Follow TV Tropes


Leitmotif / Game of Thrones

Go To


All the major houses have one of these:

  • The melancholy Stark theme is the most frequently heard, playing in the pieces "Goodbye Brother," "Winter is Coming," "Jon's Honor", and "King of the North."
    • During "What Is Dead May Never Die", it gradually shifts into the Greyjoy theme during Theon's Face–Heel Turn.
    • Speaking of Theon, the powerfully dissonant and somber "Pay The Iron Price" plays during significant moments throughout his Face–Heel Turn that serve to highlight his gradual fall from honor and grace. A heroic reprisal plays when he decides to save Sansa from Ramsay.
      • “Pay the Iron Price” winds up being a leitmotif not for a character, but an event. It plays over Theon beheading Ser Rodrick, Robb beheading Lord Karstark, And a variant mixed with the Night’s Watch theme plays over Jon beheading Janos Slynt.
  • The Lannisters have "The Rains of Castamere" and its variations, which is played whenever a Lannister does something particularly amazing or nefarious, such as Cersei threatening Littlefinger, Tyrion blackmailing Lancel, Tywin executing his men in Harrenhal following Ser Amory's assassination, Tywin's cavalry crushing Stannis' force, and Jaime saving Brienne from the bear pit. It usually manifests as dark, ominous background score but crosses over to an in-universe lietmotif when Tyrion whistles a more sing-song version in "The North Remembers" and Bronn does a rousing rendition in "Blackwater." Cersei even explains the song's history and meaning in "Second Sons," and eventually the song gives its name to a Wham Episode in which it serves as both a meta and in-universe signal that something is definitely not right just before a massacre. It also plays at the end of Tyrion's trial, when he demands a trial by combat. And finally, for irony points it plays when Tyrion kills Tywin and again when Cersei is crowned queen and sits on the Iron Throne, signaling the now inevitable and final collapse of the Lannisters. Its final iteration is slow and tragic as Tyrion discovers the bodies of Jaime and Cersei who were unable to escape the Red Keep.
  • Advertisement:
  • Cersei gets her own theme starting in season six, a "Psycho" Strings piece that pops up whenever she does something particularly villainous. It first appears as part of "Light of the Seven", and returns in "Hear Me Roar", "The Long Farewell", and "No One Walks Away from Me".
  • The Baratheons have three themes:
    • The kingly one, used mostly for Robert and Joffrey, is a bombastic fanfare befitting royalty, first heard in "The King's Arrival" and reprised in "You Win Or You Die" (with elements of "The Rains of Castamere"), "The Throne Is Mine," and "Wildfire". "First Of His Name" contains a Dark Reprise of it that plays when Joffery dies.
    • The second theme is most frequently used for Robert's biological children, as in "Black Of Hair," "Bird Without Feathers," "Await The King's Justice," and "The Throne Is Mine."
    • The third theme plays for Stannis and is first heard in the second half of "Warrior of Light". Appropriately, it's a variation of Melisandre's/the Lord of Light's theme that contains part of the Baratheon theme.
  • Advertisement:
  • "Chaos Is A Ladder", Littlefinger's leitmotif, is a slow, creepy piano version of "Await The King's Justice" which rises up into a variation of "The Throne Is Mine."
  • The White Walkers also have their own, which can be heard in "North of the Wall" and "The Night's Watch", which takes the form of a slow and very insistent "Psycho" Strings piece that normally plays whenever they're attacking in force.
    • They also get a Dark Reprise of the show's main theme in "Three Blasts".
  • Daenerys has two distinct themes:
    • One is a powerful, mysterious-sounding melody with a distinctly Eastern feel reflecting her Valyrian roots, which can be heard in "Fire and Blood."
    • The other is more triumphant and often mixes with the main theme for her more glorious moments, such as Season 1's "Finale", "Mother of Dragons", and "The Iron Throne".
  • Jaqen H'ghar has a quiet, distinct tune which plays whenever he makes an appearance or performs an action affecting the plot. A broader, deeper version plays when Arya, Gendry, and Hot Pie escape in "The Prince of Winterfell".
    • As the series progresses, Arya's leitmotif becomes a mix between Jaqen's and the Starks, gradually shifting more toward the former.
  • Melisandre and the Lord of Light's theme can be heard in "Warrior of Light", while Stannis' comes from later in the track, when a grander, more percussive sound kicks in.
  • In Season 3, Davos gets his own theme with "The Night is Dark".
  • Ygritte has a slow, heavy, emotional theme that primarily features a low-pitched fiddle and gradually increases in intensity, either sounding uplifting or sad, depending on the scene. It plays whenever something happens to the romantic plot between her and Jon, such as when they climbed the wall together in season 3's "The Climb" or when Jon eventually burned her body in season 4's "The Children".
  • Fittingly, Oberyn gets a dark, enigmatic Spanish guitar track.
  • Euron gets a fittingly bombastic theme of his own, played with the Greyjoy theme as background music.
  • Jon and Daenerys receive their own Love Theme which can be heard in the songs "Dragonglass", "Gorgeous Beasts", "Against All Odds", and "See You For What You Are" as their relationship grows before being culminated with "Truth". It is a mix of their past leitmotifs with Drogo ("Love in the Eyes") and Ygritte ("You Know Nothing"). In season 8, it appears in "Flight of Dragons" during Jon and Daenerys' first Flight of Romance and in an unreleased track mixed together with the Dragon theme in "The Long Night". It swells in "Be with Me" as they share their Last Kiss, but it quickly fades when Jon fatally stabs Daenerys in the heart. It starts up again — but fractured — as Jon holds Daenerys in his arms and grieves.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: