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Why The Game of Thrones Theme Song is So Iconic and Good

Game of Thrones/HBO

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Game of Thrones ‘ theme song rules. 

I didn’t even watch the show, but when I hear this song, even I’m thinking, “Oh yeah time for some epic s***!” Ramin Djawadi is an awesome composer (obligatory Person of Interest shout out), and the Game of Thrones theme song is another excellent piece by him.

It follows a standard “epic music” formula to a T.

This isn’t a criticism. Something normally becomes standard because it works, after all, so there is nothing wrong with using patterns that have historically worked to assist you in crafting the mood you’re trying to set.

If you wanted to write a Christmas song, for example, you could throw in some jingle bells. We identify jingle bells with the season, so that’s an easy way to get the spirit of your music across (We purposely saved this article for after Christmas so you wouldn’t go insane suddenly hearing jingle bells in every single song). When it comes to scoring, a clear depiction of the tone you’re trying to set is key.

So how do you write an epic theme song like Game of Thrones? Let’s write one together!

Step 1: Pick three or four standard chords to use, normally starting on a minor chord and moving to major chords before returning to base.

I picked D minor, Bb Major, F Major, and C Major (or i, VI, III, and VII)

 

Step 2: Create an energetic riff outlining the first chord of whatever key your piece will be in, or just play the root of your chord in an energetic syncopated manner ala “He’s a Pirate” from Pirates of the Caribbean

 

Step 3: Write a melody that also outlines your chords, often with quick steps leading into your next chord to give the melody energy, and simply have your bass line play the root of each of your chords. Have a lowkey drum keeping the beat.

 

Step 4: Repeat your melody either an octave higher or by moving upwards to a new key and emphasize the drums.

 

BOOM you have an epic theme song. 

Of course, you can add other supporting melodies and instruments to make it sound even more epic!

 

On top of this basic formula, however, Game of Thrones’  theme does some excellent work to achieve its primary goal in setting the tone.

The decision to leave out brass instruments contributes to the solemness of the series, as brass instruments in pieces like these are often naturally heroic sounding. The chamber choir lends an air of old school medieval church times, giving the song a Godly presence. The mix up of the major chord in the beginning riff also prepares the viewer for unexpected twists in the upcoming narrative. This is excellent storytelling through music all around.

The way it builds on its initial riff (as the melody is basically just the riff at a slower pace) is also smart writing and a brilliant way to make the tune as memorable as possible.

Related: How the Strengths and Flaws of Lost Changed Television

These are the decisions that turn a piece from “generic epic” into “actually epic.” Care and thought matter in a score, and it’s what separates Djawadi from other composers while also allowing Game of Thrones’ theme song to stand out even amongst similar pieces.

The beating drums, the shifts up an octave or into a different key, the orchestration; all these facets contribute to the feel that you’re moving forward and into an epic battle, which is why we feel like something big is about to go down when Game of Thrones starts up.

Game of Thrones’ theme does a particularly great job of conveying that epic feeling. Now if only I had enjoyed the show as much as I do the music.

For other examples of epic songs that follow this kind of formula, check out the pieces below!

  • “He’s A Pirate” Pirates of the Caribbean – Klaus Badelt and Hans Zimmer
  • “Arrival to Earth” Transformers – Steve Jablonsky
  • “Iron Man 3” Iron Man 3 – Brian Tyler
  • “The Avengers” Avengers – Alan Silvestri
  • “Titans Spirit” Remember the Titans – Trevor Rabin
  • “Ben” National Treasure – Trevor Rabin
  • “The Orange Man” Unbreakable – James Newton Howard

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Editorials

Who Will Be The Next ‘Bachelorette’ from Peter Weber’s Season?

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The Bachelor - Who will be the Next Bachelorette?

Guest post: Erin Creedon (Mimosa Talk podcast Bachelor expert)

Peter Weber’s season of The Bachelor is coming to end (thank gosh, right?), which begs the most important question: Who will be the Bachelorette next season?

There have been many theories and suggestions, but let’s get one thing settled right away, if Victoria F. gets chosen, I will boycott the show. There I said it. I’m sure I’m not the only one thinking that either, I mean, she is clearly a manipulator and very toxic, but I digress, let’s get into the 5 frontrunners for next season’s leading role.

Hannah Anne

Depending on who wins this season, if anyone does considering many are speculating that Peter ends up alone, I think Hannah Anne has the best shot at being the Bachelorette. While some may argue that she is a little too young, I think she is sweet and confident and could make a great lead. She is ready for love and is willing to put herself out there to find it.

 

 

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Will Ranger Rick (my dad) give Pilot Pete the axe tonight? 💥🪓 ♥️

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Kelsey

If Hannah Anne does win Peter’s heart in the end, I think the next option would be Kelsey who was just sent packing during hometown week. As long as she stays away from champagne, I could definitely tolerate her as the Bachelorette. She does cry a little too much for my liking, but I think once the producers train her for the part, she could do it. She also does not shy away from drama, but instead feeds into it, and has a sad backstory, which Bachelor Nation loves! 

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Sparks are flying in Cleveland!

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Natasha

While she did not receive much air time this season, I would love to see Natasha as the lead. Not only is it time for another African American Bachelorette, I mean let’s be real Rachel Lindsay was the only one a few years ago, but Natasha is also over 30, mature, and knows exactly what she wants. She had some of the best facial reactions of the season and her candor and honesty is similar to Hannah B’s, which makes her a front-runner in my eyes.

Kelley

A very unlikely fan favorite this season was Kelley, the lawyer from Chicago, and she is one of my top picks for next season! Bachelor Nation was drawn to her because of her intelligence, sarcasm, and drama-free attitude. She was unlike any other contestant this season with her level-headedness (I don’t think we saw her shed one single tear, which is VERY impressive) and her emotional maturity. Kelley refused to dumb herself down for the show and Peter’s affections, staying true to herself the entire way through. She would be the ideal candidate because she is a career-driven woman ready to settle down with a man on the same level as her.

Hannah B

And finally, it may be a pipe dream, but I would love to see Hannah ‘The Beast’ Brown back for a second time around! It wouldn’t be the first time considering Nick Viall has been on about 3 different seasons of the show, but I think after last year, she deserves another shot at love. While I was skeptical at first, Hannah B has been one of my all-time favorite Bachelorette’s. She is blunt, confident, and has been around the block before so she is not messing around. I would love to see her again, partially because the girls this season were not that impressive, and I just want her to be happy! 

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Editorials

The Resident Review – Did Dr. Bell Take the Blame for the 3B Life Supplement Poisoning? (3×15)

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The Resident Last Shot Review

Another The Resident episode, another terrible Dr. Cain sighting.

He may have been put in his place by Logan Kim on the previous episode, but all of that seems to be in the past as Cain’s ego takes precedence over patient care and preparedness during the unveiling of the Cain Neurological Institute.

Getting your own hospital wing is a prestigious honor that is given to those who deserve it and comes with great responsibility, which Cain ignored to prioritize his donors.

This isn’t the first time Cain has gone into surgery and disregarded valid concerns from his staff and nurses.

The argument that someone “didn’t die” doesn’t negate that they could have. He should have listened to Nic and waited until they were ready to perform the surgery.

Nic’s point was valid — they perform incredibly risky procedures on a daily basis where the odds are stacked against them, and being prepared can make a life or death a difference. They owe that much to the patients.

There are so many issues with Cain’s character, but the most frustrating has to be how he belittles nurses and makes them feel less than.

Those are the people you want on your good side — they support you, help you, and lift you up — you don’t want to make an enemy of them. Also, it’s hilarious that he truly believes that Nic, who chose a profession that barely gives her any recognition, would care about having her name on a building. Cain, not everyone is as selfish as you are.

But enough about Cain, let’s focus on Dr. Bell’s glow-up because it is one of the best on television.

As Bell grappled with the realization that his 3B Life supplements may have been poisoning and killing people, Pravesh questioned what it would take for Bell to revert back to his old ways to save himself.

While it seemed like Pravesh was still thinking of the Bell from back in the day, it was a fair question considering some people never change.

But Bell did.

And he proved that he’s above his old ways when he was presented with the opportunity to throw his business partner under the bus and refused.

Bell backed Andrea early on when the situation was first brought up and he was ready to taint his name if the product turned out to be dangerous to consumers because “it was his responsibility.”

Every time I watch The Resident, I think how the writers are to have been able to transform Bell’s character from the villain to a champion of the people who wants to be better and do better.

The conclusion of the 3B Life story-arc was necessary as it was pointless to drag it out any longer, and it was surprising that there was no foul play involved with their products. We all considered that Cain was somehow involved, didn’t we?

Instead, Conrad and Pravesh determined in the knick-of-time that the illnesses and deaths were related to a pesticide shipped on clothing from a boutique advertised on the same shopping network.

The storyline almost makes you want to stop online shopping… almost.

Conrad seems to have a knack at getting to the bottom of unsolvable cases and “seeing what others don’t,” a quality that Bell has learned to admire instead of chastise. See, isn’t it so nice when everyone works together on the same team?

Bell’s on such a positive trajectory, he’s about to become the new Dr. Oz after being offered an opportunity to take over the Dr. Pierce Show following his retirement.

While Bell never imagined a life outside of the OR and Chastain, he’s clearly been very flexible as to his career moves. He’s also a natural on TV and not one to shy away from the spotlight.

A gig like this could bring much-needed exposure to Chastain and the good work they’re doing. But, it also struck me when Pierce told Bell he could “restructure” the show in a way he wanted to that Bell could use this platform to expose Red Rock for the greedy, money-over-patients company that it is.

Bell said he’d think about accepting the gig, and I think he just might after he got deeply personal with Conrad and acknowledged his past for the first time.

He admitted that he always wanted to be as respected as his father, a man that people trusted, and now, he was working towards that. Being in public in front of thousands of people who trust and respect him could be the next step that he needs to take.

It was an enlightening moment as we’ve never heard Bell speak so fondly of his father before, and it gave us a deeper look at who Bell is when he’s not a surgeon.

Torres is an exciting addition to Chastain, but will his romance with Mina bloom?

Mina pursued him and suggested a date after coming to terms with AJ and Andrea’s romance.

AJ gave Torres his blessing after shutting down any notion that he and Mina were more than friends and allowed them to have some alone time.

And while it’s sweet that these two are so supportive of each other’s love lives, they’re very clearly just avoiding the inevitable; those feelings are bound to bubble up.

Things between AJ and Andrea and Mina and Torres could be fine, but they won’t be “it” and sooner or later, they’ll have to acknowledge those feelings.

Even Torres saw the sparks that we see with Mina and AJ.

The Resident is taking a brief hiatus before returning in March with the episode we’ve all been waiting for — the Conic proposal!

From the promo, it looks like Conrad isn’t the only one ready to pop the question as Nic also suggests getting engaged. But I have to ask if any of my Gilmore Girls fans saw the nod to the series with the gazebo in the background. It could just be a coincidence, but I’m not one that believes in them.

I’m ready for a wedding, y’all. I have my dress picked out and everything.

Other Noteworthy Moments from Chastain 

  • Annie is a recurring character that offers some relief from the new-case-of-the-week formula of the series. Not only did she survive the explosion, but she also beat cancer and now, so did her foster daughter, Lucy. Chastain has been good to Annie. The scene with Lucy singing while getting her brain tumor removed gave me chills.
  • At first, the case-of-the-week featuring two bickering roommates that were both waiting for a heart transplant didn’t seem like it would give you the fuzzy’s, but The Resident knows how to pull one over on you to make you feel the feels and really connect with the patients even if for a little while. Each patient leaves a lasting impression on audiences in a similar way they do on doctor’s. If you’re familiar with the show, you knew one of them would die and the other would donate the heart, but it was still heartbreaking when it happened. Though, shouldn’t there be a button that warns them when a heart recipient has a stroke?
  • I found it odd that Bell was promoting the supplements when on the previous episode when they were potentially making people sick. I guess they tried to explain it by saying Andrea had the lab tested, but it was still incredibly risky knowing that they might have to issue a recall. If Conrad hadn’t figured it out, Bell would have made himself look incredibly stupid.

This is the first time The Resident ended on a high note — no cliffhanger, not dramatic death, no emotional moment. The end saw three friends, Nic, Conrad, and Pravesh, gathering to eat pizza and laugh together after a day of saving lives.

It’s a nice change of pace to remind us that not every day is extremely difficult or filled with suffering. And sometimes, you just have to embrace the small moments.

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Katy Keene

Pepper Smith on ‘Katy Keene’ Draws Inspiration from Faux Heiress Anna Delvey

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Katy Keene's Pepper Smith inspired by Anna Delvey

If you found yourself watching the second episode of Katy Keene and wondering why Pepper’s characters seemed so familiar, it’s because she seems to be The CW’s take on Anna Delvey, a real-life faux heiress that swindled the one-percent and intrigued the masses for several months before getting caught in one of the most fascinating scandal’s in history. 

To back it up a little bit, Pepper Smith, played by Julia Chan, is Katy Keene’s New York City friend. 

She’s introduced in the pilot as a socialite and gossip columnist who knows all the right people, can get into the right places, and lives lavishly bouncing from hotel to hotel while rocking the hottest designer brands and some wicked glasses. (Pepper has them too!)

However, the cracks begin to appear by the second episode as it’s revealed Pepper is in some financial trouble. 

It isn’t even minor financial trouble – homegirl owes a whopping $60,000 to the hotel that she can’t pay off because, as it turns out, she’s not as rich as she’s led people to believe. 

In fact, she cannot even afford a stay anywhere and refuses to come clean to her friends about her real identity. 

Instead, she retreats to a deteriorating warehouse space that she just tricked an investor into funding in hopes of helping her realize her vision of opening her idea of “Andy Warhol’s Factory,” or, a mecca for creatives and artists alike to gather, showcase, perform, and more. 

After blackmailing the real-estate agent to rent it out to her at a discounted price, Pepper is forced to shack up in the murky warehouse for the time being essentially becoming the squatter she was so worried in the first place. 

Upon getting to know Pepper’s character on a deeper level, I immediately made the connection to Delvey in the Katy Keene Season 1 Episode 2 review

For those unfamiliar with Delvey’s fascinating story, she was a German woman (real name Anna Sorokin), who posed as a wealthy heiress and fooled anyone that was anyone in New York. She lived a lavish lifestyle at the expense of others, defrauding friends, financial institutions, hotels, and more. 

Her story almost seems like it would be something out of a Riverdale spinoff, and yet, it’s completely true and seems to inspire, at least slightly (for now), the character of Pepper. 

Much like Delvey, who also wanted to open her dream arts club and attempted to secure a massive loan using fraudulent documents, Pepper meets with an investor and attempts to sell her dream to him, a moment that proves undoubtedly that Pepper can sell a lie to anyone as long as she believes in it. 

Pepper has moxie as she seems to be manipulating the hotel concierge and her lover, Didi, to cover for her, which can also be compared to Delvey’s female friends that funded her lavish trips and footed the bills. 

However, it’s unclear how much of Delvey has inspired Pepper, or if her swan song will be anything like Delvey’s, whose lies caught up with her after 10 months and landed her on trial where the jury in Manhattan found her guilty of second-degree grand larceny, theft of services and one count of first-degree attempted grand larceny. She was sentenced to 4 to 12 years imprisonment. 

For Peppe’s sake, she better hope her character is only “loosely” based on Delvey, but for now, she remains one of the most enticing parts of the series in contrast to doe-eyed Katy Keene and her optimistic tribe of dreamers taking on the Big Apple. 

As I mentioned before, Delvey’s story was so fascinating and unbelievable, plenty of people, including Shonda Rhimes, has expressed interest in telling her story. The CW may the first to draw its inspiration from the pathological liar, but it isn’t the last.

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