Symphony No.1 in Ab major Opus 55 (3) Edward Elgar Download 'Symphony No.1 in Ab major Opus 55 (3)' on iTunes
Ramin Djawadi's music for the epic fantasy series Game Of Thrones is integral to the whole show. Huge percussion, sweeping strings and bombastic themes make it a truly exhilarating listen - here's our guide to the best tracks from the first two seasons, which ones you should be downloading, and some pictures of the brand new third season.
What better place to start? Ramin Djawadi shows himself to be capable of atmospheric and anthemic melodies, and this is fast becoming an iconic soundtrack theme. Undoubtedly this is one of the most important TV soundtracks of recent years, and this is the piece that kicks it off.
Taken from early on in the first season of Game Of Thrones, this moody piece sets a dark tone for the remainder of the action… until some of Djawadi's trademark crashing percussion reminds us just how exciting it can be.
A solo violin opens this surprisingly tender work before it expands into a rather impressive piece for string orchestra.
Using eastern-sounding instrumentation and pitch-sliding strings, there's a definite otherworldly quality at work here. It's not an immediately romantic theme, but then nothing is quite as it seems in this show…
Djawadi's thin and subtle instrumentation here as balanced by a frosty-sounding cello. It's all about the atmosphere - as the on-screen drama gets darker and colder, so does the music.
With a title like that you can obviously expect some rather violent music. Once it kicks in with shrieking flute those fantastic galloping drums, you can see why Djawadi got the job.
One of the show's main characters, Jon Snow (no relation to the newsreader, we're assured), is given his own theme. It's actually a rather close musical relative of the show's main theme, too.
Another appearance of the main title theme from the first season of Game Of Thrones. Still epic.
Violence and general dismemberment take up quite a large amount of the plot in Game Of Thrones. It begs the question, how do you write music for someone to be killed to? The answer is like this.
Taking its name from the title of one of the original Game Of Thrones books, this is one of the longer pieces from the first season. Those crashing drums are limited to background rumble, but they gradually grow in intensity throughout.
A typically dramatic series of percussion smashes kicks this piece, and indeed the second season, off nicely. However, there's a more reflective middle section that suggests the drama in this series is even more complex than the first.
Another frosty-sounding excerpt, this begins with the barest of violin solos.
This is where the second season's soundtrack starts to become far darker than the first. Queasy-sounding chords in the strings and brass battle with that heavy percussion throughout.
This reflective courtship theme (it accompanies a scene with characters Robb Stark and Talisa Maegyr) prefigures a huge plot point in the second series, so its romance is intriguingly subdued.
Watch out for the bass drones towards the end of this one - the creeping menace is tangible.
Far from a rousing drinking song, the sombre mood of the second season continues wit screeching-high violins, before calming nicely and showing how good Djawadi is at writing for strings.
Unlike the previous track, this one does exactly what it says on the tin. It's brief, clattering and bombastic - all the things that you'd expect from a thunderous battle. Here are stars Sean Bean and Peter Dinklage, sitting rather than standing.
Subtly referring to the circulatory main theme, but with a nice dab of flute over the top, the mother in question is Daenerys Targaryen, played by British actress Emilia Clarke.
This is real a oddity from the second season. It's written by series composer Ramin Djawadi and the author of the original novels, George R. R. Martin, but it's performed by Matt Berninger of the famously less-than-chirpy indie band The National.
Ending the soundtrack to the second series with confusion and murkiness, the devilish bassline in the lower strings is the thing to watch out for here. And it ends on a huge musical question mark, too - presumably we'll have to explore the third season soundtrack for answers. Oh, and that's Diana Rigg of The Avengers in the pic.