REALM OF GONDOR,
a theme for Gondor, has two settings:
DECLINE - as heard
in the FOTR when Boromir speaks of his father during the
Council of Elrond
ASCENSION - DA
says this about Gondor in Ascension: "though the
Ascension theme is not fully heard until the third film,
the Heroics of Aragorn
theme...hints at the second half of the Ascension
melody." (Doug Adams,
CR-FOTR liner notes, page 20)
The iterations of the Gondor
Theme, as heard in the first two movies, all use the
'Decline' setting. It isn't until ROTK that the
'Ascension' setting appears. I think the difference
between the two settings can be seen in this way:
Decline Setting: The Gondor
Theme, as heard in the Council of Elrond, repeats a
similar phrase twice. Each time, although it ascends in
places, it ends with a descension... a down note. All of
the FOTR and TTT instances use the Gondor in Decline
Ascension Setting: The
Gondor Theme, heard as Gandalf and Pippin gallop towards
Minas Tirith, begins in a similar manner as in the
Decline setting, but instead of descending, it ascends
in a phrase quite like the
Heroics of Aragorn.
This ascension phrase also forms
Places this theme is heard in FOTR:
As Boromir speaks at the Council of Elrond.
It plays as he begins, “Long has my father, the Steward of
Gondor, kept the forces of Mordor at bay...” and continues as he
argues to use the Ring as a weapon against Sauron. When he
challenges Aragorn, Legolas steps up with the information that
Aragorn is the heir of Isildur and the throne of Gondor.
Just after Elrond (at Council) says, "The
Ring must be destroyed", we hear a mournful, sad phrase of this
Places this theme is heard in TTT:
As Éowyn realizes that Aragorn, who's just
reveled his age, is one of the Dúnedain. (TTT EE)
A quick snippet as Boromir tells his troops
in Osgiliath, "This city was once the jewel of our kingdom."
flashback memory of Faramir's as he sits in Henneth Annûn.) (TTT EE)
As Boromir and the troops in Osgiliath yell,
"For Gondor". (Same flashback memory) (TTT EE)
A more sober version as Boromir prepares to
ride for Rivendell at the orders of his father. (Same
flashback memory) (TTT EE)
Places this theme is heard in
A brief phrase plays as we see the
title: The Return of the King
An aggressive phrase played on low
brass is heard at Isengard as Saruman says (of Aragorn), "This
exile crept from the shadows will never be crowned king." (ROTK
A short, wary phrase is heard when
Aragorn offers to ride to Minas Tirith to warn them. Gandalf has
A glorious version is heard as Gandalf and Pippin, on Shadowfax,
approach Minas Tirith... as Gandalf says, "We just passed into
the realm of Gondor".
As Gandalf and Pippin, on Shadowfax,
gallop up the streets of Minas Tirith,
the ascending phrase (similar to
Aragorn's Theme) can
A quiet version plays as Gandalf
recounts some of the history of Gondor to Pippin after meeting
with Denethor, "And so the people of Gondor fell into ruin. The
line of kings failed. The White Tree withered. The rule of
Gondor was given over to lesser men." (ROTK EE)
A quiet version plays as an EE scene opens on
a shot of the Anduin in a
foggy, dark Osgiliath. (Before the Orcs attack.)
A short burst is heard as the
Gondorian soldiers engage the invading Orcs at Osgiliath.
A glorious, majestic version plays as the camera pans over the White Mountains
lighting of the beacons.
A frantic version is heard as we cut to a
daylight scene of the
Osgiliath battle that has been raging since the previous
A bold version plays as Faramir and
his men, fleeing Osgiliath, enter the city with Gandalf and
A few notes are heard as
finishes his song to Denethor.
The first three notes of the theme
are heard as the Three Hunters enter a cavern in the Paths of
A bold version sans any fanfare
plays over a pounding beat as Minas Tirith uses its trebuchets
to return fire to the Army of Mordor.
As Gandalf orders the troops "Back
to the Gate. Hurry!", a mixture of the Gondor Theme and the
Sauron's Theme plays over
the Five Beat Pattern.
Brass tries to get the Gondor theme
out as Grond breaks through the Gates of Minas Tirith.
A brave version plays (with the
Ascension phrase) as Legolas and Gimli trade kill counts on the
Fields of the Pelennor. "Sixteen" "Seventeen"
A few notes of the theme are played
as the Armies of the West ride out from Minas Tirith toward the
The first three notes are played
warily as the Armies of the West arrive at the Black Gate.
The Realm of Gondor Theme in Ascension
setting (similar to
Aragorn's Theme) are
interlaced as the
crown is placed on Aragorn's head and he steps
forward to meet his people. A (possible) variant that echoes the
call and response nature of the two phrases immediately follows
as the people receive their king.