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With the Elves’ assistance, it appears the Rohirrim are beginning to hold the Uruk-hai at bay. The armies evenly matched, the thematic material momentarily drops out of the score. However, a quick snare drum figure and a pair of chords (G-minor and E-minor) apply tension as the Uruks carry a set of metallic orbs to a drain in the outer wall of Helm’s Dike. Aragorn senses something is not right and strings pick up the snare’s taught rhythms. Legolas tries to bring a charging Uruk down, but the Berserker reaches the drain, sets his torch to the orbs, and explodes the wall. Now reflecting the Uruks’ advantage the score is lacerated by the stinging dissonance of The Cruelty of the Orcs. The G-minor and E-minor chords return more malignly and the Uruks begin to hammer the main gate with a battering ram.

The Fellowship, meanwhile, is still recovering from the explosion along the wall. Buoyed by the score’s three most fully developed statements of the Fellowship in Rohan, Gimli leaps to Aragorn’s aid. The Elves, regrouped, draw their blades and rush towards the Uruk-hai. Again an all-brass setting of the Lothlórien theme heralds their force, though nearby a Mirkwood Elf interrupts the line with a more specific melody. Riding a shield, Legolas swiftly descends a staircase, dispatching Uruks as he goes, while a brisk Fellowship quote follows. It is an isolated moment of unblemished heroism, and as the theme concludes the mood darkens, the taut snare drum rhythm returning.

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

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