game of thrones dragons dragonstone
Watch, TV

How Music has Become a Main Character in Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones is the definition of an ensemble show. Although lots major characters have kicked the bucket in one form or another, there’s still no one main character. But in the past two seasons, another character has come into play. But it’s not the kind of character you might expect.

The music in the show has become instrumental (no pun intended) at conveying emotion. It’s become so interwoven into the events that there’s even a live concert featuring music from the show. The music is at its best during scenes with little or no dialogue — it’s beautifully interwoven with the events and character expressions that are happening on screen. There’s also a theme song for many of the characters in the show. The dragons, Arya, and even the White Walkers have specific melodies that repeat whenever we see them on screen.

Battle Cries

The first examples of the interweaving of the music are the battles. Both the Battle of the Bastards in season 6 and the Loot Train attack in season 7 are made more epic thanks to the music. Specifically, in the Battle of the Bastards, the slow-motion shot at the beginning where we see horses charging promotes a feeling of suspense and excitement at what’s coming. In the Loot Train attack in season 7, we hear more brutal elements to the dragon theme song.

In the last episode of season 6, the music leading up to the explosion of the Sept has a different kind of suspense mixed in with some of what sounds like church choral elements that make sense with the religious focus of that part of the show.

Coming Home

But my favorites are both in the first episode of season 7. How the opening scene’s music leads into the main title is stirring:

The absolute best example of the music making the viewer feel the emotions of the character is during the end of season 7, episode 1 when Daenerys is returning to Dragonstone. It’s a more majestic version of the dragon theme and, combined with the expressions on her face, it perfectly amplifies the feelings she’s experiencing upon returning to the place she was born for the first time.

I’m excited to see what new music or variations on existing music will pop up in season 8, which will be airing in April of 2019.