Why Does “House of the Dragon” Use the Game of Thrones Theme (Is It Too Much)?

The enduring Game of Thrones theme tune was one of the many personal touches in the “House of the Dragon” pilot episode. There are multiple different renditions of well-known Game of Thrones songs in the first episode of season 1, “The Heirs of the Dragon.” The recognizable fanfare was rarely used in the “House of the Dragon” debut episode and came to a suitable conclusion at the end credits. Given that Westeros is the setting for both shows, some similarities might be anticipated. The House of the Dragon pilot’s overt usage of Game of Thrones music, though, might be a bit much.

Instead of a title card sequence with a performance of the Game of Thrones theme, showrunners Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik chose to introduce “House of the Dragon” with a flashback scenario exploring the history of Targaryen succession. However, House of the Dragon’s closing credits use a variation of the famous Game of Thrones main theme by Ramin Djawadi. Additionally, when viewers are first introduced to Rhaenyra Targaryen and her dragon Syrax in “House of the Dragon,” they can hear another variation on a second well-known Djawadi song, “Blood of My Blood.” Dragon’s-eye views of King’s Landing are accompanied by tremendous and triumphant fanfare in a scene that unmistakably resembles Rhaenyra’s later ancestor Daenerys Targaryen.

There are some aspects of Game of Thrones that viewers would undoubtedly wish to forget, but music is not one of them. The series also had other famous episodes, such as “The Rains of Castamere” and “Light of the Seven,” in addition to the main theme. However, it would be unexpected to hear renditions of these songs in “House of the Dragon.” Instead, musical motifs that still contribute value to the current series have been presented to listeners, evoking memories of and respect for the previous series.

Is the Game of Thrones theme being overused by “House of the Dragon?”

Although there are many permutations of Game of Thrones themes in “House of the Dragon,” this does not make them overused. The score for the inaugural episode is primarily original, with the exception of the main theme and “Blood of My Blood.” The use of a tune that became associated with Daenerys Targaryen’s dragons and music from an almost impossible to skip entrance scarcely qualify as derivative. Although there is a case to be made that some of the other Game of Thrones references in the premiere are overly repetitive, these musical references should ultimately be received favorably.

According to the “House of the Dragon” timeline, it is a far-off prequel to Game of Thrones. It has been advertised as such, and promotional imagery displays the two concerts in connection with one another. It is appropriate for enduring elements from the previous series to make an appearance in the new program, especially considering the return of Miguel Sapochnik to the creative team and Ramin Djwadi as composer. Being overly blatant with allusions and callbacks could turn off some viewers, especially in light of how the later seasons of Game of Thrones were received. But it’s a wise idea to make most of the references to “House of the Dragon’s” precursor through musical cues rather than through story components. With this decision, “House of the Dragon” is able to auralize the spirit and soul of Game of Thrones. It also gives showrunners the latitude to create a Westerosi story of succession that is both narratively sound and visually gorgeous.

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