Ramin Djawadi discusses the Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience; GRRM expected to publish a new ASOIAF story this year


Ramin Djawadi chats about the thrills and challenges of the Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience and George R.R. Martin is set to publish a new A Song of Ice and Fire story in an anthology this autumn.

In an interview with The Huffington Post, Djawadi discussed the upcoming Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience and assured us that that the digital rendering of the stage used in online promotions is, indeed, “a close idea” of what we can expect.

“I will be on that part of the stage on the piano or organ playing the piece,” he said. “There certainly will be visuals from the moment of the show and we’ll have lighting effects giving the wildfire. That’s a great representation of what we’re trying to create in real life.”

Djawadi discussed his team’s approach to selecting the music and the challenge of effectively cramming sixty episodes’ worth of music into a single concert.

“We’re going to be playing music and taking the audience from Season 1 to Season 6 in a very quick way because we realized there’s so much content,” he said. “When we started gathering music, it was a six-hour concert, so we had to condense it somehow. We’re trying in a clever way with montages and taking key scenes and key moments, so it really takes you through all the six seasons.”

Djawadi also addressed some fan speculation regarding the “lyrics” to one of his stand out pieces from season 6, “Light of the Seven.” Fans have suggested that the vocalists introduced around 4:43 are singing “Arya,” leading some to theorize that “Light of the Seven” foreshadows Arya’s future with Cersei or, perhaps, Wildlife.

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Djawadi had to debunk the theory. “Sometimes I have these Valyrian-inspired lyrics,” he explained. “Actually, they’re just saying, ‘Ah ya.’ That’s actually not really a lyric. ‘Ah, ya, y, ya, ya.’ That’s all it is.”

“I should’ve lied and said, ‘Yes, they’re saying Arya.’” Djawadi added. “I should use that actually. I didn’t think of that.”

When the conversation turned to the upcoming seventh season, Djawadi was asked how he scores scenes in which characters with different musical themes meet.

“It’s a tricky one because it happens a lot that these characters cross and families cross and meet and interact, so we really kind of step into the back and go, ‘Whose story is it right now? Which story do we want to support? Do the Lannisters have the upper hand right now over the Starks? Could this be foreshadowing something later to come?’ If you look at it that way, that usually helps with the decision of what theme we usually play.”

One character who hasn’t been given her own theme is Lyanna Mormont, arguably season 6’s breakout character. Djawadi says he’d love to write more music for her. “If we see more of her character, it’d be great to give her her own theme. I really see that actually, giving her something powerful. She was a great character last season.”

In other news, it looks like we’re getting a new short story or novella from George R.R. Martin this year. According to Amazon, Gardner Dozois is editing an anthology called Book of Swords, which is set for release this October and will include a new work from Martin. The book’s official description confirms that it will include “a new story from George R. R. Martin set in the world of A Game of Thrones!”

The story’s specific subject matter remains a mystery but some fans speculate that it might be an excerpt from Fire and Blood (nicknamed the GRRMarillion), Martin’s comprehensive history of House Targaryen. Regardless of the precise nature of Martin’s story in Book of Swords, I think we can all look forward to getting a new written work from him this year.


  1. May George RR Martin outlive us all so I can continue reading new ASOIAF stories well into my 200s.

  2. A new story from martin !?!?!
    could it be a new story for dunk and Egg ?
    I guess something from fire and blood would be nice 🙂

  3. Not the story we’ve been waiting on though. This is just getting ridiculous now. It’s borderline unprofessional
    in fact. There- I said it ?

  4. If the theme of the book is swords, then something from Fire and Blood about Blackfyre and/or Dark Sister would be pretty cool.

  5. Can’t wait for the live show in April!!! So excited! 😀 I’d love to cosplay. Considering trying to find Cersei’s black queen dress online. Anyone wanna donate to the cause?? #kiddingbutnotreally 😉

  6. Not good that GRRM is still doing something else.

    But I was pleased Djawadi denied (hopefully truthfully) that those boy sopranos were singing “Arya, Arya”. When I first heard Light of the Seven a few days before Episode 10 aired, that’s exactly what I thought they sang. I downed a large glass of single malt scotch before watching because I feared it had portended Arya’s death. Whew!

  7. It’s most likely the part of Fire and Blood about Aenys and Maegor that he read parts of at some earlier conventions. That was basically done a long time ago. He hasn’t been writing anything else for a while, per his own statements.

  8. Damn, I got excited & was secretly hoping the big announcement was he’s FINALLY publishing the next Wild Cards.

  9. dragonwolf,

    He said it himself in a blog post that he was supposed to turn up the book by the end of 2014 and he talked with his publishers that he couldn’t do it . The only reason he gets away with skipping deadlines is because he is famous and they know that whenever it releases it will sell regardless but if it wasn’t for that he would have been in trouble a long time ago .

  10. The title “book of swords” made me think of the book maintained by the Kingsguard for some reason.

    But since it obviously isn’t ASOIF, I am not really interested.

  11. Just got three tickets last night for Portland (the very last date)!!! My daughter just moved there in August. We’re totally nerding out.

  12. Gustav Rodriguez,

    Have you a source for that claim?
    I couldn’t find anything about it.
    The only thing I found is the publisher tweeting 2014, that the book will NOT come out that year, which doesn’t sound to me like they agrred upon a deadline 2014.
    And if I remember right. GRRM said that he has no deadline with the publisher.

  13. I bet no one was fooled by the little tease in the title.. Atleast I hope no one did because then I feel sorry for their disappointment..

  14. Gustav Rodriguez</

    Nicely done and thanks for reminding me of that post ..
    I wish people stop making excuses for the man when he himself admits his mistakes .

    My only prayer this year is we don't get the same post again on this year Halloween or Christmas…who knows he will come up with the same reply again

    Coming back to the OP . I bet this won't be anything related to Dunk and egg .,but from Sons of Dragon about aegon 3 or about aenys and maegar..
    What I would like to see is if it is about Aegon 5 and events of summerhall .which must surely be explored in TWOw

  15. Apollo,

    I choose to look at it from a more sanguine perspective: Would it be better to have a never-completed book series and the full 73 hour HBO adaptation, or the completed book series and no TV show?
    I’ve been waiting to read the first 3-4 books until the TV show concludes. (From what I’ve read on this site, there was a huge drop off in quality in the last two books, with endless travelogues, and monotonously detailed descriptions of turtles, trees, and food. )
    I prefer to commend the author for what he’s already accomplished, and not bash him for what he’s been unable to do.
    If he’s lost his creative inspiration, no amount of money, pressure, isolation or willpower is going to bring back the magic that makes the words flow. (There may be pharmaceutical solutions to fire up those synapses and get those brain cells cooking again, but I figure he’s considered that.)
    From what I gather, he’s still a prolific writer who enjoys what he does – but when it comes to TWOW and ADOS, all of the missed deadlines and expressions of disappointment indicate that the process has become a terribly unpleasant grind for him. Either that, or he’s unwilling to churn out a bunch of pages of what he considers substandard garbage.
    I’ve only read online snippets from some of the books – famous passages like “The Broken Man” speech, Arya’s “Needle was Jon Snow’s Smile” internal monologue*, Wyman Manderly’s “The North Remembers” speech to Davos (and Manderly’s granddaughter’s (?) speech – paraphrasing — that “when we were sore beset and friendless, the wolves took us in”), Ned’s fever dream of the 7 vs. 3 TOJ face off, and Arya’s pleading with Harwin “You have to know me!” I also read the “Mercy” chapter of TWOW that Martin released online. So I cannot and would not presume to call myself a qualified judge of the book series
    Still, from what I’ve read, I think that whoever said that Martin was the Tolkien of our generation might be underestimating his talent. I’m no literature professor, but much of what he’s already written has already stood the test of time. He has earned the right to rest on his laurels. (A fellow author -Neal Gaimon ??-once wrote an article or blog post entitled “George RR Martin is Not Your Bitch.” I wouldn’t put it in those terms, but I think his sentiment was that GRRM doesn’t “owe” his readers anything, or that the readers aren’t “entitled” to demand anything from him. )
    Let’s face it: the guy is close to 70 years old. He doesn’t strike me as a tofu-and-treadmill type health and fitness buff. He mines to enjoy life. He’s had a long and productive career, and has the ability to swim in millions of dollars of cash for his efforts. He’s really got nothing left to prove. If the “Mercy” chapter is any indication, he can still write great fiction – when his muse or whatever it is inspires him. But why should he have to?
    Would it really be so tragic if he never finishes TWOW and never writes ADOS? We’re going to get the ending to the saga either way by summer 2018.
    I don’t think anyone can begrudge him the time he spends pursuing his interests as a football fan, Hugo Awards Anti-“Puppies” activist, creator of new TV shows, cozying up with and soaking up the adoration of Sybil K (Shae actress), reviewing and recommending other writers’ books, or whatever else he feels like doing. It’s not as if every minute he spends doing other things is one less minute he’d be spending writing TWOW.
    Considering the self-imposed pressure he must have been under, combined with impatient, entitled “fans” bombarding him with personal insults and impugning his professionalism, along with the self-disappointment he’s publicly expressed — all at a stage in life when one’s physical and intellectual vigor are diminished anyway, it’s no wonder he can’t muster the enthusiasm to immerse himself in writing the book.
    For him, revisiting the same fictional world must be sheer drudgery. When anyone has to do the same thing over and over again, he or she will inevitably lose interest in what was once a rewarding, pleasurable activity. Having to force yourself to do it makes you loathe doing it.
    In a perverse way, I’m reminded of Polliver’s babbling to the Hound about his sadistic pleasures, but whining about serving under The Mountain: “Torture, torture, torture”: after a while, he “felt like a carpenter making chairs; it drains the fun right out of it. ”
    G. Martin might feel like that put-upon carpenter in a way.
    None of the circumstances in which G. Martin finds himself can be conducive to unleashing the powers of his imagination or applying his literary skills. With virtually the whole world breathing down his neck, it’s no wonder he’s unable to easily summon his muse or muster the enthusiasm to jump back into his fictional world of ASOIAF.
    An author (and avian enthusiast) once said – paraphrasing – that a muse is like a baby bird: If you chase after it, it flies away. If you grab it, it bites you until you let it go. If you catch it and lock it in a cage, it won’t sing for you; it’ll just squawk and screech and annoy you because it wants to be set free.
    But if you occupy yourself doing something you enjoy and don’t bother that little bird, pretty soon he becomes inquisitive; his curiosity gets the better of him and he starts to inch closer to get a better look; and eventually he wants to participate in whatever you’re doing.
    I assume the author’s point was that when it comes to creative writing, distracting yourself with something you enjoy is more likely to invoke the “muse” than chaining yourself to your typewriter and trying to force yourself to crank out a novel.

    It’s kind of ironic: Lots of folks have no compunctions about discussing “the leaks” of Season 7 without complaining that the leaker has “spoiled” the show or G. Martin’s source material on which the show is based. Yet, there’s so much grumbling that the show outpacing Martin’s writing has “spoiled” or disserved the future books, or that Martin himself has caused his own books to become superfluous.
    I know people who write for a living; not fictional bestsellers, but speeches and essays that are expected to captivate and persuade audiences. Some of these writers simply calculate the total number of words necessary to meet the desired length, draw up a one-page outline, apportion the number of words for each outlier segment by dividing the total number of words by the number of outlined topics, then regurgitate data and factoids while throwing in a few big words here and there, and spit out a boring piece of garbage as inspiring as a Valium. The real craftsmen let the information and ultimate objectives percolate in their brain until they coalesce into emotionally resonant phrases and elegantly structured sentences and paragraphs that leave an indelible impression on the listener. The first method is quick, easy and mechanical, but requires a disregard for the quality of the finished product. The second one takes time, patience, and pride – and if done well seems natural and effortless. I have to read these things. Most are the mindless formulaic type; they all sound the same, are as interesting as listing the ingredients on a side panel of a junk food wrapper, and make my joints ache. The really good ones contain impressive rhetorical flourishes and sound almost lyrical when spoken aloud.
    If similar methods apply to writing fiction, then l guess it would be easy for G. Martin to simply map out the plot lines and the characters in each TWOW chapter, apportion page counts, and use a dictaphone to quickly chronicle the mapped out fictional events like a dreary high school history book.

    * Much has been written here about the inherent difficulties in the adaptation process, and in particular, portraying the unspoken thoughts and internal monologues of characters in a novel when adapting it into a teleplay or screenplay. I apologize for going off on a tangent here, but I just wanted to recount that I read Arya’s “Needle was Jon Snow’s Smile” internal monologue (on the Braavos dock, when she tosses all of Arya Stark’s possessions into the water but can’t bear to part with Needle because it represents her family, her home, and her people) and reminisces – if I recall the text correctly:

    “Needle was Jon Snow’s smile. He used to mess my hair and call me ‘little sister’ ” — and suddenly there were tears in her eyes.”

    I then re-watched Maisie Williams act out this Braavos dock scene on the show, and was amazed how, with facial expressions alone (and the way she held Needle), she captured and conveyed every nuance and every emotion of that internal monologue.
    I’m not a big Theon fan, but I realize that most viewers think Alfie Allen does a phenomenal job portraying his character’s damaged psyche with just his posture, gestures and facial expressions.
    There was a point to all of this… Oh yeah. That we might want to consider ourselves fortunate that we’re able to witness some phenomenal acting breathe life into some phenomenal writing.
    Therefore, assuming that the final 13 episodes of Game of Thrones don’t turn out to be total dreck like the final seasons of Dexter and Dawson’s Creek, wouldn’t it be better to have enjoyed 73 hours of G of T along with Martin’s already-published books plus the sample chapters of TWOW, instead of having all of the books finished but no show at all?
    Personally, I’d rather have Martin stop banging his head against the wall and permanently abandon the books, and write a few episodes for S8 instead. His show scripts were great. (I think he wrote my favorite early episodes, including one or both episodes with the memorable dialogue between Arya and Syrio Forel.)
    With the likelihood of ever completing the last two books approaching 0%, Martin’s most tangible, significant and lasting contribution would be as script writer for Season 8,including the series finale.

    In the meantime, if he wants to write a new short story set in his fictional world, he’s earned the right to do that without any flak from disappointed fans jonesing for their TWOW fix.

  16. Ten Bears,

    To Apollo et al.

    My sincere apologies if my previous comment offended anyone or didn’t make sense. Also, I had condensed and edited the lengthy comment but those revisions wound up in
    Alphabet Heaven.

    [I can’t edit comments on my crappy old cell phone. Also, it often freezes up when I try to delete and replace text. Sometimes the entire typed content vanishes. So I wasn’t able to retrieve the finalized version or revise portions that didn’t quite comport with what I was trying to explain.
    Please indulge me until I figure out the finer points of commenting – and get a cell phone made in this century. ]

    I did NOT intend to criticize anyone who expressed exasperation over GRRM’s unfulfilled express or implied assurances that TWOW would’ve been published by now.
    I just figure that realistically, there’s little reason to expect TWOW anytime soon if ever, and statistically, a 0% chance the last book will ever hit the shelves.
    I empathize with G. Martin; perhaps if I were in his shoes I’d announce I was throwing in the towel, and admit I was unable to finish writing a book that would satisfy my readers despite my best efforts and years of trying.
    Whether or not he impliedly promised to finish the final two installments of the series; or expressly promised to publish TWOW by a date certain, I wouldn’t attribute delays to indifference or irresponsibility on his part. I think he’s tried, but just can’t do it.
    There would be no shame in admitting that he has lost the spark, the muse, the mojo, the creative impulse, or whatever he calls it, and he has not been able to find it again.
    That would probably be better than annual cycles of creating expectations and then disappointing them.
    I’d rather he formally announce he’s abandoned TWOW, and then shock the world by releasing a masterpiece without advance notice.

  17. Ten Bears,

    I wish he would do that for TDOS..
    Because I still believe that TWOW will be finished by this year maybe released before season 8 ..
    But once Winds is published and season 8 ends hope he just publishes snippets and plot points for the last book and how the events are supposed to lead and how the books end ..so with that info and season 8 fans will be satisfied..
    Maybe he can’t start his own Pottermore where he get to answer the readers queries about the events in last book ..

    But I guess GRRM saying that outloud will not sit well with his publishers and other collaborations he has with regard to ASoIaF since that announcement will stop them milking this series as much they can

  18. Ten Bears,

    That was quite the treatise! Where did you find the large soapbox?! ?

    Just a couple things in response –

    Firstly, if you haven’t read the books, don’t believe the naysayers on the last two books. A lot of the lines you quote are from those books and they are beautifully written. Many people didn’t like them just because the blood and guts of the the first three are missing but they are well worth reading.

    Secondly, I don’t think that GRRM despises writing these characters at all. Quite the opposite, I think that he loves his characters too much which makes it difficult to write because each word must be perfect for them. I do agree that he is older (and much more famous) and that makes it harder to grind it out everyday but I do believe he wants to finish. So all we can do is patiently wait for him and hope that we see something this year. In the meantime, I’ll be happy to see any additional material that may be published elsewhere.

  19. Gustav Rodriguez,

    The person I replied to said he missed the deadline in 2014. And I questioned how they would know that. You have linked me and others to the infamous January 2016 post which talks about him thinking he could have finished by October 2015.

    So my “fanboyism” can’t make me”ignore this too” since my question was about a supposed 2014 missed deadline, not a Halloween 2015 one.

  20. Ten Bears,

    The trouble, IMHO, with the last two books is the (somewhat arbitrary) way in which GRRM and his publishers decided to divide the story by geography rather than temporally. if & when you do decide to read the books, and you get to the last two, please try the “Boiled Leather” reading list. The BL list integrates the two books into one reading experience. I had read these books several times before (no, I’m not a masochist), so when I read them with the integrated BL list, it was a much more enjoyable experience.

    ** Please don’t use the link until you’ve read the first three – the list itself might be considered spoiler.


  21. Ten Bears: Personally, I’d rather have Martin … write a few episodes for S8 ….

    I have long wondered if the author would have written episodes for seasons 6 and 7 he would have felt refreshed and able to focus on TWoW.

  22. Ten Bears,

    No offence taken at all so dont worry. TBH I agree with most of what you say (although I confess I stopped halfway through -you wrote a LOT!) ?

    I do think GRRM is a great writer (obvz), and I certainly don’t begrudge him having a life etc. But I do take issue when he has given us repeated hints on the progress of the book and we’re STILL waiting. I mean, in 2015 he failed to meet 3 of his “self imposed” deadlines, despite the fact he was certain he could meet them as late as October 2015. And now its over a year after this, and he’s still nowhere near finished (which I have presumed from his recent blog entries). So that’s my point. He’s misleading his fans, and the reason I feel it’s unprofessional is because this is his profession. And he’s not meeting the deadlines he’s set, he’s simply not delivering, which the fans are become frustrated by ( and rightly so).

    The guy himself is disappointed with his lack of progress. So we’re equally justified in our frustration (and that’s not entitlement), as we’re the other half of this symbiotic relationship after all.

  23. Light of the Seven could foreshadow Arya’s future with Cersei or “Wildlife”? Uh oh. NOW I’m worried about Arya’s fate. Hopefully she doesn’t encounter any spiteful horses or murderous, pecking ravens on her journey out of the Riverlands. (It’s okay, predictive text hates me, too).

  24. Wolfish,

    Yes, I would love to meet up with everybody before the show. It would be fun to match people to their WotW names. My husband thinks my participation in the fandom is weird but he is going with me to the concert and even agreed to cosplay at Con of Thrones!

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