The Lord of the Rings Score Analysis Project
view by track | view by theme | what's new

The World of Men: Gondor

The Realm of Gondor (in Decline)

Appears in:

1|2|8 The Great Eye
2|2|7 One of the Dúnedain
2|2|13 Sons of the Steward
3|1|3 The Road to Isengard
[01:04-01:12] From the Annotated Score: "As the camera tilts back and The Return of the King title card appears, the theme shifts and French horn intones the opening of the Realm of Gondor, the de facto central theme of the third film."
3|1|4 The Foot of Orthanc
[02:08-02:18] From the Annotated Score: "Saruman knows, too, of Aragorn's right to Gondor's throne. Mocking him as a mere Ranger, French horns eviscerate the Gondor theme, swallowing it into their lowest, darkest possible register."
3|1|10 The Palantír
[02:44-02:59] From the Annotated Score: "Gandalf confers with Théoden and Aragorn, tells them of Pippin's vision, and explains that they now know that Sauron will strike Minas Tirith. Aragorn offers to journey to Minas Tirith, but Gandalf refuses the offer. Beginning with a pedal C, the Gondor theme descends ominously through the orchestra creating a collective pyramid cluster."
3|1|13 The Eyes of the White Tower
[03:23-03:40] This theme is interrupted by the hybrid Threat of Mordor/Mordor Skip Beat before the theme develops enough to determine if it is Gondor's Ascension or Decline. Given the state of things in Gondor, the somber quality of the music, and the fact that it follows Gandalf's explanation of the decrepit White Tree, I would say it is The Realm of Gondor (In Decline).
3|1|15 The Lighting of the Beacons
[04:56-05:38] The full version of the Gondor Theme, in a setting only eclipsed in majesty by the OST's version of the same cue
3|2|1 Osgiliath Invaded
[00:00-??:??] Temporary Comment: For those interested in filling out the remainder of these RotK tracks go to the following website (Until Melson Z can get around to doing it, which he says will be sometime in August or September): The RotK usage of themes is arranged by theme there, but I have compiled a list of them in order of appearance. Tim Fisher alias "Timdalf"
3|2|4 The Sacrifice of Faramir
[01:21-02:08] AS-ROTK: Faramir and his troops begin their march out of Minas Tirith in their futile attempt to reclaim Osgiliath. The pan flute returns, again vainly sorting through scraps of Gondor’s theme, trying to reform it. As percussion continues its stride, the harmonic momentum of the strings and chorus subside, each chord freezing, drawing itself reluctantly forwards. Again the pan flute strains to bolster Gondor’s pride, but illustrates little other than the grave of a once proud kingdom—a lineage come to its bitter end. Gandalf pleads with Faramir, but, shamed by his father, Faramir feels he must obey his orders. Magpie: although this is not specifically listed as an iteration of the Faramir and Denethor theme, the notation shown in the CR-ROTK liner notes under the discussion of this theme references this scene's music.
[03:41-03:44] AS-ROTK: The hobbits’ clarinet enters and reiterates the opening pitches of Pippin’s song—the same perfect fifth that begins Gondor’s theme—in a mournful echo.
[03:57-03:59] AS-ROTK: Solo fiddle answers the clarinet, likewise lonely and unembellished.
3|3|9 Shieldmaiden of Rohan