House of the Dragon brings back the original Game of Thrones theme music, but fans are divided

30 August 2022, 11:05 | Updated: 30 August 2022, 14:28

Milly Alcock plays a young Rhaenyra Targaryen in the HBO television series House of the Dragon
Milly Alcock plays a young Rhaenyra Targaryen in the HBO television series House of the Dragon. Picture: Getty/Alamy (HBO)

By Sophia Alexandra Hall

You’ll probably recognise the theme for HBO’s new Game of Thrones prequel, but not everyone’s happy about it...

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German composer Ramin Djawadi’s stirring main theme for the eight-season 2010s hit, Game of Thrones, is a cello line most fantasy-drama fans have embedded into their musical memory.

So, when HBO’s new prequel to the multi-Emmy award winning drama, House of the Dragon, opened with the same theme, fans were a little surprised to hear the iconic theme tune back for this new series.

House of the Dragon, which premiered earlier this month, is set around 200 years prior to the start of Game of Thrones, during the reign of the Targaryen dynasty and is based on author, George R.R. Martin’s book, Fire & Blood.

The title credits were purposefully left out of the first episode, so viewers only heard the familiar opening theme at the start of episode two, which premiered on Sunday.

The new credits are highly reminiscent of the original series, featuring three-dimensional models accompanied by Djawadi’s score, though eagle-eared listeners will however notice the iconic cello line has been transposed up from the original Game of Thrones key.

Read more: Game of Thrones soundtrack: everything to know about composer Ramin Djawadi’s fantasy score

The fans’ response

After the second episode of House of the Dragon premiered on Sunday evening in the United States, fans on Twitter and other social media platforms began sharing their views of the theme’s reusage.

At first, the take seemed to be that fans were disappointed with the choice, and many had been excited to hear what theme would define this new prequel series.

Despite some fans’ displeasure at the melodic mirroring, that hasn’t stopped the Internet jumping on the opportunity to make some musical memes out of the situation.

And some of these meme responses revealed that actually, some fans are delighted to hear the original Game of Thrones theme returning, even if it is just to satisfy their nostalgia for the original series.

House of the Dragon soundtrack

The only musical theme to be released so far from House of the Dragon by WaterTower Music, the in-house label for the WarnerMedia, is ‘The Prince That Was Promised’, a piano led theme heard in the first episode of the new prequel series.

As to what fans can expect in the coming episodes, Djawadi told Entertainment Weekly earlier this month: “We very much wanted to keep the DNA alive for House of the Dragon from the original show.

“We will hear themes that we remember from the original show, but because it's all new characters, this is 200 years before, there is a ton of new material I've written, a lot of new themes that we will hear.”

He continued, “What was important to me was to keep the general sound alive. The big sound of Game of Thrones, the primary instrument was always the cello, and we will definitely hear the cello again in the show.

“Just the way I stylistically write the show, I hope people will hear it and go, ‘Okay, I feel familiar. We’re back in Westeros.’ That was always the idea.”

House of the Dragon is available to stream on HBO Max and NOW.