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  • Writer's pictureegradcliff

Settling the Score, Music Sets the Scene

Updated: Jul 2, 2020

That's my little brother...

When I'm writing, I often find myself gravitating toward certain songs while writing different kinds of scenes. Here's a sampling of a few 'theme songs' I associate with various moods and character activities in The Hidden King.

If you've ever loved a movie score, you know how music can set the tone of a scene or the personality of a character. So, partnering with my earlier post where I gave Áed a personality test, today I’ve decided to assign Ninian and Áed some thematic music... enjoy!

Links to samples are provided or you can search them on YouTube.


When he’s fighting, or determined, or angry: Magika by Thomas Bergerson

Fast, energetic. Unyielding, yet agile. There’s an element of deadliness behind the quickness of the rhythm, and power behind everything else. It’s strong. It’s protective and fearless, and beautiful in its graceful intensity.

When he fell in love with Áed: The Ballad of Robin Hood by Logan Epic Canto

It begins with a speed that feels like confidence but is almost evasive; it’s sarcastic, all quick wit and edges, dancing and dodging. Then it opens up once it gets comfortable, the defense falling away. When it does, it turns vulnerable. It’s sweet, it admits affection and need. It’s full of feeling--love, yes, but hurt, too, and it holds enough trust to share them both.

When he’s dancing, especially with Áed: Dagda’s Cauldron by Logan Epic Canto

Playful and lighthearted, the skill and concentration innate in this piece leave no room for anything but the present; after the opening, the rumbles of dark thunder--and dark thoughts--fade away. It’s fast-paced, to the point where it sometimes feels like falling, but it never does. It’s a dance made for two, around and around, intimate and cathartic in the shared focus it requires.


The essence of mourning lives in this song. It is grief distilled, clear and full of pure, stunning loss. Flames lift the tragedy, and in the choral section, the coldness of grief is turbulent against the despair.

When he’s remembering the past: Leaving My Home for a Faraway Land by Andrei Krylov

This song is full of moonlight. It’s bittersweet, looking back on time before and remembering what was left behind. There’s sadness for times and people lost, but the lightness of the round, plucked melody moves forward, and the good memories, through the bad, linger.

When he’s thinking of Ronan: Nero by Thomas Bergersen/Two Steps from Hell

There is concern in this song, and fundamental care. There’s an element of reassurance; the mirrored structure of the preeminent melody feels like stability, like balance, and it exudes the profound protectiveness that can only be truly given to one’s first priority. And then it picks up. There’s pride, and a willingness to fight--no, to do anything. This song has strength behind it, the sort of unbreakable strength that comes from love, not anger.

Hopefully you can enjoy The Hidden King in a new way, and perhaps you'll discover new music to love, too!

E.G. RADCLIFF IS AN INCURABLE WRITER and lifelong imaginer of worlds. An insatiable reader and researcher with a penchant for all things Celtic and a love of the mysterious and magical, she brings a knowing touch to her Young Adult fiction. She enjoys adventure, reading on the train, and dreams about flying. She is a Chicago native and is based in Illinois.

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