The Lord of the Rings Score Analysis Project
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The One Ring

The History of the Ring

Appears in:

1|1|1 Prologue: One Ring to Rule Them All
[00:40-01:24] The wistful theme heard over the opening "The Lord of the Rings" title.
[04:55-05:28] The History of the Ring continues as Isildur meets his end, and the Ring settles on the bottom of the Anduin.
1|1|7 Keep it Secret, Keep it Safe
[02:21-02:59] This section is highly reminiscent of the History of the Ring theme; although it never actually evolves into the actual theme itself, it seems likely that it is thematically linked to the theme.
[04:29-05:13] This is a revised cue. The original album presented an alternate as the first part of 'The Shadow of the Past'. The alternate uses 'The Pity of Gollum' instead of 'The History of the Ring'.
1|1|8 A Conspiracy Unmasked
1|2|7 The Council of Elrond Assembles
1|2|11 The Doors of Durin
1|3|4 The Fighting Uruk-Hai
1|3|5 Parth Galen
2|1|1 Glamdring
2|1|4 My Precious
2|1|15 The Heir of Númenor
[05:17-05:25] From the Annotated Score: "High strings and oboe solicit the proceedings with an entreating line [starts at 5:05] that subtly segues into the History of the Ring in its closing moments."
2|2|12 The Story Foretold
2|2|13 Sons of the Steward
2|3|13 The Tales That Really Matter
3|1|1 Roots and Beginnings
[00:32-00:47] From the Annotated Score: "As it has twice before, the History of the Ring theme accompanies the on-screen title, and the final third of The Lord of the Rings begins."
[02:14-02:30] From the Annotated Score: "(Déagol falls in the water, the music darkens for the first time,) only to be parted by another of the hobbits' signature sounds, the solo fiddle. Once again the History of the Ring sounds — the One Ring has lured another hand."
[04:44-04:59] From the Annotated Score: "But the angular music of Mordor is appropriate to this setting. Under the Ring's overwhelming influence, Sméagol murders Déagol. Pinched settings of the History theme mark a new hand bearing the Ring. (A spindly oboe line descends, trickling down through the orchestra as Sméagol flees for the Misty Mountains and begins to change.)"
[05:25-05:55] From the Annotated Score: "Time passes as the History theme reemerges, encountering a new rising and falling line outlining minor harmonies upon its return."
3|1|2 Journey to the Cross-roads
[00:20-00:42] From the Annotated Score: "As the trio camps on the outer borders of Osgiliath, Frodo furtively examines his precious Ring. ...violins reach up to form a cool, still reading of the History of the Ring."
3|1|10 The Palantír
3|1|13 The Eyes of the White Tower
3|1|14 A Coronal of Silver and Gold
3|2|2 The Stairs of Cirith Ungol
[01:18-01:26] From the AS-ROTK: Frodo struggles to maneuver the rocks and pitches forward, revealing the Ring around his neck. Gollum sees it, his gaze transfixed. The orchestra twitches in aleatoric discomfort as Gollum reaches towards Frodo. The History of the Ring plays out clearly, tempting Gollum's hand, inviting it.
[01:40-01:50] Magpie: This would probably be heard when Gollum says, "Master carries a heavy burden. A heavy, heavy burden. Sméagol knows."
3|2|5 The Parting of Sam and Frodo
[02:11-02:20] AS-ROTK: Innocently, he offers to carry it for Frodo. But in Frodo’s ears, Sam’s words recall Gollum’s. “He wants it!” Two elongated violin pitches evoke the shape of the History Theme, but the theme doesn’t materialize. They’re the wrong pitches, and yet Frodo would seem to have heard the theme in his head, his perception bruised by paranoia.
3|4|1 Mount Doom
[00:50-01:25] The "Meta Ring Theme".