‘Game of Thrones’ Composer Ramin Djawadi Talks Epic Score, Daenerys’ Dragons, and Metal ‘Thrones’ Theme
By Laura Ferreiro
Ramin Djawadi is the gifted composer responsible for writing the "Game of Thrones" title theme song and the epic score that has helped define the critically acclaimed show, now in its third season and based on George R. R. Martin's fantasy novel series, A Song of Ice and Fire. It's not an easy job, since each weekly episode contains new music specific to the various characters and locations, and as any fan knows, there's a plethora of characters and places to keep straight.
Djawadi, who grew up in Germany and now calls Los Angeles home, says that when the series started in 2011, he and the show's creators, David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, met to discuss the conceptual approach to the show. "They had a great vision," he says. "I brought my ideas and then I started writing themes. I wrote main title and themes for characters and locations. The one thing we wanted to focus on is not having a different theme for everything because there are so many characters."
The 38-year-old, Grammy-nominated composer says that they decided to use music to express the emotion and mood of each scene, and create distinct themes for just a few of the main characters. Some themes have evolved with their characters, such as Daenerys Targareyen's, whose theme has changed as her character has grown and transformed. "I like Daenerys--she has the dragons and she's so amazing and powerful," says Djawadi. "She's a good example of how when you look back to the first episode, when we planned her theme, it's not remotely as powerful as it is now."
The beloved character, known as the "mother of dragons," started out in Season 1 as a meek young girl, but in the current season she has become a powerful and fearless woman who leads an army and controls a cadre of young dragons. What started off as soft background music has evolved into an epic theme with orchestra swells and a full choir.
"What inspires me is the amazing story--it's unbelievably creative," says Djawadi, who admits he hasn't read Martin's book series because he enjoys seeing how the story unfolds onscreen. "There's so much there and the characters are so deep, there's so much to do musically."