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Faramir returns to Minas Tirith to confer with Gandalf. Pippin sits on Shadowfax along with Gandalf, and catches Faramir’s eye. He has only days before seen two other halflings: Frodo and Sam. Solo clarinet begins a Shire-like line as Pippin’s eyes widen. His friends are still alive.

Alive, yes, but in great peril. Led by Gollum, the two hobbits climb the stairs of Cirith Ungol. Frodo struggles to maneuver the rocks and pitches forward, revealing the Ring around his neck. Gollum sees it, his gaze transfixed. The orchestra twitches in aleatoric discomfort as Gollum reaches towards Frodo. The History of the Ring plays out clearly, tempting Gollum’s hand, inviting it. But, sword at the ready, Sam calls to Gollum, who instead grabs Frodo’s arm and helps him up the incline. While Sam follows the same difficult pathway, Gollum pulls Frodo aside, sowing the seeds of mistrust. “He wants it,” Gollum claims. “He needs it.” Again the orchestra is electrified, twittering in a thousand directions at once after the cor repeats the History theme. Has Sam, too, heard the Ring’s call?

Far off, the Ring’s slaves continue to do its bidding. The Witch-king looks out over the conquered city of Osgiliath toward Minas Tirith. Over a contrabassoon pedal and string chords, the Black Captain orders Gothmog to lead the troops towards the city. “Do not stop the attack until the city is taken.”

The cor anglais reading of the History of the Ring was not used in the final film, only the aleatoric string writing that backs it was.

The very end of this composition, which was meant to score the Witch-king and Gothmog, was pushed forward and used under Gandalf and the Gondorian troops in the final film.

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

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