TORn Music Trivia

#1

 

 

Original Discussion at TheOneRing.net Forums

 

The Answers to Movie Music Trivia #1

The name provided by the Complete Recordings of the FOTR liner notes for this music is, "Dangerous Passes", and it is one of three "Ring Quest Themes" under the category of "Middle-earth". The "Middle-earth" music represents "an order -- a balance between effort and reward, sorrow and joy, fear and comfort". The Ring Quest Themes deal with the Ring's passage through the world. Dangerous Passes music conveys "the passing of time and distance" "The dragging shapes evoked in this theme, like weary limbs, represent the onerous, burdensome course before the members of the Fellowship."

(All quotes from CR-FOTR liner notes, pages 33-4, written by Doug Adams)

Although Adams doesn't directly connect the music to high places, I do think that is part of the intent. Maybe not just 'high' places... but the tedious, tiring act of climbing. (Which would explain why the music was not used over pictures of the Misty Mountain in the FOTR prologue or the opening of TTT... those were high places, but those scenes were not about the Fellowship or the physical act of travel and climbing.)

The word 'pass' provides us with the same dual sense of foreboding and climbing that we all took from the music. I looked up the word 'pass' and found these definitions:

  • the location in a range of mountains of a geological formation that is lower than the surrounding peaks
  • a bad or difficult situation or state of affairs
  • a difficult juncture

The five iterations of this music I provided were:

  1. The Fellowship climbing up the slope of Caradhras

  2. The Fellowship digging their way through the deep snow of Caradhras.

  3. Approaching Moria: the EE and the TE are slightly different here:
    TE: The music is heard just as we catch our first glimpse of the Walls of Moria and Gimli says, "The Walls of Moria."
    EE: The music is heard just as we catch or first glimpse of the Walls of Moria but the scene quickly switches to extended material as Gandalf calls Frodo to him and advises him to be wary. I provided the EE music.music

  4. from ROTK-OST, track 6, Minas Morgul - not in the movie

  5. from ROTK-OST, track 9, Cirith Ungol - not in the movie

My speculation about the two unused instances of Dangerous Passes for ROTK are:

Minas Morgul: The music heard just before Dangerous Passes (on the CD) matches the music heard while troops march out of Minas Morgul, followed by the Witch King. Just as Dangerous Passes would play on the soundtrack, the scene shows Frodo, Sam, and Gollum beginning the long climb up the Stairs of Cirith Ungol. I believe this was originally scored with Dangerous Passes.
 

Cirith Ungol: The music heard just before Dangerous Passes (on the CD) matches music heard while Gollum convinces Frodo that Sam is treacherous. Frodo tells Sam to go home, and he turns to go... while Sam sits weeping. The scene stops at this moment but the music on the CD begins, at this moment, to play Dangerous Passes. I believe the scene was originally longer and would have shown Frodo and Gollum climbing further up the stairs.

 

This would be the time to realize that, although identifying the scene as Minas Morgul for #4 works, it is not Minas Morgul that provides the prompt for Dangerous Passes to be played. It's the climb up the Stairs of Cirith Ungol. And it is again, the Stairs of Cirith Ungol that would have prompted #5... if it had been used.

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Music Files from soundtrack recordings:

no dialog or sound effects

  • Scene 1 (FOTR Climbing Caradhras)

  • Scene 2 (FOTR Digging through the snow)

  • Scene 3 (FOTR Approaching Moria - EE)

  • Scene 4 (ROTK 3 climb Cirith Ungol - unused)

  • Scene 5 (ROTK 2 climb Cirith Ungol, 1 stays behind - unused)

 

Music Files from movie:

with dialog or sound effects

  • Scene 1 (FOTR Climbing Caradhras)

  • Scene 2 (FOTR Digging through the snow)

  • Scene 3 (FOTR Approaching Moria - EE)

 

Time Ranges for recordings:

 

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