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Sauron calls to Aragorn, tempting him just as he’s tempted his kin. Aragorn turns back to the Army of Men, motionless… and smiles. “For Frodo.” Whether to aid a fallen friend, or honor his memory, Aragorn will lead his men in battle. He will shut out the voices of temptation, the personal weaknesses and fears. He will become the king that mankind needs.

As it never has before, and never will again, the Fellowship theme sounds in religioso full chorus and orchestra. It is the ultimate act of Fellowship, an act that embodies both the Company’s mandate to destroy the Ring and the ideals the Ring threatens. The Army of the West charges, rushing toward the Orcs with unchecked abandon. The chorus continues as Sam carries his fallen friend towards the inferno’s doorway a little further ahead.

But suddenly the voices lose the line, spinning into epic minor chords. Gollum emerges, leaping onto Sam’s back, dislodging Frodo. The voices pick up the Mount Doom theme, two billowing minor chords a minor sixth apart. But these are also the opening harmonies of Gollum’s Pity theme, a theme that has, all along, been hinting at Mordor’s reserve of power without revealing its source. Gollum screams, maddened beyond retrieval. He claws at Frodo’s throat, desperate to reclaim his Ring before it can reach the fires of Mount Doom. Hurling a heavy volcanic rock, Sam knocks Gollum aside, and the two roll downhill in a violent heap.

At the Black Gate the Nazgûl have arrived, the fell beasts soaring down in wicked sorties. A block of the Threat of Mordor is dislodged, in the brass. The beasts force their awful screams through their throats, but it is another winged creature that takes hold of the score. Gandalf pauses in the midst of battle as a tiny moth flutters before him. Boy soprano Ben del Maestro begins Nature’s Reclamation. This is no brassy setting dedicated to Man’s natural alliance, this is the music of… the Eagles! Swooping in, undetected, Gwaihir, the Windlord, leads five Eagles against the Nazgûl.

Sam has broken free of Gollum, and continues his way up the mountain. But, newly determined, Frodo has gotten ahead of him. Sam settles his eyes on Frodo just in time to see him dart into the glowing doorway of the Sammath Naur. Six French horns bellow the History/Evil of the Ring hybrid, calling out the moment of decision.

Text by Philippa Boyens
Sindarin Translation by David Salo
Ae na guil nín egor na ngurth nín | If by my life or death
Gerin le beriad | I can protect you,
Le beriathon | I will.
Le annon vegil nín | I give you my sword
Cyll e-Gorv | Ringbearer,
Le annon beth nín | I give you my word,

Ú-erir aen han risto | It cannot be broken.
Ú-erir aen han presto | Nor turned aside,

Rúvo i rym | Let the horns sound,
I aur hen ú bant! | This day is not done!
Isto Mordor han: | Let Mordor know this:
Elessar! Elessar! | Elessar! Elessar!
Tellin i Chîr Gondor! | The Lords of Gondor have come!

Text by J. R. R. Tolkien and Philippa Boyens
Sindarin Translation by David Salo
Orthannen im vi ôl | In a dream I was lifted up.
Coll e dû | Borne from the darkness
Or hiriath naur | Above rivers of fire.
Na rovail mae sui ‘waew | On wings soft as the wind.
Man prestant i ardhon? | What’s happened to the world?
Cerithar aen illaid dim úthenin? | Is everything sad going to come untrue?

© The Annotated Score (The Music of The Lord of the Rings Films)

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