Composer Exposure: Behind the Music of “Game of Thrones”

The Throne Magazine “Composer Exposure” series allows the composers behind our favorite soundtracks to bathe in the spotlight. This week we cover Game of Thrones mastermind, Ramin Djawadi, and provide you with all you need to know on the man behind one of the most recognizable theme songs on the planet.

In the (soon-to-be) eight seasons it’s been on TV, Game of Thrones has provided us with plenty of memorable material. From the Red Wedding to some of our favorite quotes (“You had one job”), you’d would be well-pressed to find a member of the population who didn’t recognize at least one of the show’s many references. Especially if it was the theme song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7L2PVdrb_8Don’t act like haven’t hummed it for three hours straight after hearing it once. It’s nearly two minutes of pure epicness that makes you want to get on a horse and proclaim yourself King of the North (or Khaleesi, whatever). Have you ever wondered, though, who could’ve created such a majestic track?

Ramin Djawadi, is who.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramin_Djawadi#/media/File:Ramin_Djawadi.jpg

Ramin Djawadi was born in Duisburg, Germany, where he spent most of his life before attending Berklee College of Music in Boston. It was here that he mastered the art music, a field he had grown passionate about ever since he was turned on to soundtracks by The Magnificent Seven.

Straight instrumental wasn’t Djawadi’s only preferred flavor of audio. In an article published by The Atlantic concerning of the Game of Throne’s more memorable songs, ”The Light of the Seven,” Djawadi admits to attending Anthrax concerts and being a fan of the psychedelic. It’s in another one of his HBO projects, Westworld, that you can hear the trippy lovechild between his classical and new-wave appreciation take shape.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPM8oBrONwM

But before Westworld or even Game of Thrones, Djawadi created the original scores to a wide variety of projects from Pixar shorts to Iron Man, even receiving mentorship under Hans Zimmer along the way. He even though grabbed an Emmy nomination in 2006 for his work on Prison Break, it wasn’t until 2011 that Djawadi landed the gig that would give him international acclaim: Game of Thrones.

Although Shakespeare in Love composer Stephen Warbeck was originally slated to run the project, Djawadi was the one who eventually signed on. After watching the first two episodes, Djawadi mulled over the amounts of characters and personalities on the show and decided to stray from the usual focus on character themes. Instead, the show’s music would coincide with different plotlines and turning points, something you may not have noticed before but will certainly notice from here on out. What kind of music are we going to hear for season eight, we wonder?

Listen closely. Keep your ears open to Djawadi’s music this season, because you never know–you may catch on to more of the story than you think.

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Author: Claudia Dimuro
Writer/Optimization Specialist
Email: cdimuro4@gmail.com 

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