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Bear McCreary's The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings of Power (2022)


Chen G.
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57 minutes ago, Disco Stu said:

TBF Williams would also probably be horrified at the notion of writing blog posts like McCreary does too though

 

Williams wrote - or used to write - pretty informative liner notes that had the same effect as Bear's blog-posts here...

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I relistened to the last hour or so of the sampler album this evening and the thematic usage just jumped out - so many quotations I hadn't noticed before.

 

Wise One has so much beautiful use of Nori's theme that hadn't noticed before and The Mystics has a rendition of The Stranger that feels like a worthy companion to the ending of his suite. And who can not love the racing strings in Perilous Whisperings.

 

At some point I have to listen properly through the eps 3-4 albums as I didn't really connect to them as well as the first two due to not enjoying the episodes as much. However, this is not one of those cases where the full show score feels like too much music because Bear has put so much effort and detail into the themes and their usage.

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3 hours ago, Monoverantus said:

 

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Also, my theory that "Elendil and Isildur" actually represents the Faithful was just validate

After the theme had such a prominent role in "White Leaves" I knew that it must mean more than just a theme for Elendil & Isildur

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Goes to show that naming conventions for musical themes, even when they're used by the composer himself, are ultimately little more than a bit of shorthand.

 

Its better to think of themes as being associated with certain things, rather than designating them to certain things.

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I finally saw episode 3 last night

 

The "concert arrangement in the episode" feelings I had through the first 2 episode a bunch of times did not happen for me in this episode, which was nice!

 

The introduction to Numenor sequence carried by Bear's theme was really nice!  Quite a memorable sequence and musical theme.

 

The rest of the episode had nice music throughout, with the Stranger, Harfoot, and Nori themes being the most recognizable when they turn up for me.


I can't say I really picked up on Adar's theme just from watching the episode, but I'm off to listen to the episode 3 album now

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I found Adar's theme very subtle in the show to start with - it only leapt out at me in later moments on harsh brass.

 

I watched episode 5 this morning and for the first time I didn't immediately spot any music that's not on the album, although it felt like there were fewer short cues and I tend to turn off a bit during some dialogue scenes with Elrond and Durin as I'm not finding that storyline very interesting.

 

Looks like the album assembly Bear showed us is the next one, and the 20 minute battle sequence. If he keeps with the established generally chronological pattern, we're probably looking at all the sampler material up to Water And Flame. That leaves 45 minutes of music from the last two episodes, so it may be that (typically) he put more emphasis on representing the season finale.

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I listened to the episode 3 score album and can't say Adar's theme has stuck with me after that either.  Oh well

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I have this document in my Google Drive that I think someone here had made?

 

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1VmWESXw9GcYOy0ROA-VeZxJBsudgjH3Cr68zAiC-vxg/

 

It's really terrific - is whoever is behind this planning on continuing into further episodes?

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I don't think he's used 'complete' in any tweet thus far so I guess it means episode 5 is actually complete. I certainly noticed nothing missing in the episode.

 

At this rate there won't be more than 5 minutes of unreleased material from season 1. That's astonishing.

 

 

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Am I correct in saying that the individual episode albums do not contain the end credits music?

 

What music plays under the end credits of each of the first 5 episodes?

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I just skimmed through and it sounds like they're all a cut-down excerpt of one of the theme suites.

 

Episode 1 Where The Shadows Lie

Episode 2: Khazad-dum

Episode 3: The Stranger

Episode 4: Numenor (edited and then opened with a percussion stinger from somewhere else)

Episode 5 is the song variation at the end of the album.

 

Talking of which, the 'up next' autoplay thing absolutely kills any chance of actually hearing the end credits music, which is completely ridiculous, as the platform the show was literally made for is designed to cut off its own credits music.

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Thanks!

 

Also, which tracks from the initial score album play in episodes 4 and 5?

 

 

 

19 minutes ago, Richard Penna said:

Talking of which, the 'up next' autoplay thing absolutely kills any chance of actually hearing the end credits music, which is completely ridiculous, as the platform the show was literally made for is designed to cut off its own credits music.

 

That's a feature you can simply turn off.

 

At least on my TV, that popup shows up in the corner, but I can simply hit the up arrow on my Roku remote and it goes away, and the entire end credits plays uninterupted.

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5 seconds is barely enough time to notice a giant box on your screen?

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If you're doing something else on your PC (I usually am) and your mouse is elsewhere, 5 seconds isn't a lot of time.

 

Anyways, I found the toggle to stop it auto-starting the next one. If someone really wants it turned on, fine, but having it on by default IMO is one of the worst design and viewing decisions there is.

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15 minutes ago, Richard Penna said:

having it on by default IMO is one of the worst design and viewing decisions there is.

 

YES!!!!!!!

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57 minutes ago, Jay said:

Thanks!

 

Also, which tracks from the initial score album play in episodes 4 and 5?

 

Episode 4

The Secrets of the Mountain (I think?)

A Plea to the Rocks
White Leaves

Episode 5
This Wandering Day
Scherzo for Violins and Swords
Sailing Into the Dawn
 

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Wait, this song was on the first score album, and Plan 9 / JD Payne was credited nowhere for it?

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Crazy

 

Well, I guess the booklet of the CD edition will credit them

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4 hours ago, Jay said:

I have this document in my Google Drive that I think someone here had made?

 

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1VmWESXw9GcYOy0ROA-VeZxJBsudgjH3Cr68zAiC-vxg/

 

It's really terrific - is whoever is behind this planning on continuing into further episodes?

No sure who it was, because it's been a week or so since he posted.

But he also does the breakdowns of the score of House Of The Dragon each episode, on a seperate website.

He mentioned on his breakdown of The Rings Of Power episode 4 that he's is away from home for a couple of weeks, and he will get to it when he is back.

 

I'm working on the thematic timestamps on episode 5 right now. Will post it within the next 2 hours

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2 minutes ago, JNHFan2000 said:

No sure who it was, because it's been a week or so since he posted.

But he also does the breakdowns of the score of House Of The Dragon each episode, on a seperate website.

He mentioned on his breakdown of The Rings Of Power episode 4 that he's is away from home for a couple of weeks, and he will get to it when he is back.

 

Ah, sweet

 

2 minutes ago, JNHFan2000 said:

I'm working on the thematic timestamps on episode 5 right now. Will post it within the next 2 hours

 

Sweet!

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Turns out the soloist on the Wandering Day reprisal is Janet Roddick who's part of Plan 9. I thought it was strange to see a name who's both unknown and not a cast member.

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Themes that appear in all 5 episodes:

  • Galadriel
  • Sauron
  • Bronwyn/Arondir
  • Halbrand/Southlands

Themes that appear in 4 episodes

  • Nori
  • The Stranger
  • Elrond
  • Adar/Orcs
  • The Rings of Power

Themes that appear in 3 episodes

  • Khazad-dûm
  • Durin IV
  • Númenor 
  • Elendil and Isildur/Faithful

Themes that appear in 2 episodes

  • Harfoot

Themes that appear in 1 episode

  • Valinor
  • The Mystics

Themes that haven't appeared yet

  • Nolwa Mahtar
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So far I've noticed two tracks where Bear has rearranged a large number of smaller tracks into one continuous piece - Underneath The Floorboards and In The Trench, which makes it difficult to spot unreleased bits. Both of those cues consist of a lot of different bits combined together, often with quite long crossfades where they don't clash. Hence there are likely very few short cues that aren't included somewhere - and quite honestly, short, stinger-like cues or brief non-thematic tracks are usually ones even hard-core fans can live without, particularly if we can barely hear them.

 

So far the only bits I've spotted which I'm fairly sure aren't on the episode albums (and probably not the series album) are:

 

Episode 1: 9:10 to 9:57 - the brief talk in the snow. I wasn't able to find this section anwhere later on this track so I'm assuming he just cut it out.

Episode 2: 20:27 to 20:50 - the transitional overhead shot with Nori's theme.

Episode 3: a few small sections of the trench sequence have been lost while crossfading bits, the most notable being the map flyover before the shot of the tree against the sun.

 

I didn't explicitly notice anything unreleased in eps 4 or 5 (the latter sort of expected if Bear says it's complete) so if there is anything, it's definitely not anything notable.

 

I don't know if anyone else has spotted any other bits, but those bits above add up to roughly 1 1/2 to 2 mins. Perhaps another minute or so if there are trench bits where I wasn't paying attention.

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I know what it is (obviously), I was stating that I don't think this song is one.  Do you?

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4 minutes ago, Roll the Bones said:

Second?

 

Their first is the Misty Mountains theme from the first Hobbit score.

 

1 minute ago, Jay said:

I know what it is (obviously), I was stating that I don't think this song is one.  Do you?

 

It's stuck in my head like nearly all of Bear's themes!

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Maybe when I see it in context in an episode that will change for me

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4 minutes ago, Jay said:

I know what it is (obviously), I was stating that I don't think this song is one.  Do you?

I honestly don't really connect with McCreary, or much new film music in general these days.

 

I will admit there have been a few cues/moments here and there that stood out to me a little bit however.

3 minutes ago, Richard Penna said:

 

Their first is the Misty Mountains theme from the first Hobbit score 

That would be Flaming Red Hair for me, but I guess that's not really a song per se

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Oh of course, I forgot they did that piece. I never put it in my Fellowship playlist as I can stand that song for about as long as that fireworks shot lasts in the film, then it gets annoying.

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They also did "The Passing of the Elves (aka The Elvish Lament)" the cue for the EE scene of Sam and Frodo watching elves leave for the Grey Havens, I think the source songs for Pippin and Merry in FOTR and ROTK?, no idea if they were involved with either version of The Road Goes Ever On and On..

 

Then of course Blunt the Knives.

 

I think the Laketown band source was them too (not really an earworm though)

 

Then I I think the folksy arrangements for the Hobbit EE docs were by a member of Plan 9..

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Ok, so definitely not the second :P

 

The MM just stuck in my mind far more than the others as it's in an actual non-diegetic score cue, and for me, more memorable than most of the themes Shore himself came up with.

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What?  Misty Mountains is absolutely a diegetic song.


All the uses of its melody in the score are new arrangements of Plan 9's melody done by Shore

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