The Sounds of LOTR

faramir10By: Heather Marie

In discussing the different sounds presented in The Lord of The Rings, I will analyze a particular scene and discuss the dialogue, sound effects and music. This scene is from Return of The King called Pippin’s Song, it uses both diegetic and non-diegetic sounds.

Dialogue is the use of words between two or more of the characters themselves. In this scene There is little dialogue is the least emphasized sounds of the scene. It is relatively short and only between Pippin and Denethor. In only a few lines, which seem harmless the audiences feels Pippin’s disgust for Denethor which allows him to say much more than just the words he uses.

Sound effects “can be used merely to intensify action or to enhance the sense of environment” (Goodykoontz & Jacobs, 2014). In this scene there is a real interesting twist though where sound effects come in to play. Except for a hand full of sound effects the entire scene is silent (except for the music) which gives the few effects and the entire scene a sense of profoundness. In actual effects, four of can be heard which are all diegetic sounds. You can hear Denethor eating his meal, almost giving him the appearance as a monster, just from the sounds he makes. This helps the audience solidify their opinion of him as disgusting, just as Pippin perceives him. You can hear the horse running to battle, but nothing else. It drives home the feeling of a heavy heart regarding battle, like tunnel hearing. The last two sounds play into the fear and despair of what we know is to come. The audience can hear Faramir unsheathing his broad sword as rides to defend Osgiliath in an almost hopeless battle. His is the only sword you can hear, but as they reach closer to the cities walls the Orcs aim their bows and we can  hear the release of all their arrows. These two sounds seem to tell us the Gondor soldiers have no chance of survival, with the sound of one sword against hundreds of arrows.

The highlight of this scene is Pippin’s song itself, also diegetic. There is more than just the vocals in the music which is non-diegetic. Yet, the non-diegetic music is more that just background music, it plays as the acoustics to Pippin’s lyrics. Pippin’s song is not only beautiful it plays right into the scene of Gondor’s soldiers riding into battle and being slaughtered on the order of an evil, vile man (Denethor).

Pippin’s song and the sound effects lend credence to the time setting, as well as the film’s genre. An epic film where knights, lords, and kings are normal. Also the dialogue plays into the fantasy aspect, because Pippin labels himself as different from men and their great halls, painting himself as a humble hobbit. While the sounds are all realistic, the lack of other sounds is not. If any other sounds (no matter how small) where added to this scene then the depth of despair and inevitability surrounding the battle would not have come through on the screen.


Pippin’s Song (2003). LOTR: Return of The King. Retrieved from:

Faramir’s image. Retrieved from Google Images.

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Lighting Techniques for Lord of The Rings: Fellowship of The Ring

By: Heather Marie

There are two main lighting techniques used throughout the film Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of The Ring. They are natural light and low-key lighting designs. Much of Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of The Ring is filmed outside, calling for the use of natural light. According to Goodykoontz & Jacobs (2014), “Natural light usually comes from above—the sun or moon in outdoor scenes, ceiling lights in typical indoor scenes” (sec. 6.4, para. 4). Also, much of the indoor lighting and night time lighting comes from a fire source of some type (candle, torch, campfire) which is also a type of natural light. Another source of lighting used besides natural lighting is low-key lighting. The low-key lighting offers shadows and a darker presence overall, except within the outdoor scenes during the daytime.

These lighting choices are crucial to this film in particular for a couple of reasons, mainly the authenticity of the film and its setting. Since the film is set in a time where electricity has not been invented any use of harsh or heavy artificial light would ruin the films feel. Making it feel fake, or untrue to the time it is presenting. Such lighting designs also help solidify the craftsmanship in the film’s presentation as an epic fantasy. Not unlike the way futuristic films use bright or neon lights to give the audience a feel for the setting, Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of The Ring uses natural and subdued lighting to travel back in time. The specific use of lights in dark and light have also contributed to the genre “epic fantasy” in order to present good vs. evil.

Here is a clip showing how Lord of The Rings has used lighting to present a battle between good vs. evil. While this specific clip comes from the third film The Return of The King its ideal remains true throughout the entire saga, including The Fellowship of The Ring.


Gandalf The White & The Nazguls. (2003). LOTR: The Return of The King. Retrieved from:

I have tried to list the text as a reference but it will not show it on the preview no matter what I do…



The Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of The Ring


By: Heather Marie

Title: Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of The Ring


  • Fran Walsh (Scr)
  • Philippa Boyens (Scr)
  • Peter Jackson (Scr)
  • J.R.R. Tolkien (Novel)

Director: Peter Jackson


  • Alan Howard (The Ring)
  • Elijah Wood (Frodo)
  • Ian McKellen (Gandalf)
  • Sean Astin (Samwise Gamgee)
  • Dominic Monaghan (Meriadoc ‘Merry’ Brandybuck)
  • Billy Boyd (Peregrin ‘Pippin’ Took)
  • Orlando Bloom (Legolas)
  • Viggo Mortensen (Strider/Arago)
  • Sean Bean (Boromir)
  • Jon Rhys-Davis (Gimli)
  • Christopher Lee (Saruman)
  • And many, many more….

Year Released: (2001)

This film follows the journey of nine companions who set out to destroy an evil object (The Ring). The story takes place in mythical land called Middle Earth, set in a time which would be equivalent to King Arthur’s time near the 6th century. This ring belongs to a dark lord who is trying to rise back to power and in order to fully do so must find the ring, which has been lost for more thay 2,000 years. When the ring is discovered to live in the quiet land of The Shire where hobbits live, it is up to Frodo to take the ring someplace safe. With Sam (Frodo’s gardner), Frodo leaves the Shire to meet Gandalf at an inn nearby. While Gandalf is held up by the Head Of his Order, Frodo is joined by two more hobbits, Merry and Pippin, and a man named Strider. With the Nazgul hunting their every step, they make for Rivendell, the home of Master Elrond and the elves. Here Gandalf regions Frodo and therest is a council held to decide what should be done with the ring. It is decided the ring must be destroyed and Frodo offers to carry it to Mordor. Eight companions offer their services to Frodo in an effort to help along the journey becoming the Fellowship of the ring. While trying to overcome the terrain, weather, and an array of enemies the Fellowship continues towards Mordor. Frodo also learns the power the ring holds of others even ones who swore their allegiance and decides he must continue on this journey alone. After a battle that leaves the Fellowship scattered, each member must continue to play their part along theirony journey in order to lend support to the final goal: destroying the ring. This is only one of three films and continues in the next film The Two Towers.

This film is shot in chronological order with a few flashbacks to lend information and back story mainly to the ring. The audience gets to follow along the journey as it is happening, but sees the flashbacks as one of the characters shares the past about the ring. Characters continue to develop over the entire three films, while not only battling outside interferences but also fighting inside issues that risk causing the Fellowship to fail.

Lord of The Rings: Fellowship of The Ring


Still shot retrieved ftom: Google images

The Lord of The Rings: Fellowship of The Ring. (2001). Retrieved from:

Movie Trailer from

Hello world!

By: Heather Marie


This is a blogging site for my film course at Ashford University! I have never had a blog before or have ever studied films on a deeper level beyond entertainment. So if you happen to come across my blog I hope you enjoy and understand it is still a learning process for me. Since one of my favorite films is Lord of The Rings (all of them), my blog will discuss all things LOTR. Well that and what my professor asks for (lol).

Please Enjoy!