Ever since the days of Led Zeppelin writing magnum opuses about J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth stories, hard rock and high fantasy have gone hand-in-gauntlet. The heavier the metal, the more infused with wizards and magic it seems to be. Hell, Saruman himself, Christopher Lee, recorded heavy metal albums based on Emperor Charlemagne well into his ’80s. There’s truly something mythical about shredding guitars and driving bass lines.
To wit, no television theme song slaps quite the way Ramin Djawadi‘s theme for Game of Thrones does. It’s one of the most ear-wormy songs on TV and it sounds good even on old hard drives. Pair that with some truly squealing guitar and you have music fit for the old gods and the new.
YouTuber Cooper Carter unveiled a 16-guitar cover of the famous theme to lead up to Game of Thrones‘s eighth and final season. He plays every part of the score–violins, violas, bassoon, and of course the main melody of the cello. Carter even transposed the parts for the hammer dulcimer and the Finnish kantele onto acoustic guitars. It’s incredibly impressive.
Amazingly, this isn’t even the most impressive or comprehensive of Carter’s covers. He once did a 31-part guitar version of John Williams’ Star Wars theme. Nearly as amazing, a couple years later, he did a 28-part version of the “Imperial March.” Both metal as a Correlian cruiser.
Back to Thrones, who among us doesn’t hum, “ba,” or “doot” along with the theme each and every episode? On top of all the other reasons we’re sad the show’s coming to a close, the loss of an amazing, hummable theme is almost too great. I guess all we’ll have, for a little while longer, is the funky-ass Brooklyn Nine-Nine theme. Still great, but it doesn’t stir the belly. Thank you for that, Ramin.
Image: Cooper Carter