LOTR Trailer Information



LOTR Internet Preview (Apr 00)

LOTR Teaser Trailer #1 (Jan 01)


FOTR Teaser Trailer #2 (May 01)

FOTR Final Trailer (Sept 01)

FOTR TV Spots (Dec 01)


TTT Theatrical Preview (Mar 02)

TTT Teaser (July 02)

TTT Trailer (Oct 02)

TTT TV Spots (Dec 02)

ROTK Trailer #1 (Sept 03)

ROTK Trailer #2 (Nov 03)

ROTK TV Spots (Dec 03)

LOTR Supertrailer (Dec 03)

People are often asking, "What's that music in the LOTR trailer?

Without hearing anymore, I will guess they are looking for (in this order): Requiem for a Tower, Gothic Power, or The Gondor Theme Trailer Mix.

The first LOTR teaser trailers and the FOTR trailers mostly used traditional 'trailer' music. Trailer music rarely uses music from the movie's actual soundtrack. For one thing, the soundtrack probably hasn't been finalized by time music for the trailer is needed. But mostly, music for a trailer must serve a different purpose than music for a movie.

That said, the first two 'trailers' for TTT--the theatrical preview tacked onto the FOTR movie (still in theatrical release) and the first TT teaser--both used Shore's own score music for FOTR. I'm not a trailer music expert but I'd guess this was highly unusual even when a movie coming later in a series could draw upon one earlier in that series. I think it says something about Shore, his approach to scoring these movies, the use of music in these movies and the respect given the music.

Gothic Power

One of the pieces that got a lot of attention in the FOTR trailers was Gothic Power. This music, is credited to X-Ray Dog with Chris Field listed as composer. Besides the LOTR (Internet Preview and Teaser) and FOTR (Final Trailer and some TV Spots) trailers, it was used in:

Schindler's List (1993) - Teaser Trailer

Braveheart (1995) - Theatrical Trailer
House of 1000 Corpses (2003) - Theatrical Trailer
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003) - TV Trailer / International Trailer
The Butterfly Effect (2004) - TV Trailer
Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005) - Internet Trailer
War of the Worlds (2005) - Theatrical Trailer

Requiem for a Tower

For the TT Trailer, the music that caught almost immediate attention was the remix of Clint Mansell's major theme from his score for Requiem for a Dream.

Now, the score for the Darren Aronofsky film was performed by Kronos Quartet which is a string quartet that specializes in new music. Lots of us wanted this trailer music and wondered if we should buy the score to Requiem for a Dream to get it. The answer was pretty much, 'no'. I can remember taking my son to Borders and talking to the music guy who said as much. Since then, I've gotten the music for Requiem for a Dream and I agree. It is an interesting score (and the melody heard in the trailer is used predominantly) but the movie deals with difficult subject matter and I think the score reflects that. It approaches that same melody in a completely different way than the trailer remix does.

Wikipedia has a comparison of the score's music and the trailer's music. This uses Lux Aeterna (from the RfaD score CD) but this melody is used many times in the movie and I think sounds more driving on other tracks.

I can't say that this remix was created for and used for the first time in the TT trailer but it's the earliest listing at Soundtrack.net and in it's official release, it's called Requiem for a Tower indicating either that it was created for that or perhaps that is its best known in that application. The composers are credited at Soundtrack.net as Simone Benyacar / Dan Nielsen / Veigar Mairgersson who are part of the firm, Ant Farm.

Since it's use in the TT Trailer (and some TV Spots), the remix has been used in trailer for

The Da Vinci Code (2006) - TV Trailer

King Arthur (2004) - TV Trailer

Sunshine (2007) - Theatrical Trailer

Zathura (2005) - TV Trailer

more info on Wikipedia

Another interesting observation. I was looking through customer reviews at Amazon of the TT jewel case, soundtrack CD. I thought this one was interesting:

1.0 out of 5 stars Ripped Off Song, January 4, 2003
By Shaun Brooks (San Diego, CA USA)
I'm sorry but when I was sitting in the theatre and the trailer for Lord of the Rings: the Two Towers came on and they played a digitized version of Clint Mansell's Summer Overture found on the 1999 movie Requiem for a Dream. I look at this soundtrack to see if he was the one that had conducted this one as well but sadly the credit was given to another. So i am very disgruntled and bitter toward anyone who had any part or supports this way of ripping off true artists. Thank you and to make my review credible listen to Summer Overture by Clint Mansell. I'm a very big fan of his work on this movie so thats why i'm writing this.

Of course, the reviewer is mixing up trailer music and score music. Clint Mansell is not credited on the TT soundtrack because the trailer is not (and does not belong) on the score CD. Clint Mansell was credited for the trailer (in places where trailer credits can be found) and, I'm sure, compensated monetarily as well.

Gondor Theme Trailer remix

The credit at Soundtrack.net reads: Original trailer music by Howard Shore / Simone Benyacar / Craig Stuart Garfinkle (members of Ant Farm) - based on "Epicalypse", using Shore's Gondor theme. There are mostly two parts to the music people take notice of. In the first part, soft strings play an unfamiliar melody. In the second part, an otherwise unheard version of the Gondor theme in it's Ascension setting is heard (similar to when Gandalf and Pippin, on Shadowfax, are climbing the streets of Minas Tirith).

As to 'Epicalypse', the only other trailer it seems to have been used in is, Aliens of the Deep. Soundtrack.net indicates Epicalypse and a piece called Invasion were used for that trailer and I can find an audio sample of that. So I know the last part of Aliens of the Deep is where Epicalypse was used. And, in fact, I can easily recognize the finale crescendo as being in the ROTK trailers. I also think Epicalypse was laid on top of the last part of the Ascension phrase (which is heard twice).

But there is nothing in the Aliens of the Deep trailer that sounds like that unfamiliar music that comes before the Gondor Theme. So, either that unfamiliar portion is from Epicalypse but from a part not used in AotD. Or it was written especially for the trailer by either Benyacar/Garfinkle or Shore. For this website, I'm going to refer to this unfamiliar music as 'new music written for the ROTK trailer'.

The entire section can be heard in the ROTK Trailer #1. The new ROTK trailer music and a shortened version of the Gondor Theme with the Epicalypse finale is in the ROTK Trailer #2. And the unfamiliar section is in the LOTR Supertrailer.

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