The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power's Bear McCreary Took Inspiration From A Legendary Composer [Comic-Con]

This fall, Prime Video will finally debut "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power," the expansive and expensive prequel series to "The Lord of the Rings." The show has a lot riding on it, as it follows in the footsteps of Peter Jackson's widely beloved trilogy and brings new details of Middle Earth to life for the first time.

Every aspect of "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" is sure to be examined closely by franchise fans, but few pieces of the original movies are as beloved as the original soundtrack by Howard Shore. Bear McCreary is taking over scoring duties for the new series, and today at San Diego Comic Con, he gave insight into his process for creating new themes. It turns out, he's working from a familiar blueprint.

"My starting point, understandably, is the legacy of Howard Shore," McCreary told audiences at the convention center today. "I am honored to score a series that features a magnificent main title — you're just going to weep when you hear it — by Howard." News broke yesterday that Shore, who won both Oscars and Grammys for his "Lord of the Rings" compositions, has returned to craft the theme song for the new series.

Building from Shore's legacy

McCreary also spoke at length on the ways by which Shore's musical themes for the first three J.R.R. Tolkien films served as a jumping off point for him, helping McCreary to create new music that represents each Middle Earth colony at the show's specific moment in time. "For me, one of the things that's interesting is I was looking at all the elements Howard put in," McCreary shared. "For example, the dwarves: deep male vocals, but there's a sadness. These are a people of diaspora in the Third Age, and their music reflects that."

But McCreary noted that in the Second Age of Middle Earth, the dwarves are in a completely different place, so the mood of their theme should reflect that:

"Well, what if we go back before the apocalypse? Let's use those sounds, but they're vibrant. They're industrial. They're alive, they're at the peak of their civilization. So in a way, I wanted to create a score that honors what Shore created by creating this continuity. We're going to hear the society of elves, we're going to hear the dwarves, and even the harfoots have a variation of what feels [like] in the shire but it's not that."

The musician also points out that some places featured in the new series have never been seen on screen before, so their themes were built from scratch. "The most exciting one is Númenor. Númenor needed to be different, something new," McCreary says, referencing a human-inhabited island that's most-mentioned in "The Silmarillion." The composer promises that this theme will sound completely novel to fans of the series: "You're going to hear instruments you've never heard in live-action 'Lord of the Rings' adaptations before."