When you take requisite reading like J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic three-volume novel “The Lord of the Rings” and make it a film, the results are bound to be monumental. And so they were. Peter Jackson’s Academy Award-winning adaptations are some of the best films of the past few decades, bringing the beloved (and cursed) characters from the world’s best selling novels to life.
Those characters — everyone from the willful, determined Frodo Baggins, to the regal, omnipotent Gandalf, and the delightfully treacherous Gollum — are visually stimulating, but perhaps the most important character in ‘LOTR’ is Howard Shore’s multifaceted, unparalleled score.
In a new video essay from The Nerd Writer, the score is broken down into its individual leitmotifs (thanks, Richard Wagner) and how the four main themes (Lothlorian, Ring, Shire, and Fellowship) play off and into each other throughout the film. The leitmotifs are used to not only foreshadow what’s ahead, but contrast the feelings and desires hidden from the on-screen action.
For any Tolkien fan, this is a quick-witted and informative must-watch — and a must listen.