Back in the early aughts, when moviegoers counted on an annual trip to Middle-earth, thanks to Peter Jackson and the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, one of the first signals that you were headed back to the realm of hobbits and dwarves was Howard Shore's string-driven score, playing over the series' title.
It's only fitting that for Jackson's and our collective return to Middle-earth for "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," Shore will once again provide the music that takes us there, and with a little more than a month to go, Empire has given us a great way to prepare: the entire score online.
Listen to the whole thing after the jump!
The score for "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" hits shelves on December 11 with both a standard and deluxe edition. The actual movie opens three days later on December 14.
What do you think of the score? Let us know in the comments below and on Twitter!