I know I’m extremely far behind but I just finished Game Of Thrones: Season 2 and it was a marvelous season indeed. This franchise has become somewhat of an iconic symbol for HBO now and, while the books aren’t finished, HBO is doing a good job of keeping this show at a fast pace. George R. R. Martin said he plans to have the last book done before the show gets caught up, but the man is old and, therefore, gave HBO the ending to the series in case something unfortunate happens to him. Regardless, Season 2 was an absolutely astounding piece of work that kept my eyes glued to the screen as I watched the Lanisters and the Starks at war. Although it still amazes me that they managed to get the entire second book into ten episodes. It seems like recently they have made a plan to divide the books roughly in half, so this series seems like it is going to be around for a very long time.
The composer, Ramin Djawadi, returned for a second try at his score, and developed the themes from the first season. For the past four years, with the exception of Pacific Rim, Djawadi has worked on nothing but Game Of Thrones, so in a sense I have unwillingly associated this sound with Djawadi and that’s it. Pacific Rim was a very nice change and a good distraction from this sound to hear something completely different from the composer. Still, it seems that many will one day consider Game Of Thrones to be Djawadi’s crowning achievement.
This would not be entirely unsupportive, for the score he has created for the second season is undoubtedly an impressive effort. The “Main Titles” are the same as every other season, so no need to go into more detail. “The Throne Is Mine” is a great example of a pounding action cue that gives the soundtrack a good kick-start. Like the main titles, this score is very percussion-based, especially the action material.
“Don’t Die With A Clean Sword” is one of the best action cues and presents a good example of percussion-based sequences. The rhythm is very effective and catchy to keep a good intense interest. “Pay The Iron Price” is a good action cue that builds nicely. “Wildfire is another great action cue, and one that stood out the most for this score. The buildup to the chasing sequence music is truly spectacular and presents a good amount of tense emotion to the show.
One surprising feature of this score, however, is the emotional cues, which really do speak for itself and stand out quite nicely, even with the show. “I Will Keep You Safe” is a beautiful cello solo that originally was what the show was known for. This is a beautiful scene and really does give us a connection to Tirion. “Winterfell” is a beautiful string cue that sounds beautiful on camera. This is a development of a theme from the first series and it sounds better than ever here. The octaves work tremendously well.
Djawadi’s second effort is astounding and truly shows an amazing development of his talents from the first season. However, just like the first soundtrack, the album is just too long. A lot of these cues shouldn’t be in the soundtrack and therefore it crates a somewhat boring atmosphere after a while. Still, that doesn’t mean it is bad music, and it works with the TV series as well as a fantasy score possibly could for this incredible show.
Music As Written For The TV Series: 5/5
Music As Heard On The Album: 4/5