One aspect of the production we haven’t discussed here yet is the musical score. Over at Westeros there is a rather lengthy thread discussing just that. It seems that most people are falling into one of four camps when it comes to the soundtrack for Thrones.
1) Contemporary music. Generally heavy metal or rock. Think A Knight’s Tale. While I admit there is something appealing about the idea of seeing the Battle of the Blackwater with some heavy metal riffs in the background, I don’t think this is the best idea. Despite the obvious anachronistic elements something like this would present, this series is more about character interaction than epic battles. It seems HBO has realized this and is focusing on the characters in this adapation and rock music just doesn’t play well behind straight dialogue.
2) Medieval-style music. Think dulcimers, harps and flutes. While this sounds interesting in theory, I don’t know if it would work. The average television audience isn’t necessarily a fan, or even familiar with medieval era music, and it could be a turn off for those more accustomed to a traditional orchestrated score.
3) No music. Other than possibly some renditions of the songs contained within the narrative (The Bear and the Maiden Fair, The Rains of Castamere, etc.) I don’t know about this idea. Music does a great job heightening the drama, suspense or intensity of a moment. Not having any score at all may detract from these moments. But I would take this over rock or medieval era music.
4) A traditional orchestrated score. Think John Williams or Howard Shore. Although I doubt this production would get composers of that level. There are a number of names being mentioned as possibilities however. Since I’ve never heard of them I’ll leave that debate to those who are more familiar with television music composers. I think this approach would work best. It is familiar to the viewers and works well within the genre (Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, etc.).