Game of Thrones: My 14 Favorite Covers

Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO

You can’t tell it from the temperatures in Southern California, but winter is indeed here. The new season (or half-season, depending on your viewpoint) of Game of Thrones starts Sunday night and, I don’t know about you, but I am excited. To get in the mood for Sunday’s new episode, I’ve been listening to Ramin Djawadi’s music from the series. My all-time favorite musical moments tend to come within the episodes, but the Iranian-German composer has certainly created an iconic theme song as well—one that will probably end up on many people’s lists of greatest TV show theme songs of all time.

Turns out, there are a lot of crazy awesome covers of the Game of Thrones theme on YouTube. It’s a rabbit hole I’ve been down a few times this week and one that I’d like to invite you to experience with me right now.

We’ll start with an operatic cover by the Forte Tenors, sung in Valyrian. (Turn on CC if you’re not fluent and want the English translation.)

Here’s an all-cello cover (well, it starts out as an all-cello cover before turning a bit metal), by the Los Angeles-based cellist Tina Guo.

From one cello to many cellos(i)…and then, for some reason, singing.

How about a version for sitar and tabla?

Hey, remember floppy disks? If you have any unused drives lying around, perhaps you could program them to play music like Anand Jain (aka @MrSolidSnake745) did.

If western cowboy music is more your thing, perhaps you’ll enjoy this cover.

Back to basics. Here’s the New York Philharmonic, conducted by the composer, from the premiere of Season 4 at Lincoln Center. (Season 7, by the way, premiered Wednesday evening at Walt Disney Concert Hall.)

At this point, you’re probably thinking, ‘Yeah, but has Blue Man Group ever covered the Game of Thrones theme?’ Yup.

Turns out, it sounds pretty damn cool as New Orleans style jazz, as the Swamp Donkeys prove here.

There are quite a few marching band versions of the Game of Thrones theme out there, but I’ve chosen the best. #FightOn

Here’s a guy playing the theme on the carillon at Sydney University.

No trumpets allowed! Trombones and tubas only in this low brass version. (Also, one epic beard.)

Don’t ask me to explain what’s happening to the organist’s hands in this video.

Finally, who says the Queen’s Guard at Buckingham Palace don’t have any fun?

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