The Two Towers opens with the Fellowship of the Ring broken three ways. Yet even as the band is pulled apart, Middle-earth’s cultures begin drawing together. So begins the gradual commingling of civilizations, as neatly compartmentalized social structures are dissolved, cultural strata are folded inwards and the free people of Middle-earth respond to the growing power of Mordor. The Two Towers’ score presents a more complex musical world than The Fellowship of the Ring. “The Fellowship of the Ring ends with the breaking of the Fellowship,” says Shore. “The Two Towers follows the fragments—the shards of the Fellowship. Three distinct stories are being told linearly now.”

In The Two Towers Shore develops the themes introduced in The Fellowship of the Ring and debuts figures for new cultures and characters—but it is the strengthening relationships within the amassed material that illustrates the increasingly entangled plight of Middle-earth. The Shire’s themes, for example, are carried by Merry and Pippin into Fangorn Forest, where they mix with the austere music of the tree-herding Ents. The Ents relate to the cleansing waves of the Nature’s Reclamation theme, the purity of which is embodied in the voice of a boy soprano—the same vocal sound with which the Seduction of the Ring lures its victims. The One Ring’s principle motif, the History of the Ring, mixes with the Pity of Gollum as the wretched, obsessive creature leads Sam and Frodo—and his Precious—ever closer to Mordor. Sauron’s arsenal of material looms on the horizon, flaring and rearing up behind the blunt pestle of the Isengard music, which sprawls across Middle-earth’s plains, assailing the new Rohan Fanfare. The nobly braided Rohan music, in turn, finds an impressive ally: the Fellowship theme, now representing a reduced coalition of Man, Elf, Dwarf and Wizard. And so the connections continue, worlds of musical material circling and intertwining to create a vast ring of related themes. Across the grey slopes of Middle-earth, dusk deepens…

-Doug Adams

Doug Adams is a Chicago-based musician and writer. He is the author of the upcoming book The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films.

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers


  • Glamdring
  • Elven Rope
  • Uglúk’s Warriors
  • The Three Hunters
  • The Banishment of Éomer
  • Night Camp
  • The Plains of Rohan
  • Fangorn
  • The Dead Marshes
  • “Wraiths on Wings”
  • Gandalf the White
  • Edoras
  • The Court of Meduseld
  • Théoden King
  • The Forests of Ithilien



  • One of the Dúnedain
  • The Wolves of Isengard
  • Refuge at Helm’s Deep
  • Voice of Saruman
  • Arwen’s Fate
  • The Story Foretold
  • Faramir’s Good Counsel
  • Aragorn’s Return
  • War Is Upon Us
  • “Where Is the Horse and the Rider?”
  • The Host of the Eldar
  • The Battle of the Hornburg
  • The Breach of the Deeping Wall
  • The Entmoot Decides
  • Retreat
  • Master Peregrin’s Plan
  • The Last March of the Ents
  • Théoden Rides Forth
  • The Tales That Really Matter