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The solo alto flute is joined by interplaying string lines as Arwen, still in Rivendell, grapples with her difficult decision. Prompted by her father, she decides to forsake her love for Aragorn and depart Middle-earth with the rest of her kind. The score tenderly pauses, then enfolds the Rivendell theme in the most elaborate setting heard since Fellowship. Yet despite the female voices intoning “Hymn to Elbereth”, the harp glissandi and robust arpeggio figures, the Rivendell theme moves slowly and softly, almost receding. After a single rhapsodic statement of the line it evolves into a sadder, more linearly expressive shape that draws the stylistic tendencies of the “Evenstar” and “The Grace of the Valar” music closer to Rivendell.

Over a lingering shot, the monochord reappears in clarification of its appearance in the music of Rivendell: Elrond has been in telepathic communication with Galadriel. The Eastern-tinted Lothlórien theme—sarangi doubled with female chorus singing “Footsteps of Doom” —makes its debut appearance in The Two Towers as Galadriel peers into the future of Middle-earth. “In the gathering dark, the will of the Ring grows strong,” she tells Elrond. Violins nimbly trickle in The Nameless Fear passage, subtly rising like Sauron’s mounting power, over irresolute minor chords. This same passage plays under Galadriel’s narration in The Fellowship of the Ring’s opening, and conditions have improved little since then. The Ring still seeks to reach its master. To that end, it has now entered the susceptible World of Men.

Will the Ring be changing hands again? In its classic A minor cor anglais guise, the History of the Ring sighs across the score while Faramir and his Rangers take Frodo and Sam to their hidden outpost of Henneth Annûn.

Sindarin Text by J.R.R. Tokien
English Translation by David Salo
First Heard: Disc Two | Track Twelve
A Elbereth Gilthoniel, | O Elbereth Star-kindler
silivren penna míriel | There slants down like shining jewels
o menel aglar elenath! | From heaven the glory of the stars.
Na-chaered palan-díriel | After gazing afar into the distance
o galadhremmin ennorath, | From tree-tangled Middle-earth
Fanuilos, le linnathon | Snow-white, i sing to you
nef aear, sí nef aearon! | Beyond the sea, here beyond the great sea.

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.


Listening Example: Disc Two| Track Twelve| 1:13
The sarangi, a bowed string instrument common to Indian classical music, is constructed from a single block of wood, covered in parchment and generally strung with three or four gut strings under which 35 to 40 resonating strings run.

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

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