Ramin Djawadi’s Game Of Thrones score has blossomed from being used sparingly to add a little flair, to now being one of the most central dramatic tools of the show. In fact, for the first two seasons I was flat-out frustrated at the lack of score in the series. This was a show that demanded a prominent score, and finally in season 3 the show began to rely on Ramin for some support. The music became noticeable beyond its world famous theme. Dramatic arcs became prominent and the world became fleshed out thanks to the score. The characters still remain to a degree untouched by the score, and left to the actors to really make a mark. However, with so many characters that seems to be the logical choice. Season 4 hits high marks all around musically as the main title theme becomes an anchoring theme in the body of the score, and the end result is some of Ramin’s most impressive scoring to date.
Game Of Thrones’ season 4 arcs became really separated amongst the characters, and the actors did an amazing job playing out their journeys. Musically, Djawadi has done a fantastic job giving each journey a distinct sound. I wouldn’t call the music thematic in terms of the characters, but more so like each journey has its own sound. You can tell when we’re listing to a Daenerys plot point or something happening revolving around John Snow or at The Wall. Within all these story lines we are finally able to get some wonderful emotional beats. The music truly pulls you into the narrative instead of dialogue being separated by nothing but silence. One of my favorite recurring motif’s is the one that plays right before a major death/deaths. I first noticed it diegetically in season 3 before the red wedding. The band was playing the tune at the wedding, and I’ve noticed that foreboding tune pop up again before Joffrey’s death, and a few other notable times. It made that transfer from diegetic to non-diegetic quite nicely and can be heard in the track “Two Swords” around the 48-second mark. This season also saw some impressive action scoring from Djawadi who was finally able to show a little bit of grit. Musically thus far the score has kept a sense of brooding elegance, but we’ve finally got some gritty music that gives the score some interesting new textures. The best part is that Djawadi never shy’s away from using his main title theme within the body of the score, and it does make a few appearances. Usually shows will keep the main title theme completely separate, which is a shame when it really is the iconic identifier that becomes the heart of a series. Thankfully, Djawadi finds some wonderful ways to incorporate it into the series, and it almost becomes like the James Bond theme. The theme is never overused, but you can’t help but react to it emotionally when it does appear. The whole season is an amazing package and saw the series hit all of its creative strides.
Ramin Djawadi’s music has become one of the most iconic TV scores in the history of the medium. His main title theme has been covered and re-arranged in so many ways all over the internet that it truly speaks to the power of the show’s musical DNA. The score has become supremely effective in its 4th season, and really matches the effect it had in the past season. There are still some issues when it comes to the fluidity and connective flow of the music, but I think trying to make a weaving score for a show like Game Of Thrones would prove difficult. I can only hope the music becomes even more prominent and relied on in the seasons to come.