House Of The Dragon's Score Highlights What Separates The Series From Game Of Thrones

Music is one of the most powerful elements of any form of media. "I'll Be There For You" by The Rembrandts became an infectious classic thanks to its usage as the theme song for "Friends," and the symphonic frenzy of "The Simpsons" theme song is recognizable from the first notes. Music helps indicate the mood of a specific scene to an audience, which makes the scorework of a composer absolutely crucial.

Grammy nominated composer Ramin Djawadi is responsible for countless memorable scores, but his work on "Game of Thrones" is without a doubt his most recognizable. Even hearing just a few bars of "The Rains Of Castamere" is likely to transport a person back to where they were just before the events of the Red Wedding, and that's all due to Djawadi's breathtaking score. Djawadi was asked to return for the "Game of Thrones" spin-off series "House of the Dragon," a no-brainer decision given his relationship with the overall source material.

However, many were confused when the series' opened with an all-too familiar theme song, as the new series utilizes the same theme from "Game of Thrones." Whether or not this was a good decision is purely subjective, but thanks to an interview with The AV Club, we know for sure that this choice was by design. "We decided to stick with that theme because Game Of Thrones had been off air for three years, and it was decided that we really wanted to tie the shows together," Djawadi said. "Because even though it's all-new characters and it's set hundreds of years before, we felt like it needed that stamp to say 'This is Game Of Thrones; — it's in a different time, but it's Game Of Thrones.'"

The music tells the story

Djawadi says the opening theme ties the two series' together, and that in addition to the new pieces written for the first episode, there are elements of the King's Landing theme and the dragon theme from "Game of Thrones" incorporated throughout. "It's very much calling back to the known themes to set the tone again, but then we depart, and as we get to know all the characters, there are new themes." He also wrote a ton of new music for "House of the Dragon," allowing the music to help differentiate the show as more than just a "Game of Thrones" spin-off.

Djawadi explains that in "Game of Thrones," there were different themes for each family and every so often, a major character, like Arya Stark, would get a theme all their own. "But here, right away, we're dealing with a bunch of Targaryens within the family," he explains. "The dragon theme was kind of the overarching Targaryen theme, but then we immediately zoomed in on all the different characters: there's Rhaenyra's theme, Daemon's theme, Viserys' theme." By crafting different themes for each major player in the family, the individual characters are given the same gravity and importance reserved for entire family trees in "Game of Thrones." 

As Djawadi put it, "There's a bunch of themes that are in the family, so I guess zooming in closer is another way to look at it."