September 2, 2022, 6:05 PM
Amazon Prime’s new Lord of the Rings prequel takes viewers back to Middle-earth with a familiar nostalgic soundscape of ethereal vocals, eager horns and soaring strings…
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power premiered on Amazon Prime on September 2 two and a half years after filming began and on a budget of over £600million, the most expensive TV show ever made.
The Lord of the Rings series has captured the hearts of millions of fantasy fans over the past two decades with the release of six genre-defining films directed by Peter Jackson, based on the books of JRR Tolkien, The Hobbit, published in 1937 and its sequel, The Lord of the Ringspublished in 1954-5.
The last entry, power ringsis however an original work inspired by the books and appendices of JRR Tolkien, although taking place thousands of years before the events of the two The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
Fan anticipation has been skyrocketing for this nostalgia-filled show, so we’ve rounded up all the info we can on the show’s magical score to see what hidden musical treats await…
Read more: Listen to the Lord of the Rings score at Classic FM Live on 10 October 2022 at the Royal Albert Hall
What is the plot of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power?
Set thousands of years before the events of The Lord of the Ringsthis prequel series is set during the “Second Age” of Middle-earth, a time of relative peace.
The first season of power rings will be told across eight episodes, airing weekly on Amazon’s streaming service.
Telling the stories of a cast of characters consisting of Elves, Dwarves, Númenóreans, Southlanders and Harfoots (ancestors of the Hobbits), each episode takes viewers through a host of awe-inspiring Middle-earth landscapes.
Welsh actor Morfydd Clark leads the big cast as the legendary elf Galadriel. At his side, the English actor, Robert Aramayo plays the Elven politician and architect, Elrond. Both elves are prominent characters in The Lord of the Rings series, as in JRR Tolkien’s world, they are immortal beings. At Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings film series, these characters were played by Cate Blanchett and Hugo Weaving respectively.
According to the description on Prime Video, “From the darkest depths of the Misty Mountains, to the majestic forests of Lindon, to the breathtaking island kingdom of Númenor, to the furthest reaches of the map, these kingdoms and characters will carve out legacies that live long after their disappearance.
Read more: A Trumpeter Played The Hobbit’s “Misty Mountain” In A Stairwell…and The Reverb Was Amazing
Who wrote the music for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power?
The the Lord of the Rings is synonymous with Howard Shore’s powerful musical score.
Shore composed the music for each of Jackson’s six films: the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The two towers (2002), and The king’s returnand The Hobbit trilogy, An Unexpected Journey (2012)The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013), and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014).
During these films, the Canadian composer wrote more than 22 hours of music, and his music for the first Lord of the Rings trilogy won him four Grammy Awards, three Oscars and two Golden Globes.
Shore returns as lead theme composer for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Powermarking the opening titles of the Amazon Prime series.
Read more: Lord of the Rings Soundtrack: Everything You Need to Know About the Howard Shore Score
However, this time the honor of composing the soundtrack goes to American composer Bear McCreary.
The Emmy-nominated musician is known for composing the music for Marvel’s Agents of SHIELDhistorical drama Foreign and the comic-based apocalyptic drama, The Walking Dead.
Although Shore’s main theme and McCreary’s score were created separately, the American composer said Deadline that he was “struck by the perfection of the theme and my original score… [fitted] together so beautifully”.
McCreary has been a longtime Shore’s fan, and on the red carpet at the Amazon Prime London premiere for the new the Lord of the Rings series he said Screen Rant“Howard Shore’s score for the Lord of the Rings movies has influenced every musical note I’ve written since I was 21, so there’s no denying that.
“I’ve definitely leaned on that influence and want to create a sense of continuity for fans like me. I’m not trying to rock the boat or surprise you unpleasantly.
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In a teaser released by Amazon Music two weeks before the show’s premiere, McCreary takes fans through the sonic worlds of the various character groups from power rings.
In the video above, he explains, “Every place in power rings need to have a distinct sound.
“When we are with the Elves, you will hear choirs of ethereal voices. With the Dwarves, we have deep male vocals.
“The Harfoots are a nomadic people. They are so connected to nature that I thought it would be cool if their sounds were very natural.
“Númenor, this was my chance to create one of the most fundamental sounds in the Rings of Power. The harmonic language has this Middle Eastern progression.
McCreary composed the nine hours of music in just eight months, which was then recorded over four days. The score features a 90-piece orchestra, a 40-voice choir, and countless soloists playing instruments such as bagpipes, bodhrán drums, and nyckelharpa.
The choir sang in several languages, based on those created by JRR Tolkien in his books. Tolkien spent a lot of time creating a multitude of his own dialects for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Ringsinspired by the ancient Germanic languages.
In the Amazon Prime series soundtrack, the choir sings in Sindarin and Quenya (Elvish languages); Khuzdûl (the language of the Dwarves), Black Speech (the language of Sauron) and Adûnaic (the Númenórean language).
The soundtrack of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power was released on all major streaming services on August 19, 2022, two weeks before the series was released on Amazon Prime.
The prequel series premiered in London on August 30, and an after party was held at the British Museum.
McCreary surprised guests attending the event with a suite of music he had written for the series, performed by a 10-piece percussion ensemble, full choir and violin soloist, Sandy Cameron.
The composer said on Twitter: “We rocked the walls of the British Museum!”.
We shocked the crowd after the party with a surprise performance! I wrote a custom sequel to my #LOTR themes for a massive 10-piece percussion ensemble, full choir and the amazing Sandy Cameron on fiddle.
We shook the walls of the British Museum! 🤘🏼❤️🎶 pic.twitter.com/EQPgalPFFO
— Bear McCreary 🐻🎶 (@bearmccreary) August 31, 2022
The tracklist of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power
The soundtrack of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power features 39 tracks easily transporting listeners across the vast map of Middle-earth.
1. The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Main Title – Howard Shore
2. Galadriel – Bear McCreary
3. Khazad-dûm – Bear McCreary
4. Nori Brandyfoot – Bear McCreary
5. The Stranger – Bear McCreary
6. Numenor – Bear McCreary
7. Sauron – Bear McCreary
8. Valinor – Bear McCreary
9. In the Beginning – Bear McCreary
10. Elrond Half-elf – Bear McCreary
11. Durin IV – Bear McCreary
12. Life of Harfoot – Bear McCreary
13. Bronwyn and Rounding – Bear McCreary
14. Halbrand – Bear McCreary
15. The Boat – Bear McCreary
16. Broken Seas – Bear McCreary
17. Nobody Gets Off the Path – Bear McCreary
18. Elendil and Isildur – Bear McCreary
19. White Sheets – Bear McCreary
20. Secrets of the Mountain – Bear McCreary
21. Nolwa Mahtar – Bear McCreary
22. Nampat – Bear McCreary
23. A Plea to the Rocks – Bear McCreary feat. Sophia Nomvete
24. That Wandering Day – Bear McCreary feat. Megan Richards
25. Scherzo for violin and swords – Bear McCreary
26. Sailing Towards Dawn – Bear McCreary
27. Find the Light (Amazon Music Exclusive) – Bear McCreary
28. For the Southlands – Bear McCreary
29. Cavalry – Bear McCreary
30. The Promised King (Amazon Music Exclusive) – Bear McCreary
31. Water and Flame – Bear McCreary
32. In the Mines – Bear McCreary
33. The Veil of Smoke – Bear McCreary
34. The Mystics – Bear McCreary
35. Perilous Whispers – Bear McCreary
36. The Broken Line – Bear McCreary
37. The Wise – Bear McCreary
38. True Creation Requires Sacrifice – Bear McCreary
39. Where the Shadows Lie (Instrumental) – Bear McCreary