Today, Game of Thrones composer, Ramin Djawadi, took to Reddit and hosted an AMA. Short for ‘ask me anything,’ fans of his work were given the opportunity to address Ramin directly, while he chose his favorite questions to answer.
While Ramin is well known for his work on Iron Man, Pacific Rim, and Prison Break, with the Season 4 finale episode and the soundtrack both debuting this week, Game of Thrones was a hot topic. Here are some of the best Thrones related questions and answers. Ramin talks about creating the iconic Thrones theme and the general music making process for the show, and his ‘no comments’ may be hints to what we can expect in the future.
Fratboy37: What’s the music-making process like in general for GoT? How collaborative is it? I mean, do you just watch the raw material and score based off that, or have D+D sat down and outlines specific things they want to hear or do with the music?
We get together before very episode. We watch it through, then discuss where the music should start and where it should end. Then we discuss what the music should do in every scene. And then I go off and write all the music, and then we meet back again, I play them everything that I’ve got, and then they give me notes and we make tweaks and then that’s it!
ningrim34: Did you know anything about Game of Thrones before you were asked to create the theme? What sort of guidance/information were you given by the showrunners?
I was approached while the show was still in production. They actually showed me the first two episodes, which were ready, and explained to me the overall approach of the show. And for the main title, they said “make it like a journey.” That was really the overall comment that they wanted for the main title, just because you see all the locations. So they said it needed to be like a journey. I saw the first 2 episodes, and they just spoke for themselves, I just saw how great this show was and was very excited to be asked to be part of the show.
ladygagafan123731: What was your favorite piece of music that you composed for Game of Thrones?
It might have to be the main title, I will say. The visuals were just so inspiring, when I saw an early version of the visuals of the main title, that’s when I sat down and wrote the theme. I wish I could take credit for the metal-shine sound on the sun in the introduction, but the mixers did it, it’s not part of the music, unfortunately I can’t take credit for that. But the rest of the music is all me.
Kettlebot: 1. Every character’s musical theme seems to be in some way related to the main, overarching theme of Game of Thrones. How much work did that take to put together, and is each theme building up to something?
2. Similarly, what is your process like for creating a character’s theme, and how much research do you do for that prcoess? For example, do you read a character’s chapters, or do you read the scripts beforehand? Do Dan Weiss and Dave Benioff give you any direction in regards to a theme?
3. In the first question, I asked you if any of the music would be building up to anything, so my final question here is (and I want you to skip it if you need to) are there any talks of actually hearing the Song of Ice and Fire?
1) The main theme was always intended to be used on its own, or in combination with other themes on the show. It usually makes an appearance towards the end of the season, to help build up to the climax. It’s always a lot of work to put a theme together! Definitely took some time to come up with a theme that was someways comparable with other themes. It took a while. What inspired me, actually, was the picture that was provided to me, that was when I had the visuals in front of me, that provided a lot of inspiration, and then talking to the creators and what they envisioned for the show. It’s really interesting, because the idea was not to be medieval but to enhance this fantasy world where Game of Thrones is, so it had to be something beyond medieval. It took some time to find the tone of something that captures that fantasy world, I guess.
2) That’s kind of reading off what we were talking about before, Dan and Dave definitely discuss every part of the show with me – characters and plots and everything. We meet before every episode and discuss what we want to do with the scenes and discuss how we want to portray a certain character. That’s where I get my inspiration of how to write it, not by listening to music but by talking to them.
3) No comment at this time.
guyfromphilly: I know you most likely don’t pick what songs go on the soundtracks but there’s some cues that are left off of them (most notably Oberyn’s theme this year), will we ever see them get released in Suites? (ie Stark suite, Lannister suite, etc) or perhaps a complete soundtrack when the series concludes?
Definitely. Obviously we can only put so much on the soundtrack, and I am definitely listening with open ears to people’s comments of what music was left out and I will do my best to include in the next round.
schneckix33: Hello Mr. Djawadi, are there any plans to introduce more Westeros lore songs, like “The Dornisman’s Wife” or “The Last of the Giants”? “The Bear and the Maiden Fair” and “The Rains of Castamere” were great, but now it seems like there are only two songs in Westeros.
Also, on the back cover of season 2 soundtrack, it says it was recorded in Prague by The Czech Film Orchestra and Choir. Were the other soundtracks also recorded in Prague?
No comment at this time.
Yes, all those soundtracks are recorded in Prague.
dcsportshero37: Are you concerned that George R.R. Martin will kill you off?
Hopefully not until I am able to finish off the very last episode of the show!
For a full list of Ramin’s answers click here.