For The Throne: A song-by-song guide to the music of Game of Thrones’ final season
Abhinav Singh · May 02, 2019 · 4 Minute Read
It’s Game of Thrones season!
What other television show has ignited such raw emotions from its viewers? None! People have cried, laughed, cursed, cheered and cussed for the past 10 years with every move of their favorite television show.
It is only fair for Game of Thrones to have its own album with some of the biggest and most talented names in the business coming together to create a soundtrack of fire and ice. And this is exactly what we have.
Let’s jump right into it! We’ll see what it is that the 14 songs are trying to convey, one-by-one:
1. “Kingdom of One” — We all remember the exchange of words between Cersei Lannister and Ned Stark in the first season where she says, “When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die; there is no middle ground“. This track, by country artist Maren Morris, only solidifies Cersei’s words of wisdom.
Written from the perspective of the current Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, the song is ballsy, ominous and unsettling; just like Cersei. “So you wanna play God?“, sings Morris as she dares her enemies to bring everything they’ve got. There’s nothing she wouldn’t do to win; and nothing anyone can do to stop her. The song captures this feeling convincingly.
2. “Power is Power” — Performed by The Weeknd, SZA and Travis Scott, “Power is Power” is a hip-hop/R&B track that brings forward perspectives of three different characters. The title is a reference to a scene that consists of Littlefinger telling Cersei “Knowledge is power”, which she responds to by saying “Power is power“.
3. “Nightshade” — A song about the impending danger beyond the wall, “Nightshade“, performed by the folk-rock band Lumineers, foreshadows death and destruction. On GoT, The Wall is the massive structure of ice separating the Seven Kingdoms from what lies beyond. While everyone believes The Wall exists to keep out Wildlings, its true function is to protect the Seven Kingdoms from the army of the dead, and their ruthless leader the Night King.
The Lumineers sing from the perspective of Jon Snow; the only man who truly realizes the danger that lies beyond. “I saw the footprints in the white of the snow/I counted thousands and I was just a rider alone“, sings Wesley Schultz referencing to Jon Snow the then Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. The track also mentions a lone savior – Jon Snow’s uncle Benjen Stark.
4. “Hollow Crown” — Sung entirely by Ellie Goulding, “Hollow Crown” is from the perspective of Jamie Lannister for his sister/lover Cersei. The title of the track, a phrase taken from Shakespeare’s Richard II, compares the crown to a noose. Ellie sings out the thoughts of Jamie, who loves his sister to such toxic degrees that he has committed some unforgivable sins to keep them together. “Things we do for love“, as Jamie says. This song is about their relationship, and how quickly things turn sour.
5. “Baptize Me” — One of the most heartbreaking character arcs on the show has been that of Theon Greyjoy. Always confused about his identity and where his allegiance lies, Theon was a lost boy who suffered at the hands of a psychopath. He carried with him the burden of betraying the Starks, the family that raised him. “Baptize Me“, performed by X Ambassadors and Jacob Banks, is a song about the longing for redemption from the perspective of Theon.
6. “Too Many Gods” — GoT fans know that religion is central to the plot of the epic fantasy. A$AP Rocky and Joey Bada$$‘s “Too Many Gods” is a song about religion in Westeros. The Lord of Light, the Old and the New Gods, the Drowned God, the Many-Faced Gods; the world of GoT is full of deities and staunch beliefs. Yet, there is hardship, destruction, suffering and death all around. The rappers question society and wonder how God can exist since he lets so many terrible things happen.
7. “Turn On Me” — A soft rock track by The National, it captures the journeys of the different characters and how much they have changed throughout the course of the show. Be it the Stark children, Jamie, Tyrion or Jorah Mormont, every character has come a long way from where they began, and “Turn On Me” is a testament to this fact.
8. “From the Grave” — A painful track about unrequited love, James Arthur, in his haunting and captivating voice, sings about the forbidden relationship of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark. On GoT, Rhaegar and Lyanna’s love-story plays a major role. Robert’s Rebellion, the war that ended the Targaryen rule, revolved around the falsehood that Rhaegar kidnapped and raped Lyanna. In reality, they loved each other and were secretly married. It captures the feeling of yearning, and the loss one suffers when the love of their life is snatched away.
9. “Me Traicionaste” — Performed by ROSALÍA and A.CHAL, this is a bilingual track about Jamie and Cersei’s relationship down the line. A subdued track with minimal beats, “Me Traicionaste” doesn’t directly point to any story arc on the show, but paints the dynamic of Jamie and Cersei’s relationship.
10. “When I Lie (Remix)” — A track by Lil Peep and Ty Dolla $ign, this is another track that doesn’t directly refer to any story arc on the show. The song, however, is about personal loss, difficult struggles and sense of indelible loss. This is the only collaboration between Lil Peep and Ty Dolla $ign, and another brand new Lil Peep track since his sad demise two years ago.
11. “Love Can Kill” — Love is fatal on GoT. We saw Tyrion strangle Shae to death; Jamie risk everything for Cersei; and Jon and Daenerys’ love than can implode anytime. Lennon Stella‘s track is about the destructive quality of love, and how people fall once they are in its grip.
12. “Wolf At Your Door” — The title of the track is self-explanatory. The Starks, the young wolves, are the ones who always come back to equal the score. The Stark girls, Arya and Sansa, despite their seemingly insurmountable obstacles, have survived. They have had their revenge, and will stop. This track, performed by Chloe and Halle, is a reminder that the North always remembers.
13. “Devil in Your Eyes” — A soft acoustic track by Mumford & Sons, this song is about men changing themselves for the women they love. “Men do stupid things for women“, Daenerys said, and the track imbibes that sentiment. Characters on GoT go to extreme lengths to hold onto love, and it costs them dearly each time.
14. “Pray (High Valyrian)” — Sung in the fictional GoT language of High Valyrian, Pray is a cinematic orchestral piece written by Matt Bellamy (front-man of Muse). Alongside an orchestra, it also features a choir, a piano and a faint synth. It also includes Melisandre’s Resurrection Prayer used on Jon Snow in the first episode of the sixth season.