The Amazing Way the Fellowship’s Theme Grows (Part 1/?)
The Lord of the Rings soundtrack uses a lot of “leitmotifs”, or bits of music that show up lots of times and represent specific characters, places, and things (the Rohan theme, the One Ring theme, the Shire theme, etc.)
What’s really amazing, though, is how these leitmotifs grow as the films go on. As a character grows, their theme music grows with them. As a kingdom changes, its theme music subtly changes too.
One example: the way the theme music representing the Fellowship grows over the course of the films.
There’s way too much to fit one in post so I’ll spread this out over several posts (in the next
days weeks) tagged #fellowshiptheme.
You know the epic music a lot of people call “the battle music” or the “Lotr theme song…?” ( DUNN DUNNNN, DA DA DUNNN!- The music that plays in the very beginning of this soundtrack)?
You might know that’s the theme music (leitmotif) that represents the Fellowship.
According to the composer, this theme plays whenever the fellowship is bonding, or coming together to do something that none of them could have done alone.
We hear the Fellowship’s theme scores of time over the course of the trilogy, but it’s different every time, reflecting the state of the fellowship at that point in the films.
The first time we hear it is in Bag End, as the the title “The Fellowship of the Ring” shows up on-screen.It’s played slowly and softly, just an echo of what it will become: musical foreshadowing.
You can hear it at (0:30) of this clip.
(*Links to soundtrack:
OST:his piece isn’t on the OST soundtrack.
Complete Recordings: The Shire)
But the second time we hear the Fellowship Theme, and the FIRST time it’s actually applied to the characters– is in this scene (at 0:30 of this clip)
Sam hesitates. “One more step, and It’ll be the farthest away from home that I’ve ever been.” Frodo walks by his side, gently encourages him, and they journey on together. We hear the Fellowship theme for the second time.
The composer (Howard Shore) could have easily debuted the Fellowship theme at the Council of Elrond, when the Fellowship is actually formed. Or when the Fellowship sets out from Rivendell. Or during the huge battle in Moria.
But instead, as Howard Shore wrote in his book on the soundtrack, the theme music begins where the Fellowship itself does…It begins here.
The love and heroism that will bind the Fellowship and save Middle-Earth isn’t born in a world-shaking battle, but in a small moment of friendship.
The Fellowship’s theme music, like the Fellowship itself, doesn’t begin in moments of epic flashy heroism….but in lil humble hobbit-y scenes in the Shire.
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Posts in the series are tagged #fellowshiptheme. All my soundtrack posts are tagged #lotrsoundtrackfacts)