The Lord of the Rings Score Analysis Project
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All Shall Come to Darkness: The Army of the Dead

Appears in:

3|1|10 The Palantír
[02:59-03:09] From the Annotated Score: "Its conclusion is intercepted by an eerie brume of high strings, introducing, in miniature, the music of the Army of the Dead. Gandalf tells Aragorn that he must come to Minas Tirith by another road. "Follow the river. Look to the black ships.""
3|2|6 Marshalling at Dunharrow
[01:55-02:21] AS-ROTK: Gimli and Legolas peer down the valley of Harrowdale as once again the Army of the Dead begins. But this time it is no far off twinge. Aragorn stares down the narrow mouth of the road. Men’s voices are audible, calling with the text of “The Dimholt Road”: “Come armed/or prepared to die./There is no other end/to this road.” The faintest hints of a glowing apparition can be seen, challenging Aragorn’s gaze. Bassoon and hanging Tibetan gongs twist and contort behind the broad choral lines as the aural equivalents of reanimated bone and battle-ravaged metal. The Army of the Dead awaits.
[04:12-04:55] AS-ROTK: Beneath Dunharrow, upon the Stair of the Hold, a cloaked rider approaches, his coming infecting Aragorn’s sleeping mind with horrific visions. He sees himself thrust towards the Dimholt Road, he sees Arwen’s Evenstar pendant shattered, and he sees Arwen upon her death bed, alone, deprived of his presence. The Army of the Dead theme plays again, preponderantly developed. Aragorn has long grappled with his inheritance, but his concerns are now drawing to a head. He fears the Paths of the Dead as he fears his own weaknesses. But his love for Arwen has caused him to fear even more for another, to put her safety before his. Aragorn is beginning to adopt the mindset of a benevolent ruler. The Army of the Dead theme crescendos and suddenly cuts off. With a start, Aragorn wakes from his vision. The guard at his door informs him he has a visitor. UNUSED CONCEPT: The Army of the Dead theme playing under Aragorn’s nightmare was not used in the film. On disc, it ties Aragorn’s fears and his understanding of his responsibilities—a telling psychological portrait of a leader pushed to serve by his concern for others.
3|2|8 The Passing of the Grey Company
3|2|9 Dwimorberg - The Haunted Mountain
[00:00-00:51] magpie: My sense is that - like the Ent music - the Army of the Dead 'music' is as much about mood as melody. I'm not sure what we can consider 'theme' and what is just 'mood'. For the moment, I'm identifying the first section only as AotD theme.
3|2|11 The Paths of the Dead