The score to Return of the King is the most expansive of the three: containing over four hours of finalized music, scoring virtually the entire film length. It also musters the biggest staged forces, with sections calling for eight trumpets and a similar increase in the rest of the brass section, two timpanists, a mixed choir of 85 with additional singers for all-male and all-female parts, over fifty in the boy choir, various vocal soloists including soprano Renee Fleming and boy soprano Ben Del Maestro, and the full bands of celtic and eastern instruments returning from the first score. The score even uses a double fiddle, an instrument invented and crafted specifically for one scene in the film. Shore also scored the trailer for the film, which would eventually be released with various alternate takes in the Rarities archive.
In 2006, Reprise Records released a multi-disc set for the film, titled The Complete Recordings. These contain the entire score for the extended versions of the film on CD, along with an additional DVD-Audio disc that offers 2.0 stereo and 5.1 surround mixes of the soundtrack. The album also featured extensive liner notes by music journalistDoug Adams which reviews all of the tracks and provides information about the process of composing and recording the score, as well as a detailed list of all musical instruments, people and organizations involved. The cover artwork uses the film series' logo and an inscription in Tolkien's tengwar letters, over a background that depicts a map of Gondor in dark green.
Additional music for the film was featured in The Rarities Archive release, attached to Doug Adams' book on the three film scores:
""The Return of the King Trailer""
""The Gondor Theme (Mock-up)""
""The Muster of Rohan (Alternate)""
""The Siege of Gondor (Alternate)""
""Shieldmaiden of Rohan (Theatrical Version)""
""Sammath Naur (Alternate)""
""Frodo's Song ("Into the West" Alternate/Mock-up)""
""In Conversation (Audio Interview Part 1)" featuring Frodo's Song (Alternate)"
Along with about 17 minutes of alternate material from the original release, about a minute of material in the fan credits, and some additional alternates, there are over four and a half hours of finalized music for Return of the King, including the music for the trailer.