Media

Thrones’ opening credits attracting much attention and acclaim

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.

173 Comments

  • Best opening credits ever!

    Has anyone noticed the story being told in the embossed metal rings? It’s focused on 3 times, and shows the reign of the Targaryens, the civil war, and the ascension of the Baratheons. The detail is staggering!

  • Very cool to see some recognition!

    Truly a high quality production from top to bottom. Kudos to the gang!

  • I don’t know… I am not sold on the opening credits to be honest. It looks a bit too steampunk-y for me. Doesn’t seem to really match the theme, tone and aesthetics of the series. It reminds me so much of the puppet fairy tale sequence in the beginning of Hellboy 2. Which was awesome, but it fit the aethetics of that movie. Here… I don’t know… strikes me as a bit odd. All the same it’s pretty enough to look at.

  • Whow…. whats with all the continents in that shot? I guess the northern continent is suppose to be Ibben? (I thought it was an island) But whatever that is across the sunset sea…. umm that doesn’t look too far for the Ironborn to sail… they would have discovered that land long ago…

    Not complaining, the credits brought a tear to my eye the first time I saw them, just curious if GRRM had any insight or influence on the creation and layout of all of this.

  • While I thought the score was about average (what others have said: not intrusive, but not memorable either) in the first episode, the second has gone a long way to convince me otherwise. The way that variations of the theme are woven into the background music throughout is subtle but effective–in particular, I thought the music during the Ned & Jon parting scene was great. Hearing amateur (very talented amateur) interpretations like this one are getting me even more excited to hear how the score develops over the series.

  • The titles are indeed beautiful, and the behind-the-scenes feature airing on On Demand is very cool, too.

    By the way, everyone, don’t know if you noticed, but as soon as they cut to Bran in his room, you hear crows quarking very loudly.

  • The only opening credits you don’t want to skip through and HBO has done some really good ones.The theme has a real earworm hook as well. Very well done in my opinion.

  • The opening, escpecially the song is so amazing.
    But why the heck is there a snake as a symbol for Kit Harington und Sophie Turner while Bran and Arya have a Direwolf like it should be?????

  • Genghis,

    If you want to mess around with the music, it appears to be in C minor, with the main melody starting on a “G” (the actual opening at least, not sure about this piano version). There is also an A flat thrown in there towards the end to watch out for.

  • The score does translate quite well to piano – I actually prefer that to the orchestral approach in the soundtrack.

  • Sam DeGree,

    I would have said the same: “score not memorable, average…”, but the opening credit music has already grown on me after two episodes. I may even hum it unknowingly in the future, who knows?

  • Steve,

    I don’t recall who, but I remember that one of the creators said that there had been a mistake there, and no one noticed it until the whole show was completed and there was no time to edit it.

    I’m no expert on how much time that would take, but it seems to me that they could and should be able to fix that. :P

  • Wow, that piano version is just stunning. Some people are too talented for their own good! I have to admit when I first heard the theme music I wasn’t gone on it but now it’s the most played song on my ipod. Just brilliant, subtle but powerful all the same. Pat on the back for Mr. Ramin Djawadi.
    As for the credits, they grabbed my attention at the first and simple refused to let go. Well played Mr. Angus Wall!
    p.s. I hope they’ll release a soundtrack for this…

  • I’m not sure if this has already been posted here, but Jon Favreau (actor/director/writer) also tweeted that the “credit sequence for Game of Thrones is more entertaining than most shows”.

  • The Winter Rose:
    I don’t know… I am not sold on the opening credits to be honest. It looks a bit too steampunk-y for me. Doesn’t seem to really match the theme, tone and aesthetics of the series. It reminds me so much of the puppet fairy tale sequence in the beginning of Hellboy 2. Which was awesome, but it fit the aethetics of that movie. Here… I don’t know… strikes me as a bit odd. All the same it’s pretty enough to look at.

    Actually, I think you have a point. But the epic win of the titles supersede my criticisms. But I also thought the same thing upon first viewing. It feels like a very clockwork /automaton type of world where we will see machines and cogs and stuff like that. But instead, you see Arya kicking ass with a wooden sword.

  • I think the theme is very memorable and I was humming away later in the day after hearing it! The wheels and cogs of the cities meant, to me, the machinations of the politics and interwoven lives behind the scheming for the Throne. Whether that’s what the creator meant it to mean I know not!
    Altogether I think the credits are quite unique in appearance and I can see an Emmy beckoning……

  • silverjaime,

    silverjaime:
    The wheels and cogs of the cities meant, to me, the machinations of the politics and interwoven lives behind the scheming for the Throne. Whether that’s what the creator meant it to mean I know not!

    That’s what I thought, so it didn’t occur to me as steampunk. And then on ep 2, Vaes Dothrak’s tents just unfold and neatly pop up–no machinations there.

    Eleanor

    Even more so – the very first shot of the rings shows the Doom of Valyria!

    Franny Bee:
    Eleanor,

    Volcano!!

    Ah, that makes more sense! Haha, I was wondering why there was a volcano!

  • That whole map picture is very interesting. I think it shows from where Dany will come back into Westeros (from across the western Summer Sea).

  • during my first watching of episode one, the opening credits seemed ok…not more not less. The music during the show, I didnt like so much.
    That has changed. Right now Im loving the opening music. Its one of these melodies I have to hear several times, each time liking it more and more. Also I like the background music much more now.

    Cant stop listening to the piano piece >.<

  • I think all the score of the show is frikking fantastic. Love Djawadi’s work here, specially in his choice of instruments, giving a very special, atmospheric sound.
    And I’ve been humming the gorgeous theme for days now…

    The opening credits its awesome, but… I feel it it too awesome in a weird way. It’s a little bit too distracting, with all the wheels and cogs and buildings raising. You can easily slip past an important place location, or, much more likely, a crew member’s name. A little bit unpractical, if you get my meaning.

  • I take the clockwork land as a pre-modern metaphor for the intricate dynamics of the world and the interconnectedness of places, people, and events that drive the story….the motion of the largest things are built from the motion of much smaller things; the fate of entire kingdoms, dynastys can depend on a turn of the tiniest wheel…and when the largest wheels turn, everything else turns with them.

  • Steve,

    Also, Emilia Clarke and Iain Glen both have lions (!) and Rory McCann has a stag (he should have a lion, in my opinion, as his house is vassal of House Lannister and the prince he’s serving is Lannister…).

  • I wonder if future seasons are going to show different locations like Dragonstone or the Eyrie. Would be fantastic if they eventually showed all the different locations in Westeros.

  • when they finally fix all of the actor/sigil errors (of which there are at least 3) then i will praise the intro … i simply cannot give any credit to an intro that has that sort of basic error in it … sort of unforgivable, i hope they fix it quickly because overall i really like it.

  • OK, I have an observation that belongs here, been waiting for someone else to make it, but now I can wait no longer.

    In the opening seconds of the GOT trailer, the very first time I saw it, I thought to myself, what the hell is the Eye of Sauron doing in my Game of Thrones!?

    Of course, I moments later I recognized it as the Eye of Sauron’s less famous cousin, the sun, which is also lidless and wreathed in flame.

    Then it dawned on me that what we are looking at is the Red God, R’Hllor!!

    Second Season slumbers in the first.

  • Remember the uproar over the new composer Djawadi? Some people were so upset they thought the show would be ruined for them. Hilarious!!!!! I guess HBO does have a clue.

  • Who Is Jacopo Belbo?,

    With all due respect, that’s like saying I don’t give any credit to your comment, because you make simple grammar mistakes like not using capital “I”…

    It was a blunder, a botch, but worse things could happen…

  • The Winter Rose: I don’t know… I am not sold on the opening credits to be honest. It looks a bit too steampunk-y for me. Doesn’t seem to really match the theme, tone and aesthetics of the series. It reminds me so much of the puppet fairy tale sequence in the beginning of Hellboy 2. Which was awesome, but it fit the aethetics of that movie. Here… I don’t know… strikes me as a bit odd. All the same it’s pretty enough to look at.

    I think it fits very well. The gears represent the interconnectivity of the story starting with the ruling house as the driving force for each area. It will be interesting to see how the map is affected when things change other than just location. What problems will be had when the gears change, just as the problems the characters in the story have as changes in the game are made they didn’t anticipate?

  • The theme song is forever burned into my brain. I’ve watched these credits so many times I hum it all day long. I think the music is fantastic. It’s not overly bombastic with lots of horns which is what some might think a title song for this type of show should have. It’s subtle and understated, mostly strings. It has a regal sound, but with undercurrents of sorrow. It’s perfect, I love it.

    In the first episode, I thought some of the score was a bit generic, (especially the “Dany” themes) but the second episode the music got better.

    I like the visuals in the credits. They are a bit steampunky, but I don’t think they misrepresent what the show is about at all.

    I want to see some screen shots of the reliefs on the rings. I really want to get a better look at them. I hope HBo releases some still shots of them.

    I think these will definitely win some awards.

  • Who Is Jacopo Belbo?,

    right, because a couple of small icons really break the feel of the into. I dont understand how something so minor can make you not appreciate the detail that did get into the intro. Most people (minus the uber fans) wont even know there is an error. Really isnt that big of a deal, and doesnt take anything away from the intro at all

  • Jarred Melancon:
    I wonder if future seasons are going to show different locations like Dragonstone or the Eyrie.Would be fantastic if they eventually showed all the different locations in Westeros.

    They show The Eyrie in the “making of the credits” that is on Demand. So the answer is yes!

  • JJ the Crow:
    Some people were so upset they thought the show would be ruined for them.

    This phrase could’ve been used SOOOO many times during production…

    Mark Addy as Robert!

    Some people were so upset they thought the show would be ruined for them.

    A brunette as Queen!

    Some people were so upset they thought the show would be ruined for them.

    No Targaryen violet eyes or Tyrion’s mismatched ones!

    Some people were so upset they thought the show would be ruined for them.

    Pilot getting reshot!

    Some people were so upset they thought the show would be ruined for them.

    Only 10 episodes for Season 2!

    Some people were so upset they thought the show would be ruined for them.

    The ratings are not sky-rocketing and beating such small, tiny shows as BE or The Sopranos!

    Some people were so upset they thought the show would be ruined for them.

    To me it’s baffling how prone and eager the people are to see the dark side of things.

  • Just a minor note, the person in the YouTube video didn’t compose a new version, he transcribed it. Don’t want to take anything away from Djawadi by claiming someone else composed his music.

    That being said it is a very good and it plays as well on the piano as in the score version.

  • MetalgoddessAMB,

    The theme song is forever burned into my brain. I’ve watched these credits so many times I hum it all day long. I think the music is fantastic. It’s not overly bombastic with lots of horns which is what some might think a title song for this type of show should have. It’s subtle and understated, mostly strings. It has a regal sound, but with undercurrents of sorrow. It’s perfect, I love it.

    I feel just the same.

    Also, can’t it be an armillary sphere AND R’Hllor?

  • I like the opening credits, but they are let down by the music IMO. To compare a far inferior show, the True Blood credits work much better as a unified whole – the music and visuals together are a powerhouse. Unfortunately, although visually, the credits have me jumping up and down wanting to hit freeze-frame, the music is all a bit ‘meh’. A number of people here have said the music grows on them, fingers crossed it will for me! *wanders off to watch piano version in hope*

  • Dragonstone ought to be a real treat. What about the fist of the first men, or the Frostfangs? Whitetree?

    Harrenhall? How cool would that be?

  • Obviously this show is far more popular than it’s adversaries:

    http://www.google.com/trends?q=game+of+thrones%2C+borgias%2C+camelot&ctab=0&geo=all&date=mtd&sort=0

    Taking the foreign sales and future income from DVDs into account, it seems very likely the show is going to be renewed for several more season. We all know how addictive these books can be, if they manage to create the same kind of atmosphere on the set, I wouldn’t be surprised if it became the number one show on HBO.

  • Wow, that piano piece is beautiful. The theme is truly fantastic. It’s epic and sweeping, but also melancholy and haunting- a perfect combination for the source material.

    The opening credits are amazing. I’ve always had a thing for maps, so I’m very much enjoying that aspect of it, especially how we get new locations as the story unfolds. I really like the style of it; I can see why people would get steampunk, but I get more of an antique, Da Vincian, esoteric engineering (as Wall mentioned).

    Could that continent to the far west of the screenshot be the other end of Essos, wrapped around? Essos would have to be huge then, but I guess it’s not all that different from Eurasia. The northern “continent” I think is Ibben, as some of you have already said? Do any of the maps in the books ever show Ibben? I only have AGOT with me to check, but that only has Skagos. It would make sense – its in the Shivering Sea.

  • Caedes: To me it’s baffling how prone and eager the people are to see the dark side of things.

    Really? It’s baffling how fans of GRRM’s would be prone and egare to see the dark side of things? REALLY??? Think about this for a minute.

  • I think the map hasn’t been thought very well. IMO, it’s…wrong.
    I can see two ways of looking at the map, neither of each is satisfying for me :

    First, it’s a globe of which we only see one side with westeros in the middle. It’s problematic for at least two reasons :
    – that would mean that Essos is so huge that it covers something like three quarters of the world, longitudinally speaking, since by watching the globe from only one side, we can see the east and the west of Essos. That would make Dany’s journey pretty too much, wouldn’t it ?
    – the sunset sea, as someone has pointed out before, would be far too narrow for a sea nobody’s ever managed to cross until Euron. It doesn’t fit the description in the book.

    Second, it’s a globe which has been “flattened” so that we basically see the whole world on this picture except the extremities cut by the frame of this picture. I think this is more likely. In that case, the proportions would be ok but the sunset sea would still be too small and Essos too big than they should.

    Anyway, it’s not a huge deal, but still…every detail counts.

  • ^^This is why GRRM didn’t like to get too dragged down in the mud and minutae of dates/times/maps/distances/ect. Can’t we just enjoy the story without worrying about whether the continents in the title sequence are to perfect scale?

  • Lina:

    Could that continent to the far west of the screenshot be the other end of Essos, wrapped around?Essos would have to be huge then, but I guess it’s not all that different from Eurasia.The northern “continent” I think is Ibben, as some of you have already said?Do any of the maps in the books ever show Ibben?I only have AGOT with me to check, but that only has Skagos.It would make sense – its in the Shivering Sea.

    That was my thought as well. Hasn’t Euron sailed westward and reached Essos? I feel as though the book would have mentioned if he had encountered a completely new continent on the way. I guess maybe the Sunset Sea is more narrow than some people imagined, but that could simply be due to the way the map is presented here. Medieval-era maps aren’t known for getting the distances and proportions exactly right.

  • Gregory Kelton: Really?It’s baffling how fans of GRRM’s would be prone and egare to see the dark side of things?REALLY???Think about this for a minute.

    XDXDXDXD

    You’ve got me at that, Sure!! :D

  • Gregory Kelton: Really?It’s baffling how fans of GRRM’s would be prone and egare to see the dark side of things?REALLY???Think about this for a minute.

    Who is this GRRM character?

  • Amen!

    Gregory Kelton:
    ^^This is why GRRM didn’t like to get too dragged down in the mud and minutae of dates/times/maps/distances/ect.Can’t we just enjoy the story without worrying about whether the continents in the title sequence are to perfect scale?

  • Hmmm.. Let’s try to guess the locations:

    Season 1: King’s Landing, Winterfell, The Wall, Pentos, Vaes Dothrak, The Eyrie, The Twins, Riverrun
    Season 2: King’s Landing, Winterfell, The Wall, Vaes Tolorro (?), Qarth, Harrenhal, Dragonstone, Pyke, Riverrun, Storm’s End (?), Craster’s Keep (?), Fist of the First Men (?)
    Season 3: King’s Landing, The Wall, Riverrun, Harrenhal, Dragonstone, The Eyrie, The Twins, Astapor, Yunkai, Meereen
    Season 4: ???? They may combine the events of books 4 and 5 since they happen simultaneously and that is confusing for a TV show if you do it serially. But there’ll probably at least be Oldtown and Sunspear for new locations.

  • So where is the mp3? I know it must be there somewhere. Point me to right direction. My Android is screaming for new ringtone.

  • Dolorous Edd: Who is this GRRM character?

    Just some jolly guy who likes his meat and mead and should be busy FINISHING THE DAMN FIFTH BOOK AND NOT POSTING PICTURES OF DEAD APES!!

    July 12.

    This date is different. This date is real.

    It is known?

  • “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.”

    This also reminds me of “The Glass Bead Game” by Herman Hesse.

  • Steve:
    The opening, escpecially the song is so amazing.
    But why the heck is there a snake as a symbol for Kit Harington und Sophie Turner while Bran and Arya have a Direwolf like it should be?????

    I think it’s so funny that everyone has got so hung up on these miniscule, barely visible symbols. Who cares? At least they got the show right. Just my opinion, not an attack on you, Steve.

    Hollyoak
    Brotherhood without Previews

  • so yea, i love the music and the intro but i am ticked off to see dany and jorah have the lannister banner, while sansa has the targaryen one. So easily fixed this :)

  • JRQ:
    I take the clockwork land as a pre-modern metaphor for the intricate dynamics of the world and the interconnectedness of places, people, and events that drive the story….the motion of the largest things are built from the motion of much smaller things;the fate of entire kingdoms, dynastys can depend on a turn of the tiniest wheel…and when the largest wheels turn, everything else turns with them.

    I certainly get the metaphor/analogy of machinations within Westeros, but in keeping with the pre-machine age the series is based, there could have been other symbols/metaphors to draw from. What that is I have no idea. Don’t get me wrong. I love the titles, just talking…

  • Hollyoak: I think it’s so funny that everyone has got so hung up on these miniscule, barely visible symbols. Who cares? At least they got the show right. Just my opinion, not an attack on you, Steve.

    Hollyoak
    Brotherhood without Previews

    It’s hard to blame folks for reveling in the symbolic depth. Not a whole lot of that around in mainstream entertainment…

  • The world is so frickin awesome today!

    A Dance With Dragons finished, I´m totally drunk, AND other stuff as well!
    + The opening credits for GOT are the best ever! And the music is awesome!
    Find myself wondering what we would have heard had Stephen Warbeck composed the score, something a bit more sombre I would guess, not that I have heard a lot of his work, just one song actually, but ANYWAY, what we have is absolutely awesome and I love it and everything is awesome!

  • heroine addict,

    The dyson sphere symbolism is nice…I get it. A self contained universe and all. I just don’t understand how you can have stars and comets, or night even, inside one.

  • Caedes,

    the difference is A. i don’t use capitalization as a style choice and B. i am posting on a blog and they are doing the credits for a $60M tv production

    typos on a blog and no quality check on the credits for a $60M production are two totally different things.

  • Hollyoak,

    I understand the argument that the aesthetic doesn’t quite match the show. However, the machinations of the intro seem to me more like wind-up clockwork, not steam- or electricity-powered. Certainly this technology, if not exactly ubiquitous, existed in the middle ages. As Wall says, it’s something the Maesters of Oldtown would make, not something we see on every mantle.

  • Regarding the Kong thing; does it mean that the knot is un-knotted or does it (be still my beating heart) mean that Dance is finally done?

  • It’s “the biggest monkey on his back”.

    Yep, this seems to indicate that ADWD is finished. Not that we don’t still have to wait until July, but….*Happy dance*

  • I like the ideas of gears and machines in the intro. It is very symbolic of all the machinations of the people as they are vying for power in Westeros.

  • Drew Fields: Sounds like someone missed the subtext.

    Oh. You mean he means the monster is dead is in,

    For what it’s worth, the book’s a monster

    as in he finished it. No, I didn’t miss it. I’m just having a hard time wrapping my head around it.

    July 12.

    This date is different. This date is real.

    It is known.

  • Who Is Jacopo Belbo?: the difference is A. i don’t use capitalization as a style choice and B. i am posting on a blog and they are doing the credits for a $60M tv production

    typos on a blog and no quality check on the credits for a $60M production are two totally different things.
      

    Then maybe you should stop watching, as I guarantee there will be more miniscule mistakes, and all you seem capable of doing is crying.

    They stated they realized it was an error and will fix it. Let it go.

  • Hollyoak,

    Yeah, I’m sure its possible other metaphors would do…but frankly, I can’t think of another that would be more appropriate or evocative.

  • KONG IS DEAD!

    This is freaky, though, because this morning I honestly had a feeling today would be the day. Psychic???

  • John Engedal,

    It looks like the wineseller that tried to poison Dany, right after Jorah told him to drink the wine himself (he chucks the wine and runs for it). I think you see the poisoner earlier in the ep 3 trailer tied by the neck to a post and being stared down by the very angry Khal. My guess this is when info on the Dany-bounty becomes public, and Drogo tells Dany they are gonna fucking wreck the Seven Kingdoms, lol

  • MetalgoddessAMB,

    “The theme song is forever burned into my brain. I’ve watched these credits so many times I hum it all day long. I think the music is fantastic. It’s not overly bombastic with lots of horns which is what some might think a title song for this type of show should have. It’s subtle and understated, mostly strings. It has a regal sound, but with undercurrents of sorrow. It’s perfect, I love it.”

    Talking about strings, musicians pulling strings…?

    On another note, this sounds exclusive:

    “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.”

    So, no Riverrun for the first season? Why not? That’s strange.
    Looking forward to Harrenhal and Dragonstone for the second season, and perhaps Pyke (and Riverrun of course, if they don’t show it in the first season). Wonder if we see Casterly Rock if they expand on Robb’s campaign. Probably not, though, as he never goes there. Maybe the Westerling Castle, but that’s also unlikely.

  • Sam DeGree:
    Hollyoak,

    I understand the argument that the aesthetic doesn’t quite match the show. However, the machinations of the intro seem to me more like wind-up clockwork, not steam- or electricity-powered. Certainly this technology, if not exactly ubiquitous, existed in the middle ages. As Wall says, it’s something the Maesters of Oldtown would make, not something we see on every mantle.

    Good point, and I think the graphic designers also said they were inspired by DaVinci’s blueprints for machinery, too.

  • Sam DeGree,

    I couldn’t remember if Euron had ever sailed west, so I did some digging. AWOIAF summarizes Chapter 19 (the Kingsmoot) here. It says that Euron, in his speech at the moot, promises to lead the Ironborn across the Sunset Sea. Based on inference alone, I’m guessing this has not yet been done, or else it would not be such an attractive offer.

    Further, I found this on Westeros.org discussing Quaithe’s prophecy to Dany. It says the prophecy may suggest Dany will accomplish the “unique feat” of sailing to Westeros across the Sunset Sea. If it’s a unique feat, I think we can infer it’s never been done before.

    However, based on the map being discussed, the continents do look so close that the Ironborn would be able to traverse them. However, who knows? Maybe there are unique weather effects or magical elements to the Sunset Sea that makes it hard to cross.

  • Franny Bee:
    John Engedal,

    It looks like the wineseller that tried to poison Dany, right after Jorah told him to drink the wine himself (he chucks the wine and runs for it). I think you see the poisoner earlier in the ep 3 trailer tied by the neck to a post and being stared down by the very angry Khal. My guess this is when info on the Dany-bounty becomes public, and Drogo tells Dany they are gonna fucking wreck the Seven Kingdoms, lol

    Lol indeed:) Cool, I guess I didn´t connect that short clip to that because I always pictured it differently :P That´s in Vaes Dothrak right? Or in a town nearby? Gods, I really should remember this stuff, re-read the book a couple of weeks ago.

  • fuelpagan,

    I assumed that is what they were intending as well. Both the interconnection and the whole concept of “wheels within wheels” turning. Howevere that being said, I feel like the look of it comes off as more steampunk than medieval fantasy. If I were a new viewer who saw the opening sequence, I would immediately assume that to be the case in fact. I’m just not sure if someone not familar with the series would get that. I wish they had done something more medieval esque, I suppose. Though, it still was done nicely, just not what I would have done had I been making the call :)

  • Franny Bee,

    It looks like the wineseller that tried to poison Dany, right after Jorah told him to drink the wine himself (he chucks the wine and runs for it). I think you see the poisoner earlier in the ep 3 trailer tied by the neck to a post and being stared down by the very angry Khal. My guess this is when info on the Dany-bounty becomes public, and Drogo tells Dany they are gonna fucking wreck the Seven Kingdoms, lol

    Hmm, was that in the trailer for the 3rd episode? Really? But that doesn’t happen until after Viserys is crowned, and the prophecy is made. How are they going to cramp all that into the next episode? And what about the remaining 7 episodes? The MMD thing hardly takes more than the last two episodes to unfold, so what are they going to have happen in the meantime?

  • Guys,

    westerosorg Elio & Linda
    GRRM and his editor will be going over the final manuscript proofs tomorrow. Pretty much the last step before printing. #ASoIaF

    It’s done.

  • The map is of HBO’s own creation, apparently done on the fly for a bit of flavour. It’s non-canon. By word of GRRM, there is nothing north of Essos to the polar ice cap apart from Ibben, a pretty small island. If there is another landmass to the west of Westeros – AFFC hints there might be – it would be much further west than that, and wouldn’t be made up of copy-pasted and flipped bits of the North, the Stormlands and Dorne ;)

    Essos is about the size of Eurasia, meaning it extends for 7,000-odd miles to the east of Westeros. But that still leaves a distance equal to the entire Pacific Ocean, the entire North American continent and about two-thirds of the Atlantic before you wrap around and reach Westeros once again. And that only counts if Martinworld is the same size as Earth. He’s already said it’s notably larger.

  • Just like the map references wheels within wheels and small gears powering large gears, the score’s 3/4 time signature evokes the waltz, which is a very circular spinning dance, and with each instrument’s harmony feeling like a supporting gear for the melody draping across the top.

    What extra continent? Are you talking about when the camera reverses on Pentos and looks over the Narrow sea back at Westeros? I’m not seeing this extra continent that’s getting talked about. Also note that the perspective is a bit skewed because the map is on the inside of a sphere, rather than the outside. It’s kind of a nifty way to present the visual.

  • Adam Whitehead,

    BUT IF MARTINWORLD IS BIGGER THAN EARTH THAN WHY ISN’T THE GRAVITY HIGHER HUH ANSWER ME THAT SMARTY-PANTS!!!!

    In all seriousness, though, I have to wonder, WHY would Martin make the world larger than Earth? It seems like he’s got plenty of space to play around with already, a whole chunk of land that we haven’t seen yet (Asshai and the Shadow, as well as Sothoryos), and half a planet besides. Is it something to do with needing the space to the equator to be larger? Is the Land of Always Winter a LOT bigger than we’ve been assuming? Or could it have to do with Dany going on some crazy quest to the east? I guess if she’s gonna have dragons to ride she’ll be able to cover distance a lot more quickly. And yeah, I really like the idea of her invading Westeros from the west, passing through Asshai and crossing the ocean. And also stomping Casterly Rock flat as their first order of business. :)

  • Left a email to this site to give me a email to send the two mp3s I created so they can post on this site for you guys. One is the original HBO title sequence song and the other is the “Piano” version.

  • Prankster:
    Adam Whitehead,
    Dany going on some crazy quest to the east? I guess if she’s gonna have dragons to ride she’ll be able to cover distance a lot more quickly. And yeah, I really like the idea of her invading Westeros from the west, passing through Asshai and crossing the ocean. And also stomping Casterly Rock flat as their first order of business.

    Sure, Dany and whoever the other two heads are will have dragons to ride, but I can’t quite picture how the three dragons are going to haul an army of Unsullied around the globe. :)

  • Winter is cold:
    Anyone ever wondered what kind of sun circulation might the planet have? Any ideas?

    Lots of people have wondered, but there is no clues to help us figure it out.

    Personally I think we’ll find out in the last book that this has been a science fiction (not fantasy) series all along, the world is an artificial world constructed by humans from Earth, being invaded by the alien Others, and since D&D know the ending, they devised this opening to say “See, we put it right it in front of you from the very first episode!”

    Ok, I’m not really serious, but I could be given how little we know about why the seasons are as they are.

  • Prankster:
    Adam Whitehead,
    BUT IF MARTINWORLD IS BIGGER THAN EARTH THAN WHY ISN’T THE GRAVITY HIGHER HUH ANSWER ME THAT SMARTY-PANTS!!!!

    A bigger world does not imply a higher gravity. It could be bigger but less dense, so might even have slightly less gravity (possible, but I doubt it). Gravity depend on the mass of the planet, not the volume.

  • The Winter Rose,

    Gears are medieval.

    Gears

    They actually predate medieval times. The machines used in the opening sequence are inspired Leonardo Da Vinci machines who lived in 1500’s. His machines where powered by human power. Steampunk is driven by steam.

    I don’t see how you can get any more medieval than what we have. The opening sequence is:
    1) informative – who is cast as well as giving us a map to the locations we will be visiting.
    2)symbolic – as stated before the gears representing the complex plotting going on in each location.
    3)Interesting – fun to watch
    4)Beautiful

    The more I watch it the more apropos I think it is. But if you don’t like it then that’s fine.

    Would you have prefered the raven flying from the wall to kings landing as described in the leaked pilot?

  • From the posts here earlier, I was very worried about the score. There are movies/shows that have been ruined by bad or little music. IMHO, the music helps the emotional feelings dramatically.

    The 1st time I watch the opening, I thought is was…just ok.

    The 2nd time – oh. Well that’s not bad at all.

    The 3rd time – Oh my! Really nice!

    I wish there was a little more inside the show, but I’m pretty content.

    and humming the theme all day long……….

    So it appears that it ‘grows’ on a lot of people.

  • Prankster: Adam Whitehead, BUT IF MARTINWORLD IS BIGGER THAN EARTH THAN WHY ISN’T THE GRAVITY HIGHER HUH ANSWER ME THAT SMARTY-PANTS!!!!

    The world’s gravity is never directly compared to Earth’s in any meaningful way, but a larger planet could have similar gravity to Earth if it were less dense, which is possible – even common.

  • “…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.”

    Ok, I think the opening sequence is visually stunning, but this makes no sense.

  • Lex:
    Okay, that piano video inspired me…

    Here is my own version of the Thrones theme music, on guitar!

    Hope you like it.

    I like very much man, props!
    I had an idea for a similar arrangement of it earlier today but never got round to it, and doubt I could have done it as much justice as you have!

  • fuelpagan:
    The Winter Rose,

    Gears are medieval.

    Gears

    They actually predate medieval times. The machines used in the opening sequence are inspiredLeonardo Da Vinci machines who lived in 1500′s. His machines where powered by human power. Steampunk is driven by steam.

    I don’t see how you can get any more medieval than what we have. The opening sequence is:
    1) informative – who is cast as well as giving us a map to the locations we will be visiting.
    2)symbolic – as stated before the gears representing the complex plotting going on in each location.
    3)Interesting – fun to watch
    4)Beautiful

    The more I watch it the more apropos I think it is. But if you don’t like it then that’s fine.

    Would you have prefered the raven flying from the wall to kings landing as described in the leaked pilot?

    i’m nitpicking, but 1500 is not medieval.
    1500 was renaissance :D

  • Franny Bee:
    John Engedal,

    It looks like the wineseller that tried to poison Dany, right after Jorah told him to drink the wine himself (he chucks the wine and runs for it). I think you see the poisoner earlier in the ep 3 trailer tied by the neck to a post and being stared down by the very angry Khal. My guess this is when info on the Dany-bounty becomes public, and Drogo tells Dany they are gonna fucking wreck the Seven Kingdoms, lol

    That doesn’t occur until episode 7, I think… Those shots were not from an episode 3 preview, they are from a new GOT trailer with critic quotes.

  • Lex: Okay, that piano video inspired me…Here is my own version of the Thrones theme music, on guitar!Hope you like it.

    That was fantastic Lex, fair play to ye. I’ve already downloaded it to my Ipod. Gods, I wish I was able to play a cool instrument. The only one I can play is the recorder but that doesn’t count. Sigh. I’m amazed at how great the theme sounds transcribed with seperate instruments, kudos to Ramin Djawadi for that. I’d love to hear other musicians takes on it…

  • Elena Amici: i’m nitpicking, but 1500 is not medieval.1500 was renaissance

    Still before steam power. But they have evidence of gears as far back as 50 AD.

  • Lex,

    I hear two guitars… – So I guss you played the air and the… – yah, I dont know the word… – that what supports the air, if that makes any sense, and added it together than, by using a computer?

  • Have you noticed that within the sigils left to each actor’s name, there are mistakes? Emilia Clarke gets a Lannister lion along with Iain Glen, and Sophie Turner has a Targaryen Dragon. Not nice, GoT!

  • Diriad:
    Have you noticed that within the sigils left to each actor’s name, there are mistakes? Emilia Clarke gets a Lannister lion along with Iain Glen, and Sophie Turner has a Targaryen Dragon. Not nice, GoT!

    You are not the first to notice that. They have said it will be fixed in a few episodes.

  • I just deleted a rant about this opening sequence, because I dont want to flame a show I love so much, but here’s the last sentence:…. it’s done, and apparently other people like it so whatever… I can live with it.

  • Abyss:
    Lex,

    I hear two guitars… – So I guss you played theair and the… – yah, I dont know the word… – that what supports the air, if that makes any sense, and added it together than, by using a computer?

    Yes, I played rhythm guitar (acoustic) and lead (electric). I recorded it with my iPod mic, then mixed it on my computer.

  • I wonder if they’re going to change the scenes on the metal rings as the political situation changes. I think I would have a total nerdgasm if Season 2 started off with a metal ring showing the stag laying dead while the lion and wolf stand over it fighting.

    I really liked the Pentos animation (makes me think of Seville in Spain), more so than Vaes Dothrak. Too bad Pentos is only for one episode and we won’t be going back there for a very long time, if ever.

  • Ashavan:
    I wonder if they’re going to change the scenes on the metal rings as the political situation changes.I think I would have a total nerdgasm if Season 2 started off with a metal ring showing the stag laying dead while the lion and wolf stand over it fighting.

    I was wondering the same thing. I bet they will change it, as it would no longer make sense for Season 2 the way it is now.

  • tek: Who Is Jacopo Belbo?, right, because a couple of small icons really break the feel of the into. I dont understand how something so minor can make you not appreciate the detail that did get into the intro. Most people (minus the uber fans) wont even know there is an error. Really isnt that big of a deal, and doesnt take anything away from the intro at all

    It is a big deal for me, at least. I was taken aback by those mistakes and misliked them. It shows a lack of proffessionalism and may make people wonder if there are any other such blunders awaiting us in the series itself. I really hope they’ll fix this at the very least as they make the DVDs, but it would be more fitting to still repair it while the show is still on.

  • Azirafal,

    I admit, I downloaded the first episode before I realised that the HBO in our country (Czech Republic) shows Game of Thrones too, and I noticed the wrong icons.
    The interesting part is however that the version broadcasted here has them all correct (I triple checked).

  • John Engedal: Can anyone tell who that is running at 0:22? Looks a bit like Jaime to me, and it looks fucking amazing! Oh gods, sometimes I just cant believe this is happening:P

    Thank you for pointing this out!!!!! It’s only the bleedin’ talking-very-quietly cluster-of-trees… *bites knuckles*

  • Lex,
    Very nice !

    I’ve got a question for the ASoIaF gurus about the world map HBO created (in the opening into or on the viewer’s guide).
    Not about the western continent or The Sunset Sea, that discussion I’ll leave to you guys and girls.
    At the moment I’ve read the first 3 books, just started on the 4th (AFfC), and to me it seems that The Narrow Sea is too narrow. Looking at it, it would take a lot longer to sail from white Harbor to King’s Landing than it would to sail from King’s Landing to Pentos. That doesn’t seem right to me. I always thought Essos was a lot further away from Westeros.

    Or am i wrong ?

    Thanks

  • Iggy,

    Come on man, the guy who uploaded the video posted it already in the comments…

    BTW, sounds really awesome Lex, I’m starting to like your version and the piano-one more than the original!

  • Knurk:
    Iggy,

    Come on man, the guy who uploaded the video posted it already in the comments…

    BTW, sounds really awesome Lex, I’m starting to like your version and the piano-one more than the original!

    Where? I couldn’t find it… Did a quick search for any youtube link b4 posting. :/

  • Iggy: Where? I couldn’t find it… Did a quick search for any youtube link b4 posting. :/

    I see now. I searched for the url before posting it and didn’t find it. I didn’t read all the comments and also had no idea that it was made by Lex… My apologies…

  • Iggy: I see now. I searched for the url before posting it and didn’t find it.I didn’t read all the comments and also had no idea that it was made by Lex… My apologies…

    Ha, your post is more of a compliment to Lex than anything!

  • Just wanted to add my voice to the chorus, and express thanks much for the simply gorgeous piano download of GoT theme. Bravo Brennesselano!
    (and to those who provided both eps & links)

  • Hi! I usually lurk here but rareky comment, but i had to notice something. I watch the series on the HBO Croatia, and there are the credits slightly different than in this youtube video. Here, Emilia Clarke, Ian Glen, and Sophie Turner seem to have wrong house sigils by their name, while on my HBOCro, they had correct ones – Emilia had a Dragon (same as Harry Lloyd), Sophie a Stark Direwolf, while Ian Glen something else, a bear I guess (since he plays a Mormont).

    Does the second episode also have this mistake, or has it been corrected?

  • Too bad Pentos is only for one episode and we won’t be going back there for a very long time, if ever.

    They will use Pentos again. Just not until the first or second episode of Season 5 or thereabouts ;)

    At the moment I’ve read the first 3 books, just started on the 4th (AFfC), and to me it seems that The Narrow Sea is too narrow. Looking at it, it would take a lot longer to sail from white Harbor to King’s Landing than it would to sail from King’s Landing to Pentos. That doesn’t seem right to me. I always thought Essos was a lot further away from Westeros.

    No. The Narrow Sea is ‘narrow’. It’s something that’s been emphasised a lot by GRRM, but a lot of fans keep insisting on making it very large in their fanon maps. It’s still not that small – overall it’s about the size of the Mediterranean but on a north-south axis rather than an east-west one – but it isn’t a large distance either.

    The reason for the apparent discrepency is that the Free Cities don’t really have a huge amount that’s interesting to the Westerosi. Trade, yes, but there’s not many settlements on the coasts apart from the big cities, and Pentos is stuck there in the middle, and it’s many hundreds of miles north to Braavos and many hundreds south to Myr. None of the Seven Kingdoms have any interest in conquering Pentos because it’s wide open to Dothraki attack from the east, and who wants to deal with that headache?

  • I love the credits… it almost feels like I’m logging onto Dark of Camelot and getting ready to do a big RVR (realm versus realm) raid. Gotta love that kingdom warfare. ;)

  • I love the openning credits. After the premiere of the show I have started to sometimes go on the OnDemand channel just to watch the openning credits which are awesome! I fall more and more in love with them with each passing view, just like I did when I saw LOTR what is it now…almost 10 years ago?!

    Ditto for the music, Djawadi has done an outstanding job of it! I cannot wait to get the soundtrack when it comes out (reportedly on June 14). As for the piano rendition , it is great, I always love to see the passion and inspiration of other fans!

  • As for Angus Wall…I wasn’t familiar with his name before but I certainly recognize the quality of his work, and now looking back I can see a common thread with the openning credits for “ROME” and “Carnivale”, which also inspire the epic scale of those show, but also the intimate and private…I’m getting the same feeling with “Game Of Thrones”, which combined with the music just gives an eerie feeling of what is to come in terms of the story, characters etc. signs and portents of things yet left unseen!

  • The title theme is ok I suppose though it would have sounded a lot better if it were played by a real orchestra instead. Cost is not that great of an issue either, there are some excellent eastern European orchestras that charge very reasonable rates. Let’s just say that Ramin has confirmed my worst fears, because the rest of the music he’s composed for this series is painfully insipid. This tells me that as a composer he’s not feeling ASOIAF. That is a very bad thing for a production of this caliber and sacking Stephen Warbeck so late in the game was the single most idiotic thing the producers did. It saddens me to imagine the beautiful themes Warbeck would have come up with, alas we shall never know now. While Djawadi’s work on Iron Man was decent, more traditional period scores (Clash of the Titans anyone?) are just not his thing. Why everyone keeps hiring the man for all the wrong projects is beyond me.

    We can only hope the OST sales are low enough so that the producers will finally see the light and hire a more fitting composer for the Second Season. I can think of more than a few independents who would do the series justice, there’s Bear McCreary, Abel Korzeniowski etc. Heck, just watch the GoT intro set to Corvus Corax’s Causa Ludi to see what I mean: http://youtu.be/22pAUVpdDXI Ideally there should also be ambiance music featuring actual ethnic/period instruments in some scenes.

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