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Back in the present day, Gollum leads Sam and Frodo on their voyage to Mordor. It is a wearying journey, but Frodo is restless, obsessed with the Ring he bears around his neck. As the trio camps on the outer borders of Osgiliath, Frodo furtively examines his precious Ring. Shore’s score, still transitioning back to modern times with a rising French horn line that hints at Ring music, pulls aside as violins reach up to form a cool, still reading of the History of the Ring. Gollum’s scuffling breaks Frodo from his trance, and the score discards the History theme, leaving in its place that which it has wrought—the music of long-suffering hobbits.

The remainder of this composition abounds in the sounds of the Shire, but raggedly deconstructed, reformed as pained reminders. The solo clarinet of the hobbits’ Pensive Setting wanders through dense minor harmonies, while gathering strings allude to the edges of the Journey There, the Ring Quest theme heard in Fellowship when Sam and Frodo first ventured past the Shire’s landscape.

The transitional music at the beginning of this composition, like the Gollum music that precedes it, was left out of the film to allow stillness and sound effects to carry the dramatic weight.

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

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