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The Game of Music

Can Djawadi's score music sugar coat the epic fantasy saga?

George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy roller-coaster, Game of Thrones, has been quite the heart embracing tale to all its fans so far. As new fans begin flocking around this high budgeted dramatic saga, the anticipation for the final season is growing exponentially. The internet is overflowing with fan theories and prediction videos soaring through every nook and cranny to try and disentangle the plot of the much-awaited conclusion. The grand finale to the game of houses battling against each other for the iron throne and the war against the white walkers from the far north.

While we remain spellbound by the gripping story of the book brought to live on the TV show, we hardly pay heed to the finer scoop of icing laid down by the extravagant music. A masterpiece by a newborn legendary score artist, Ramin Djawadi. The more I had my earplugs on the score music, the more I realized how the music perfectly reflects every moment, let it be the quality of a house, a trait of a character or the depth of an incident.

So let’s get to it…

The Main Theme

Although I didn’t notice any significant details that might otherwise tease out exposition, it’s more appropriate to start off with the most recognizable piece in the show. The theme invites us to turn pages of a history book, darting back to a long-gone world ruled by a powerful monarchy.

The Stark Theme

House Stark of Winterfell has always been noble to the word and honorable to the sword. A family bound together by the chains of their house motto, Winter is Coming. Their undying love for each other is true and yet we witness them torn apart because of their incapability of playing the game of thrones. The Stark theme weeps for the disintegration of the family with its melancholy humming of strings. The violins shed tears against a background of somber whistling of the wind. As the seat of house stark is in the north, the cold winds of winter cannot be avoided.

'Blood of my Blood' (House Targaryen)

The Targaryen dynasty that lasted 300 years arrived at a standstill when Robert Baratheon bore his warm hammer into the crown prince Rhaegar Targaryen’s chest killing him. Rhaegar’s sister Daenerys, being the sole survivor capable of taking the throne once again, musters her courage gathering armies, season after season. The Blood of my blood theme echoes a sense of rising with its deafening drum beats coupled with strings reaching high pitches. Her rise. The melodious chiming of voices is a tribute to the Dothraki lifestyle she had embraced. The ominous rattling sound that’s sandwiched between the layers of music in this theme displays the fury of her dragons. A dragon will always display a Targaryen’s true might.

'Ours Is the Fury'(House Baratheon)

house that would always boast its pride wherever they go, House Baratheon holds the iron throne in the start of the series. This is solely due to Robert Baratheon’s valor in the field of battle. The theme sends out ripples of a rallying call or a grand arrival or the booming sound of victory painting the flag of pride. This is established by the ensemble of bellowing trumpets and drums.

'Trust Each Other' (House Arryn)

The seat of House Arryn is located in a castle high atop sky-scraping mountains. The journey to the castle itself is one arduous task. Yet it's perched atop in all its glory. The Arryn’s loyalty to House Stark is clearly pointed out in this theme if you can recognize the melancholy Stark Theme playing amongst drum beats.

'Rains of Castamere' (House Lannister)

At one point before we were introduced to the show, this deeply somber piece of music was considered as the main theme. Eventually, we were introduced to a different music as the main and "Rains of Castamere" ended up being the colour code for the Red Wedding. One of the most nerve-wracking events in TV history. Once, House Rein began a feud with House Lannister and went extinct due to the wrath unleashed by Tywin Lannister. The theme plays the warning tribute to that incident. Thereafter, we will always know that whenever this theme plays, a Lannister is dominating the scene.

'Light of the Seven' (Cersei’s Wrath)

Season six introduces this piano melody during Cersei Lannister’s trial at the great Sept of Baelor. This is the first time Ramin Djawadi introduces a piano piece. As it starts playing, we begin to sense the oddness in the scene. Something’s not right. Something dramatic is about to happen. When the seven-minute piece ends at a high deafening point with added strings and the harmonious chiming of a girl, we witness the great Sept of Baelor being engulfed in wildfire, burning everyone Cersei despises.

'Maester' (The Citadel)

This piece is short and yet it manages to express the grand splendor of the citadel, the great library of the seven kingdoms. The Citadel is a place where curious minds gather to sharpen their knowledge. The scholarly enlightenment is felt as the violins strum slowly and harmoniously.

'Chaos is a Ladder' (Lord Baelish)

Lord Petyr Baelish is well known for his cunning manipulation to achieve his ultimate goal of sitting on the iron throne. His step-wise climb to that ambition is intricately reflected from this piece. Ominous drum beats coupled with ringing sounds express the warning of an impending threat looming in the dark.

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