Mordremoth's Theme

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"Mordremoth's Theme"[1] is a recurring instrumental theme composed by Maclaine Diemer which musically represents the Elder Dragon Mordremoth. The theme comprises of three notes which are often played in low register.[2]

Use in Guild Wars 2[edit]

Living World Season 1[edit]

"Mordremoth's Theme" makes its first[2] appearance in game in the "Tower of Nightmares" track[3] alongside "Scarlet's Theme" in the Tower of Nightmares content release during Living World Season 1. It was not initially intended to become the musical representation of Mordremoth, but Maclaine Diemer decided to retroactively turn it into one after realizing how well it worked.[1]

As Tyrians fight their way aboard the Breachmaker, Scarlet Briar's flagship, and face her and her holograms during the Battle for Lion's Arch release, the "Battle on the Breachmaker" tracks references "Mordremoth's Theme" subtly behind the more pronounced statements of "Scarlet's Theme".[4] Another notable usage of the theme occurs during the finale cinematic of the Battle for Lion's Arch release, which solidifies the theme's connection to Mordremoth. As the flagship hits the ley line underneath Lion's Arch and redirects its magic into the mouth of the Jungle Dragon deep within the Heart of Maguuma, the brassy, three-note Mordremoth theme overcomes Scarlet's fading theme, thus revealing the puppetmaster behind Scarlet's actions both visually and musically.

Living World Season 2[edit]

"Mordremoth's Theme" appears again during Living World Season 2, first showing up in "The Mordrem" track during the Entanglement release where it musically depicts the master behind the Mordrem which have begun attacking settlements and forts.[5]

The theme is prominently used during the World Summit chapter of the Dragon's Reach: Part 2 release when the Shadow of the Dragon attacks the Grove and the Pale Tree. The "Shadow of the Dragon" track, which plays during the battle, features powerful statements of "Mordremoth's Theme" throughout it to signify the master behind the destructive dragon champion's actions.[6] "Mordremoth's Theme" can also be heard briefly in the Pale Tree's prophetic vision cinematic when the vision shows the Shadow of the Dragon circling around a rising golden city in search of Glint's Egg.

The theme returns in a sinister form played by brass in a low register alongside anticipatory strings during Wynne's confession of the sylvari's origins as Mordremoth's minions to Caithe, reaching a crescendo which is cut off abruptly and leads to ethereal vocals as Caithe is forced to kill Wynne to keep the secret from Faolain and other sylvari in the Mystery Cave chapter of the Point of No Return release. The "Shadow of the Dragon" track, and by association "Mordremoth's Theme", is reprised when the Shadow of the Dragon attacks the Pact Commander's party one last time.

Heart of Thorns[edit]

"Mordremoth's Theme" returns in Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns which centers on the war against Mordremoth. The theme appears briefly in the first half of the Heart of Thorns Theme.[7]

The theme is played throughout Heart of Thorns, showing up in both new tracks as well as tracks which have appeared in earlier releases.[8] It is briefly referenced in "The Pact Laid Waste" track which plays in Verdant Brink where the Pact's fleet has crashed after Mordremoth's initial assault with vines [9], at the end of the cinematic depicting Rytlock's return as a revenant when a Mordrem Guard stands up to face Rytlock whose attack has knocked him down[10] as well as during the cinematic where the Vinetooth assaults Eir Stegalkin and Faolain.[11]

As the Pact progresses deeper into the jungle and reaches Dragon's Stand, "Mordremoth's Theme" becomes much more prominent and plays throughout the "Dragon's Stand" track. It appears again subtly in the first half of the "Mouth of Mordremoth" track but becomes much more ferocious and more pronounced in said track's latter half, fighting a sonic battle with the underlying ostinato of the evolved four-note main phrase of the Guild Wars 2 Main Theme, which musically depicts the Pact and its jungle allies' clash with Mordremoth at Dragon's Domain with the fate of Tyria at stake.[12]

"Mordremoth's Theme" appears in the "Mordremoth" track which plays as the Pact Commander's party faces off against the avatar of Mordremoth's mind in the Dream of Dreams. The primary chords of the theme, played by brass, support the main melody of the track, but the actual theme only shows up towards the end when the weakened Mordremoth attempts to keep the Commander away from its avatar by sending hordes of minions to destabilize the Reality Rift which the Commander has been using to weaken it.[13]

The theme plays one last time, now as a mere shadow of its former self, in the final cinematic of Heart of Thorns. As some of the magic released from Mordremoth's body at the moment of its death is absorbed by Glint's egg in the golden city of Tarir, both the ascending Tyrian theme and "Mordremoth's Theme" make brief appearances, leaving the future uncertain about whether Glint's baby will become friend or foe to the races of Tyria.[14]

Appearances of the Theme[edit]

Below is a chronological list of identified uses of "Mordremoth's Theme" and its variants:

External Links[edit]


  1. ^ a b Points of Interest: Episode 32 Maclaine Diemer: The oldest of [the recurring themes] is what I consider the [...] Mordremoth theme. Which I admit I didn't initially write it as the Mordremoth theme; I kind of retrofitted it [...] but it just worked.
  2. ^ a b Points of Interest: Episode 32 Maclaine Diemer: There's a piece of music that came out with the Tower of Nightmares release. It was the first one that [...] it kind of incorporated Scarlet's theme [...] but there's an underlying movement in the kind of low instruments, and there's this three-note melody. It's not really that melodic, but these three notes are very distinct, and I decided when I started to write more music for [Living World Season 2] that it would be a great theme for Mordremoth. And it's been in many, many [music pieces].
  3. ^ The theme can be first heard being played in a slow tempo between 0:16 and 0:42 in the "Tower of Nightmares" track by brass in a low register.
  4. ^ The theme can be heard between 2:57 and 3:05 in the "Battle on the Breachmaker" track beneath Scarlet's piano-led theme.
  5. ^ The theme can be heard clearly at 0:28 in "The Mordrem" track.
  6. ^ The theme can first be heard between 0:10 and 0:16 in the "Shadow of the Dragon" track.
  7. ^ The theme can be heard between 0:59 and 1:05 in the "Heart of Thorns Theme" track.
  8. ^ The theme's previous iterations are "The Mordrem" from Living World Season 2 which plays in multiple maps in the Heart of Maguuma, "Shadow of the Dragon" from Living World Season 2 which plays during the fight against the Vinetooth in the story step "Prisoners of the Dragon", and "Tower of Nightmares" from Living World Season 1 which plays in Dragon's Stand.
  9. ^ The theme can first be heard between 0:24 and 0:35 in "The Pact Laid Waste" track.
  10. ^ The theme can be heard from 0:41 onward in the Rytlock's return cinematic.
  11. ^ The theme can be heard between 0:50 and 0:56 in the Vinetooth Ambush cinematic.
  12. ^ Mordremoth's theme and the evolved Tyrian theme's main phrase can both be heard clearly between 2:07 and 2:30 in the "Mouth of Mordremoth" track; violins play the ascending Tyrian theme in an ostinato underneath the brass which plays Mordremoth's descending theme.
  13. ^ The theme can be heard from 3:01 onward in the "Mordremoth" track, slowly being overpowered by the choir and clapping as the dragon's mind is overcome by the Pact Commander.
  14. ^ The theme can be heard alongside the evolved Tyrian theme between 0:53 and 1:01 in the final Heart of Thorns cinematic.