The Journey Back

A Fourth Age Theme for Middle-earth


THE JOURNEY BACK is a Fourth Age theme for Middle-earth in the subcategory of the Ring Quest. "Like the other Quest themes, (it) is forever stretching towards some musical destination; but with Sauron defeated and the Ring destroyed, Back Again achieves a cool placidity." (Doug Adams, CR-ROTK liner notes, page 36)


Places this theme is heard in ROTK:

  • After the Fellowship reunite at Frodo's bed, as the camera sweeps up to the top tier of Minas Tirith to show the crowd assembled for the coronation of the King. Adams identifies this as The Journey Back in the AS-ROTK. But this is earlier than the moment listed for the theme being 'first heard'. This music sounds a lot like the first four notes of the Shire Theme to me.

  • After the coronation, as we follow the map from Minas Tirith, across Middle-earth to the Shire.

  • After the yellow door of No. 3, Bagshot Row closes and the screen goes dark. Adams' writes, "As “The End” title card gives way to The Return of the King's credits, Shore relies on this theme to remind the audience that Rings' finale is not the end; a new journey has begun." (Doug Adams, CR-ROTK liner notes, page 36)