Dan Weiss David Benioff News

Original score for opening credits likely

David Benioff and Dan Weiss haven’t been heard from on Westeros very often since the pilot was filmed (I guess they are busy or something), but they did have a few minutes recently to answer a message from WiC reader Lord Ned’s Head. He had sent them a suggestion on a song they could use over the opening credits (Raven Black Night by Gov’t Mule, for those who are curious) and David & Dan replied thusly:

Thank you, ser. Beautiful song. Odds are strong that we’ll have a composer create a new theme for the GoT titles, but either way this is a good listen and a new add to our playlist.

Winter Is Coming: I’m sure some may have already been expecting an original score, but if any of you were in doubt, it sounds like Game of Thrones will be getting it’s very own theme song.


  • I never liked the "Rome" theme-song. It sounded more like an Arabian Nights-type of sound, not the glorious Roman Empire.

  • I think it has to have a very unique sound, something far different than Rome or Carnival or even True Blood. Think they'll go LOTR on us? I wouldn't mind the epic fantasy sweeping orchestra movement, personally. But I would be pretty happy if they had a more melancholic, Pippin's song kind of theme song.

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  • Thank the gods it won't be that crappy song LordNed'shead suggested, don't take it personal though. I love most of HBO's opening credits (Sopranos, Rome, the Wire, Six Feet Under, Deadwood) so I'm assuming I won't be dissapointed this time around.

    • "Six Feet Under" was a confound in my "a period series uses original music while a modern series uses licensed music" theory, but since it was a modern series using original music and not the other way around, I figured it didn't really throw anything.

      As you said, no offense to LoadNed'shead, but I'm still convinced that Enterprise's theme song was one of the nails in its coffin. I couldn't watch the opening without cringing a little each time. While I don't hate the song as much as you do, I wouldn't have felt good about it opening Game of Thrones. You don't want anything to spoil the experience of sitting down to watch it.

      HBO has blown me away with every opening credit sequence of theirs I've seen. I think I'm actually looking forward to seeing it as much as I am the first trailer.

      • The reason for Six feet under sound/score is the wake of award winning American Beauty and its unforgettable score… Six Feet Under writer-producers came out of American Beauty success…

      • "but I'm still convinced that Enterprise's theme song was one of the nails in its coffin."

        REALLY!?! No, no………….REALLY??

        I've never seen an episode of Enterprise, but you honestly think it was canceled due to its opening theme? Or that it was even one of its "nails in its coffin"?
        Wow, I didn't think I could lose any more faith in humanity, but here we are. No offense, but judging by the number of times I've seen you post, I'm guessing you're a big "genre" fan. Yet you gave up on a Trek series simply based on its theme song!?! Please tell me you're not all so fickle.

        Look, I understand that theme songs are important, often associative, occasionally downright legendary, but can we please not turn this into a "fake snow" thing. Westeros is another world, obviously they were going to commission an original theme. I'm confident it will be outstanding (judging by the talent on hand and HBO), but even if I hate it worse than reality TV (not even theoretically possible), I will still watch this show religiously, because THE GODDAMN THEME SONG DOESN'T MEAN SH#T!!!

        Now if we're gonna have a discussion about scoring the episodes, okay. I wish they would do like the Wire and dispense with any extraneous score, but that is certainly unlikely. Personally, I hope any scoring is kept as low key as possible, with an emphasis on extant music, a la the Wire (i.e. warhorns/buglers at the Green Fork, Hand's Tourney, Whispering Wood, drums for Robert's arrival in Winterfell, Ned's arrival in King's Landing, SPOILERS *** Ned's beheading *** SPOILERS, etc.).

        If they start playing Three Doors Down or some shit while Ned is leading Lady away, I'll throw up.

        • "Yet you gave up on a Trek series simply based on its theme song!?!"

          I guess it isn't a big leap from, "I'm still convinced that Enterprise's theme song was one of the nails in its coffin," to "I totally gave up on that show," but I never gave up on Enterprise based on the song. Did it feel a little like someone took a big dump on my floor any time I heard the song? Yes. Did I stop watching it because of it? No. I stopped watching it because it was cancelled.

          Do I think it was cancelled specifically because of the song? No. Do I think the fact that once the song came on some people who were on the fence about it changed the channel, thus shrinking the audience, contributing to its cancellation? Absolutely. ANY aspect of the show can lose you viewers, and how you open the show is a big deal. While I understand you feel strongly this is not the case, I disagree.

          All of us are going to watch Game of Thrones. How they handle folks who are just "trying it out" is a completely different story. A bad theme song COULD hurt viewership, but I am not worried about this AT ALL. I am 100% convinced the opening will be awesome. Like I said earlier, HBO is top notch in this department.

          I think you're spot on with the episode scoring thing, by the way. Having Corvus Corax perform for the pilot is a hopeful sign that they're headed in this direction.

          • My apologies for flying off the handle. I misunderstood your comment. Cheers to you for remaining civil, its a rare trait these days.

            Still, the facts remain: A composer will be hired. She or he may or may not commission copyrighted music to complete her or his score. People will and will not like her or his score, in varying degrees.

            Like I said, its HBO, its George, its D&D, so I have nothing but high hopes for the theme and the score. But even if its ear-gougingly horrible, I will still suggest (through violent force, if necessary) that others watch.

            I've never sat down to watch something and then decided not to watch it based on the theme song. Alternatively, I don't think I've ever flipped around and decided to watch something new based on the theme song. Point is, while I will undoubtedly be
            excited to listen to the theme (especially if it leaks prior to 1st episode), there are so many other things I am more worried about. And this is one of the things that could totally suck, and I would not mind in the least.

            Well, it would be annoying, but I would gladly trade a great score for a great Bran.

          • No problem!

            A sometimes poster on here, Invertebrae, who worked with HBO on the Six Feet Under title sequence, mentioned that he's guessing HBO will be commissioning a theme song so that they can control the rights to it. To quote:

            "GoT will have an original theme for sure. They want something they can own, you know?"

          • Sweet! Now let's get back to complaining about that damn Snow!

            Sorry, that was a regretable pun

        • I have always been a Star Trek fan. I watched every series except Enterprise. I watched the first episode of Enterprise and a few others, but not many. I think the music is a big part of what turned me off.

        • The "Enterprise" theme song was truly horrendous. Me and my friends all had a big viewing party for that show when the pilot aired – one of my friends is a huge Trekkie/Trekker, whatever, and she insisted on it. Anyway, when that theme song came on, our collective jaws hit the floor because it was, well, basically a really bad Bryan Adams song from like 1989…but the show was airing in the early 2000's, so it was basically the most un-hip and unimaginative thing you could possibly fathom.

    • I have to agree that I think they can do a lot better than this song… its not a bad song but it sounds like a progressive southern folk song to me, and does not make me think "Game of Thrones" at all.

      As mentioned before, HBO knows how to do their opening credits, (I would throw in Dexter as well, even though it is Showtime). Six Feet Under, Deadwood, True Blood, Rome, Treme, etc… all have awesome sequences.

  • @Knurk

    Aye, thank you to the great Ones up above in the Seven Heavens, each and everyone of their blessed souls. Oh, how they look down at their children and smile not unkindly.

    I’m personally wishing for an X-Files type sound with a bit of capital-F-funkness… I love that “composer-dude alone with a cheap synthesizer in a dark room” sound.

    • I bet you $1 that it will sound Lord of the Rings-esque. But if so will it be synth or orchestra? What kind of money are we talkinbout. This is a can of worms.

    • Good call there Dizzy, something akin to Basil Poledouris's Conan score would be very close to ideal, I love Altantean Swords, hauntingly beautiful composition. Both that and Theology plus others from that score would sound perfect using Medieval Folk Music Instruments.

  • I’d like to get the composer from Bram Stokers Dracula, Woljiech Killar (spelling off top of my head). Incredible score.

  • I feel pretty confident that the song will be medieval in nature with an outside chance of some kind of metal song as the theme. Can't see a techo X-files sounding song working well with this type of show. Agree witht he folks above about the excellent choices HBO usually makes with its themesongs. Rome, Sopranos, Trueblood, Treme, even Sex in the City and Curb Your Enthusiasm all have instantly recognizable opening songs. The opening title sequence on most of these shows (can't include Sex here) is also very memorable.
    From what we know of the opening (from the draft) I picture is similar in nature to the Rome open. Mostly establishing shots (Graffitti in the City for Rome and fly-over locales in Westeros for GoT) that don't show actual characters from the series, but set the mood of the show perfectly.

  • BTW I was really surprised and happy to hear from D&D! I wrote them the suggestion several months ago on a whim and never intended or expected to get a response from them. Since then, I've become even more optomistic about their dedication to getting the series as close to what fans expect as possible. It was a nice honor to get a response from them and I've been psyched about it all day =)

  • Haha, oh that's funny, Gov't Mule is one of my favorite bands but I would never want to hear one of their songs on this show.

  • For opening sequence, pick something from here:http://stockmusic.com/products/music_tracks_cd/fi… I especially like the modest sounding ones that are either aggressive or anticipating, ……or BOTH (joy joy).

    For the furniture music, Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf.. Yeah, good stuff. I'd assign the clarinet to Jon Snow scenes.

  • I hope it's either going to be orchestral, medieval, or some original style. If it's any kind of modern popular music, it's going to sound terrible.

    • It won't sound terrible if Miley Cyrus sings it don't you agree? My dream for A Game of Thrones is Trent Reznor does the music and Christina Aguilliera does the celestial Elf vocal parts, and get a bling rapper in there for the kids.

  • There is a fantastic modern composer Marjan Mozetich
    Afairs of The Heart played by the New Prague Symphonia:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifruyCLcqmw&fe
    That's just a snippet of the full lenght of the song.

    I can see this song, or hell get him to compose one that fits the show even better, though i can really see the camera sweeping all over westeros when i listen to this song.

    The great thing about Marjan is that he is a composer who does a definitive style and unlike other great symphony/orchestral composers Mr. Mozetich isn't dead.

    Also he is a Canadian, I don't know if that'd cost the show more or less money to get him to do it. Probably less though.

    This is his site:http://www.mozetich.com/Recordings.html
    Check out the album, it has the same name as the song I youtubed

  • Yeah… I don't dig that song either. And while we're talking about music, personally I hope for something folky like this:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zrJoTtcONM Though this may be a bit too pagan sounding (maybe for the wildlings). Orchestral + folk would be great too.
    And HBO makes great openings so I'm pretty confident it will be great, whatever they choose. It is known.

  • I would love they went with an OST inspired on european music of the late Middle Ages/early Renaissance (especially for the action in the Seven Kingdoms). If they choose a typical fantasy OST with a modern orchestra it's going to sound awfully standard.

    For example, imagine something like this over the opening credits (I hope they actually do that thing with the map and the crow):

    • Sometimes things are standard because that's the best way to do it. Nothing's as powerful and emotional as a sweeping orchestral piece, to me. And also appropriate. If LotR had different music, I probably wouldn't like it nearly as much.

    • I think they want us to think that Lost never happened so that's what I'm going to try and do. No one needs to "fill the Lost hole". That ending is still too fresh of a wound right now sorry.

  • Some soundtrack composers who have done work kind of like what I would expect for AGOT:
    (post 1 of 3)

    * Hans Zimmer (too many to mention)
    * Lisa Gerrard ("Ali", "The Insider", "Tears of the Sun", "Whale Rider", and some famous collaboration with Hans Zimmer on "Gladiator")
    * James Horner (basically any Mel Gibson or James Cameron soundtrack that has uilleann music in it, such as "Braveheart" and "Titanic"). Plenty of others
    * John Debney ("The Passion of the Christ", "Iron Man 2")
    * Harry Gregson-Williams: ("Kingdom of Heaven", the first two Narnia movies, and even some video games)
    * Klaus Badelt (the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie)
    * Bear McCreary (series music for the "Battlestar Galactica" reboot)
    * Tyler Bates ("Alexander")
    * Howard Shore (all three "Lord of the Rings" movies)
    * James Newton Howard ("I am Legend", "King Kong")

  • * Clint Mansell ("Requiem for a Dream", "The Fountain")
    * Tan Dun (lots of good Chinese movies, including "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and "Hero")
    * John Williams
    * Alan Silvestri ("Beowulf", "Contact" and most of the good Robert Zemetkis movies such as the "Back to the Future" series)
    (cutting here for length, more in next post)
    Other people who have won or been nominated for an academy award for original score in the last few years: Marco Beltrami (The Hurt Locker, 3:10 to Yuma), Alexandre Desplat (Benjamin Button, The Queen), Dario Marianelli (Atonement), Gustavo Santaolalla (Babel, Brokeback Mountain), Javier Navarrete (Pan's Labyrinth), Thomas Newman (lots of movies), Philip Glass (Notes on a Scandal, plenty of other films)…

  • There are a few different directions that the opening music could go. There's "Heroic and triumphant fanfare" (i.e., Star Wars), there's "melancholy dirge" (BSG, also a lot of the Lisa Gerrard stuff), there's "weird and atmospheric" (like the ROME intro song).

    I predict that we're _not_ going to get true medieval period music (atonal sackbuts and bagpipes) as the series theme music. A bit of Corvus Corax here and there as incidental music will be fine, but some people in the potential audience would be put off by intro music that sounds too "weird" (as much as I myself might love it).

    Check out some of the tracks on this:http://magnatune.com/artists/albums/monks-orthodo
    (particuarly tracks 2, 7 and especially 19- you don't have to know Old Church Slavonic to get a chill down your spine from that crescendo)

    • Sadly,I think you're right about the tolerance for "weird" theme music. I hope they do fit in plenty of early/medieval music somehow, especially for feast scenes….nothing worse than crappy anachronistic stuff (think Igraine's cavorting in Excalibur)
      Thanks for the link to the Orthodox recordings—powerful entrancing start to the day. That rapid bell-ringing would be an interesting element in a soundtrack.

  • and the song title is consistent with GRRM (via Faulkner) mantra that "the heart in conflict is the only thing that matters" :)

  • This doesn't bother me at all, because HBO has shown plenty of times their mastery on the opening sequence of their shows.

    Since it hasn't been mentioned yet, I think, I have to say that my favorite was "John Adams". I love that flute and drums intro with the flag unfurl. So much said with so little.

    On the other side, an amazing show like "Serenity" always let me down with its intro music. I know it was written by Whedon himself, and it's not that it was bad or unappropiate, like Enterprise's, but it felt to me like unfinished, anticlimactic in mood.

  • Just hire the guy from BSG and let him score the whole show, including the opening credits.

  • I don't know if I can fully articulate this, but the themes from Carnivale, Rome, Deadwood, Six Feet Under, and John Adams all have a very similar feel to me. If you listen to all of them and find the commonalities, you'll get a good example of what I think the theme will sound like.

    • I've only watched three of those (R,D,JA), but I definitely get what you're saying. Sort of an HBO feel. I don't totally like it, but it would be fine.

      • Actually it's been pointed out to me since I wrote this that there's a HUGE problem with me expecting that HBO is going to keep doing what they've been doing with their themes. HBO is spending a lot more money on Game of Thrones than they did on any of those shows, which could very well mean that they'll be investing more in the opening themes.

        That means looking at more epic soundtracks for inspiration, rather than previous HBO shows.

        So, yeah, it'd be fine, but we may get more.

          • Good point. I'm now going to make that argument to the person who pointed out the budget thing to me, but pretend I thought of it. One sec.

          • Gheh, include Johan Adams in your argument too, Rome was just the show that immediately sprung into my mind when I read your post.

            I personally don't think the budget will affect the score that much, unless they want to hire Hans Zimmer and John Williams. You can argue with me here, because I have zero knowledge of scoring tv-shows and how much money goes into that.

            Edit: I do remember David Chase once mentioned that using pre-made songs was one of the most budget-eating things about the Sopranos (this sentence sounds very weird, but can't rephrase it any better).

          • Get this, I'm not making this up either. The direct argument back was that the money is for hiring a good composer, and Rome didn't have one. What followed was a comparison of Rome's Jeff Beal to Six Feet Under's Thomas Newman (who was liked), and then taking it further and to a fervent wish that the production would hire James Newton Howard, *Hans Zimmer* or…John Williams.

            I'm not going to do any more back and forth I think, but I do agree that being able to hire an A-list composer would be great. I just don't know if it's in their budget.

  • While I agree that Orff's Carmina Burana would make an excellent score, it has the problem that it has been used – many times. The "O Fortuna" section of the opera has been used in The Elephant Man, Excalibur and perhaps most memorably as the music during the scene of Willem Dafoe's character's death in Platoon.

    I love the idea of the Russian Orthodox Kiev church monks singing in Old Church Slavonic. That is just awesome stuff, and different enough from the more familiar Gregorian chants of the Catholic tradition that it seems to fit better into a fantasy milieu. Great find there, Dennis Brennan.

    • I said something akin too, not the score itself, I realize it's been used way to much. I love the idea though of Monks singing to a powerfully haunting score that is reminiscent of Orff, but unique in its own right.

      • I was thinking of another piece when I mentioned The Elephant Man and Platoon, mistakenly. That was, of course, Barber's Adagio instead. Orff was used in Excalibur though.

    • I've been singing that O fortuna work – the whole thing – myself in a choir, and it is some immense and awesome stuff indeed, but to use the most well known piece of it AGAIN!! – would suck so bad.

  • I just hit the Raven bloack Night link that WiC was nice enough to provide. Unfortunately that version of the song isn't one I would pick for the themesong either. Warren, Matt and the boys are all incredibly talented musicians who constantly play around with new versions of their tunes as well as some of the best cover tunes ever arranged. The last Mule concert I went to featured covers from Zepplin, Little Milton, Temple of the Dog the Beatles and Hendrix. All of the songs were simply amazing. The only problem witht his is that once in a while (not very often at all as any Mule fan will tell you but every now and then nonetheless), the creative effort displayed may not be as strong as the original. The news from D&D would seem to make it a moot point, but here is the recorded version of RBN off of the Dose album. It's got a much more acoustic, earthier, even medeival vibe to it than the other version. http://s0.ilike.com/play#Gov't+Mule:Raven+Bl
    I hope some of you like it better.

    • To me that song had lots of Zepplin and Fleetwood Mac (Gold Dust Woman) feel to it. Not bad…but I wouldn't do that song. I kind of get what your going for though. Kind of like the Firefly theme that at first your like what the hell?, then it grows on you.

    • Like I mentioned in our last discussion, I like the song a lot better when I'm not imagining it in the context of the Game of Thrones opening credits. There are similarities to other HBO themes in it, so I can see where you're coming from, but once the vocals start that's pretty much the end for me.

    • It sounds theme-ish but its too much folkmusic to me. Sounds like a theme for something set on the countryside. Something Irish kinda.
      Naah I need more an imortal classical theme with drums that shock you and violins that soothes. It must be simple on the surface and beneath as comples as the spiders web.
      Still like my idea with a main theme that subtly changes as we fly across Westeros.
      No modern instruments.
      I couldnt even watch A Knights Tale because of the out-of-time score. (apart from it also being a terribly crappy movie)

  • Bah just checked the link and saw it was only a 30 second excerpt. well at least you can get some idea.

    • The link has the full song for me. I like it more than the youtube-version. Don't like the vocals much though and the pace is a tad too slow for my taste. Guess it just isn't my kind of band.

  • Original music seems like the way to go for the opening. Personally I'm hoping for something instrumental. As far as in-show music, I'm hoping for extant stuff, with maybe a few rare exceptions.

    What does everyone think about end themes? I've been trying to decide whether it would work to have some modern music occasionally for those: since it's the end it can't really jar you out of immersion for the episode or anything. I know they used non-period stuff for Deadwood end themes occasionally, and it worked there, but obviously medieval fantasy is a bit further off than the late 1800s. Still, as long as they choose carefully, I think there's a lot of good modern stuff that would work well over the end credits.

  • Personally I am in favor of throwing in some modern songs at the end of the show for the closing credits. Make the tunes relevant in some way (obviously), to either the last scene or the episode in general, or possibly use the tunes to foreshadow what might be coming next.
    I'm definately in favor of period music for the rest of the show though.

  • I've checked out most of the links attached on here and I feel all of them are a little tooooo light for a show with all the backstabbing/war/betrayals GOT comes with!! I always had the musical score for Game of Thrones something very similiar to Clint Mansell's – Requiem for a Dream.

    Found this version that mixes it up a little morehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xE0UA8RREX4&fe… That's exactly what I would hope to see. Now I know I can't get these for the opening credits, but I've always pictured the Red Wedding happening in slow motion to this song!! Unfortunately, that scene has it's own soundtrack built in :-(

    Oh Well, I can only hope it's used somewhere in the show.

    • Unfortunately, the mix of Requiem for a Dream was used several Lord of the Rings trailers in the beginning. I'd bet HBO would hesitate using something that's associated with such a well known production.

    • I seem to recall that a lot of the musicians were in on the plot, though? So the extant music would basically end as the Red begins. Even if I'm remembering wrong and only one or two were in on it, I'm pretty sure the rest would stop as soon as someone pulled a crossbow.

  • I don’t give a damn about the opening score or song…but I must be easy to please because I’m loving alot of the music samples…Lord Neds Head .. I picture Drogos khalassar storming across the plains(don’t know why)….the Goat ….I picture Arya chasing cats all over the red keep lol …Ty Snow suggestion was good too , I think….But one question ?…who in the hell is doing the visual effects for this show ?….I mean they screw that up and this show is dead in the water…too many potential Cheese moments…it has to be first rate effects…please D/D hire Weta

    • Visual effects for the pilot were done by the same guy who was the visual effects designer for the HBO John Adams miniseries, for which he won and Emmy award, and he also just won an Oscar for the art direction for Avatar and he was production designer for Alice in Wonderland. No one seems to know if he's been hired to do the visual effects for the full series, however. If he has, then the show is in very capable hands indeed.

  • We have a lot of suggestions for European Medieval-based themes, but I'm wondering with the increased Dany/Drogo emphasis that we saw in the leaked pilot script, do you think there will be any Dothraki-style additions to the opening music?

  • @langkard…Thankyou…but I’m curious about his role ?…does he do the actual effects or is he like a director who then hires a company to do the desired effect…I’m totally confused on how it works….does he have his own effects house ? Or is he a coordinator ?….

    • That's a bit hard to say. It isn't done necessarily via a special effects house in the same way as WETA, if that's what you mean. Stromberg started out in the business as a matte artist then a digital matte artist then up to visual effects supervisor and finally into production design and art direction. As a visual effects supervisor he turns the director's vision in reality. He supervises and coordinates the work of many individual artists. A lot of his work has been done with specific digital effects companies such as CIS Hollywood and Digital Backlot, but different things could easily be farmed out to various small shops. It doesn't all need to be one giant in-house company doing all of the digital effects, like the Jackson-created WETA for Lord of the Rings or George Lucas' Industrial Light and Magic.

      I believe the way it works is the art director and production director/designer and/or special effects producer coordinate the entire department, the whole range of art works and special effects, both on scene and in green screen studios and in computer-packed digital back lots. The special effects supervisor is in charge of just the special effects, most often done digitally via digital matte-work, these days. There's a great video on YouTube about the making of John Adams for HBO which shows the transformation. Beneath that are the individual digital matte artists (which Stromberg was and often still is) and computer effects specialists and such. But there seems to be some blurring of job titles. Stromberg was officially listed as the production designer for Avatar, but was the co-winner of the Oscar for art direction along with Rick Carter who was the art director and Kin Sinclair who was the set designer. Along with special effects producer and special effects supervisor, there is also sometimes a special effects designer, a title which Stromberg often has, according to IMDB.com. What's the difference? Beats me! Heh.

      As Paul Gude pointed out, Julia Frey was the visual effects producer for the pilot but will not be for the whole series. Robert Stromberg was under her as the visual effects supervisor. We don't know if he will continue with the series. I certainly hope so, considering his amazing record so far, and the accolades he's received from his peers via various awards.

      Considering the advanced state of digital effects these days (the making of John Adams is really a "must see" video), I am not at all worried about the special effects for A Game of Thrones. I expect we'll be seeing jaw-dropping effects in the same vein as was done for John Adams, whether Mr. Stromberg is involved or not.

  • D&D are so freakin' cool! I mean – just answering this suggestion is pretty awesome, but this song is just a great piece of music as well! I don't know if it's "right" for GOT, but it is awesome indeed – i got something new to add to my mp3-player too, now!

  • I have been pondering how massive the score for Games will be and the talent that will be required to pull it off. I have listed below the probable individual arrangements.
    Part 1

    1.) Opening Music
    2.) House Stark (Neds) Theme
    3.) Arya's Theme ( A female variation on Ned's?)
    4.) Jon's Theme (Unique with some Stark in it)
    5.) Catleyn's Theme
    6.) Robb's Theme (Masculine variation of Catleyn's with Ned mixed in)
    7.) Sansa's Theme (Softer more romantic variation of Catelyn's)
    8.) House Baratheon
    9.) Jaime's Theme
    10.) Cersei's Theme
    11.) Joffrey's Theme (Variation of Cersei/Baratheon)
    12.) Tyrion's Theme
    13.) House Lannister (Tywin's) Theme
    14.) Ned/Cat Love Theme
    15.) Jaime/Cersei Lust Theme
    16.) The Hound
    17.) The Kingsguard
    18.) Ser Barristan
    19.) Renly
    20.) Benjen

    • I hate to break it to you, but… I think youre list of "probable individual arrangements" is EXTREMELY unrealistic. There is no way in hell we will get such a developed score. This is a TV show, not the LOTR trilogy.

      I like your break-down, but it's just not going to happen.

      • I realize that a full 3 or 4 minute arrangement for each theme is unreasonable, but I can see the composer creating a small 30 second piece for the major characters, afterall theme music is basically a representation of that characters soul, traits and personality into an audio representation to help facilitate certain emotions amongst the listeners.

        • lol

          I don't think I've ever heard of even a movie having a "theme song" for every character. Benjen theme song? really?

          • I think a Benjen theme song would be awesome. Also hoping for a Hodor song, doomp de doomp de doomity doo…AWESOME!

          • Actually, if you watch the classic "Once Upon a Time in the West" with Charles Bronson, Henry Fonda and Claudia Cardinale, you'll notice that each important character has his or her own theme. Not very long, but easily expanded. Now, that soundtrack (Ennio Morricone, of course) is one of the all-time best soundtracks in the history of film making. But again it's only one movie (though 3 hours long), so I have to agree that it seems unlikely for each character to have their own theme, however I'd love to see it happen.

            On the other hand, one of the reasons it works so well in the western is that there is so little actual dialogue. In AGOT there's going to be so much more actual dialogue so the theme music might seem a bit superfluous or even be seen as interrupting.

  • In my head Ive always imagined the opening theme to be kind of like a mix between the heavy monotonous drums from Terminator 2 and the powerful main-theme from LotR.
    Something that tells us that this is epic, but not a childs tale. It is LotR with a strap-on.

    In my head it is a rip-off so that wont work but Im sure that the same effect can be reached in some new way.

    The opening credits takes us flying from beyond the wall…..over the wall past castle black and winterfell….through the neck and right between the twins and then on to Kings Landing which will shock and awe by sheer size. Then the journey continues and swings by Dragonstone and across The Narrow Sea to Pentos and then continues and ends as we fly over the Dothraki Sea where the now softened music finally tones out and the series begin.

    Maybe the music picks up dramatically here and there. More brutal in the north….majestic over kings landing….wild out to sea and a bit forreign when we reach Pentos.
    I bet it can be done a bit subtle.

    During the whole thing we either see portraits or live pictures of the main actors. Preferably when we pass the regions where they live.

    I think it will set the tone for the whole series and I so hope they will loose the whole "last week on a Game of Thrones…." It always kill the mood. If they must then place it before the credits.

    Done deal

    • My only real gripe against something like this is that it's a little too "Noble" for me. Like, this would be great for a clear-cut good vs. evil show, but a bit too "on the nose" for what I'm expecting Game of Thrones to be.

    • I think "The Bear and the Maiden Fair" would be great, but I don't think they're going to take a chance like that. If they do, I'd love it, but I think they'd risk alienating even some folks who are fans of the book.

      My guess, however, is that the best we can hope for is hearing it in the ending credits.

      • Wait, the leaked script already has TBatMF in it! IIRC some drunken guys spill out from a pub on the streets of King's Landing, bellowing the song. It's the establishing shot for the added Tyrion/Jaime scene. Certainly not a full score track, though, hehe.

      • I was just being cute. But, seeing as though it's the most famous song in the books, I thought it needed a nod.

      • I think we need both 'The Rains of Castamere' and 'The Bear and the Maiden Fair' – not to mention whatever Marillion is singing at the Eyrie when Lysa has her "accident"- you know 'Hey nonny, hey nonny, hey nonny, HEY!'

        • Hahaha!

          I'm positive that every song in the book will be done, and done by someone who knows what they're doing. Diegetic music is going to be a great part of Game of Thrones.

  • If it were up to me, I'd choose Bear McCreary without a second thought. Let him score the entire series, and compose the theme song in the process. Personally I'd prefer a musical theme similar to the rest of the score, an original piece of music that truly captures the essence of the series – in my mind a much better option than trying to find a vaguely appropriate song by some band or other.
    For me, McCreary's BSG score was a big part of what made the show so good, it really enhanced it (how can you not be on the edge of your seat the minute those taiko drums begin to pound? ^_^) and my hope is that the score for GoT will do the same.

    • Eluveitie is awesome! Ensiferum is another similar band that I like. However, for a show like this I agree that something instrumental, an epic soundtrack like Lord of the Rings would be the right fit.

  • I 1000000x support anyone who has suggested Clint Mansell, that would be so epic. The Fountain soundtrack is one of my all time favorite instrumental albums.

  • Some theme suggestions. Not these actual songs, but music like it. (I've been listening to the cowboy bebop soundtrack so most are from that).
    Death scenes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJjnbhSTuqQ
    Arya catching cats: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6N1_GJAyFw
    Arya leaving the Hound to die: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YR4TDBXebWc
    Brave Companions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XlzaKrG4ljw
    Melisandra birthing a shadowbaby/Birth of Dragons: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbGTJbSEheI
    Melancholy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5W7X3HNpFw

    Heck, just hire Yoko Kanno. She's a proven commodity in every style of music she's tried, as proven in the bebop soundtracks, from western to jazz to futuristic to ancient to rock to country,,, everything.

    • I absolutely LOVE Yoko Kanno. Anyone who's worried about this sounding too modern (which I suspect would be the main criticism) two things:

      1) The things Critical_Geek linked to are great examples of her work, and I can totally imagine the scenes set to that music. However, the actual music for the scenes (as Critical_Geek said, "music like it") would be tailored to Game of Thrones, which may include changes in instrumentation, etc. Cowboy Bebop was a much different show.

      2) That being said, I think we may need to anticipate some "modern" touches added. I'm not saying a loud blaring electric guitar. I know some folks like that sort of thing, but it just doesn't seem likely to me. I think however we'll see things like experimental timing, deep sounds that can't be created with medieval instruments, etc. If nowhere else, at least in the dream sequences.

      #2 is just a feeling I have, but #1 should be the definite takeaway. Any composer will be watching the scenes while coming up with music, and tailor it to what they see on screen. Invertebrate mentioned that when they were working on the Six Feet Under titles it was a collaborative effort, where the composer was making changes to the music several times during the editing process.

      I think that's one factor with any composer people suggest, and the reason I like suggestions of them rather than, "They should totally use THIS song."

      • Yeah, Cowboy Bebop really showed me how much a good soundtrack can add to a show. Music for Freelance was one of my favorite CDs for a really long time.

  • As I mention before Marjan Mozetich would not only be a good choice esthetically, he will be a cheaper option because he is lesser known in film or tv. Big names cost more, not only that he really is superb. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifruyCLcqmw
    Here is the link again. picture the raven sweeping over westeros

    With what little cred I have, I put it all on his talent. The tone he creates for that sample is perfect, I'm sure he could easily create the mood for the opening sequence.

    • That's a great piece.


      It would be very effective at The Red Wedding, as Catelyn sinks to her knees and watches all hell break loose around her, and then gets the knife to her throat.

      • The Red Wedding has its own built in soundtrack – thrashmetal "Rains of Castamere" over and over again. But, yes, this would be awesome for that scene.

  • Just a thought. It might be fun to actually take some more obscure modern music and medievalize it in the background of court or party scenes as an easter egg type thing. Nothing up front and cheesy, but subtle and hard to regognize. Something like Dee off the Blizzard of Oz soundtrack comes to mind. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgKln5Mnwjg
    Of course that album is so old it is almost medieval music anyway =)

      • Again, the idea wouldn't be to throw the actual song out there for the scene. I am talking about having musicians in the background actually playing the music in a manner consistent with the times. The aformentioned song Dee is basically a classical piece of music anyway and could very easily be performed on lute or mandolin. It wouldn't be anything intrusive like in A Knight's Tale, just something only really diehard music fans would notice if they were paying very close attention.

  • What I REALLY wonder about is whether we will hear songs such as "The Bear and the Maiden Fair"… Even if, most probably in further seasons, but still I'd love to know!

  • How about this great classic- The Battle of Evermore/Led Zeppelin ?
    I would love to hear it in the show

    • Well the Battle of Evermore is a nice song, indeed. BUT it's about the Lord of the rings. And apart from that, I don't think it would match.

    • As much as i like the band, this is just too "modern sounding". No metal in Thrones, please!

      Edit: You know what, it could almost work as a theme-song for Dany. "Sometimes i tremble like a little child, sometimes i feel that i could rule the world". The eastern musical influences, just adds to that. Still a no from me, but it would (almost) be pretty cool.

  • Do not forget that the German modern medieval band, Corvus Corax was selected to play at the kings feast. So unless this has been cut, we might be able to expect other modern medieval bands like Faun at least appearing in GOT.

  • I was wondering what the visual montage should be that accompanies the title music, any suggestions?

    • we already know what it should be, from the leaked script.

      the opening sequence is a raven flying through westeros, showing some of the locales along the way

    • For the Opening Title Visuals I would love something similar to 300 End Credits but unique in it's own right, perhaps like a 90 second prologue, showing 300 like visuals of The Battle of the Trident, Ned at Lyanna's bedside, Jaime on the Throne, Viscerys and the infant Dany fleeing Dragonstone, The Mountain raping Elia, etc..

  • Does it even really need a title sequence? I mean, yes, many work well but I assume this series is going to be seriously acted and portrayed so, why not a short almost forboding jingle and the title? That should suffice.

    If they are going to stick a drawn out title sequence at the start of each episode then it should be sufficiently epic – however, I seem to have visions of it being tacky and cheesy.

    I also wonder if the title will be at the very start or after a short segment of the episode> I can't really tell which way would be better.

    • I'm expecting you mean something like the "Lost" opening?

      It's usually not the way HBO operates. There's a chance that they'll change things up, but if they stay true to form we'll have an arty opening sequence and the oft-maligned "Previously on Game of Thrones," type of sequence.

      Will all the concern that people aren't going to be able to sort through who's who and all of the subplots, I'm surprised anyone would expect them to do away with quick flashes of the "story so far" for people tuning in for the first time.

  • In the spanish books "The Bear and the Maiden" was translated. A group of fans take the spanish translation and added a kind off "ethilic-folkloric" music and, since then, the song has had some success on the net here (I'm not sure, but I think that a couple of years before that youth association sang the song for G.R.R.M. at the Astur-con). I don't have any kind of relation with them, but here is the video; I think it's an interesting anecdote:

    At least, that's the spirit xDD

    (Omg, excuse my english please)

  • Speaking of Game of Thrones-related music, anyone else ever catch Euro-Rockers: Hammerfall doing their song entitled "Take the Black" — inspiration? Hmmmm….

    Check out their song "Last Man Standing" — my first choice for a Game of Thrones theme song if they were going in that direction…

  • My humble suggestions for the composer to score the upcoming "A Game Of Thrones" soundtrack would be Bear McCreary (one person that has been talked about at length here, a wonderfully talented musician), the Rob Lane/Joseph Vitarelly team, who did such a splendid job with the soundtrack for "John Adams" and last but not least Jeff Beal whose work on HBO's "ROME" was nothing short of amazing and epic, besides he also scorred "Carnivale" and has an already established credit with HBO.
    Anyways, whomever ends up getting the gig, they have their work cut out for themselves, as well as a pack of dedicated and ready-to-pounce fans! So, whoever gets the job, take it seriously, exceed expectations, or we'll come after you (LOL :-))!

  • Ah yeah other candidates should be, as someone mentioned above, Alexandre Desplat (wonderful score for "Syriana"), Harry Gregson-Williams (the masterpiece "Kingdom Of Heaven" ) and the king himself, Canadian also, Howard Shore and, need I say anything else, the LOTR trilogy!