The Journey nears

‘We’ll ride the Gathering Storm.’

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I love the Wheel of Time reference, unconscious though it might have been. And well, yes, I’ll admit, it’s a line that’s present in probably every epic fantasy adventure.

I just heard the newly-released credits song ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ (forthcoming from New Line). Neil Finn, who I’ve never heard before, but certainly intend to listen to from now on, delivers a strangely dwarvish piece. There are anvils clanging in the background as he intones the word, and you can almost feel the ground falling away beneath you as you stare at the Lonely Mountain. There are what I presume to be dwarves’ chants in the background, a sound which took (for me) some getting used to, but once my feet started tapping to their ‘ya ya ya ya’ I knew I was hooked.

 I am sitting at my desk listening to it on loop. There is no going back.

 It’s admittedly very different from the theme songs of the Lord of the Rings movies. Where ‘May It Be’ and ‘Into the West’ are ‘Elvish’ (or what I consider ‘Elvish’), soaring and transcendent, speaking of moving beyond the boorish world and the Shadow, this is martial and ‘dwarvish’. Not only do anvils clang and anchor it to the rhythms of their metal-working world, but the very words are the utterance of the dwarves’ mission- the returning of ‘what was stolen- the Arkenstone’ and ‘their song’. I can see them plodding on, undaunted by Smaug or interfering Elves and Orcs. They’ll ride that Gathering Storm all the way to the end.

 I never appreciated Tolkien’s dwarves, entranced as I was (predictably) by his Elves and Faramir (still my favourite character, despite what the movies did to him). But I have a feeling that Peter Jackson always has, and just needed this movie to let that shine through.

 Move over comic relief Gimli, we have some lean mean fighting machines on the way!

Take me to those Misty Mountains cold.

 

 

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