Music News

Game of Thrones Composer Ramin Djawadi Dishes on Final Season

Ramin Djawadi's tunes made for some magic on Game of Thrones. And they make for some magic live too.
Ramin Djawadi's tunes made for some magic on Game of Thrones. And they make for some magic live too. Photo by Andres Jimenez
The final season of Game of Thrones was either a big hit or a miss for fans, but there was one thing everyone could agree on: The music was awesome.

From “The Long Night,” which marked the beginning of the gruesome Battle of Winterfell, to Jon Snow’s final scene, riding into the distance to a rendition of “A Song of Ice and Fire,” there were as many memorable musical moments as there were visual ones.

Though the series is in the books, the tunes live on. This Saturday night, the Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience will own the Coral Sky Amphitheatre stage.

Composer Ramin Djawadi was the mastermind behind all eight seasons of the show’s musical magic. His resume is like no other in the entertainment biz, boasting celebrated scores for Iron Man, A Wrinkle in Time, Jack Ryan, Prison Break, and several other big-name hits.

His immediate post-Game of Thrones project is finalizing the score for the newest season of Westworld. But before then, it’s time to relive the GoT classics.

“This is our third year of doing this live ... and it’s the first time we’re doing all open-air shows,” Djawadi says of the North American tour, which kicked off September 6 in Toronto. “We’ve always updated the show with new music and included new material. But now that the show has finished, this will be special.”
click to enlarge Regardless of your preferred Game of Thrones house, be in the house for stellar live tunes Saturday. - PHOTO BY RALPH LARMANN
Regardless of your preferred Game of Thrones house, be in the house for stellar live tunes Saturday.
Photo by Ralph Larmann
Djawadi will appear at four shows on the tour, but he won’t be at the West Palm Beach performance. Instead, his trusted right-hand man and conductor, Michael Sobie, will lead the show. Still, Djawadi’s vision — including captivating symphonic elements, show throwbacks, and new imagery created exclusively for the tour — will be wildly present.

Among the highlights from the final season was the timelessly epic “The Night King,” to which Arya rocked the Night King’s world.

“That was definitely a challenging piece to write,” Djawadi says. “We saw an opportunity to turn this into a haunting piece... and the big choice was to use the piano again. We did that one time before, in Season 6 [with ‘Light of the Seven']. It was a big moment, and with the piano buildup, the audience knew that something big was about to happen.”

For this moment and others, Djawadi was just as surprised as viewers about all the plot twists and turns.

“I always like to point it out... I’m a huge Game of Thrones fan and was so lucky to work on the show,” he says. “When I found out about things, I was just as shocked as anyone else. I always liked to watch the episodes in chronological order, feel that same shock the audience felt, and, musically, get that same payout.”

As for his thoughts on the finale and who inevitably ends up on the throne, he remains diplomatic.

“It really is the most fantastic show,” he says. “I just wish it could go on forever.”

Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience. 8 p.m. Saturday, September 21, at Coral Sky Amphitheatre, 601-7 Sansburys Way, West Palm Beach. Tickets cost $25 to $99.50 via
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Jesse Scott is a Fort Lauderdale-based contributor for Miami New Times covering culture, food, travel, and entertainment in South Florida and beyond. His work has appeared in Condé Nast Traveler, Lonely Planet, National Geographic, and his hometown newspaper, the Free Lance-Star, among others.