Season 7 of Game of Thrones didn’t lack for moments of shock and drama (as the penultimate season of the world’s most popular TV series, it would have been a letdown if it had) but the genius behind the show’s musical score, recent Emmy winner Ramin Djawadi, once again took those moments to new heights with his compositions.
Djawadi recently sat down with AV Club and talked about creating “two big new themes” to accompany what were arguably two of the biggest plot points in Season 7: Jon and Dany gettin’ together on a ship, and the Wall coming down thanks to an undead Viserion (*sob*).
The “Jon and Dany love theme was an interesting one to write,” Djawadi said, because he had to plant it in the show earlier in the season without giving away how their relationship would end up. To do that, he started from that song and worked backward, he said, writing the music for that scene first and then went back to earlier episodes of the season and “planted little elements of it throughout.” In episode 6, for example (“Beyond the Wall”) when Dany takes Jon’s hand as he recovers from the disastrous wight-catching trip, “you can hear it with strings and cello playing the melody,” Djawadi said.
Djawadi used the same approach in crafting a new Night King/White Walker theme, which he “knew would peak at the very end [of the season] when the Wall comes down.”
“The theme starts earlier in the season and kind of creeps up on, and it builds and builds until the big finale,” he said. Played on piano alone, the music is what Djawadi calls “a simple riff” until elements of the main title theme for the show start to trickle in. The full arrangement — the version playing as the army of the dead begins their slow march through the ruins of the Wall — employs and orchestra and choir, and evokes the sense of dread that Djawadi was going for.
“It feels like this machine that’s just coming for you, pushing forward, very dark and powerful and unstoppable,” he said.
Will they be stopped, though? We won’t know for sure until Season 8 premieres — which will be in the first half of 2019, or maybe not — but we do know that Djawadi will have some truly amazing musical compositions up his sleeve for the final season.