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Éowyn presents Aragorn with a drink, honoring him for his service to her people, and indicating her own feeling towards him. While Aragorn remains silent, Shore’s music presents the longing Éowyn and Aragorn theme, the melody associated with her unrequited love. Though Éowyn’s expression indicates that she believes Aragorn shares her romantic inclinations, the music informs us otherwise. Just as Théoden steps in, the incomplete Éowyn and Aragorn theme shifts ever so slightly, introducing English horn and a slightly different contour, becoming Éowyn and Théoden. Reading her face, Théoden congratulates Éowyn on what he assumes is a shared love.

Other corners of Meduseld, however, are experiencing far more light-hearted celebrations. Gimli and Legolas have agreed to compete against one another in a drinking contest. While Legolas is distantly intrigued, Gimli’s interest borders on obsession. He is ready to take on the Elf on a contest he is certain to win. The music returns to Dwarf style for the last time in The Lord of the Rings. As Gimli ravenously gulps his ale, Shore’s score bounces with excitement, the Dwarves’ open fifth intervals rebuilt into something resembling the Hobbits’ End Cap: the Dwarf End Cap. Constant modulation and a warbling cor anglais line place the Dwarf on unsteady footing as it quickly becomes clear that, despite his abiding love for drink, Gimli’s constitution is no match for an Elf’s. With a final dizzying trill, Gimli’s head meets the floor of the Golden Hall at an uncomfortably high velocity.

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

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