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The hour upon them, the Rohirrim mount their horses to begin the last three-day leg of their ride to Minas Tirith. The new perfect fourth setting of the Rohan Fanfare is channeled into a busy compound meter variation matched to this flurry of activity. Théoden informs Merry that he is not to fight with the men after all, and the hobbit pleads with the king. Sir James Galway’s whistle sympathizes with the hobbit, but Théoden holds fast. Merry can do little else but stand and watch as the troops ride away, until a masked rider gallops next to the hobbit, grabbing him and hoisting him upon the horse. Merry is shocked. But, if the rider’s voice doesn’t betray the ruse, Shore’s score does. For the first time in The Lord of the Rings, the Éowyn Shieldmaiden of Rohan theme is used not to portray a suffering character, forced to watch her people struggle while she watches from safe distances. Disguised as Dernhelm, Éowyn will fight with the men of Rohan. And now Merry will too. Brass declares Éowyn’s theme in a near fanfare until, with a clash of cymbals, the orchestra again begins its thumping stride. High strings carry the faintest suggestion of Nature’s Reclamation. The riders set forth in great streams, and the Rohan Fanfare sounds one more time in a vigorously commanding Lydian setting.

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

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