If you love Game of Thrones, you know that a huge part of what makes the show so captivating is the music. From the iconic theme song to the dreaded "The Rains of Castamere," composer Ramin Djawadi has spent the past seven seasons carefully honing the show's signature sound.
And now Djawadi is gearing up to take the Game of Thrones music on an international arena tour beginning in May.
We chatted with the composer about how the music has changed over seven seasons, the weirdest instrument he's used on the show, and how he hopes the series will end. Here's everything we learned:
1.The first time show creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss showed Djawadi the opening credit footage, he was so inspired he started composing the opening song in his car right after he left.
2.Benioff and Weiss wanted the theme to capture the overall mood of the show. Since so many of the characters travel so much, Djawadi wanted it to "sound like a journey."
3.He decided to use the cello in the main theme because he'd already started composing for the first two episodes of Season 1 when he wrote it, so "the sound of the show was already kind of established."
4.As characters progress and change on the show, so do their musical themes. Some characters progress so much, Djawadi writes them an entirely new theme.
5.For example, the Stark theme used to be associated with Arya Stark. But now her character has changed so much, she has an entirely new theme that has nothing to do with the signature Stark sound.
6.The most challenging piece Djawadi's composed for the show is Season 6's nearly 10-minute-long song, "Light of the Seven," aka that creepy/gorgeous song that plays under the "Oh shit, run, Cersei's gonna blow up the Sept of Baelor" sequence.
7.It was such an undertaking that he began composing it at the very beginning of the season.
8.That song was the first time he used piano instrumentals in the show, to signal to the viewer that something wasn't right.
9.Certain instruments are associated with different characters, and perhaps the most unexpected is the instrument associated with the Wildlings: the didgeridoo.
10.Djawadi is primarily inspired by visuals, and hasn't read any of the A Song of Ice and Fire books — but he's going to once Season 8 ends.
11.Speaking of Season 8, no, tragically, he hasn't seen any scripts. He has no idea what's going to happen.
12.But once he does, he'll go through the same composing process as previous seasons. He'll get an early cut of an episode and watch it with Benioff and Weiss. They'll discuss music timing and creative direction.
13.And even though he doesn't know what Season 8 will bring, if he had to choose a way to end the series musically, it would be the same way it all began: with that iconic theme song.