ROHAN FANFARE, this theme for Rohan,
is probably the most predominant theme in the TT. Although
it manifests in various sorts of orchestrations, it's
most distinctive when played on the
Hardanger Fiddle. The first part of this theme is
heard most often but it's occasionally followed up by a
second part. On this site, I refer to this simply as the
Places this theme is heard in TTT:
A slight string variant as Frodo and Sam
climb down the Elven Rope in Emyn Muil. (TTT EE)
The first phrase on horn as the Three Hunters
climb a hill and
see the fields of Rohan before them.
Again horn plays the first phrase as Gandalf
with the Three Hunters approach Edoras and get their first
glimpse of Meduseld. (The
CD version of this scene was played on Hardanger.)
A quick phrase on horn as Gandalf (in v.o.)
says, "Saruman's hold over King Théoden is now very strong" and
we see Éowyn approach the King to tell of Théodred's injury.
The Hardanger plays the full theme as Éowyn,
on the terrace, sees the 3 Hunters and Gandalf ride up and
banner of Rohan rips off its staff and blows off in the wind.
A variant is heard as Gandalf and the Three
ride up the streets of Edoras.
A noble version of the full theme - first on
horn, then on Hardanger and horn - is heard as the newly
exorcised King Théoden
rises from his throne and
A brief variant plays as the order is given
to empty the city and evacuate to Helm's Deep.
Hardanger plays a mildly melancholy version,
as the people of Edoras begin their evacuation.
The evacuees, led by Éowyn,
arrive in Helm's
two children are reunited with their mother.
The theme begins and trails off into
the few survivors of the Warg attack stream into
We heard a soft version of the second part of
the Rohan Theme
played over the murmuring of the throng taking refuge in the
Glittering Caves. The noise of the crowd quiets to silence
and the theme continues while men and boys join (or drafted
into) the ranks of the soldiers who will defend the keep.
A sad quick version plays over a
cut to the
refugees in the cave. Outside the Uruks have arrived and
are awaiting the order to attack.
Uruks swarm the walls of Helm's Deep,
the Rohan Theme gets played on brass over a pounding
The Rohan Theme is
first elements of the
Fellowship Theme and the
Lothlórien Theme as
Théoden calls the order for retreat.
A last heroic version is heard as the
(and Elf and Dwarf) ride down the causeway of Helm's Deep in a
last valiant, but hopeless, charge at the Uruks.
An heroic, noble full version is heard in the
Places this theme is heard in
Hardanger plays the theme as those
riding with Gandalf and Théoden approach Edoras (after leaving
Helm's Deep and Isengard) while Éowyn waits in front of
A rousing version plays as Théoden
calls for the Rohirrim to muster after finding the beacon of
Amon Anwar is lit.
As Théoden, Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas
ride into the Rohirrim encampment at Harrowdale and take
note of the number of troops that have answered the call. This segment of music features various groups of instruments
taking turn with the Rohan Theme and variants of the Rohan
Theme... sometimes layered one on top of another... sometimes as
a call and response. The multiple versions and 'flavors'
of the Rohan Theme mirror well the assortment of Rohirrim riders
that have gathered from various areas of Rohan. Each group
has it's own 'flavor' of Rohan that combines to make Rohan as a
whole. The various instruments and versions of the theme make up
the Rohan Theme as a whole. (see note
A variant is heard as the
Rohirrim break camp at Harrowdale and then a full martial
version as they
ride off for Gondor.
A spare but brave version is heard
as Éomer brings Théoden the scout reports that Minas Tirith is
A somber, quiet version plays as the
Rohirrim arrive at the edge of the Pelennor Fields. A short
time later, as Gothmog reforms the ranks to face the Riders,
four plain notes of the theme are played.
An heroic but desperate version on
Hardanger, then trumpets, is heard as the Rohirrim ride toward
the Orcs on the Fields of the Pelennor.
A French horn plays an elegiac
version just as Théoden dies.
As the Army of the West rides out
from Minas Tirith, a brief statement of first the
then the Rohan themes play. Doug Adams' writes, "both kingdoms
now united." (AS-ROTK)
Howard Shore sees the Rohan Theme to
be, in some ways, the central theme for TTT. It "creates a
latticework of repeated, interweaving phrases, much like the
culture's art and architecture." (Doug Adams,
CR-TTT liner notes,
page 16) This really makes sense as I imagine the ROTK Harrowdale
iteration of the theme and the Viking/Celtic influenced knotwork used in the
movie for the Rohirric culture.