As with everything associated with HBO’s adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Fire and Ice book series, Ramin Djawadi's Game of Thrones score brings the characters, countries, and moods of Martin’s world to life with aplomb. Massive string sections give the music necessary majesty, particularly on “Main Title,” but Djawadi adds heavy percussion and more exotic touches, such as prickly dulcimer and autoharp to give a more tribal and warlike feel befitting the show’s scheming and incipient battles. Tracks such as “North of the Wall,” which boasts an icy atmosphere and enough shocks to do a horror movie score proud, and “Love in the Eyes,” which captures the wilder feel of the Dothraki people with smoky flutes and rolling percussion that evoke Peter Gabriel's landmark Passion score, convey Westeros’ geography as well as its feelings. Djawadi telegraphs those emotions ably, however, particularly with “Goodbye Brother"’s slow, Celtic-tinged melody and “When the Sun Rises in the West”’s mournfully droning flutes. In between are vivid mood pieces like the medieval pomp of “The King’s Arrival” and the palpable danger of “Small Pack of Wolves,” which could be Westeros’ equivalent of heavy metal. Most powerful of all, however, might be “Fire and Blood,” which grows from wisps of strings and flutes into towering drum tattoos. In all, Game of Thrones is a triumphant score that reflects the care involved in the entire adaptation.
AllMusic Review by Heather Phares
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