Saturday, March 24, 2012

Soundtrack Suggestion: The Game of Thrones - Ramin Djawadi

The Game of Thrones Official Soundtrack

Composed by Ramin Djawadi

Considering the immense popularity of the Game of Thrones television series to the geek community, you'd be surprised that there are gamers out there who have not yet considered snatching a copy of this soundtrack to enhance their games.

While it is pretty much a no-brainer to consider using the soundtrack to musically enrich your table top games based on the books by George R. R. Martin, you can avoid the more theme-song tracks and still have a usable harmonic accompaniment that can work with any  game that has a larger-than-life feel and presence.

The songs tend to flow more on the orchestral side of things, with lovely strings mingling with horns and accompanying a heavy drum beat.  Interestingly, however, the soundtrack maintains a distinct character of its own and successfully avoids sounding like a variation of Hans Zimmer's approach to the soundtrack of Lord of the Rings.  The pieces are full of character and subtle tones, suggesting multi-faceted emotions hidden between the swirls of harmony.  At times, the music does sound mechanically (rather than organically orchestral) generated but surprisingly this does not reach a point that it distracts the listener.  Instead, the songs nicely have a chameleon-like quality to them that one can use them to enhance modern, fantasy, science fiction or post apocalyptic themed games with relative ease.

All in all, while clocking a short one hour and seven minutes, the soundtrack is filled with potentially useful tracks for any game where players face massive odds or greatly frightening threats.

Game of Thrones track suggestions
WTF moment: The Assassin's Dagger (track 15), Kill Them All (track 22), King of the North (track 26)
Introspective/calm moment: A Raven from King's Landing (track 07), Things I Do for Love (track 09), A Golden Crown (track 10), Fire and Blood (track 28)
Tense/mystery moment: North of the Wall (track 02), The Wall (track 08), Winter Is Coming (track 11), A Bird Without Feathers (track 12), Await the King's Justice (track 13), The Pointy End (track 23), Victory Does Not Make Us Conquerors (track 24)
Combat music: To Vaes Dothrak (track 16), Jon's Honor (track 17), Small Pack of Wolves (track 20)
Hopeful moment: Main Title (track 01), The Kingsroad (track 04), The King's Arrival (track 05)
Drama/sad moment: Goodbye Brother (track 03), Love In The Eyes (track 06), You'll Be Queen One Day (track 14), Black of Hair (track 18), You Win or You Die (track 19), Game of Thrones (track 21), When the Sun Rises in the West (track 25), The Night's Watch (track 27), Finale (track 29)

Best Used In: Any game where heroes stand against nearly impossible odds, or face off against challenges that would overwhelm any lesser man.  The music enhances epic drama and the feelings of grandeur and royalty.  The soundtrack is a must for any period game, but can be used by creative storytellers for practically any genre.

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