Top 10 Soundtracks for Writing Fantasy

A few years ago I compiled a list of my top ten favorite soundtracks to write to, but it was on my old site (which apparently has been taken down?), and my thoughts on the matter have changed since then.

This list is not in any specific order, and I really wanted to include clips/previews for each mention, but it turns out WordPress doesn’t let you link or upload videos unless you pay them a monthly fee and your firstborn child (WordPress, you’re great, but come on. Be real.).

Note: I’ve excluded soundtracks that I consider hard to separate from their films due to their iconic status in popular culture (soundtracks such as The Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean, Harry Potter, etc.). 

So here we go!

How To Train Your Dragon 2

The first installment could have easily taken this spot, but HTTYD 2 has some of my favorite songs, so I’m giving it priority. Go check this soundtrack out. It’s beautiful.

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Eragon

Disclaimer: the movie sucks. It’s atrocious. If you respect the books at all, do not watch this movie. However, the soundtrack is pretty good, and there are a few tracks in particular that I think stand out.

Eragon_soundtrack.jpg

Pan’s Labyrinth

This movie is beautiful. The soundtrack is sublime. Both are substantially depressing. Listen at your own risk.

panslabyrinthtree

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

I never said this list was limited to movie scores. Twilight Princess and Ocarina of Time could have also taken the spot, but no Nintendo soundtrack compares to Skyward Sword in terms of emotion and storytelling. Koji Kondo, you genius. If I did this list in ranked order, Skyward Sword would probably take the #1 spot.

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Dinosaur

Didn’t we all love this movie as kids? Well, the soundtrack is as good as you remember it. There’s a wide range of ‘feels’ to cover in this one, so go check it out for yourself.

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Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron

Hans Zimmer will always be one of the greatest composers, and Spirit is, in my opinion, one of his best film scores.

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The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

A decent film with a fantastic soundtrack. No, not the BBC show (although, if you have time, you should look that up for a good laugh).

Narniacd.jpg

Ori and the Blind Forest

The second video game score to make the list, it was recommended to me by a friend on Twitter, and it’s been one of my favorites ever since. This score in particular has a very magical/mysterious feel to it, and though it’s not the happiest music in the world, it’s still awesome.

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Tarzan

Tarzan is probably my favorite soundtrack of all the Disney ‘classics’, and it has a wide variety of great tracks to fit different moods and situations.

TarzanOST.jpg

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Okay, I really didn’t want to include a Transformers film in this list, simply because they’re terrible and degrading on so many levels. However, a handful of score pieces stand out enough to warrant a mention. Dig around, and you’ll find some gems.

Trans2Front.jpeg


Of course, this list is based on my opinion at the time of writing this post (with a pinch of universal and undeniable truth). What are some of your favorite OSTs to write (or daydream) to? Comment below!

 

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25 thoughts on “Top 10 Soundtracks for Writing Fantasy

  1. Nice post! I don’t listen to music anymore while I’m writing, but I do like the music to Lord of the Rings and Guardians of the Galaxy, for a little inspiration. These days, I prefer the quiet when writing. 🙂

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  2. Wow. I feel like this is a list I would have put together. I listen to all of these when I write. Especially love HTTYD and Zelda. Great list! It’s been a while since I’ve listened to Pan’s Labyrinth, so I’m off to go find it on Youtube. Thanks!

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  3. I love How To Train Your Dragon. Can’t decide which soundtrack I like better though, since they both have some great tracks. I do have a few Transformer songs on my playlist as well, due to general epicness.
    And the BBC Narnia series were my childhood! lol!! Although we can’t really talk about them anymore without laughing.

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  4. I’ve listened to some of those, and I’ll have to look up some of the others. One of my favorite things to listen to while writing is Chronicles by audiomachine.

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    1. Audiomachine is pretty fantastic. As are TSFH, Future World Music, Globus, Immediate Music, Brickwall Audio, Thomas Bergersen…hmm…I’m smelling another list in the future…? 😀

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  5. The Skyward Sword soundtrack is one of my all-time favorite video game soundtracks! (Well, next to Portal 2, although I doubt that would help much with fantasy writing… maybe more sci-fi.) Great list!

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  6. I love listening to instrumental music while writing! Definitely helps. You are so spot on with this selection! Spirit is one of my all time favorite movies and I LOVE the main theme of Dinosaur too. ‘Test Drive’ & ‘Romantic Flight’ are my favorites from the first How to Train Your Dragon and I’m currently in love with ‘Above and Beyond’ by Audiomachine and ‘Aeon’ by Nick Murray. ‘Heart of courage’ – Two Steps from Hell always goes down well as does ‘Adagio in D Minor’. If you haven’t already, listen to ‘The Man Who Chose to Smile’ on youtube.

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  7. Awesome list! I will definitely add some of these to my playlist. I’ve been listening to the soundtracks from LOTR, Kingdom Hearts, and Final Fantasy X to help with my current novel. But I could definitely use new music to help inspire me.

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  8. Yay! I needed more soundtracks to sift through. There’s always another song out there that could match up perfectly with the scene I’m writing at any given moment. 😉

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  9. Great post haha I use pandora to Play the epic movie soundtrack channel. The best!!! Great insights though. I would also recommend the soundtrack from Oblivion (that film with Tom Cruse) great music and very very epic. Thanks

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