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Soundtrack review: Eragon (Patrick Doyle, 2006)

Composer of the month Patrick Doyle month

Soundtrack review: Eragon (Patrick Doyle, 2006)


“Eragon” is a fantasy-adventure film based on a series of books. The movie got bad reviews and was quite forgettable from what I heard, but Patrick Doyle doesn’t care about that. He sees a script, reads “fantasy” and lets his wonderful imagination fly. He doesn’t need more than that to start crafting beautiful themes and memorable moments. This score has me from hello, that is, from the opening “Eragon” theme, which is thundering and exciting and the stuff fantasies are made of.
Fantasy movies are all about the story and visuals. Patrick Doyle manages to match those with his music. I can close my eyes, listen to “Eragon” and make up my own stories, sceneries and images. “Fortune teller” is a highlight for the awesome buildup, storming as if from nowhere and hitting that adventure spot inside you. “If you were flying” you would surely feel the same way you do when you hear the respective cue. It’s sweeping, it’s wide and it has no limits. Just spread your arms and feel the wind on your face. You’re flying on the back of a dragon above beautiful scenery, and you wouldn’t want it to end very soon…This is a cue that could easily find its place near “Buckbeak’s flight” on the list of “Best ever cues to fly on”, if there ever was one. And I think there should be a list like that, just to have “If you were flying” in a top.
I get so excited about the action epic cues that they ruin the slower cues for me. I almost couldn’t enjoy “Durza” or “Passing the flame” properly because the adrenaline was still rushing from the flying. So these two cues, one ominous and the other one emotional came and went, because before they had time to sink in, “Battle for Varden” started…A 10 minute long monster cue that obliterates everything else on this score except the main theme…Wow, what a rush! I feel such a joy listening to it and I am so grateful that we have Patrick Doyle to enchant us, move us or motivate us. This cue is simply majestic and completely makes this score. It’s a highlight of Doyle’s career and a great addition to my running playlists. You will need time to catch your breath after this fantastic cue. Action music at its best!!
“Together” gives you the time to recover from the battle with an elegiac voice and a female voice reminiscent of Edda del Orso. This movie may be a teenage fantasy, but the score sounds nothing like that. It’s deep, it’s rich and it’s serious. It ends with two very emotional and intense cues, “Saphira returns” and “Legend of Eragon”, melodies that imprint this score even further into my memory. I will be very surprised if “Eragon” doesn’t make my top ten Patrick Doyle scores at the end of the month. Do not skip this one if you want to hear what Patrick Doyle is capable about.
My ratings:
Cue rating: 89 / 100
Total minutes of excellence: 39 / 47
Album excellence: 83%
Cues to listen to:
Roran Leaves
Saphira’s First Flight
Burning Farm
Fortune Teller
If You Were Flying
Brom’s Story
Battle For Varden
Saphira Returns
Legend Of Eragon
Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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