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Back in Fangorn, the Three Hunters continue their search for Merry and Pippin. Droplets of black Orc blood indicate they are making progress, but the eeriness of the forest keeps the trio on its guard. Shore’s Ent theme is picked up in the extreme ends of the strings— shivery high violins and rumbling contrabasses and celli. The middle of the orchestra, meanwhile, fidgets and barks with tight horn clusters and the knocks of the log drums. “The trees are speaking to each other,” Legolas observes as a steady musical build begins in a twittering hum of strings, winds, timpani and tam-tam scrapes. The patterns crescendo and complicate as the Elf continues, “The White Wizard approaches.”

With a sudden upward sweep of staggered brass, Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas turn to attack the interloper, but their assaults are effortlessly turned away. A pulsing pedal tone beats below dense minor harmonies as intense white light engulfs the trio. Following one last tuft of aleatoric strings, the music dissolves into clear, pure brightness. High strings consolidate into octaves while female voices chant in repeating triplet figures. In four arcing measures, Shore introduces the music for Gandalf the White (In Nature). The music rises in unchecked splendor, tempered only by the brevity of its appearance. This theme articulates the same simple directness as does Nature’s Reclamation, but the chorus carries an embedded secret: the text is drawn from Tolkien’s “The Call,” and has been translated into Old English. Throughout The Lord of the Rings, the chorus lyrics used for Gandalf regard the wizard’s position as a mediator, a character that moves between cultures to influence Middle-earth. In Lothlórien, he was referenced in Sindarin and Quenya texts. In Moria, the Dwarves’ Khuzdul accompanied his movements. But here in Fagorn, Gandalf the White is met by choral lyrics in the same adapted Old English associated with Rohan. The wizard has now been sent back as an agent of Nature and, as such, has a greater grasp of the mysteries of Middle-earth. he knows he must lead the remaining members of the Fellowship through Rohan.

But first, Gandalf must account for his reappearance. The Wizard recounts his ordeal with the Balrog and their climb to the summit of Zirakzigil. Shore’s score supplies the vaguest hint of Dwarvish music—plangent timpani strokes over open fifth harmonies—but, this is not the same intense fight that began upon the Bridge of khazad-dûm. After two days and nights, the combatants are worn. Summoning its last bits of strength, the score exerts a final choral thrust, drawing again from Boyens’ text, “The Fight,” and gandalf smites the Balrog’s ruin upon the mountainside.

Gandalf, too, collapses, but the score neither celebrates nor mourns the battle’s end. Instead, with a thousand pinpricks of woodwinds and violins, it trickles back to life. After wandering the less tangible corners of existence, strong melodic figures in the massed low voices of the orchestra pass Gandalf’s sprit back into his body, and Gandalf the White is brought into the world.

So the road to Edoras is laid before the Fellowship. The music snaps to with a sense of rhythmic purpose, but Gimli protests, recalling their original purpose for entering the forest. Bits of hobbit music, including the End Cap figure, can be heard forming like the thoughts in the Dwarf’s mind before they reach his mouth. “Are we to leave those poor hobbits here…?” The score takes one more detour to Ent music—reduced to a gnarring collection of celli, contrabasses, timpani and log drums—as Gimli again manages to insult his hosts. But the son of Glóin’s barbs are well meant. He doesn’t like the idea of leaving Merry and Pippin lost in Fangorn. Gandalf, however, is content—the hobbits have joined with the Ents for a purpose. His nature-based metaphor (“The coming of Merry and Pippin will be like the falling of small stones that starts an avalanche in the mountains,”) is preceded by the same succoring four chords (F♯ minor, G major, F♯ minor, A minor) that will begin “The Dreams of Trees,” but here they build into a profoundly elevating choral line that, like Gandalf the White (In Nature), foreshadows more the potent variations of Nature music to come. Shore, in dioramic form, introduces a powerfully symbolic foretoken—the simple goodness of these two hobbits will arouse Nature’s retribution. But like Gandalf’s words, the chart of this course is still shrouded in mystery.

Once again, however, the music stays one step ahead of the plot. As the chords build in the chorus, Shore utilizes a text, “The Mearas,” that references a more immediate manifestation of the natural world—the imminent arrival of Gandalf’s steed, Shadowfax. Gandalf rides with the Three Hunters, and the Fellowship has officially increased its count to four members. Upon this mark, Shore introduces a new variant of the Fellowship theme: Gandalf the White (In the Fellowship). “Gandalf now relates to the mystery of the story,” Shore explains of the broad, regal melody, which, like Gandalf the White (In Nature), features Nature’s high clear tones. “He’s the character that’s trying to figure everything out, always riding out to find information and bring it back. He’s part of the unknown—he’s been reborn and we really don’t know much about him.” Built off the opening down-and-back-up pitches of the Fellowship’s theme, Gandalf the White (In the Fellowship) creates the bridge between the will of Nature and the responsibilities and deeds of the Fellowship of the Ring.

The sustained musical build from Legolas’ line, “The trees are speaking to each other,” to the assault on the White Wizard is replaced in the film with sound effects, as is Gandalf’s final battle with the Balrog and his mystical odyssey through the cosmos. “The score needed to pause,” Shore explains. “We don’t always know this until we’ve assembled all the elements of the film, and we don’t do that until very late in the process.”

Another editorial decision, however, resulted in a happy accident in the music for Gandalf’s return to Middle-earth. During The Two Towers’ production, Shore scored individual scenes as the film was edited, which meant that he wasn’t always writing in story order. He had already completed a long series of rising choral triplets for Gandalf’s pending arrival at Helm’s Deep when the filmmakers began to edit Gandalf’s first appearance in Fangorn. The editors took the completed Helm’s Deep music and edited it into Fangorn, finding, in the process, that it struck exactly the mood they sought. So when Shore came to score this scene, he incorporated the rising triplets, creating, in the process, a recurring theme for Gandalf the White (In Nature). As it happened, however, the theme was eventually removed from the Helm’s Deep scene. And so, only on this CD set do both iterations of Gandalf the White (In Nature) exist, binding Gandalf’s two most prominent moments of reappearance.

The final alteration to this composition involves Shadowfax’s approach, though in this case the sequence was simply rewritten with a slightly different approach. Shore’s first draft of this music can still be heard on The Two Towers’ 2002 original soundtrack CD.

Text by J.R.R. Tolkien
Old English Translation by David Salo
First Heard: Disc Two | Track Thirteen
Hwæ ´r cwóm helm? hwæ ´r cwóm byrne? | Where is the helm and the hauberk,
Hwæ ´r cwóm feax flówende? | and the bright hair flowing?
Hwæ ´r cwóm hand on hearpestrenge? | Where is the hand on the harpstring,
Hwæ ´r cwóm scír fyyr scínende? | and the red fire glowing?
Hwæ ´r cwóm lencten and hærfest? | Where is the spring and the harvest
Hwæ ´r cwóm héah corn weaxende? | and the tall corn growing?
Hwá gegaderath wuduréc of wealdholte byrnende? | Who shall gather the smoke of the dead wood burning?
Oththe gesiehth of gársecge thá géar gewendende? | Or behold the flowing years from the Sea returning?

Text by Philippa Boyens
Quenya Translation by David Salo
First Heard: Disc One | Track One
Cuiva Olórin | Awake Olórin
Nárendur | Servant of fire
Tira nottolya | face your foe
Tulta tuolya | Summon forth your strength
An mauya mahtie | For you must fight
Ter oiomornie | Through endless dark
Ter ondicilyar | Through chasms of stone.
Mettanna. | To the end.
Nurunna! | To the death!

Text by Philippa Boyens
Old English Translation by David Salo
First Heard: Disc Two | Track Thirteen
Híe hine sáwon feorran | In the distance they saw him,
And hwíte sunnan in mane | White sun caught in his mane.
Híe lange hine clipodon | Long they called him –
ac hé ne wolde cuman | but he would not come.
For thon hé wæs Sceadufæx | For he was Shadowfax –
Hláford ealra Méara | Lord of all Horses.
and hé ne andswarode bútan ánne. | And he answered to only one.

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

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