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Théoden refuses to challenge Saruman head on, deciding instead to take refuge at Helm’s Deep. Háma, Captain of the King’s Guard, makes the declaration to the people of Edoras while French horn calls the Rohan theme out, the end of each statement collapsing prematurely, folding downwards in wearied defeat.

The Fellowship knows Théoden is walking into a trap. Gandalf confides in Aragorn, “I fear for the survival of Rohan,” as low and mid strings wreathe upwards, peaking in the down-and-back shape of the Fellowship theme. The White Rider knows that he must intervene if the Rohirrim are to survive.

Trembling, the orchestra builds to a dynamic but minor-moded and serious-minded statement of The White Rider (In the Fellowship) and the Wizard rides Shadowfax out to seek aid.

Listeners will again note “The King’s Decision” and “Exodus From Edoras” share a few identical measures.

The open fifth string harmonies that end “The King’s Decision” backed Éowyn’s sword practice, which, in the Theatrical edit of The Two Towers, immediately followed Gandalf’s departure from the stables. On DVD Aragorn and Éowyn first discuss Brego after Gandalf leaves, and so the end of Shore’s composition is dissolved out of the film.

The fifths are heard here, on CD, both in their original placement, at the end of “The King’s Decision,” and at their new residence, approximately half way through “Exodus From Edoras,” where Éowyn’s sword scene eventually settled.

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

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