Today Turbine released a new song from the Riders of Rohan soundtrack by Chance Thomas. This piece is called “Shadow of the Argonath“. This time included with the music (which is absolutely wonderful in this Hobbit’s opinion) is comments on the score by the composer, Chance Thomas!
“This piece was written to underscore the players’ exploration in the East Wall region.
The music begins with a slow and slightly unfocused version of the Gondor theme played on French Horns and Uilleann Pipes, representing an erosion of Gondor’s vision and leadership among the men of the West. The theme wants to rise in nobility, power, might and strength. We can hear it reaching, stretching, striving, even striking a stout cadence for a moment. But it cannot sustain! Stewards alone can never muster the stateliness necessary to bear off the theme (nor the world of men) in full splendor. Uilleann Pipes echo off into the distance, suggesting the long gone majesty that once was the throne of Gondor.
And then, about 1:05 into the track, there is an injection of hope. We get a second rendition of Gondor’s theme that’s a little more focused, a little more pure, played on Penny Whistle and Uillean Pipes. The Penny Whistle represents Frodo and the race of Hobbits. Frodo brings hope for the world as he aligns himself with the nobler interests of men. The Pipes represent the glories of Gondor (specifically the past glories of Gondor’s kings), represented now by Aragorn in his support for Frodo and the quest. The two instruments interlace and support one another, symbolic of how the fates of the two men and their respective races are now unavoidably intertwined.
Close to 2:00 minutes in, there is a gently climactic rise toward hope… but then doubt as the Pipes and Penny Whistle both echo off into an unknown future. And lest we forget that there’s peril in the East Wall, we have the voice of the Bass Recorder, the low drum and slightly dissonant strings to bring us back to present dangers.
Nevertheless, the Horn and Whistle rise together one last time in unity and understanding, then ultimately continue apart as the Whistle (Frodo) quietly disappears and the Horn (Gondor) carries on toward Rohan with a determined resolution.”