Thursday, July 14, 2016

Songs I Recommend for Lord of the Rings Characters

Songs I recommend for some Lord of the Rings and Silmarillion characters.

Gollum - Who am I? from the Les Miserables soundtrack.

I'm not even ashamed to say this, but I've listened to the Les Miserables soundtrack (two hours long, mind you) three times directly in a row today.  That's a total of six hours.  To be fair, I was painting my shed so it's not like I was just sitting around for six hours, but nevertheless, all the songs are stuck in my head.

I recommend this song to Gollum because it showcases the same type of split-personality and inner-conflict.  Jean Valjean sings this song as he tries to decide whether he should turn himself in as a criminal to prevent an innocent man from going to jail, or if he should keep his secret and go on living his life.  Obviously he and Gollum have way different decisions to make, but they both have a hard time making them.

Eowyn - Hail Mary, Gentle Woman

This is one of my favorite songs.  All around me, I get the feeling that to be a strong person, you have to be loud and assertive; people are impressed by harshness and how well you resist feelings and emotions.  But this song reminds me that it is more admirable to be patient and gentle than to be fierce and loud.  My favorite lyric: Gentle woman, peaceful dove/ teach us wisdom, teach us love.

Eowyn early on seems to think that the only way she can be strong is by being the best warrior.  Perhaps if she gave this song a listen she would come to the conclusion that being gentle and kind is also important.

Aragorn - I Just Can't Wait to be King from The Lion King

This song will be perfect for getting Aragorn excited about his role as the new king!

Denethor - Don't Stop Believing

Come on Denethor, don't stop believing!  Don't let your despair get the best of you ;)
Let this song energize you for the Siege of Gondor to come.

Oh and the lyrics from this song at one point say: 

Oh, the movie never ends
It goes on and on, and on, and on

And that reminds me of the end of The Return of the King.

Arwen- A Thousand Years

This song actually fits really well with Arwen, in my opinion.  Just some of the lyrics particularly applicable:

But watching you stand alone,
All of my doubt suddenly goes away somehow.

It must have been so hard to see Aragorn go on alone and not be able to help him as much as she could have as his wife throughout the events leading up to his ascent of the throne.

One step closerThis comes up continuously through the song.  Each little victory and little step towards Aragorn's kingship brought him closer to finally being able to be with Arwen.

I have died every day waiting for you
Darling, don't be afraid I have loved you
For a thousand years
I'll love you for a thousand more

Like I said, every day apart from Aragorn must have been so difficult for Arwen.  But she has been patient and her love doesn't change throughout all that time because it's real.

Every breath
Every hour has come to this

And this for the final moments when Arwen and Aragorn meet again in Minas the feels!

And all along I believed I would find you
Time has brought your heart to me
I have loved you for a thousand years
I'll love you for a thousand more

Feanor - You're the Voice

Throughout The Silmarillion Feanor seems all to eager to resort to violence.  Perhaps he needs to remember, as this song puts it, we're all someone's daughter, we're all someone's son/ how long can we look at each other down the barrel of a gun?

At such a pivotal time for the Elves, Feanor would do well to remember that as a prince, he "is the voice" and should give the Noldor a good name, not a bad one.

Ar-Pharazon - Viva la Vida

Ar-Pharazon was the last of the Numenorian kings.  This song fits well, especially these lyrics:

I used to rule the world
Seas would rise when I gave the word
Now in the morning I sleep alone
Sweep the streets I used to own

Ar-Pharazon used to be in command of one of the most powerful kingdoms in Middle-earth.  He and other Numenorians even thought that they commanded the seas because they were so powerful (it was actually the Valar who were helping them).  Ar-Pharazon got completely knocked off his pedestal and trapped beneath the sea after being a traitor and leading an armada of ships to Valinor.

One minute I held the key
Next the walls were closed on me
And I discovered that my castles stand
Upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand

When Ar-Pharazon's entire kingdom was destroyed, he must have realized that he is not as powerful as he thought he was and his kingdom was at the mercy of the Valar.

My missionaries in a foreign field
For some reason I can't explain
Once you'd gone there was never
Never an honest word
And that was when I ruled the world

Well once Amandil left to go plead for the Valar's mercy as a missionary and Numenor's faithful moved to the ships in the East of the island, Ar-Pharazon was pretty much surrounded by people who were on his side of pride and he never got any more good counsel after Amandil left.

It was a wicked and wild wind
Blew down the doors to let me in
Shattered windows and the sound of drums
People couldn't believe what I'd become

People sure couldn't believe what a traitor and mad-man Ar-Pharazon had become by the end of his reign.

For some reason I can't explain
I know St. Peter won't call my name
Never an honest word
But that was when I ruled the world

Ar-Pharazon was trapped beneath the Earth with the rest of the rebellious until the Final Battle.  He reigned horribly and lied as a ruler, so he has a reason to suspect he won't be getting a call to Heaven anytime soon.

Do you have any characters and songs that match up? 

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  1. I like your use of "Don't Stop Believing" for Denethor. That's so funny! Journey is probably my favorite rock band.
    I think that their song "Lights" would do really well as a theme for Boromir. It would tell of his longing for his homeland a he travels with the fellowship, which we know culminated in his betrayal and regret. But in his mind, he was only thinking of his beloved city, Gondor.

    Also, Sting's "Something A Boy Said" might not go with any particular character (maybe Hurin?), but it goes very well with the Battle of Unnumbered Tears. :)

    1. Haha, thanks :)
      That's a good one for Boromir, especially the lyrics "I wanna get back to my city by the bay" because Gondor is near the sea and you're right, Boromir really loves his city and his goal is to do what's best for it.
      Wow, "Something a Boy Said" is really good for the Battle of Unnumbered Tears especially with how the song talks about being confident with their large numbers but there is something nagging at the back of their mind which warns them they may not be so safe. Great suggestions!

    2. Thanks! Two of my favorite non-celtic/filmscore songs. :D