#writing #music: Ramin Djawadi

Soundtrack_Season_1Bo and Blondie return as I finish up the dishes. Both have sticks and bits of pink frosting about their faces. Pink frosting + sticks = cake pops.

The boys catch this in .000025 seconds. “ICE CREAM ICE CREAM!” Bash shrieks. (Hush, certain terms are not worth arguing.) “One for me? Have it? One for me?” Biff hops in place as Bo pulls two slightly mashed cake pops out of one paper bag. Blondie hands me another bag–awfully hard for a cake pop…

Music? Music I get to own?

“I got you season 1 because it had Sean Bean on the cover,” Bo says as the boys scale his lap while holding their cake pops like trophies into the air.

“Daddy said it’s for your writing.” Blondie hugs me, and whispers: “I’m going to play legos now. Don’t tell the boys.” Walk walk door-slam lock-click.

Honestly, 6 going on 16…


I ripped off the plastic and stuck it in. The quest for Meredydd’s theme has not been easy; much of my music library was already committed to other stories, a lament I must have shared so often that Bo felt the need to surprise me with this. I don’t watch television or movies, so I have no idea what’s currently “good.” I needed something old, of period. It couldn’t just be fifes and mandolins, but some orchestrations get ridiculously bombastic or phony-sounding. It had to have a light sense–Mer’s only a New Adult, after all–yet there needed to be…something gutteral about it. A swift movement. Dominating. Not to be intimidated.

I played the first track: Game of Thrones’ main theme.

YES! The cello was the perfect representation of one not to be daunted, one whose movement was echoed by the world, not vice versa. The drums pound like horses, like rain–yes, all this, want, me, yes, now.

BUT. Hmmm.

No, this couldn’t be it, not by itself.


Mer isn’t ALWAYS like this. She thinks herself strong and powerful, but that’s just her pride talking. She feels that the only thing she’s got claim to in life is the blood feud of her mother’s family. She’s a middler with no love for her family or home. She has to rise up in memory of her mother’s memory. She has to claim blood by her own hands.

She has to be a killer. And what kid can will themselves ready for this?

Mer has to face her pride and all the fears meddled with it. That’s a tremulous time. No drums there, no bad-ass cello. Something softer, more thoughtful…

Dammit, but I really like the theme!

So I continued through the seasons, noting which tracks fit the land of Idana and/or my Shield Maidens. One of the great blessings of being a hermit is that I’ve never watched a frame of Game of Thrones, and therefore had no scenes/characters from the show to butt their way into my imagination as I listened.

After hours of exploring, I found young Mer’s theme in season 3’s “For the Realm”:

Such a gentle guitar, yet through its echo of the main theme, I could still sense the old strength there. I set this guitar before the main theme, and felt Mer’s character grow as the music changed. Perhaps you’ll feel the transformation, too, when you listen. All I know is that I’ve finally found Mer’s theme. Her uncertainties, boastfulness, strength, and valor all come together for me here. About time.

Click here for more on Ramin Djawadi.

Click here for more on Meredydd and Middler’s Pride. 

35 thoughts on “#writing #music: Ramin Djawadi

  1. Ooo… I LOVE this:)). I can’t get on with the TV series OR the books, sadly. But I LOVE the music – and it didn’t occur to me that I could get hold of the soundtrack – but you’re right – it’s brilliant music to write to. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh that I could write to music…sadly I cannot, although if being honest surreal opera (mustn’t be sung in English as that would divert my train of thought) has, in the past helped. Nice misty surreal touch to your musings young Ms Lee.

    Liked by 1 person

    • (curtsies) Thank you kindly, Time Traveler. πŸ™‚ I agree that when lyrics can make for very, very tricky writing. I have a few artists–like Peter Gabriel, I wrote about that one–that can sing and I can still write, but words of others do tend to distract. Opera, though….hmm. I don’t think I’ve ever tried to write to opera. I just might try that sometime! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Love-love-love this! Such a cute intro., by the way, and Sean Bean – what a babe, although he was so damn grungy in GOT, as well as everyone else, ha ha ha!

    For a while I was addicted to watching “Game of Thrones”, then I became far too consumed with watching the recap series “Gay of Thrones” (yes, you might have seen those posts – I’m not sure. My hilarious friend Jonathan Van Ness won tv industry awards for his ribald interpretation of the show!

    Anyway, I can’t listen to the music during writing only because even though I’m often hermitic, I saw the show. Oh boy. Hence, I’d be distracted by the numerous, super-gruesome scenes clamouring in my brain if I listened to the music during writing. I commend you for selecting it! You are uber-cool – I never know what to expect from you. :))))

    I’d be curious to read your take on Transcenders (they composed the theme to “Madam Secretary”, etc. ) and I’d even more curious about your impressions of composer Jeff Beal (“Medium” theme & much more).

    Jeff Beal




    but please, no pressure to do either! I figured I’d put it out there….

    Madam Dy

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oooooo! More music! Why thank you, Madam Dy, I’ll check’em out, and that Gay of Thrones, too–that sounds far too amusing NOT to see sometime with Bo when the kids are asleep. πŸ™‚
      I have adored Sean Bean ever since his bad-ass villainy in Golden Eye. Why do people keep killing him in movies? Is he just THAT good at dying?! Yes, I sobbed when he died in Fellowship of the Ring, but he should be allowed to live once in a while! Ah, well, poor soul. Time to fill myself with more coffee and bring m’self back to life. πŸ™‚ xxxx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The eloquence of your posts often leaves me in awe of your gift, Jean, unsure about what I could possibly have to say. As I reflected about the importance of music as an inspiration for your creative writing, and the elegant way you linked these particular pieces to the dimensions of your character, I was intrigued. It helped me realize something about my own writing, reflected in a reply I sent in response to a comment on my blog this morning. “This morning, as I was reflecting about an eloquent post on another blog about music as a source of inspiration, I realized that my source of inspiration comes from the sights, sounds, and scents of nature. Music often takes me to another’s world. Nature helps me be in touch with my own heart.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! I enjoyed your poem. That connection we hold with language can be so tenuous. We just don’t always know how to reach into ourselves, blinded by life and all it asks. It reminds me now of the Diana Wynne Jones’ story ENCHANTED GLASS. We can’t always see ourselves without aid: we need that Lens. It sounds like you’ve found yours, and I mine. πŸ™‚

      And thank you dearly for the compliment. I sure don’t feel eloquent these days, what with all the arguments I’ve had with almost-4-year-olds over mud, balloons, and cheese. I deeply appreciate your support and friendship! xxx


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  6. The Game of Thrones soundtracks are ones I write to, as well, though I have watched the series so can find it a little distracting at times – mainly when I can fit the music to a particular scene. Happy writing. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve seen the LOTR films so many times that I can still place most pieces of music on the soundtracks to the particular scenes they’re used in! That’s not helpful when you’re trying to write!

        Liked by 1 person

      • No kidding! My kids are experts on that, too–if I put on the soundtrack to THE LEGO MOVIE, they know exactly when to say, “Good Morning, City!” or “Believe. I know it sounds like a cat poster, but it’s true…” πŸ™‚


  7. I loved reading all of the Game of Thrones books, but part of the hypnotic nature of Game of Thrones is the music. You picked a good one. A few other of my favs: Yo Yo Ma’s badass cello on “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” and Ennio Morricone’s “The Mission.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, both of those are excellent as well! Something about the cello…such a sucker for it. πŸ™‚ And Ennio Morricone is the true hero of “The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly”–the final fifteen minutes of the film always cause me to break out in a sweat. Yes, the acting’s great, but it’s the eternal rise of tension through the music, the choir, the bells, all of it builds and builds to the point you’re screaming at the screen to “SHOOT HIM!” I do this every damn time. And nope, not embarrassed at all. πŸ™‚


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