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The Themes of Howard Shore's The Hobbit


Jay
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He decided to spend his personal time editing every single one to be blank when he decided to leave the forum.  The funny part is, then he came back!

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  • 2 years later...

I know I personally never got around to it :(

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  • 1 year later...

Just read through a lot of this thread, surprised there's some thematic material no one mentioned. 

 

First, I believe this section is a slowed version of Bilbo's Took theme from "Dreaming of Bag End":

 

1:16 - 1:25

 

As well as the B section/end cap of "Dreaming of Bag End" having a subtle reference in the final track, seemingly with a variation of the beginning of the B section as the main melody (and with the same harmony), but there also seems to be a variation on the end cap of said B section in the woodwinds at the same time. Then, before the History of the Ring references, one last variant of the end cap of the B section can be heard in the cello, being very similar aesthetically and melodically to the one heard in "The Return Journey":

 

2:01 - 2:19, 3:08

 

Second, I think the theme that's been pointed to as possible variations of Bilbo's Adventure theme, are actually variants of Bilbo's Song. I'm sure someone has already speculated on this, but if not, this is my take:

 

The most obvious one to me is between these two sections:

 

0:44 - 1:08

 

 2:12 - 2:51 (Might be a combination of the referenced section of Bilbo's Song and others)

 

Which may tie into this moment here at 0:44 also possibly being Bilbo's Song:

 

But before the first section I mentioned in "The Return Journey", there's another before it that seems to have elements of several different parts of Bilbo's Theme, (possibly disguising or building it up before the more overt statement): 

 

1:36 - 2:04

 

Could be wrong, it could be a variation of Bilbo's Adventure that might just sound similar to me, but the slower nature, the starting notes of the basic Shire melody being repeated twice (and resembling Thorin's theme which I always thought Bilbo's Song did as well), and the violin section that follows resembling the greater interval leaps and variations of the Shire theme found in Bilbo's Song points me more towards that. Interested to hear you guys' takes on these.

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10 hours ago, WampaRat said:

Shame it didn’t pop up one last time in its first guise to bookend the trilogy in the last film.

 

There is a statement or two that are very close to that variation, though:

 

 

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10 hours ago, Roll the Bones said:

I think itts appearance in AUJ might be my favorite ME earth film score opening, definitely top 3 along with The Prophecy and Foundations of Stone/Glamdring

Absolutely! Especially Glamdring. “MEHTTAAAANAAAAA!!” It “slaps” as the kids say.

 

I often wonder had the hobbit films retained their original two-film structure how that would have impacted Shores scores. Obviously we would have had less ME music from him. But I feel the story telling connections/evolution of themes would have been a bit more pronounced. More noticeable on first listen I suppose instead of the very gradual shift the themes undergo across three films. (Subtlety. YUCK 😉haha) But that’s just me.

21 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

 

There is a statement or two that are very close to that variation, though:

 

 

Yes! Since hearing that comment from Doug, I’ve been able to connect it more and more. There’s a certain positivity and optimism to the way it opens UEJ that I miss. But that’s definitely the point by the end of the story I suppose. What began as a fun quest/adventure ends in tragedy and loss of innocence. Pretty bold for a “children’s novel.”

 

I do love that it at least comes back one last time in “A Good Omen”. A sort of send-off to innocence as it were. But never to be heard like that again.

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12 minutes ago, WampaRat said:

There’s certain positivity and optimism to the way it opens UEJ that I miss. But that’s definitely the point by the end of the story I suppose. What began as a fun quest/adventure ends in tragedy and loss of innocence. 

 

Quite: its what I love about the way the story is told cinematically.

 

That moment that merits that rendition is the only truly happy moment the Dwarves get as a group in The Battle of the Five Armies. Something wonderfully poignant about that!

 

By the way, that opening also presages the Ring's music in the string-line.

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On 16/09/2022 at 5:32 AM, Roll the Bones said:

I think itts appearance in AUJ might be my favorite ME earth film score opening, definitely top 3 along with The Prophecy and Foundations of Stone/Glamdring

 

Yes, although the opening to FotR is transcendental. The way the strings and winds come in after the choral Lothlorien theme is so chilling.

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20 minutes ago, TolkienSS said:

 

Yes, although the opening to FotR is transcendental. The way the strings and winds come in after the choral Lothlorien theme is so chilling.

Its definitely iconic, though its knocked down slightly due to being a lift.

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9 hours ago, Roll the Bones said:

Its definitely iconic, though its knocked down slightly due to being a lift.

 

Tbh I never knew that. I always assumed the opening was original and the others copied.

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On 21/09/2022 at 2:52 PM, Roll the Bones said:

1:16 of The Quest for Erebor has a section similar to 4:26 of Gandalf the White

 

Well, they're both Hobbit-related material: Bree is musically associated with minor-moded fragments of Hobbit music, which makes sense for a partially-Hobbit-populated town.

 

One is a minor-moded skip beat accompaniment that we associate with Hobbiton and the Hobbits' playful side; the other is an ostinato, associated in part with much of Merry and Pippin's antics, that's spun from that little cadence to the skip-beat that often scores the Hobbits acting all befuddled.

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