‘The Rings of Power’ composer details what it was like to work with Howard Shore

Image via Amazon Studios / The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

Bear McCreary is hardly an unrecognized name among original soundtrack composers, but taking over from Howard Shore in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power must have still given him a creative fright unlike any other.

Most people would recognize McCreary as the man behind the music of Starz’s Outlander series. He also composed 2018’s God of War, giving Kratos an epic edge that truly enhanced the Nordic adventure through the nine realms. Now, the American musician is bringing those songwriting chops to Tolkien’s Middle-earth, working alongside Howard Shore to give the Second Age life beyond visual aesthetics.

With the release of The Rings of Power‘s official soundtrack, McCreary sat down to have a chat with Variety, explaining what J.R.R. Tolkien has meant to him in his career.

“I’m a huge fan of the J.R.R. Tolkien books, of the legendarium, the mythology, and the Peter Jackson films. They were, in a way, at the nexus of my childhood and adulthood, the last films that took me away as a child. I watched those films over and over and over.”

McCreary has purposefully written the music in a way that ties into Shore’s work on Jackson’s trilogy.

“I’m trying to honor the legacy of what Howard Shore created, and to do so by using those epic colors, and crafting 15 new themes that can be added to the pantheon of memorable melodies that started with Shore’s films,” He continued. “My hope is that if anyone watches our show and then watches the Peter Jackson films, there will be a continuity of concept.”

Amazon Studios might have ghosted Peter Jackson through the entire 5-year process of making The Rings of Power, but that doesn’t mean the show isn’t going to take its cue from the cinematic Middle-earth we’ve all grown to cherish and love over the past two decades.

The show is making its debut on Sept. 1 with two one-hour episodes.