Minas Morgul

Track 6 - ROTK


(1:51) The beacon of Minas Morgul is lit. The Witch King and his Orc Troops emerge.


A bold, loud, assertive Descending Third Motif plays under a brassy Sauron's Theme. The beacon of Minas Morgul has just been lit and the ground is shaking. Frodo, Sam and Gollum are scrambling to get out of site. The occupants of Minas Tirith are startled by the light.


The Descending Third Motif continues under a trill of sound. Pippin swallows hard and Gandalf puts his hand on his shoulder


Sauron's Theme begins again while the "Thirds" are no longer descending. They are taking on a life of their own, moving around the scale.


More trills ascend over the what has become an Ascending Third. (The music 0:23 - 0:35 is not in the movie.)


Brassy notes announce each iteration of the Descending Third Motif . Sam has dragged Frodo behind some rocks and they peer over them.


Tympani insert themselves for a moment as we catch a glimpse of the winged steed of the Nazgűl, and then... it's rider, the Witch King of Angmar.


The steed flies up and perches on the wall. Discordant, brassy, trilling music works together till it culminates into...


...the Witch King screaming with an ear-piercing sound. (This is held longer in the movie. The music stops for the scream and Frodo clutches his shoulder wound. Sam clutches his ears. The scream increases in pitch then stops.)


The winged steed roars as a loud, brassy rendition of the Sauron's Theme. The camera pans from winged steed down to the gates of Minas Morgul which open to disgorge marching troops.

(Gandalf announces they have come to 'the great battle of our time.' The camera cuts back to the bridge spanning the river with the hundreds of marching troops headed out of Minas Morgul. What music we hear in the movie for this part is not on the CD.)


Low brass belts out the Witch King/Orcs of Mordor theme while the drums beat out a 5/4 rhythm (emphasis on 1 and 4). The troops march past Frodo and Sam as they crouch down out of site behind the rock.


The winged steed swoops down from his perch atop Minas Morgul and flies off after the troops. The 5/4 rhythm continues while the brass begins ascending till...


...the drumming stops but more horns join in for a discordant note that melts into..


the Dangerous Passes Theme played on high strings.


The stings continue the theme to the end of the track.

The music from 1:24 - end is not in the movie. See note below.


Note on unused music 1:24 - end:


Written before the release of CR-ROTK: It is probable that this music was meant to continue on for the rest of this scene. See discussion on the Dangerous Passes Theme page. If you keep playing the music as the winged steed flies down you get this match of action to music.


AS-ROTK note: Doug Adams writes for the corresponding CR-ROTK track:

While the Orcs begin their march to Gondor, Frodo, Sam and Gollum begin to climb the secret staircase along the Morgul Vale. The One Ring slips by Sauron’s forces undetected, marked only by Shore’s Ring Quest Theme, Dangerous Passes, the same theme that played as the Fellowship began to traverse the steep inclines of Caradhras.

UNUSED CONCEPT : The scene with which Dangerous Passes was aligned was eventually edited out, meaning that Dangerous Passes never actually appears in the film.

This is slightly confusing to me since we do see Frodo, Sam and Gollum start to climb the steps and, as indicated below, it fits well with the music. So what was cut that doesn't appear in the film that would have fit with Dangerous Passes? In the end, it's not terribly important.


the drumming stops but more horns join in for a discordant note as the winged steed flies very low over the spot where Frodo and Sam are hiding. Gollum calls to them. "Come, we must climb."


High strings play the Dangerous Passes Theme as Frodo and Sam begin climbing the stairs toward Cirith Ungol with Gollum.


The stings continue the theme to the end of the track. The camera cuts to Gandalf. "The board is set. The pieces are moving."







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