Merry the Warrior

A Theme for the Shire and the Hobbits


MERRY THE WARRIOR, a setting of the Shire/Hobbit Theme, is described by Adams as a hybrid of the Shire Theme, the B phrase of the Fellowship theme and Rohan's minor mode (Doug Adams, AS-ROTK). Interestingly, although this music is considered 'Merry' music, Éowyn figures strongly in both scenes in which the music appears which may be what inspires the Rohan reference.

Note: In the CR-ROTK liner notes, Doug Adams refers to a "collection of Heroic Variations" (page 7). Beyond that statement, I'm a little confused. One setting is called the 'Heroic Setting' but he only lists one iteration for this setting so it (alone) doesn't seem to warrant the phrase 'a collection of Heroic Variations'. He then goes on to say, ''Merry's pledge to King Théoden atop the parapets of Meduseld merits yet another heroic setting of the Shire material" and describes that music as a blend of Shire material and the Fellowship themes (pg 8). However, his identification of 'first heard' location for the theme, Merry the Warrior, does not match this scene (which comes before the 'first heard' timestamp) and it doesn't sound like the other identified versions of Merry the Warrior. When he does go on to discuss the setting, Merry the Warrior, he doesn't use the term heroic so I'm not sure if Merry the Warrior is part of that Heroic collection or if Adams has moved on to a new thought.


Place this setting is heard in ROTK:

  • After Éowyn sends Merry off to the smithy to sharpen his blade. Éomer says Éowyn should not encourage him but Éowyn thinks they should not doubt him. Éomer scoffs. He only doubts the reach of his arm. Éowyn protests, "Why should Merry be left behind?"

  • While the Rohirrim rest on their way to Gondor, Merry shares with Éowyn: "My lady, you are fair and brave and have much to live for, and many who love you. I know it is too late to turn aside. I know there is not much point now in hoping. If I were a knight of Rohan capable of great deeds... but I'm not. I'm a Hobbit. And I know I can't save Middle-earth. I just want to help my friends. Frodo. Sam. Pippin. More than anything I wish I could see them again." (EE scene)