A Noble End

A Theme for Middle-earth: All Shall Come to Darkness


A NOBLE END, a theme for Middle-earth in the subcategory of All Shall Come to Darkness, "relates to Boromir's death in Fellowship, and returns to again reference death sorrow, sacrifice and honor in The Return of the King." (Doug Adams, CR-FOTR liner notes, page 33). Doug did not give a 'first heard' time stamp for this in the CR-FOTR liner notes. So we have two things to consider when identifying this music.

  1. The musical notation from the CR-FOTR and CR-ROTK: This references the music heard during Aragorn and Boromir's final moments and the quiet conversation between Éowyn and Théoden at Dunharrow.

  2. The time stamps given for the theme in the CR-ROTK liner notes. This references the music heard, first in FOTR when Boromir is wounded at Amon Hen and when Pippin remembers this to Denethor at Minas Tirith.

To my ears, these two passage sound different. Perhaps to the trained ear, they're obviously related. But for my purposes this just means that all this music is considered “A Noble End.”


Places this theme is heard in FOTR:

  • As the choir sings as the newly wounded Boromir continues to fight the Uruk-hai on Amon Hen. (#2 above)

  • Once the choir drops out as Boromir, hit by a third arrow drops to his knees and Merry and Pippin are taken, the melody moves to something similar to what is heard during Denethor's hallucination in ROTK. Since that has been confirmed as A Noble End, we can assume this is also a continuation of A Noble End.

  • When Aragorn and Boromir share final words. Boromir repents and Aragorn declares that his honor is intact. Boromir despairs that is lost but Aragorn will not give up hope. Boromir calls him, "My Captain. My King." (#1 above)

Places this theme is heard in ROTK:

  • As Pippin recounts Boromir's death to Denethor at Minas Tirith. (#2 above)

  • As Denethor hallucinates Boromir while talking to Faramir. (not quite either but confirmed as A Noble End by Doug Adams)
    I wrote that Doug had confirmed this as A Noble End but I failed to note how that confirmation was made. I am quite certain that a friend and fellow soundtrack fan was looking into this music for me and contacted Doug and she reported back to me that he said the music was A Noble End. But I didn’t keep her communication to me and I never saw the communication between Doug and her. That is my bad. I know better. So is it an example of A Noble End or not? I think it is a worthy enough potential example to warrant putting in a list such as this.

  • As Théoden and Éowyn share a quiet moment on Dunharrow. Éowyn has resigned herself to do her duty but Théoden would have her smile again. "You should live to see these days renewed. No more despair."  (#1 above)