The opening credits for Game of Thrones have attracted a lot of attention and acclaim. As soon as the screeners went out the praise started, with many critics saying Thrones‘ opening credits are deserving of an Emmy. For the one or two people who visit this site and still haven’t seen them, here is the official video of the credits.
In addition, The Hollywood Reporter did a feature story on the creator of the credits, Angus Wall. Wall is an Emmy and Oscar nominated film editor and was also behind the opening credits for HBO’s Carnivale, Big Love, and Rome. He explains the thought process behind the Thrones credits:
“We wanted to do something different from the standard tropes for fantasy maps,” Wall tells THR. “So we came up with the idea of a world inside a sphere.”
The sphere idea came from a ’60s sci-fi space station with terrain inside — yet it had to look nonfuturistic, to evoke the Middle Earth-ish setting of George R.R. Martin’s book. “It had to look like it was made in that time, so we immediately referenced Leonardo da Vinci’s machines,” says Wall. “We wanted it to look like a real place photographed with a real camera.”
Wall also mentions that the credits will change as the action of the story moves from one location to the next — something we saw last Sunday when Pentos was replaced with Vaes Dothrak.
“It’s a map that’s constantly evolving,” says Wall. “We have four different versions. Episode two has a different title sequence, and there are later episodes where we go to two new locations — The Eyrie and The Twins.” But Wall won’t say what clockwork wonders await you there. “Those are treats to come.” The two-year Thrones experience was a treat for him. “It’s one of the most fun projects I’ve ever worked on.”
HBO has also released a “Making Of” feature about the credits on its On Demand channel. Interestingly the feature includes this shot that seems to show more continents than was previously thought to have existed in the world of Westeros…
Lastly, the opening theme music has inspired at least one musician to compose his own version. YouTube user Brennesselano has posted a piano version of the opening theme music. The piece is amazingly well-done and translates beautifully to the piano, a testament to Djawadi’s work on the opening theme. Video after the break.