The White Tree

Track 4 - ROTK


(3:20) Gandalf and Pippin arrive in Minas Tirith and meet with Denethor. Pippin offers his services to Gondor. The Beacons of Gondor are lit.

(Gandalf and Pippin have just arrived in the courtyard of Minas Tirith and have dismounted Shadowfax.)



As they walk past the White Tree, a quiet phrase of the Minas Tirith Theme. Gandalf tells Pippin that it is the 'Tree of the King' but Denethor is not king. He is only a Steward.

(Gandalf and Pippin walking into the great hall and up to Denethor is unscored.)



An ominous ascending phrase plays as Denethor asks if Gandalf cares to explain the cloven horn of Boromir. Pippin is startled to see the horn.



Denethor asks if Gandalf has come to explain why his son is dead. The music is reminiscent of the music heard during Boromir's wounding in FOTR.



The choir sings the theme, A Noble End--a reprise of the choral background to Boromir's wounding--as the camera cuts to a distraught Pippin who remembers Orc arrows piercing Boromir as he stood to defend the Hobbits.



...tele lνna

Manna lelya...



The orchestra continues extrapolations on A Noble End. (see note below for this music from 0:28 to 1:00). The music from 0:45 to 1:00) is from a scene found in the EE. Denethor and Faramir argue over Faramir's choice to let the Ring go with Frodo and whether Boromir would have done 'the right thing'. In his rage, Denethor falls and Faramir goes to him but Denethor sees only Boromir... as a hallucination. This music is heard during the hallucination.



(Jump ahead quite a few scenes...) Strings hold a note while woodwinds play an ascending scale. The shot opens with the camera looking up a large pile of wood accessed by a short bridge.



Woodwinds hold a note then trill over quick little pulses of music played by the strings. The camera pans to show the unlit beacon to be high above Minas Tirith and the White Tower of Ecthelion.



The pulses continue as a quick, furtive little melody begins. We see Pippin climbing up the face rock till he's standing next to the beacon.



Horns jump in with some expectant notes that become bolder. (Georg Kroner has found that the music from 1:24 - 1:33 - which I thought was not in the film, is used in an earlier scene. Gandalf lead Pippin through the back streets of Minas Tirith, telling him there's another task to be done. The music starts just after he says, "You must not fail me." and continues to the end of the scene. This action continues in a later scene, when the music from 1:15 - 1:24 begins and continues below.)

(Pippin climbs onto the beacon and spills the oil onto the wood. He lights the fire but realizes he's on top of the wood pile and scrambles off. The guards realize the beacon has been lit. Whatever music is used during this segment is not on the CD.)



Horns carry the melody now as strings play in the background. The camera pans back from the beacon to Gandalf who makes his way back down the streets of Minas Tirith.



He stops to see if the next beacon will be lit and horns play a fanfare of sorts as Amon Dξn, off in the distance blazes up.



A somber note plays as Denethor observes the beacon with a sour face. A variety of horns play counterpoints to each other, continuing with a majestic, grand sound.



The scale of the melody is gradually but steadily ascending and we see another beacon lit.



Then off in the distance, another blazes up as the ascending phrases culminates in a fanfare by trumpets and gives way to...



.. huge, majestic version of the Realm of Gondor Theme. The sweeping strings mirror the sweeping camera as it glides above the clouds and the mountain top to observe each beacon, blazing up in turn.



The horns play one last phrase of the Realm of Gondor Theme then...



...begin an ascending phrase as we cut to Rohan. The last lit beacon, Halifirien, is spotted by Aragorn as he sits outside in Edoras. The music crashes to a halt as he stands up to look at it.



Lyrics 0:35 - 0:45 from “The Death of Boromir, part 2”


[00:35] tel

[00:37] na

[00:40] lel


Note on music for Boromir's wounding:

The music from 0:28 - 1:02 (on this track) can be compared to music heard during Boromir's wounding in FOTR (Track 16, Amon Hen).

0:28 - 0:35 - ROTK - is quite similar to music heard in FOTR - 2:37 - 2:52
0:35 - 0:45 - ROTK - is the same, melodically, to FOTR - 2:52 - 3:00
0:45 - 1:01 - ROTK - is evocative, using similar phrases as FOTR - 3:00 - 3:28






1-A Storm is Coming ~ 2-Hope and Memory ~ 3-Minas Tirith ~ 4-The White Tree

5-The Steward of Gondor ~ 6-Minas Morgul ~ 7-The Ride of the Rohirrim ~ 8-Twilight and Shadow

9-Cirith Ungol ~ 10-Anduril ~ 11-Shelob's Lair ~ 12-Ash and Smoke ~ 13-Fields of the Pelennor

14-Hope Fails ~ 15-The Black Gate Opens ~ 16-End of All Things

17-Return of the King ~ 18-The Grey Havens ~ 19-Into the West

ROTK Closing Credits Music