" Winter is Coming "
Written by Thomas Glorieux
- Review of
the regular release
Few series have ever made such an impact on audiences around the world as Game of Thrones has. Because for many people, it was the first introduction to Westeros, the land of the Seven Kingdoms, the place where house Stark, Baratheon, Lannister, Arryn and Targaryen fight for the claim of the iron throne, the mythical king's chair that rules all of Westeros. Yet for it to claim the king's throne, plots, assassinations, deceit and games will be played, and honor and loyalty will be put to the test.
An adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire, George R. R. Martin's fantasy novels, HBO was the only network that allowed the filmmakers to bring forth the extensive violence and nudity that were nessecary to shape and create the world of Game of Thrones. And honestly, it pays off. Not only is Game of Thrones a dazzling combination of character development and plot, it also continues to show a world that people were introduced at in the LOTR films of Peter Jackson. It's not called The Sopranos in Middle Earth for nothing. Even though the massive amount of characters and various subplots require you to maintain focused at all times, nothing and I mean nothing will ever get you prepared for what you are about to witness. Meaning probably one of the best series ever created.
For the music, the people turned to Ramin Djawadi. Written within about ten weeks of the show's premiere, Djawadi's music wasn't as anticipated as the show in general. But after hearing that main theme over and over again in the opening main titles, the world fell in love with Djawadi's music. And now after having seen the first season, it is fair to say that the music of Games of Thrones has in fact many riches. Riches you can only appreciate more after having witnessed its effect in the series.
Of course the theme is now known all over the world and needs no introduction anymore. Its powerful version in "Main Title" is simply put magnificent, and its end credits piece in "Game of Thrones" still sounds cool as hell after all this time. But the greatest strength of Game of Thrones are perhaps the many themes Djawadi has in store for us. For instance the cold eerie sound of "North of the Wall" is a theme or a motif that you have to consider, as it stands for the white walkers, the night's watch and the wall in general. It appears a lot more in the series than on this CD, but the way it grows towards a strong variation of the main theme in "The Night's Watch" is stunning nonetheless.
The most touching theme is perhaps the Winterfell theme. Representing House Stark and its characters, it's heartfelt performances throughout the series add the most emotional weight on some of the most touching scenes of all. "Goodbye Brother", "Winter is Coming", "Kill Them All" (mixed with the main theme) and the stirring version in "King of the North" all show a remarkable depth that heighten each scene it's used in. But even more amazing is the fact it's combined with a powerful main theme version in "Jon's Honor", when Jon Snow decides to follow his heart.
Perhaps my favorite theme is the King theme, endlessly playing its cool marching rhythm on the DVD menus and showing its powerful noble qualities in "The King's Arrival", one of this CD's best tracks. However the theme is used a lot more. The soft guitar version in "You'll Be Queen One Day" or the slow moving version in "You Win or You Die", its catchy melody is simply put one to look out for through the series. And another theme to look out for is Daenerys' theme, simply because it will rock your world upside down when hearing it at the climatic end of season 1. It's briefly heard throughout the 10 episodes of course, always brought forward through a percussive rhythm in "Love in the Eyes" and "Fire and Blood", but it unleashes a powerful mature composition intermixed with the stunning main theme version in "Finale" in the end (showing that Daenerys has finally become the Khalisi she was destined to be).
All the rest is music underscoring the various plots and schemes of Game of Thrones. For instance we have a strong main theme's performance in "The Kingsroad", we have the dancing lessons music for Arya in "The Pointy End" and the shocking finale of episode 1 in "Things I Do For Love", the unnerving music when Joffrey spells out the conditions at Sansa at the end of Episode 8 in "Await the King's Justice" (which I just love), we have a return of the Clash of the Titans action music in "Small Pack of Wolves" (one of the few times Clash of the Titans actually reoccurs) and we have the main theme that is heard a lot more emotional in the dramatic speech of Robb in "Victory Does Not Make us Conquerors", making the listen actually a very well rounded experience for about 66 minutes.
It's important to mention however that I totally fell in love with the music after having heard its effect inside the show. Even more, it was inside the show that I noticed the themes and its effect that make this soundtrack experience such a rich one. Frankly I will have missed a lot more themes as well, but considering each episode is covering about 50% of music (or less), it's safe to say that I covered the most important ones, and so does this CD. I know Ramin Djawadi did all kinds of wrong with many people during the past (Iron Man, Clash of the Titans and even Prison Break), but I can honestly tell you that Game of Thrones has received the music it deserves. Quite frankly, they make each other look good, and I can't wait for season 2 and 3 to start delivering me more of those riches.
1. Main Title (1.46) Excellent track
2. North of the Wall (3.48)
3. Goodbye Brother (3.07) Excellent track
4. The Kingsroad (2.06)
5. The King's Arrival (3.34) Excellent track
6. Love in the Eyes (4.00)
7. A Raven From King's Landing (1.16)
8. The Wall (1.59)
9. Things I Do For Love (1.52)
10. A Golden Crown (1.38)
11. Winter is Coming (2.42)
12. A Bird Without Feathers (2.02)
13. Await the King's Justice (2.00)
14. You'll Be Queen One Day (1.36)
15. The Assassin's Dagger (1.19)
16. To Vaes Dothrak (1.29)
17. Jon's Honor (2.35) Excellent track
18. Black of Hair (1.40)
19. You Win or You Die (1.57)
20. Small Pack of Wolves (1.57)
21. Game of Thrones (1.18) Excellent track
22. Kill Them All (2.35) Excellent track
23. The Pointy End (3.16)
24. Victory Does Not Make us Conquerors (1.35)
25. When the Sun Rises in the West (2.40)
26. King of the North (1.28) Excellent track
27. The Night's Watch (1.44) Excellent track
28. Fire and Blood (4.30)
29. Finale (2.31) Excellent track
Total Length: 66.00