Although most of the characters I play on Lotro are race of man, I am a huge supporter and fan on the Dwarves. Belki Blackbeard is my only Dwarf character and I love everything about him; from battle cries to the beard, from the way his Dwarven armour looks and the beauty of the many Dwarven places in Lotro. It’s great stuff.
When it comes to Dwarven themed music in game, there are probably two notable places that stand out for me. First of course, is that theme you hear in Thorin’s Hall. A cheerful sweeping melody, often played in the Great Hall or in the Tavern, and rightly so because during festivals some events do take place within Thorin’s Hall and it does fit the mood. The second place to hear some Dwarven music is of course, the Mines of Moria. Chance Thomas is responsible for the soundtrack and themes of Moria, and the majority of the music in there is sort of depressing. The tracks are somewhat scary and despairing which again fits the mood because when we the players enter Moria it is a ghost town inhabited by Orcs, Goblins and other vile creatures, and we are assisting a company of Durin’s folk who wishes to establish a foothold within Khazad-Dum. Both of these places and their respective music themes are great but I can’t help feeling something is missing.
What I really want is another Dwarven theme, one that reflects and portrays the determination and resoluteness of the Dwarves even when things in Middle Earth are looking bleak for them and their folk. So that is why I want you to play and listen to this theme attached below as I think it’s great for that mood and I wished we had something like this in Lotro. The track is called ‘Pride of the Dwarves’ and is composed by Jamie Christopherson for EA’s LOTR RTS game Battle for Middle Earth II. (Which is a great game, check it out.)
Go ahead and hit play. Done? Good. Now picture this while you’re listening to the track: You have just arrived at Thorin’s Gate, having completed the tutorial. You are Dwarf from Ered Luin. You have known nothing but hardship all your life. Thorin Oakenshield is dead, and Khazad-Dum the once crown jewel of the Dwarven kingdoms has fallen to ruin, plundered and inhabited by your race’s fiercest enemies. What’s more, you have had no contact with your brethren and the company of your fathers who are scattered throughout Middle Earth, and the Dourhand turn-cloaks are a threat to the land. With anger in your heart, you enter the Great Hall of Thorin. You see your brothers and sisters at work with such inspiring focus. Mining, forging and preparing for an unknown future. You and your kind has lost so much, but there is hope, and pride. And thus, you gather your belongings and begin your adventure..
Heh. The song gives me goosebumps still. Again, I would love to hear a similiar theme within Lotro. All we have at the moment is one very happy theme, and a bunch of themes at the other end of the happy spectrum. We need something in between to show that the Dwarves aren’t giving up and that their best is still to come. I think all players who love their Dwarves would find it a welcome change to the already existing themes. Who’s with me?
Now I’d like to share with all of you something awesome I’ve dug up. These are two separate Dwarven theme-ish tracks from both Chance Thomas and Howard Shore, who scores for Peter Jackson’s Hobbit films. Play the first track by Chance Thomas below and listen at 0:40 to 0:49. Take note and remember that tune.
Now, play Howard Shore’s Axe or Sword at 1:13 to 1:21 and listen closely.
AREN’T THEY SIMILAR? Please excuse my excitement, but wow I find it pretty cool that they sound almost the same. Keep in mind that Chance Thomas’s track was release in 2008 while Howard Shore’s was released last year with part one of The Hobbit. Amazing. Are Chance and Howard buddies? Did they discuss this? Something to ponder upon.