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It is in this sequence that Gollum’s Pity theme gains its greatest dramatic significance. The creature is wretched and vile to be sure, but in the end, he’s a victim of the Ring. Here, as Gollum’s crooked tune sings in the cor (see instrumentalists list, orchestra), the music articulates a sense of sadness and regret—the same pity that stayed Bilbo’s hand years ago.

As Frodo and Gandalf continue discussing the peril of their journey, an alto flute softly intones bits of the Hobbit’s Understanding variation on the Shire theme. This sequence, also part of the Cannes preview, marks the first time Shore wove the Shire theme into his score. A nearly identical figure will return near the end of the first film when Frodo remembers Gandalf’s words.

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

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