The Realm of Gondor Theme

A Theme for Gondor


REALM OF GONDOR, a theme for Gondor, has two settings:

GONDOR IN DECLINE - as heard in the FOTR when Boromir speaks of his father during the Council of Elrond

GONDOR IN ASCENSION - DA says this about Gondor in Ascension: "though the Ascension theme is not fully heard until the third film, the Heroics of Aragorn theme...hints at the second half of the Ascension melody." (Doug Adams, CR-FOTR liner notes, page 20)

The iterations of the Gondor Theme, as heard in the first two movies, all use the 'Decline' setting. It isn't until ROTK that the 'Ascension' setting appears. I think the difference between the two settings can be seen in this way:

  • Decline Setting: The Gondor Theme, as heard in the Council of Elrond, repeats a similar phrase twice. Each time, although it ascends in places, it ends with a descension... a down note. All of the FOTR and TTT instances use the Gondor in Decline setting.

  • Ascension Setting: The Gondor Theme, heard as Gandalf and Pippin gallop towards Minas Tirith, begins in a similar manner as in the Decline setting, but instead of descending, it ascends in a phrase quite like the Heroics of Aragorn. This ascension phrase also forms Faramir and Denethor's theme.


Places this theme is heard in FOTR:

  • As Boromir speaks at the Council of Elrond. It plays as he begins, “Long has my father, the Steward of Gondor, kept the forces of Mordor at bay...” and continues as he argues to use the Ring as a weapon against Sauron. When he challenges Aragorn, Legolas steps up with the information that Aragorn is the heir of Isildur and the throne of Gondor.

  • Just after Elrond (at Council) says, "The Ring must be destroyed", we hear a mournful, sad phrase of this music.

Places this theme is heard in TTT:

  • As Éowyn realizes that Aragorn, who's just reveled his age, is one of the Dúnedain. (TTT EE)

  • A quick snippet as Boromir tells his troops in Osgiliath, "This city was once the jewel of our kingdom." (A flashback memory of Faramir's as he sits in Henneth Annûn.) (TTT EE)

  • As Boromir and the troops in Osgiliath yell, "For Gondor". (Same flashback memory) (TTT EE)

  • A more sober version as Boromir prepares to ride for Rivendell at the orders of his father. (Same flashback memory) (TTT EE)

Places this theme is heard in ROTK:

  • A brief phrase plays as we see the title: The Return of the King

  • An aggressive phrase played on low brass is heard at Isengard as Saruman says (of Aragorn), "This exile crept from the shadows will never be crowned king." (ROTK EE)

  • A short, wary phrase is heard when Aragorn offers to ride to Minas Tirith to warn them. Gandalf has other plans.

  • A glorious version is heard as Gandalf and Pippin, on Shadowfax, approach Minas Tirith... as Gandalf says, "We just passed into the realm of Gondor". HS COMMENT.

  • As Gandalf and Pippin, on Shadowfax, gallop up the streets of Minas Tirith, the ascending phrase (similar to Aragorn's Theme) can be heard.

  • A quiet version plays as Gandalf recounts some of the history of Gondor to Pippin after meeting with Denethor, "And so the people of Gondor fell into ruin. The line of kings failed. The White Tree withered. The rule of Gondor was given over to lesser men." (ROTK EE)

  • A quiet version plays as an EE scene opens on a shot of the Anduin in a foggy, dark Osgiliath. (Before the Orcs attack.)

  • A short burst is heard as the Gondorian soldiers engage the invading Orcs at Osgiliath.

  • A glorious, majestic version plays as the camera pans over the White Mountains during the lighting of the beacons.

  • A frantic version is heard as we cut to a daylight scene of the Osgiliath battle that has been raging since the previous night.

  • A bold version plays as Faramir and his men, fleeing Osgiliath, enter the city with Gandalf and Pippin.

  • A few notes are heard as Pippin finishes his song to Denethor.

  • The first three notes of the theme are heard as the Three Hunters enter a cavern in the Paths of the Dead.

  • A bold version sans any fanfare plays over a pounding beat as Minas Tirith uses its trebuchets to return fire to the Army of Mordor.

  • As Gandalf orders the troops "Back to the Gate. Hurry!", a mixture of the Gondor Theme and the Sauron's Theme plays over the Five Beat Pattern.

  • Brass tries to get the Gondor theme out as Grond breaks through the Gates of Minas Tirith.

  • A brave version plays (with the Ascension phrase) as Legolas and Gimli trade kill counts on the Fields of the Pelennor. "Sixteen" "Seventeen"

  • A few notes of the theme are played as the Armies of the West ride out from Minas Tirith toward the Black Gate.

  • The first three notes are played warily as the Armies of the West arrive at the Black Gate.

  • The Realm of Gondor Theme in Ascension setting (similar to Aragorn's Theme) are interlaced as the crown is placed on Aragorn's head and he steps forward to meet his people. A (possible) variant that echoes the call and response nature of the two phrases immediately follows as the people receive their king.