Tag Archives: Ramin Djawadi




Would you think any less of me if I said to you, I had not seen one single episode of GAME OF THRONES, (stunned silence)? Yes, it is true I admit it I have never sat through and entire episode of GAME OF THRONES (Right there you go I said it) What, why? I hear you all screaming, well because I haven’t that’s all. I have seen bits and pieces here there and everywhere, I think I did see a near complete episode on a rainy day in Spain, And that my friends is about it, the rest of my G.O.T. viewing experience has as I say been limited to snippets and trailers. But it has not stopped me appreciating and loving the scores that have been written for it. The many themes for various characters (who I have not a clue are). But not knowing the series has not stopped me from loving the superb music that was created to support its many episodes. Is it possible to appreciate music or to be more precise appreciate film music without actually seeing the movie or the TV series? Umm YES it is, I did see GAME OF THRONES the theme performed in concert once, I hope that makes up for not seeing the series, but as a soundtrack collector and I suppose a reviewer I could not possibly see every movie who’s scores I review so I look at them from a different angle, listen to them and if I have not seen the movie I appreciate and evaluate them as just music, which works for me and hopefully has also worked for people who read my work. The hype for the final season of G.O.T. was incredible and I must admit I felt as if I had seen the series just because of the hype created by the TV channels that aired it. And when the final episode hit the screens a few days ago it made national headlines in the UK which I think is probably a good thing seeing how dull and miserable the actual news is nowadays. So the composer is always a good place to start and in this case yes I had heard of Ramin Djawadi before he became a household name via G.O.T. IRON MAN, for example and also BLADE-TRINITY, which he worked on and there are a number of scores that I can mention that are of great interest and quality that he worked whilst scoring GAME OF THRONES for example WESTWORLD the TV series and the wonderfully atmospheric FRIGHT NIGHT reboot as well as RED DAWN, CLASH OF THE TITANS etc all of which have been overshadowed by his connection with G.O.T. He also composed the scores for movies such as DRACULA UNTOLD, WAR CRAFT, PACIFIC RIM and more recently THE GREAT WALL, SLENDER MAN and eight episodes of the TV series of Tom Clancy’s JACK RYAN.




So an in demand composer he certainly is, Djawadi also took GAME OF THRONES on the road as it were and was responsible for staging live concerts of the monumental music to the delight of audiences. Ramin Djawadi was born in Germany his Mother being German and his Father Iranian. He studied and graduated from Berklee College of Music and served as an apprentice with Hans Zimmer’s Remote-Control Productions where he began to learn the basics of writing music for film and becoming an assistant for composer Klaus Badelt.

He worked alongside Zimmer and Badlet performing arrangements and carrying out orchestrations and providing projects with additional music when it was required. His career as a composer in his own right began when he was asked to score the television series PRISON BREAK, Since, then he has worked on motion pictures, TV series and video game scores. So when you think of it G.O.T. is just the tip of his musical iceberg as it were, but we do find this in film music a composer may be working away on shorts and low budget affairs and then he gets a movie or TV series that is a mega hit and suddenly he is the composer of that and that only, but we know as film music collectors this is not the case ,is it? So back to, what was it called again? GAME OF THRONES that’s it. As I said the music, I think is superb and the latest compilation release of music from season 8, is no exception, of course it opens with the now familiar rolling and powerfully melodic theme which for me is always far to short. As this is the last season the release contains so much music, 32 cues of driving, dark, romantic and highly compelling music.



The epic and commanding sound that is G.O.T. is made up of driving strings, booming and crashing percussion, brass flourishes, wistful woodwinds and some mesmerizingly haunting and rich themeatic material. But you know that already? I do not think that music from a TV series has actualy been as powerful as what we have heard within G.O.T. and I am certain this is not the last we shall see of certain characters as the series producers have already hinted there will be spin offs, also I do think that this is not the last G.O.T. compilation we will see, as I am sure there are numerous tracks that have not been included along the way, so maybe GAME OF THRONES the outtake music album. Who knows (HBO do). So the album for season 8, is possibly the best collection of music from all of the seasons, this is a collection of great music that one can listen to from start to finish and not be tempted to skip a track here and there, because each track is brilliant and leaves you wanting more and anticipating what is next. It contains a fully instrumental version of JENNY OF OLDSTONES which is performed on cello, and the cue BATTLE FOR THE SKIES is action, drama and power personified, via the composers use of growling brass swirling strings and crashing percussive elements all of which combine to create a grandiose and fearsome sounding piece that all action driven still maintains a level of thematic content throughout. Of course, synthetic sounds are present but Djawadi fuses these seamlessly with symphonic colours and textures to fashion an ominously luscious and darkly sublime sound, never easing off the tension and at times creating surging and romantic interludes.

Like the series the music has to it a cliff-hanger and tense persona for the majority of the albums running time, but for me it is the composers use of instruments such as cello, solo violin and voices and the brass and string sections that gives this heart, and a deep emotional content. The familiar rolling and lumbering G.O.T. theme being ushered in on occasion in varying arrangements, and at times being almost unfamiliar because of the composer’s masterful re-workings. One to buy, yes, it is…





THE GREAT WALL is set a thousand years ago, or so we are led to believe, and the events that unfold are obviously true, ummm, well let’s forget about the movie and skip to the score, or at least let’s just say the movie has done reasonably well at the box office and its essentially a great piece of adventure and escapism produced by American and Chinese filmmakers and starring Matt Damon. The music was originally destined to be provided by the great James Horner, but because of the sad events which are all aware of this was not possible. Music is by flavour of the month composer, Ramin Djawadi, of course he has made a name for himself scoring that popular TV series GAME OF THRONES plus a few other movies along the way, that include PACIFIC RIM, CLASH OF THE TITANS, DRACULA UNTOLD and FRIGHT NIGHT to name a handful. THE GREAT WALL is to be fair a good action score, in fact it is pretty much wall to wall action as far as the score goes. Its brassy, percussive and contains the odd little respite or interlude where we are treated to little glimpses of melodies which are of a more forgiving and lilting nature. The score opens with NAMELESS ORDER, which is introduced by choir which is childlike in its performance and overall sound, this quiet and quite calming opening soon builds into something that is more powerful and action orientated, percussive elements underline driving strings, whilst the choral performance continues but becomes louder and more pronounced, strings add their weight to the proceedings giving the piece a more urgent persona that becomes rich and almost luxurious. Orchestra takes on the theme created by the choir and this is expanded upon and developed, finally as the cue reaches its end the choir returns and once again becomes the mainstay of the piece. The next cue is the PROLOGUE which is the scores secondary theme, this is action through and through, the composer creating a driving and unrelenting composition, which relies once again on percussion, strings and horns to purvey a sense of urgency and power. Track three WHAT A WALL melds into track two or so it seems when listening to the score, again action led with brass and strings being given a thundering and highly rhythmic support by the percussion. The themes that the composer has fashioned for this movie are hard hitting but at the same time are relatively simply and straight forward, in many ways this is a return to the style of film scoring that we know and love from the 70’s through to the late 80’s where soundtracks still contained themes that one could hear developing and growing throughout the score. The film is essentially a bit of fun, but it’s a bit of high octane sometimes violent imagery, which does not take a lot of concentration to view. The score too is pretty down to earth and it does what it is supposed to, it underlines the action, enhances the lighter moments and overall works as a film score and also as music to listen to without any of the images. Well worth checking out.



When you think of composer Ramin Djawadi GAME OF THRONES automatically comes to mind, probably not because it is his best score or most outstanding work but simply because it has had so much exposure. Plus, the music is pretty good too. Djawadi has certainly earned his stripes in the film music world and over the past decade or so has written numerous scores for a great variety of motion pictures and television projects. DRACULA UNTOLD, CLASH OF THE TITANS, IRON MAN, PRISON BREAK, PERSON OF INTEREST, PACIFIC RIM, MR BROOKS and also WARCRAFT have all benefitted greatly from his atmospheric, driving and attractive soundtracks. The composer has the ability to fuse symphonic with synthetic sounds seamlessly and via the two musical mediums creates and invents highly emotional, inspiring and dramatically passionate sounding scores. WARCRAFT is one of his recent assignments and when it was announced he would score the movie I think many of us were quietly confident that he would produce something that was outstanding and powerful. WAR CRAFT:THE BEGINNING is an action, fantasy adventure directed by Duncan Jones who’s other movies of interest are SOURCE CODE and MOON. The story is, as far as fantasy stories go, fairly general. On one side we have, the Horde, which is basically a collection of various Orc clans who realize that their world or home is literally falling apart around them, they set out to search for a new abode and fix their evil gaze upon the world of AZEROTH which is a world inhabited by humans, a battle of wills and for survival ensues, the Orcs being assisted by an all-powerful and virulently evil magical force which they call the FEL, but as the struggle for existence and domination begins and grows in intensity the FEL begins to corrupt both Orcs and Humans, thus both sides must decide to continue fighting each other or join and fight the evil force of the FEL. Djawadi’s score is supremely suitable for the movie as it is for 90 percent of its 2-hour duration all action, the composer matching each blow and battle with his powerhouse compositions and underlining each scene wonderfully with his extremely high octane music. But, and there is always a but in film music, the composer also serves up some beautifully crafted melodies that tantalise and engulf the listener and also an even more ample amount of up-beat and infectious sounding stabs and beats which punctuate and further consolidate Djawadi’s epic sounding work. It will be impossible for you not to be attracted to this score, there is so much within it that can be deemed as stand out cues or compositions that are above standard in the contemporary world of film music. The composer providing us with wholesome and well-structured thematic material, in other words real themes that begin develop and also linger in your subconscious and make a lasting impression. Brass, strings and a host of percussive elements combine with an unsettling chanting choir at times to create some real exciting and edge of the seat material.

I suppose one could say that this is CONAN meets THE LORD OF THE RINGS, because it has the grand operatic textures and rawness of Poledouris’s CONAN and also contains the more intimate and homely atmospherics of THE LORD OF THE RINGS. The cue TWO WORLDS COLLIDING is an excellent cue to listen too if you were considering buying this score, driving strings, brass punctuations, chanting choir and rhythmic and booming percussion combine to create a musical tour de force that is literally relentless, forebodingly apprehensive and unstoppable. Certainly one to add to your collection.