Hobbits, we read in the prologue to J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Fellowship of the Ring,” the first book of his “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, “love peace and quiet and good tilled earth.” This being so, the pre-holiday rush at Times Square’s Virgin Megastore surely would have seemed to them the abode of the damned. Thumping bass lines made the air shudder; tourists and locals stumbled and jostled, staring open-mouthed at flashing video monitors. A whisper, sad and graceful, called out from beneath the din. In the video department, “The Return of the King,” the final film in director Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, was drawing to an end. The dialogue was inaudible, but wisps of music folded and unfolded – themes first heard in “Fellowship,” evoking friendship and resolve, innocence lost and the longing for home. [More]

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