Game of Thrones title sequence designer breaks it down and teases Season 8 changes

Game of Thrones Title Sequence Winterfell/Godswood Concept Art

Winterfell/Godswood concept art created for the initial title sequence. Notice the date of 2010!

Personally, I think the title sequence of Game of Thrones never gets old — Ramin Djawadi‘s incredible score paired with the fascinating revolutions and evolutions of Westeros designed by Angus Wall is one of the most unique and memorable aspects of the already unique and memorable show. And if you want a peek behind the curtain at how it came to be, read on!

In a recent EW article, David Canfield reveals that the concept initially developed for the pilot was to use a map of Westeros for interstitials — spaces in between action shots — that would keep the audience clear on where the action was taking place. That, however, caused a problem.

“It broke up the narrative in the most horrible way,” title designer Angus Wall told EW. “But we realized there was a need to tell the geography of the world — in the same way that a legend would for a book. That became the title sequence.”

Wall also said that the approach to using a more flat or two-dimensional map was scrapped, because they wanted the viewer to feel as though they were actually orienting themselves “inside” the world of Westeros (and also because “It’s boring to have flat worlds”). It was also important to include the evolution of Houses within the story represented in the title sequence, Wall said, like the burning of Winterfell visualized by smoky rubble (and the Starks’ direwolf sigil again flying high beginning with the Season 6 finale).

Game of Thrones Title Sequence Winterfell Concept Art

A “flat” version of the title sequence map that was scrapped for the more 3D version we know and love.

It also became more difficult to keep up with the expanding map as the show went on, forcing the sequence to consider “what to leave out and what to leave in,” Wall said. “Would we have loved to show the movement of every army? Yes. But it’s an incredible amount of work just to create different locations and different versions of each location.” That has meant paring down locations like Winterfell and King’s Landing to their largest structures and leaving out some more minor locations entirely (Wall thinks viewers haven’t noticed, but he clearly hasn’t met fans like us).

Wall also noted that the technology that they use to create the sequence “has changed so radically over the course of all these seasons, so there are constant little technical upgrades that happen every season…. The definition has improved so much.” However, like any cast or crew member, he can’t reveal what that means for Season 8, though there is definitely something new and exciting there: “I can’t wait for people to see it”, he said. I guess we’ll just have to wait 16 more days to see for ourselves!

19 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. Very cool! I too hope we see a crumbled Eastwatch. Maybe a Greywater Watch or Volantis? Although, with only six episodes, I’m not sure if we’ll see Melissandre in Volantis or if she’ll just appear again once she’s returned to Westeros. Either way, loving the sketches! Looks like they were initially planning to put the house words as well.

      “It’s boring to have flat worlds.” – careful, Angus Wall. You’ll offend the flat earthers of Westeros.

        Quote  Reply

    2. I hope we get to see Volantis, Storms End, Highgarden, Sunspear and Casterly Rock this season in the opening sequence. If they include those, we have seen all the major locations of Westeros and Essos that are story and character/family linked.

        Quote  Reply

    3. costello:
      I think it’s about as likely that Season 8 will visit Greywater Watch as it is that it will visit Narnia

      If GW were north of Winterfell, there could be a shot but I still haven’t given up hope that Meera and/or Howland could show up to confirm Jon’s Targ-ness or maybe even fight in the battle.

      I’d like to think that there are a few things up D&D’s sleeve that they were able to keep secret that will surprise/shock us all.

        Quote  Reply

    4. Can’t wait!!!

      I, too, would love to see Greywater Watch. Of course, they’d have to move it slightly from episode to episode!

        Quote  Reply

    5. Dark Sister:
      Very cool! I too hope we see a crumbled Eastwatch. Maybe a Greywater Watch or Volantis? Although, with only six episodes, I’m not sure if we’ll see Melissandre in Volantis or if she’ll just appear again once she’s returned to Westeros. Either way, loving the sketches! Looks like they were initially planning to put the house words as well.

      “It’s boring to have flat worlds.” – careful, Angus Wall. You’ll offend the flat earthers of Westeros.

      Haha, totally agree! I’m betting on Meli just reappearing in Westeros (hopefully with an awesome entourage), but it would be great to see her in Volantis…or some kind of flashbacks to what happened there, or her intriguing past if it’s relevant…

        Quote  Reply

    6. The title sequence is the best part of the series and is brilliantly done. Looking forward to a crumbled Wall and lots more ice and snow.

      I thought he’d give more information about the Armillary Sphere used in the title sequence. In fact, I’m hoping we’ll learn more about them, and their use and placement this season. I was really disappointed they were not explained last season while Sam was at the Citadel as they are everywhere there, especially the Library.

        Quote  Reply

    7. Yes, we pay attention!
      The selected moving cities vary depending on which sites will be featured in each episode. Old Town only shows up when someone is there. Same with Mereen, etc.

      I can’t do names, but I know everything about the cities! Including that WF was featured upside down! The weirwoods belong on the left, not the right… and, they are not an actual separate circle.

      Definitely betting we’ll see wall fallen down. And then the damage as the Night King’s army comes through.

        Quote  Reply

    8. Do you think there’ll be a Targaryen sigil (which would make it the very first time it’s displayed in the intro) over Winterfell in Ep 2 or will it be split between Stark and Targaryen (half/half). It can’t happen in Ep 1’s intro because Daenerys hasn’t arrived just yet but I’m sure it will be different in Ep 2’s intro.

      In any case the map will definitely be covered in snow and ice as the NK and his AOTD marches further south. I’m hopeful we can see something similar to the first season 8 teaser where we see the ice effect spread as the intro sequence plays and not just update by each episode. Would make it seem even cooler (no pun intended) and hype up the inevitable confrontation.

        Quote  Reply

    9. It is the only show/adaptation I’ve ever watched that I never skip the intro, even after almost 10 years. It’s really amazing work, and I doubt I’d be as invested in another opening (or franchise on television) for the rest of my life. It became my sole reason to have cable.

        Quote  Reply

    10. I think season 8 will have a much shorter intro then usual because of the amount of places we can visit. I assume episode 1 will feature winterfell, the wall, kings landing and maybe Volantis (for gc) is only 4 places
      Episode 2 Volantis make place for pyke. Maybe even the wall will not be visited.

      Episode 3 will ony visit winterfell. So who knows what places we will see in the intro. They never skipped the major cities but they skipped minor cities. So we get to see winterfell, kingslanding. And the wall but maybe the wall is gone in the intro there.

      Episode 4 till 6 who knows maybe we will see a place we never saw before.

      What changes I think will be made is that the wall will be gone and be replaced by only a castle. It will changed from the wall to castle black.

      Also my feeling is telling me we will see some minor places in the intro.
      I expect we see more in winterfell. Maybe it’s bigger and we see where some places in winterfell are. Like the crypts. Maybe they do that for episode 3. Showing us the map of winterfell. (probably not they didn’t do it before but who knows for the last season)
      And maybe we see the dragon pit in kl.

      What I maybe even expect is that we will see where the population is and which places in westeros have living people. And which part contain the death.

      Strange. We have waited so long. More than 1.5 years since last season and years since we started the show (for most). Now it will be here in 2 weeks and 3 days. I can’t wait but at the same time I’m not ready for it.

        Quote  Reply

    11. Kevin1989:
      I think season 8 will have a much shorter intro then usual because of the amount of places we can visit. I assume episode 1 will feature winterfell, the wall, kings landing and maybe Volantis (for gc) is only 4 places
      Episode 2 Volantis make place for pyke. Maybe even the wall will not be visited.

      Episode 3 will ony visit winterfell. So who knows what places we will see in the intro. They never skipped the major cities but they skipped minor cities. So we get to see winterfell, kingslanding. And the wall but maybe the wall is gone in the intro there.

      Episode 4 till 6 who knows maybe we will see a place we never saw before.

      What changes I think will be made is that the wall will be gone and be replaced by only a castle. It will changed from the wall to castle black.

      Also my feeling is telling me we will see some minor places in the intro.
      I expect we see more in winterfell. Maybe it’s bigger and we see where some places in winterfell are. Like the crypts. Maybe they do that for episode 3. Showing us the map of winterfell. (probably not they didn’t do it before but who knows for the last season)
      And maybe we see the dragon pit in kl.

      What I maybe even expect is that we will see where the population is and which places in westeros have living people. And which part contain the death.

      Strange. We have waited so long. More than 1.5 years since last season and years since we started the show (for most). Now it will be here in 2 weeks and 3 days. I can’t wait but at the same time I’m not ready for it.

      I don’t think they’ll shorten the intro. Also, it’s 15 days until premiere not 17. I don’t count the 14th since that’s the actual premiere and today is almost over. I’m a numbers guy 😀

        Quote  Reply

    12. Jack Bauer 24,

      Well if the episode airs it will be 15 April at night here where I live so for me I see it on the 15th. And it’s now 1.42 30 March. So I think I need to reword that. For me it’s 17 nights of sleep before I can watch it. (and the whole Monday because of work).

        Quote  Reply

    13. Ser Nobody,

      I think it will still be a Stark sigil in Winterfell. The Starks will still be Wardens (or Wardeness) of the North (even with Jon’s true lineage). Jon and Dany wouldn’t be staying in Winterfell. Sansa and the rest of the starks are still there.

        Quote  Reply

    14. Dark Sister: nt EW article, David Canfield reveals that the concept initially developed fo

      I really don’t think we will see Volantis, but a broken wall is a good shout.

        Quote  Reply

    15. Ser Nobody: Do you think there’ll be a Targaryen sigil (which would make it the very first time it’s displayed in the intro) over Winterfell in Ep 2 or will it be split between Stark and Targaryen (half/half). It can’t happen in Ep 1’s intro because Daenerys hasn’t arrived just yet but I’m sure it will be different in Ep 2’s intro.

      Why would WF have the Targ sigil though? She isn’t Queen of Westeros yet. And even if she was, WF would still have their Sigil, just like any other house that have been keeping them for thousand of years. Even during the Tag Monarchy.

        Quote  Reply

    16. I think season 8 intro will features King’s Landing, Dragonstone, Winterfell, Pyke, The Wall (Castle Black) and will stop at Eastwatch-by-the-Sea (with possibly a crumbled Wall as well).
      I still hope to see Storm’s End in the Show though, but we’ll not going to see it on the title sequence (and neither Casterly Rock or Highgarden).
      I think that’s safe to assume both Sunspiar/Watergardens/Dorne and Riverrun will never appear again on the show and the title sequence.
      Moat Cailin, Dreadfort and the Tweens might, as well as the Eyrie.
      Castle Black/The Wall will surely be a thing at least for ep. 1.
      Edd have to appear as well as Tormund and Beric.
      Eastwatch needs to be there as well, for crumbled or not, the Wall and the characters which it features (including the Night King) must have a solution.
      Harrenhal could have a late reprise and even be the set for the Big Battle in the South (sorry Trident).
      Pyke needs to be there, at least for the first 2 eps for both Theon’s return and standing as the Greyjoys as a whole (also a final showdown could be occour).
      Dragonstone could not only stand as Targaryen stronghold but could rapresent Cersei/Euron conquist by the hands of the Golden Company as well.
      Freezing the board much like in the Tease would be lovely and I’ve petting the idea of a frozen landscape (and sun/armilla) as well as castles gears stucked and clogged in ice.
      Also, snow and howling winds on the background should just put a thrilling flavour to it too!

        Quote  Reply

    Jump to the Top

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *