rarities disc will hold... :)

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It's very nice and helpful, Jason. And thank you.

It's a really good score and I can't wait for the copy to arrive. But... do we really need a third (or fifth? sixth?) thread dedicated this? The Book Thief has got one...

Karol

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Thanks for the positive comments guys!

I forgot to mention that CURRENTLY, this list ONLY covers the SE OSTs for both films. I plan to next include the unique music from the AUJ Standard OST, and then start to include ALLL the music heard in the film and EE menus, etc. Just trying to figure out the best way to integrate that right now.

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Wonderful Jason. Looking forward to utilizing this.


It's very nice and helpful, Jason. And thank you.

It's a really good score and I can't wait for the copy to arrive. But... do we really need a third (or fifth? sixth?) thread dedicated this? The Book Thief has got one...

Karol

Isn't that the fault of those who are unenthusiastic about that score? ;)

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Couple of other things to mention:


-I'm still not sure what the heck Beorn's Theme is really all about, so for now I just stuck in the timestamps gkgyver had listed in the other thread. I personally do NOT hear the same melody playing at all those timestamps....


-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?


-I would like to come up with better names for Smaug's A Theme, B Theme, and Rhythm, but I am drawing a blank since Doug shot down using Angry Theme and Seductive Theme for the first two :P


-I know The Hobbit Outline shows up in a few more spots early in AUJ, but I guess I forgot to jot them down!


-I guess according to Doug's liner notes Gandalf's theme appears more than once in the score, but my musically un-educated brain can't hear it - who can?

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All my times are the Extended Version timestamps, not Standard Edition.

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Another thing I should mention is that the music at all these timestamps are all DAMN SIMILAR to each other and I have no idea what it is supposed to represent, or if some of them are really not the same as each other.... it's been driving me batty :kaboom:

AUJ 1-01 My Dear Frodo

6:29-7:00 UNKNOWN THEME #2
7:22-7:47 UNKNOWN THEME #2
AUJ 1-12 Roast Mutton
4:08-4:22 Bilbo’s Burglar Theme
AUJ 1-13 A Troll-hoard
0:44-0:56 UNKNOWN THEME #2
1:50-2:03 UNKNOWN THEME #2
2:14-2:19 UNKNOWN THEME #2
AUJ 2-08 Riddles in the Dark
3:48-4:00 UNKNOWN THEME #2
AUJ 2-09 Brass Buttons
4:40-4:58 UNKNOWN THEME #2
DOS 1-06 Flies and Spiders
8:37-8:55 Thranduil’s Theme
DOS 1-07 The Woodland Realm
0:00-0:11 Thranduil’s Theme
2:21-2:43 Thranduil’s Theme
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-I guess according to Doug's liner notes Gandalf's theme appears more than once in the score, but my musically un-educated brain can't hear it - who can?

Doug mentioned on twitter that Gandalf the Grey's theme appears in The Quest for Erebor but inverted or backwards or some such. I think it is the phrase that first sounded like part of Baggins/Took Theme to my ears at 2:30-40. Shore is doing a lot of camouflaging of this stuff in DoS I guess. Poor laymen like us can't spot it so easily. :P

Also KK and The Grey Pilgrim deduced that The Nine is a variant of Gandalf's Theme and it is indeed in the SE liner notes connected with the discussion of Gandalf's thematic material and how it is transformed in this score.

Another thing I should mention is that the music at all these timestamps are all DAMN SIMILAR to each other and I have no idea what it is supposed to represent, or if some of them are really not the same as each other.... it's been driving me batty :kaboom:

UNKNOWN THEME #2 (Thorin’s Pride / ??)
AUJ 1-01 6:29-7:00
AUJ 1-01 7:22-7:47
AUJ 1-13 0:44-0:56
AUJ 1-13 1:50-2:03
AUJ 1-13 2:14-2:19
AUJ 2-08 3:48-4:00
AUJ 2-09 4:40-4:58
Bilbo’s Burglar Theme
AUJ 1-12 4:08-4:22
Thranduil’s Theme
DOS 1-06 8:37-8:56
DOS 1-07 0:00-0:11
DOS 1-07 2:21-2:43

Tell me about it!

That DoS variant might be keyed to Bilbo and his burglarious activities. Similar music for Bilbo's Odd Behaviour/Burglar is featured in the Unexpected Party in AUJ among other places but it is hard to be sure. Even the Troll scenes feature similar music (Bilbo is forced to the role of a burglar and goes sneaking around) but I gave up trying to separate the Trolls Theme from it.

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-I guess according to Doug's liner notes Gandalf's theme appears more than once in the score, but my musically un-educated brain can't hear it - who can?

Doug mentioned on twitter that Gandalf the Grey's theme appears in The Quest for Erebor but inverted or backwards or some such. I think it is the phrase that first sounded like part of Baggins/Took Theme to my ears at 2:30-40. Shore is doing a lot of camouflaging of this stuff in DoS I guess. Poor laymen like us can't spot it so easily. :P

Also KK and The Grey Pilgrim deduced that The Nine is a variant of Gandalf's Theme and it is indeed in the SE liner notes connected with the discussion of Gandalf's thematic material and how it is transformed in this score.

Well, I also hear Baggins/Took at 2:30 of The Quest for Erebor, so maybe Doug is talking about somewhere else?

This whole The Nine being related to Gandalf's Theme doesn't make sense to me - what does Gandalf have to do with the Nazgul? Maybe Doug just happened to talk about one after the other because Gandalf's Theme appears somewhere in The High Fells we haven't found yet? I dunno....

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That DoS variant might be keyed to Bilbo and his burglarious activities. Similar music for Bilbo's Odd Behaviour/Burglar is featured in the Unexpected Party in AUJ among other places but it is hard to be sure. Even the Troll scenes feature similar music (Bilbo is forced to the role of a burglar and goes sneaking around) but I gave up trying to separate the Trolls Theme from it.

But why would does it appear in the prologue?

Now that would Thorin's Pride in the prologue, which sounds at times confusingly similar to the Burglar/Odd Behaviour theme to make the matters simple. ;)

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Tell me about it!

That DoS variant might be keyed to Bilbo and his burglarious activities. Similar music for Bilbo's Odd Behaviour/Burglar is featured in the Unexpected Party in AUJ among other places but it is hard to be sure. Even the Troll scenes feature similar music (Bilbo is forced to the role of a burglar and goes sneaking around) but I gave up trying to separate the Trolls Theme from it.

Well, all the places it appears in DOS have to do with Thranduil, so I dunno what it would have to do with Bilbo!

And by the Odd Behavior Theme, do you mean the one in Old Friends that I have listed as "Unknown Theme #3"? Cause that doesn't sound like the Burglar motif to me....

I also don't really hear a connection between the Troll's Theme and this Burglar/Thorin's Pride theme....

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Tell me about it!

That DoS variant might be keyed to Bilbo and his burglarious activities. Similar music for Bilbo's Odd Behaviour/Burglar is featured in the Unexpected Party in AUJ among other places but it is hard to be sure. Even the Troll scenes feature similar music (Bilbo is forced to the role of a burglar and goes sneaking around) but I gave up trying to separate the Trolls Theme from it.

Well, all the places it appears in DOS have to do with Thranduil, so I dunno what it would have to do with Bilbo!

And by the Odd Behavior Theme, do you mean the one in Old Friends that I have listed as "Unknown Theme #3"? Cause that doesn't sound like the Burglar motif to me....

I also don't really hear a connection between the Troll's Theme and this Burglar/Thorin's Pride theme....

Well the DoS appearance could be accounted by the invisible Bilbo trailing after the dwarves into the Woodland Realm.

What I mean by Burglar Theme/Bilbo's Odd Behaviour is e.g. heard clearly in An Unexpected Party at 1:21-1:37.

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Well the DoS appearance could be accounted by the invisible Bilbo trailing after the dwarves into the Woodland Realm.

Unless it's Thorin's Pride theme, which would be fitting, since he faces Thranduil in the Woodland Realm! Aha!

Don't aha me! I presented that theory in the other thread myself! Either it is something to do with Thorin or Bilbo. Or perhaps Thranduil after all! We need to see the film!

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What I mean by Burglar Theme/Bilbo's Odd Behaviour is e.g. heard clearly in An Unexpected Party at 1:21-1:37.

oooh! I'll have to check that out!

EDIT: OOooh yea, that is similar to the other timestamps, dunno how I missed it! .... Also, I think I am starting to tell the difference now between the Hobbit-y variatons and the Thorin-y variations!

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Well the DoS appearance could be accounted by the invisible Bilbo trailing after the dwarves into the Woodland Realm.

Unless it's Thorin's Pride theme, which would be fitting, since he faces Thranduil in the Woodland Realm! Aha!

Don't aha me! I presented that theory in the other thread myself! Either it is something to do with Thorin or Bilbo. Or perhaps Thranduil after all! We need to see the film!

Yes! Maybe it's a Thranduil's Pride theme!

Let's not muddy up the waters (or the thread) any more than we already have. ;)

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I thought that bit (Radagast) played as Galadriel said "You carry something, it cam to you from Radagast.."

Actually I think it does!

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I thought that bit (Radagast) played as Galadriel said "You carry something, it cam to you from Radagast.."

I thought that bit (Radagast) played as Galadriel said "You carry something, it cam to you from Radagast.."

Actually I think it does!

Start the video, jump to 6:40!

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B1NAd4WEjm_DbXZNLXYwOHlFSzQ/edit


Choir comes in when she says that, but the Shadow Over / Corruption Of Mirkwood theme starts playing well before that


So, you did not hear the Bilbo's theme in the Smaug material?

I will have to track it down and list it here!

No idea what you're talking about

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I strongly believe the theme called "The Nine" and the Five Wizards theme (Gandalf's theme B-section) are deliberately connected as they both have the same minor scale ascending shape, going to the sixth degree, then resting on the fifth.

Maybe to pit the wraiths against the Council/wizards, who try to foil their new ascension to power, while at the same time bonding both themes to Sauron's theme and the Ring by that there-and-back-again half step.

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Oh hey, that is the Arkenstone theme there, cool! Added it to the main post :)

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