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hobbits vs. harry: the full synopsis
• Posted by: Sean Raduechel   <Send E-Mail>
• Date: Sunday, April 7, 2002, at 11:54 a.m.
• IP Address:
• In Response to: Re: Zzz!? (MSM)

> I agree that Hook was a better score, but I think it is you when you
> wonder if HP and LotR sounded the same. They didn't. HP is a far more
> complex and certainly more original writing than LotR and I think that's
> quite obvious when you listen carefully. I think LotR lacked magic indeed,
> but HP is a more than average regarding to magic. I think a goog criterium
> for determining whether or not a score is magical, is increase the volume
> of your HIFI installation, close your eyes and see if you can imagine if
> you can fly. If not, it's no magical score. But whith HP I had that.

I have decided to make your comment my victim in describing my real thought of Harry Potter verses Lord of the Rings. To start, I will go to the root of each films nature, the books, and thus provide insight into the error of your so called magic. Lord of the Rings was written by J.R.R. Tolkien with a clear purpose in mind, to spread the christian message to readers around the world by means of creative parallels and metaphors; much like what C.S. Lewis did with Chronicles of Narnia except with a much more sinister and darker feeling to try and best portray evils existence in this world. Harry Potter, on the other hand, was written with the intentions of providing a wide audience of readers with an addictively entertaining fantasy book series, thus drawing them to any related artifact that can be found with such fervor not seen since furbies first hit the market. Thus what we have hear is what could be called really two totally different kinds of magic. Lord of the Rings tends to portray a sort of black vs. white, dark yet moralistic and religious sort of magic. On the other hand Harry Potter tends to have sort of dreamy, idealistic magic. So clearly we cannot simply define magic in a basic term.

Now that the natures of these films have been clarified, it comes down to analysing how well the music works with and amplifies the action on screen. With Harry Potter, I must admit, I saw it at a late time and fell asleep. However, what I did hear does work for the idealistic fantasy nature of the story. Lord of the Rings, also, fits the film very well. The harsh gothic nature and almost religious choral arrangments of the score really do amplify the film's basic premise of the high and moral verses the hideous and evil.

What it finally comes down to is originality and complexity. It seems that my predecessor was quite strongly opinionated in this, having provided her view without much in the way of supporting evidence. If one were to seriously listen to Harry Potter, they would certainly realize that it is not the more original score. At several points in the score the comments by the one who wrote this sight's review are made quite clear. There are several points where themes from Hook, Indiana Jones, and even Star Wars: A New Hope are used. Although these are dwarfed by one great repeat: the use of Schindler's List in the what one may describe as Harry's Theme. This usage is best illustrated at the very beginning of track 2 and later on in track 3. Although I cannot write music now, the theme essentially goes as follows, high-low-high-low-higher-mid-low. On the other hand, the closest resembling score I can come to with Lord of the Rings is 13th Warrior, since they both heavily used male dominated choral arragments. Then there comes the issue of complexity, to which I can easily say, although it is not lacking in it, Harry Potter is no more complex than Lord of the Rings. Both use a large number of Leitmotifs, many of which can be hard to identify at times, and in reality, Harry Potter has essentially the same mystical, not too aggressive tone through out (with the exception of the quidditch game), whereas Lord of the Rings has several tracks that are very sad (gandalf falling and boromirs death), several that are aggressive (anywhere where the black riders are involved, betrayal of isengard, and kazad dum), several that are light hearted (regarding hobbits and the rivendale tracks), and still several that are ominous (journey through the dark and lothlorien).

Comments in this Thread:     Expand >>
  • Zzzzzzzzzzz  (9155 views)
       Ash - Wednesday, January 30, 2002, at 6:59 p.m.
    •    Re: Zzzzzzzzzzz  (9031 views)
         Tuong-Vi G. - Monday, May 13, 2002, at 12:52 p.m.
    •    Re: Zzzzzzzzzzz  (8836 views)
         - - Friday, February 15, 2002, at 10:30 p.m.
    •    Zzz!?  (8866 views)
         MSM - Tuesday, February 5, 2002, at 8:56 a.m.
      •    Re: Zzz!?  (8880 views)
           Ash - Tuesday, February 5, 2002, at 3:25 p.m.
        •    Re: Zzz!?  (9281 views)
             Erika - Wednesday, October 1, 2003, at 4:22 a.m.
          •    Re: Zzz!?  (9468 views)
               Lil' old me - Thursday, October 2, 2003, at 10:16 p.m.
        •    Re: Zzz!?  (8733 views)
             MSM - Friday, February 8, 2002, at 3:43 a.m.

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