The Lord of the Rings Score Analysis Project
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The World of Men: Rohan

The Rohan Fanfare

Appears in:

2|1|2 Elven Rope
2|1|6 The Three Hunters
2|2|1 Edoras
2|2|3 Théoden King
2|2|4 The King's Decision
[00:07-00:22] From The Annotated Score: "Théoden refuses to challenge Saruman head on, and decides instead to take refuge at Helm's Deep. Háma, Captain of the King's Guard, makes the declaration to the people of Edoras while French horn calls the Rohan theme out, the end of each statement collapsing prematurely, folding downwards in wearied defeat.
2|2|5 Exodus From Edoras
2|2|9 Refuge at Helm's Deep
2|3|2 War is Upon Us
[01:15-01:18] From The Annotated Score: "Inserted into this somber mélange are three trumpet calls ... The second call presents a rising minor third, the first two pitches of the Rohan Fanfare."
2|3|3 "Where is the Horse and the Rider?"
[04:12-04:31] From the Annotated Score: "Another trumpet call sounds, aspiring to be a bold call to arms, but stuck on the first two pitches of the Rohan Fanfare, unable to complete the line."
[05:27-05:44] From the Annotated Score: "As [Aragorn] arms himself the trumpet call returns, still unable to complete a heroic statement of the Rohan Fanfare, but enlivened, quicker, coupled with a bold snare drum tattoo."
2|3|4 The Host of the Eldar
2|3|5 The Battle of the Hornburg
2|3|8 Retreat
[04:16-04:23] From the Annotated Score: "French horn sounds a proclamatory call of the Rohan Fanfare..."
[04:26-04:32] "Trumpet echoes the call, likewise beginning with Rohan's Fanfare..."
2|3|12 Théoden Rides Forth
2|3|14 "Long Ways to Go Yet"
3|1|5 Return to Edoras
[01:02-01:21] From the Annotated Score: "The mode shifts to A minor and the rasp of the Hardanger fiddle sings the score's first statement of the Rohan Fanfare. The story returns to Edoras, the capital of Rohan. The Rohirrim are honoring the bravery displayed at Helm's Deep, and remembering their fallen comrades. Shore sets the Rohan theme in an elegant six beats per measure, lending it both a heroic lilt and a songful, elegiac quality."
3|1|15 The Lighting of the Beacons
3|2|6 Marshalling at Dunharrow
[00:00-01:13] AS-ROTK: En route to Minas Tirith, the Rohirrim amass their collective forces at Dunharrow. Although a society of Nature, Rohan’s theme is routed to a squared-away series of contrapuntal statements transmitted between strings, French horns and Hardanger. Even the melody line itself is hammered into a more aggressive countenance. The telltale rising minor third interval that traditionally opens the theme is now stretched a whole tone higher, into a perfect fourth—an interval only a whole step away from the declamatory opening of the Gondor theme. This is Rohan at the most regal, most urban end of their capacity. As they near Gondor they become, in a way, more like it. And yet, they’re able to retain their essential sensitivity—the connection to Middle-earth that is so crucial to their existence. As the militaristic rigor subsides that gentility emerges. Riding among the troops, rallying them, Théoden is dismayed to find so few have come. French horns sing the Rohan theme more softly, over tremolo strings.