Jump to content

Bear McCreary's "Rings of Power" Themes


Recommended Posts

On 09/09/2022 at 10:31 AM, TheUlyssesian said:

So I counting and McCreary said there are 15 main themes he created.

 

Would I be right in saying that these 14 are now confirmed with one last remaining theme in The Mystics?

 

1. Galadriel's Theme X

2. Khazad-Dum Theme X

3. Nori's Theme X

4. The Stranger's Theme X

5. Numenor Theme X

6. Sauron's Theme X

7. Valinor Theme X

8. Elrond's Theme X

9. Durin's Theme X

10. Harfoot Theme X

11. Bronwyn and Arondir's Theme X

12. Halbrand's Theme (also doubles as Southlands Theme) X

13. Elendil & Isuldur's Theme X

14. Adar's Theme (also doubles as Orcs' Theme) X

 

Now for the last one, Monoverantus has identified the Where The Shadows Lie theme but McCreary indicated that it might be in the The Mystics track. 

 

I guess we will learn more as the series progresses as Adar's theme only became apparent in Episode 3. Maybe subsequent episodes will give us clue about what the 15th main theme is.

 

Or plot twist: maybe there are more than 15 main themes?

 

So...

 

Based on McCreary's latest blog post - 

 

It seems the remaining themes are - 

 

15. The Mystics' Theme

16. The Rings of Power Theme (Where the Shadows Lie)

17. Nolwa Mahtar

Only The Mystics' Theme needs to be identified now. All others have been identified. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Mystics theme is heard for the first time this episode.

It's indeed the vocal sort of whispering. It's very cool.

 

I believe it is heard in "The Perils Of Migration".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So we’ve had up to & including about track 26 of the OST in the show, which seems to be broadly chronological thus far, except for Nolwa Mahtar. I wonder when that is going to turn up?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love how This Wandering Day is heard basically isolated in the show.

 

I thought for a wonderful moment that maybe the final track was an instrumental but it's just a different vocalist.

 

And the cue about 11 mins in sounds surprisingly Shore-like with those strings.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 17/09/2022 at 9:46 AM, JNHFan2000 said:

Episode 3: Adar

 

 

 

Thanks for making these, I really appreciate it!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So since "The Mystics" OST track is 8 minutes long, it's clearly not a concert arrangement, especially since it has a ton of other themes later in the track.

 

But, is it possible that the first 3 minutes or so of that track is the concert arrangement, and then he just grafted some episode music onto it within the same track for... reasons?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, Bofur01 said:

So we’ve had up to & including about track 26 of the OST in the show, which seems to be broadly chronological thus far, except for Nolwa Mahtar. I wonder when that is going to turn up?

 

I would be money that Nolwa Mahtar is for the big battle scene everything is gearing up towards - maybe for Galadriel's battle charge when she leads the Numenorean army into battle. 

 

Though you'd think that moment would be scored with Galadriel's theme.

 

McCreary said Nolwa Mahtar he wrote for a really HUGE moment that he felt couldn't use any existing theme and needed a new theme because of how impactful the scene was.

 

5 hours ago, Jay said:

is it possible that the first 3 minutes or so of that track is the concert arrangement, and then he just grafted some episode music onto it within the same track for... reasons?

 

I definitely think so. I think the first 3 mins is the concert arrangement and another track is spliced to it for some reason. 

OR 
 

Clearly the mystics and Stranger/Nori are going to end up meeting at some point, and the track scores their entire interaction but the first 3 mins is still a concert representation of the mystics' theme.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So we think the melody in Nolwa Mahtar will appear in other cues as well, eventually?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Episode 5: Partings

 

Few notes after Bear's recent blog

- I've now named Where The Shadows Lie as The Rings Of Power, because I believe (as many have said) that it's that theme

- Halbrand is now named Halbrand/The Southlands.

- Elendil And Isidulr is now named Elendil And Isildur/The Faithful

- Nampat is now named Adar/Orcs

 

And I like the Megan Richards performance of the song more than the end credits version. There's something more engaging about the first version

 

Spoiler

The Wandering Day

Performed by Megan Richards.

Lyrics by J.D. Payne. Melody by Plan 9.

Produced, arranged and orchestrated by McCreary.

 

The Perils Of Migration

0:06-1:46 ? (There is a recurring motif on violin, I think it’s very beautiful, but isn’t repeated again)

0:28-0:42 Nori Brandyfoot

1:57-2:08 The Stranger

2:10-2:48 The Mystics

2:51-3:32 Adar/Orcs

3:57-4:14 Halbrand/The Southlands

4:18-4:52 Arondir And Bronwyn

5:00-5:22 Sauron?

5:09-5:22 Arondir And Bronwyn

5:22-5:40 Halbrand/The Southlands

6:00-6:19 Halbrand/The Southlands

 

Númemor Prepares

0:00-0:27 Númenor

0:28-1:12 Elendil And Isildur/The Faithful

1:18-1:34 Númenor

1:35-2:03 Elendil And Isildur/The Faithful

2:04-2:35 Halbrand/The Southlands

3:03-3:13 Galadriel

3:14-3:23 Halbrand/The Southlands

3:20-3:30 Galadriel

3:30-3:45 Halbrand/The Southlands

4:13-4:26 Elendil And Isildur/The Faithful

4:55-5:02 Galadriel

6:11-6:17 Galadriel

6:46-6:56 Halbrand/The Southlands

7:00-7:18 Halbrand/The Southlands

 

Wolves

2:34-3:17 The Stranger

3:17-3:34 Nori Brandyfoot

3:36-4:02 The Stranger

4:29-4:40 Nori Brandyfoot

4:40-4:54 The Stranger

4:55-5:09 Sauron

 

The Fading Light

0:20-0:50 Khazad-Dûm

1:49-2:22 The Rings Of Power

2:43-2:55 Elrond Half-Elven

3:02-3:27 Sauron

4:17-5:01 Elrond Half-Elven

5:04-5:26 Sauron

5:26-5:47 Elrond Half-Elven

6:22-6:53 The Rings Of Power

6:54-7:12 Elrond Half-Elven

7:28-8:12 Elrond Half-Elven

 

The Saboteur

0:36-1:15 Númenor

1:25-1:44 Elendil And Isildur/The Faithful

1:48-2:20 Númenor

2:26-3:19 Elendil And Isildur/The Faithful

5:24-5:32 Elendil And Isildur/The Faithful

6:07-6:24 Númenor

7:00-7:22 Galadriel

 

Only Blood Can Bind

0:00-0:26 Galadriel

0:27-1:00 Halbrand/The Southlands

1:23-2:06 Galadriel

2:32-2:44 Halbrand/The Southlands

2:47-3:20 Adar/Orcs

3:45-4:03 Adar/Orcs

 

Destined For The Darkness

0:03-0:30 Arondir And Bronwyn

0:30-0:45 Sauron

0:52-1:30 Sauron

2:13-2:27 Arondir And Bronwyn

3:05-3:42 Sauron

3:52-4:42 Adar/Orcs (full chant)

 

The Confession And Sailing Into The Dawn

0:00-0:17 Durin IV

0:18-0:54 Elrond Half-Elven

1:10-1:29 Elrond Half-Elven

1:30-2:12 Durin IV & Elrond Half-Elven play together

2:22-2:46 Halbrand/The Southlands

2:58-3:04 Halbrand/The Southlands

3:05-4:25 Númenor

4:27-5:10 Elendil And Isildur/The Faithful

5:14-5:57 Galadriel

5:58-6:04 Halbrand/The Southlands

6:26-7:13 Númenor

 

The Wandering Day

Performed by Janet Roddick.

Lyrics by J.D. Payne. Melody by Plan 9.

Produced, arranged and orchestrated by McCreary.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, Jay said:

So we think the melody in Nolwa Mahtar will appear in other cues as well, eventually?

 

Yes, Mcreary said he originally wrote it for his big scene that he's describing but then he loved it enough and thought - this is too good to use in only one scene and made it a theme going forward. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, Jay said:

So we think the melody in Nolwa Mahtar will appear in other cues as well, eventually?

Yes, I believe, like said before, in a battle scene or maybe a death of a character.

It will be used for a major moment in the show, that it got it's own theme

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 23/9/2022 at 3:49 PM, TheUlyssesian said:

 

I would be money that Nolwa Mahtar is for the big battle scene everything is gearing up towards - maybe for Galadriel's battle charge when she leads the Numenorean army into battle. 

 

Though you'd think that moment would be scored with Galadriel's theme.

 

McCreary said Nolwa Mahtar he wrote for a really HUGE moment that he felt couldn't use any existing theme and needed a new theme because of how impactful the scene was.


So I was right in a way, Nolwa Mahtar was used for Galadriel’s chase of Adar. I don’t know why exactly her theme couldn’t be used but it’s a cool theme so I ain’t complaining.

 

we’ll need to see a couple more uses to see what to associate it with. My first guess is Elvish might and determination.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I updated the tracklist a bit to reflect the most recent info.

1 hour ago, TheUlyssesian said:


So I was right in a way, Nolwa Mahtar was used for Galadriel’s chase of Adar. I don’t know why exactly her theme couldn’t be used but it’s a cool theme so I ain’t complaining.

On one hand, I appreciate Bear loosening up a bit with the themes, since that moment could easily have been scored with the Galadriel theme.

On the other hand, considering how he hyped it up, I expected the moment to be a bit more mindblowing than that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

48 minutes ago, Monoverantus said:

I updated the tracklist a bit to reflect the most recent info.

On one hand, I appreciate Bear loosening up a bit with the themes, since that moment could easily have been scored with the Galadriel theme.

On the other hand, considering how he hyped it up, I expected the moment to be a bit more mindblowing than that.


i agree, why didn’t he use it for the entire army charging? 
 

or the army over running the orcs?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just wanted to say thanks for the well wishes last week.

I'm doing slightly better, but still not able to handle much sound or light. I've watched and listened to some stuff it bits.

 

I think I'll do the breakdowns of episodes 6, 7 & 8 after 8 has been released. I'll feel better then and post it in one go.

Hope everybody is able to wait till then.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 30/09/2022 at 1:03 PM, TheUlyssesian said:


So I was right in a way, Nolwa Mahtar was used for Galadriel’s chase of Adar. I don’t know why exactly her theme couldn’t be used but it’s a cool theme so I ain’t complaining.

 

we’ll need to see a couple more uses to see what to associate it with. My first guess is Elvish might and determination.

 

That was by far the best way to score that scene. In a way I like the fact that Bear left that last bit off Cavalry so it would be a surprise in the show.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 minutes ago, JNHFan2000 said:

I think I'll do the breakdowns of episodes 6, 7 & 8 after 8 has been released. I'll feel better then and post it in one go.

Hope everybody is able to wait till then.

I've been trying to make expansions on your breakdowns, though I clearly work far slower (I don't have Amazon Music). I can post them while you're recovering to ease off the pressure XD

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don’t believe I’ve seen anyone discuss this yet:

 

A Tour of the Tolkien Lore in the Rings of Power Score

 

Quote

And if you’re on the hunt for Easter eggs within the Rings of Power score, McCreary adds that he did write an overt “ring theme” specifically for the show, and though it doesn’t have its own track on the soundtrack, “you have already heard it, several times.”

 

Any guesses on where we might have heard McCreary’s One Ring theme so far? I thought “Where the Shadows Lie” might’ve been a theme for the One Ring as well as the Rings of Power, but the “doesn’t have its own track” comment rules that out, I guess.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, Max said:

Any guesses on where we might have heard McCreary’s One Ring theme so far? I thought “Where the Shadows Lie” might’ve been a theme for the One Ring as well as the Rings of Power, but the “doesn’t have its own track” comment rules that out, I guess.

It depends a bit on how you see it.

In the tracklist of the original Season 1 album, Where the Shadows Lie is referenced in tracks 20, 32 and 35, and in none of these spots does it actually play the melody itself (except track 38), just the chords with the rising half-step voicing. This is the only theme he's done this with. So to me, I think he means that the theme we've heard so many times already (the chords) doesn't have its own track, but the melody that will grow out of it does.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Reading the quotes literally, Bear doesn't say the theme "doesn't have its own track", the writer/interviewer does:

 

Quote

McCreary adds that he did write an overt “ring theme” specifically for the show, and though it doesn’t have its own track on the soundtrack, “you have already heard it, several times.”

 

So perhaps this is one of those cases where because "Where The Shadows Lie" isn't titled "THE ONE RING THEME", the interviewer assumes it doesn't have a suite of its own because there doesn't appear to be from first glance?

 

Because how is that not a Ring theme, honestly...

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's exactly what I think happened - the article writer didn't realize that it did have a concert arrangement on the album.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, Gibster said:

Whoa, it's out already? I don't have Amazon Music, is there another way to hear this?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I clicked his link and the song just played for me.  It's still playing right now


Fiona Apple was a cool choice

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Weird.  We don't have an Amazon Music subscription, and it just played. Maybe its a USA thing

 

The song was really nice, I liked it a lot!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, TheUlyssesian said:

Bravo @Monoverantus you got the lyrics right only from the melody! Great job. Your insight into the score has been invaluable and has gone a long way in getting us to appreciate it. 

Thank you, that's really validating for me. I didn't know about forums like these back when Shore's LotR score was the center of discussion (mostly before Doug's book), so getting to be part of the dialogue for this one has been fun :up:

 

Now I really wanna hear the song though XD

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just noticed some possible theme links to Shore's work probably spotted by others here.

 

Numenor, my favourite material, seems to borrow its first phrase or two from the scene in FotR as the boat approaches the two statues (the rising motifs before the ring theme).

 

Sauron's theme... is it in the same key, or scale, as the original Mordor theme? I can certainly sing it along and it sounds like it fits, and this Sauron theme seems to pivot around two notes too.

 

The Stranger's theme also pivots around two notes in the same way that Gandalf's original theme does, and one seems to fit the other as counterpoint in a similar way. Intentional?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, Miz said:

I just noticed some possible theme links to Shore's work probably spotted by others here.

While I don't begrudge anyone to point out similarities between Bear and Shore's works, I think Bear has been pretty clear that he's not actively quoting Shore's thematic material, just trying to create a sense of continuity between the scores.

11 hours ago, Miz said:

Numenor, my favourite material, seems to borrow its first phrase or two from the scene in FotR as the boat approaches the two statues (the rising motifs before the ring theme).

Yup, Christian brought this up!

On 13/09/2022 at 1:58 PM, ChrisAfonso said:

This is of course most likely a complete coincidence, but the motif at 0:46 in the posted clip bears a striking resemblance to the beginning of Bear's Númenor theme:

image.png

 

image.png

Regarding Sauron and the Stranger, I'm not sure what you're referring to. Sauron plays in several keys, and in an entirely different scale than Shore's theme. True, The Stranger indeed includes the down-and-up "Good" motif, but this is the first time I've heard of it working as counterpoint to The White Rider. Have you heard such a thing?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The whole idea of a leitmotif score like Shore's is to create a lot of recurring musical phrases from a few "basic motives": if the leitmotives are molecules, the basic motives are atoms: thing like the major scale that forms the basis of all the Hobbit-related motives, or the augmented second, or the "There and Back Again" shape, or the parallel fifths, certain leaps, modal colourings, mediant chord progressions, etc...

 

But since these scores are so sprawling, even the number of these musical "atoms" is quite large and therefore, in another sprawling score like Bear's it is inevitable that quite a few of them will be reprised. Shore doesn't have "dibs" on perfect fifths...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Musical noob question... I noticed that the 7th (repeated) note in the Numenor theme is annotated with that 'b' (flat?) symbol, whereas the first one isn't. They sound the same so what does that symbol mean?

 

More generalised notation question: the staves represent the set of notes, but even a small piano/keyboard has lots of 'sets' where some are deeper than others... if you wrote a melody which used the same note but one was really high and one really low, how do you represent that on paper? I hope that made vague sense :) 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, Richard Penna said:

if you wrote a melody which used the same note but one was really high and one really low, how do you represent that on paper? I hope that made vague sense :) 

IIRC You just put it down really low underneath, and put a series of empty abbreviated staves, plus one underneath that note.

 

You also have two clefs, bass and Treble.

 

grand-staff-with-middle-c-piano-chart.jp

Link to comment
Share on other sites

43 minutes ago, Richard Penna said:

Musical noob question... I noticed that the 7th (repeated) note in the Numenor theme is annotated with that 'b' (flat?) symbol, whereas the first one isn't. They sound the same so what does that symbol mean?

Accidentals (flats "b" and sharps "#") last until the end of the measure (the bars between every 4th note). In measure 2, the first A is flattened, so all As after the first are also flattened, but then it's reset in measure 3, so you have to put in the flat symbol again.

This is a distinct differance between songs and score. Songs tend to stay in one key, so you can put all those accidentals in the start to last for the whole song (as shown below), while scores tend to switch between keys all of the time, so it's more useful to do it measure by measure.

image.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Glad I'm not imagining it about Numenor. It's a pretty clear port, and thematically relevant (Argonath was built by Numenoreans), a great choice IMO.

 

I might be imagining it about Sauron and the Stranger!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You haven't been listening to older episode albums again as each new one comes out? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have in bits and pieces, but it's too much music to properly ingest all in one go alongside whatever the other new music I've been absorbing lately.

 

Plus it's nicer to pace one's self in terms of getting to know the music and still having surprises to discover.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.