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Listening to the Elves’ mourning voices from afar, Boromir experiences his own sad recollection. He dreams of Gondor and his abiding love for his troubled father as the Minas Tirth theme plays out as a dialogue for first horn and first trumpet over warm low string harmonies. This theme will not reappear until The Return of the King, where it stands as a crucial keystone of the Gondor material.

The music shifts from brass tones to vocal timbres as Galadriel arrives and regards Frodo. “This scene was tricky because it’s so iconic,” Shore remembers. “This whole scene, everybody who’s ever read Tolkien knows every moment of it. It had to be done perfectly.” Galadriel and Frodo glimpse the potential future of Middle-earth in the Elf’s mirror and, for the only time in the scores, Shore interweaves the music of Lothlórien with grating melodies of Mordor. The composer even allows the cruelest of the Mordor themes, the Evil of the Ring, to sound in muted trumpets.

Afraid of what the future may hold, Frodo offers Galadriel the Ring. Her temptation is scored with an obscene orchestral crescendo of burbling low strings and heavy brass chords—and a hint of the Mordor Outline in the timpani. “I wanted a breathing feeling—to make the brass sigh,” describes Shore. The music recedes as Galadriel passes the test and accepts that she, like the other Elves, must now diminish. Her choice reaffirms that the Ring is to be carried by Frodo and no other, as does a grim French horn statement of the Journey There theme.

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

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