LOTR Trailer Information

ROTK Trailer #1


Released Sept 26, 2003


ROTK TE Disc 2, Special Features > Theatrical Trailers > Trailer One

High Definition versions from Movie-List : Direct Download  |  Streaming


TORn's Screencaps

Music Used:


Breath of Life laid over a music similar to The Mystic's Dream

Howard Shore


The vocals are definitely from Sheila Chandra's rendition of "Breath of Life" but, under that, is an exotic instrument playing musical 'sound effects' that sound very much like McKennitt's "Mystic's Dream". But I've gone in and dissected both the teaser trailer and "Mystic's Dream" and I can't find exact matches between the two. At Soundtrack.net, McKennitt is credited for similar sounding music in a FOTR Teaser #2. As I said there, I don't know if similar sound effects were created for the trailer and McKennitt was credited for the source inspiration. Or if they had access to material from McKennitt's recording files including material not included in "Mystic's Dream". Or if I'm just being dense and can't find the matches. McKennitt is not credited here. I suspect this was created for the trailer without McKennitt's participation and perhaps the credit is just due to a fan's observation.


March of the Ents

Howard Shore


Choir intro with a few bars of the solo by boy soprano.


New music written for the ROTK trailer


See my notes HERE.


The Gondor theme mixed with Epicalypse for the trailer


See my notes HERE.

time stamps are approximate since it's dependant on the source

Pre-release info (mostly from the news archives of TheOneRing.net)

4/09/03 : A really early rumor that a ROTK trailer will be attached to screenings of The Matrix Reloaded are debunked via "Insider sources" at TORn.

6/05/03 : There were so many people emailing TORn asking about a ROTK teaser trailer being attached to showings of TTT still in theaters that Xoanon wrote:

The ROTK trailer will not be attached to the end of TTT anywhere. It WILL be seen as a regular trailer (the type before a film starts) sometime soon but NOT IN JUNE. Take a screenshot of this page, print it out, stick it on your fridge...tell your friends or family or the guy who hands you your food at the next drive-thru you go to....just get the word out.

This is confirmed in July by what appears to be an official document.

6/11/03 : Rumors begin suggesting that the trailer will be attached to Secondhand Lions, scheduled for a Sept. 26th release

6/23/03 : The folks at New Line write:

I wanted to take the opportunity to personally thank you for your votes in the first ever Online Voter's Choice for The Hollywood Key Art Awards. Thanks to your dedication, the official website not only received the industry panel award, but the Online award as well!

According to our friends at the Hollywood Reporter, the votes for our site exceeded the others by several hundred - and we know that is due to the passion and loyalty of the fans.

We really appreciate your support. Stay tuned for a new poster and trailer soon for the next installment, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King!

On the same day, a ROTK media release schedule is leaked through various sources. Although the authenticity is uncertain, the last item had already been verified. The trailer information on this schedule reports:

Teaser Trailer - The short trailer prepares for start in middle of the summer. From the point of view of general campaign of representation of film it is important, that it differed from impression made by a working trailer of "Two Towers".

Final Trailer - Full-length final trailer with special effects for the first time will appear in September pasted to copies of "Secondhand Lions"

7/3/03 : Someone (who's name and position were snipped) tells TORn that, "a teaser trailer will be released buy the end of July and a theatrical trailer buy the end of September." (just to be clear... there was no 'teaser trailer' at the end of July)

7/30/03 : A file offering an 'exclusive first look at the ROTK' was sent to TORN. Almost immediately, it is removed from the site at the request of NewLine Cinema. A few days later, maegwen wrote:

You have mailed us by the hundreds, nae, thousands... "Where can I find the ROTK sneak trailer?" "How can I find that trailer?" and even more, "Hey, you haven't posted the trailer, but I know where it is!"

The fact is -- We DID post the 'trailer,' and were one of the first sites to do so. However, New Line Cinema politely requested we remove all links to it, and to not direct people towards other unsanctioned postings of it. We believe in New Line's right to make this request.

How does this relate to you? Well, since we cannot post links, files or screencaps, we'd like you to STOP e-mailing us with the requests for and directions to the ROTK teaser footage -- our inbox truly overfloweth!

In fact, the footage was available on many other sites. I've accessed some of those old files and it is not what was subsequently released as a trailers.

9/8/03 : Secondhand Lions, to which the ROTK trailer was scheduled to be attached, is bumped up to a Sept 19 release date. The ROTK trailer was not expected to be ready by then so the plan is to attach it to the movie for the second weekend.

9/9/03 : In a magazine article, Jackson said he preferred to release a ROTK trailer after the summer because...

"summer was filled with big SFX films, X-men 2, Matrix 2, Terminator 3, Hulk, and it would have been a bit confusing. Plus, ROTK is so spectacular, it has so many special effects that many of the main sequences could not be used in a trailer yet."

9/23/03 : An announcement is made that the ROTK trailer will be made available online on Sept. 29.

9/24/03 : A TV commercial for Secondhand Lions contained a micro-trailer of ROTK... announcing that one can view the ROTK trailer before showings of Secondhand Lions. Reports of advance viewings start to trickle into TORn. As new information trickles in, TORn posts a recap of what is known:

-- Trailer is now attached to showings of 'Underworld' at some cinemas in the UK.
-- Trailer will be attached to showings of "Secondhand Lions" in *most* US markets beginning Sept. 26 (check with your local theater).
-- AOL Members will get an early look at the trailer beginning midnight Sunday the 28th.
-- The trailer will go into general release online at the official site on Monday.
-- E! Live will also show the trailer on Monday.

The Trailer, Debuted in theaters, Sept 26, 2003

9/26/03 : Reports start trickling in & more

9/27/03 : People are talking music almost immediately. TORn posts a link to Audible Beauty who already has something up on the music.

9/27/03 : maegwen writes

We want to acknowledge the excitement of the MANY of you who have written in to tell us the details of your viewing the 'Return of the King' trailer this weekend. It's been an amazing 24+ hours to be a LOTR fan, made even more amazing by the sheer giddiness of each of you. So, first of all, we thank Peter Jackson, the actors, all the great folks at WETA, New Line Cinema, and all the crew, for the job they have done and for whetting our appetites for the most anticipated December ever! We also want to thank each of you for being part of the (very very happy) TORn family!

9/29/03 : The trailer makes it online and TORn creates screencaps of it (do you remember how long it would take to download these videos?)

click for larger image

Some thought this was Figwit. Others thought it was Arwen. How about Elrohir and Elladan? Demosthenes shared his thoughts. Finally, the ROTK Visual Companion confirms they're just two anonymous Elves.
We weren't sure if Éomer held Théoden or Éowyn.

Scenes that were dropped before the ROTK release:

click for larger image

There's this whole Arwen side story which still has me confused.

10/15/03 : A fan follows some clues and realizes the Witch King can be seen in the trailer.

10/16/03 : TORn posts a survey to find out what fans think of the trailer.

Basic trailer music information from Soundtrack.net (look under L for "Lord of the Rings") and Audible Beauty.