8 Songs that Win Game of Thrones

After eight years, the hit HBO series Game of Thrones finished its final season to mixed emotions. And when I say mixed emotions, I mean that some people were satisfied by the ending, while others were so enraged that they created a petition to remake the last season. No matter where fans fell on this scale, however, there is one thing that everyone seemed to agree on: from the first to last season, Game of Thrones had some great pieces in its soundtrack. Whether you are a fan or not, there are plenty of excellent orchestral works from this series to delight music lovers all over. The following are only a few examples of the amazing music Game of Thrones has produced over the years. And, though I know it’s unlikely, if you haven’t watched the show and have managed to avoid having the show spoiled for you already, this list will only contain minor spoilers, so feel free to read on!


1. “Main Title”

How could I have a list of Game of Thrones music and not start with the main theme? From the very beginning, this song has been an epic introduction that sets the stage for all the drama to unfold in the coming episode. This track has inspired many covers in a wide array of genres, though my personal favorite is a piano arrangement by Mark Fowler that is amazingly detailed. And, of course, the original song, which can never be topped.


2. “Goodbye Brother”

Also known as the theme of House Stark, this beautiful and somber melody perfectly captures the essence of many people’s favorite family in Game of Thrones. Though originally heard in the first season, the theme was carried throughout the series to establish other noteworthy pieces, including the more hopeful “Home” from the seventh season.


3. “The Rains of Castamere”/“A Lannister Always Pays His Debts”

These two songs double as the theme of House Lannister, with lyrics for “The Rains of Castamere” coming straight from the book series the TV show was based on, A Song of Ice and Fire. As such, it necessarily is memorable and recognizable. As the theme of the cunning Lannisters, it is also foreboding and full of warning, in the best way possible.


4. “Mhysa”

As one of the more uplifting pieces found in Game of Thrones, this song masterfully combines previously established themes with its own unique additions to create a truly memorable composition. An integral part of Daenerys Targaryen’s journey as a character, “Mhysa” became just as much of a theme for her character as her designated theme.


5. “Reign”

Another integral component of Daenerys’s soundtrack, “Reign” has a vastly different tone than “Mhysa”. Specifically, it calls to mind the suspense and drama of an intense battle, all while proudly showing off Daenerys’s power. Oh, and dragons. There’s no forgetting the dragons.


6. “Light of the Seven”

“Light of the Seven” came as a surprise to all fans. At the time of its introduction in the sixth season, nothing really had been heard like in on Game of Thrones before thanks to the prominent use of piano. As a result, this song had the intended result of capturing and fully ensnaring the attention of the audience. It’s slow development from beautiful but foreboding piano to an urgent and chilling full orchestral ensemble leaves a lasting impact on listeners, whether it is the first or fiftieth time it has been heard.


7. “Jenny of Oldstones”

Another song straight from the books, “Jenny of Oldstones” is an incredibly haunting melody that was introduced at exactly the right moment in the TV series. Florence + the Machine does a wonderful job making this simple piece an emotional masterpiece (although, be warned: the music video contains plenty of spoilers). The truly amazing experience, however, is listening to Daniel Portman sing the song as his character Podrick Payne in the second episode of season eight (sgain, spoilers for this scene should you choose to watch).


8. “The Night King”

As one of the main villains in Game of Thrones, it was important that the Night King got an iconic and memorable theme. Thankfully, this song easily delivers. With a slow, dramatic piano opening, “The Night King” is reminiscent of “Light of the Seven” in a wonderful way. It quickly takes on its own personality with a remarkably beautiful and haunting melody that does justice to what is essentially the personification of death.

As the main composer for the majority of these pieces and the rest of the Game of Thrones soundtrack, Ramin Djawadi deserves the utmost credit and respect for his abilities. Though the TV series might be over, the experience of watching will remain with fans for a long time to come, thanks in large part to the brilliant soundtrack painstakingly established to make each scene iconic.


Images: Cover, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8