Batman is an interesting hero. His motives are never quite understood by the people he serves, he's shrouded in mystery, some don't even consider him a hero, but more of a villain. Hans Zimmer creates a powerful two note theme for Batman that drives this concept home. Hans intentionally made the theme a less obvious heroic one, what is generally a play of question and answer, the theme for Batman just asks a question: who is Batman? The french horns were placed far above the orchestra to create this loud, surrounding power when they are slowly drawn in. It almost matches Batman's nature, somewhere in the rafters observing and making an entrance only when necessary. Each time the horns blare the second note in the theme like at 3:48 and 15:31 in A Dark Knight you are left to ask the question about Batman's character, but the answer is never actually given by resolving the chords. Hans Zimmer refers to it like he's stuck in that moment, never able to become truly heroic.
The entirety of A Dark Knight feels like a journey. It walks through Batman's entire story of ups and downs, of loss and isolation, all while still not answering the question of whether or not he'll turn into something else. The evidence to defend his nature one way or the other is hinted at in the movements of the strings and horns, sometimes dark, sometimes completely and utterly heroic. The listener is left to judge.
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