Hope is rewarded. Haldir of Lórien arrives with a band of Elf archers to assist the Rohirrim. The Lothlórien theme takes a heretofore unheard guise, its florid current solidified into a militant march. Voices and brass in Elf-like unison carry the theme over rhythmic percussion and strings. And yet, optimism is still tempered—The London Voices yet sing the grim “Footsteps of Doom” text associated with the Lothlórien theme.
As Haldir tells Théoden that the Elves have returned to honor their old alliance with Men, three chords rise through high strings—nearly identical to the three chords heard when Gandalf, at the Doors of Durin, invoked the name “Fëanor”, one of the Eldar. Aragorn rushes to Haldir, greeting him with a clear trumpet calling out the Fellowship theme. Neither the Elf archers nor the soldiers of Rohan are true members of the Fellowship, but in their alliance, they follow its spirit implicitly. The Elves, in flawless precision, snap themselves to readiness while Shore marks the alliance with one more lively salutation from the Fellowship theme.
None of this cheer, however, has slowed the Uruks; their torchlight and cries now deface the visible horizon, their footfalls shaking the ground. Ensconced deep within the Glittering Caves the women and children of Rohan cower in expectancy. The score sinks into a cheerless lull that is navigated by a single anticipatory double-reed statement of the Rohan theme. “It’s gentle and emotional. These are families, and the score plays to their sorrow,” Shore says. “There’s going to be destruction and death very soon.” With a handful of chromatically rising chords, the Uruk-hai arrive at Helm’s Deep.
The Fellowship theme that backs the Elf archers’ precision move to readiness was removed from the film when it was decided that the melody should be saved exclusively for the members of the Fellowship. The last two chords of the composition were also dissolved in order to extend the pre-battle silence by a few seconds.
FOOTSTEPS OF DOOM
Text from J. R. R. Tolkien
Adapted by Philippa Boyens
Sindarin Translation by David Salo
First Heard: Disc Two | Track Twelve
Man sí minna? | Who enters here?
Man ammen toltha i dann hen Amarth? | Who brings to us this token of Doom?
I anann darthant dam morn | That which has stood so long against the darkness
Si dannatha. | will now fall.
© The Annotated Score (The Music of The Lord of the Rings Films)
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