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Violins rise through the three opening pitches of Gollum’s Pity. But instead of proceeding back down the line, the strings leerily divert up for two sighing pitches a half-step apart—the first notes of the History of the Ring. Frodo probes Gollum’s history, even calling him Sméagol for the first time in the story, but in one short passage, the score tells us everything we need to know. Gollum’s sad theme now interweaves with the Ring’s History theme. The Pity of Gollum and the History of the Ring have twisted into a single, tortured whole. Gollum’s history is the Ring’s history.

The revelation is short lived, however. A rude series of evenly spaced D-naturals pushes the compound Way to Mordor figure back into the score and directs all eyes upwards. A Ringwraith soars above Gollum and the hobbits, still hunting the Ring, now mounted on the back of a winged fell beast. Mixed chorus bleeds back into the score, intoning the Black Speech lyrics and close harmonies of the Ringwraiths. With an up-tempo charge of the Threat of Mordor, the Wraith’s theme ruptures through—each choral burst doubled in muted trumpets, recalling the pinched tone of the rhaita.

In the finished film, the Ringwraith’s appearance features different choral performances and fewer developments of the Wraith theme. The composition featured on CD is as it was originally written by Shore.

Text by Philippa Boyens
Adûnaic Translation by David Salo
First Heard: Disc Two | Track Twelve
Nêbâbîtham Magânanê | We renounce our Maker.
Nêtabdam dâur-ad | We cleave to the darkness.
Nêpâm nêd abârat-aglar | We take unto ourselves the power and glory.
îdô nidir nênâkham | Behold! we are the Nine,
Bârî’n Katharâd | The Lords of Unending Life.

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

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