TV shows and films opening credits have evolved from simple texts on blank screens as seen in the 1980s screenplays to the much artistic and well-articulated short motion pictures within the actual movie. In the modern production era, TV show opening credits have become a comprehensive rough guide, which sets the warm, welcoming atmosphere to the actual film (Matamala and Orero 35). Henceforth, the evolution of the film industry has seen the application of very tantalizing fill opening credits to capture the attention of the intended audience at first glance and hook them to the television show.
Since Disney TV shows of the 1980s such as, Mickey Mouse Club, to some of the most excellent television series of the 2000s such as Game of Thrones, opening credits have had a significant role as the first part of the TV shows (May, “The Art Of Film Title Design Throughout Cinema History”). Film opening credits have been used to present the names of the most crucial members of the production crew including the major actors in the TV show and are usually displayed as overlaid text on motion pictures or blank screens. (Matamala and Orero 36).
Films or television shows can be quite long; hence the opening credits should be able to influence the watchers’ consideration on whether to proceed and watch the actual movie or switch to a better thing (Charisma, “The 75 Best TV Title Sequences of All Time”). Therefore, TV series producer like David Benioff, best known as a co-producer for the HBO TV show, “Game of Thrones.” Have revolutionized the application of the opening credits by introducing the use of imagery, symbolism and music to grapple its audience into the eight seasons long TV series. The series “Game of Thrones” credits part is very alluring. It introduces its audience to a fantastic venture into the antagonizing seven kingdoms of West rose, a fictional series based on the novel “A Game of Thrones” written by George R. R. Martin. What makes the opening credits of Game of Thrones unique and exciting is its ability to provide a summary of the entire action taking place in a given season through the use of imagery and symbolism, and the strength of the Emmy award winner, Angus Wall to modify these opening credits to suit the continuous action of every season of the TV series.
Opening credits of Game of Thrones created by The Rock Paper Scissors group’s producer, Angus Wall, is branded with a unique two-minute-long clip, shot from a raven’s eye view, displaying a guide of the anecdotal land called Westeros in which the antagonism occurs. As the title succession unfurls, three-dimensional models of Westeros’ strongholds and urban communities ascend starting from the earliest stage (“Game of Thrones” 00:00:00-1:34:00). The structures are produced using a huge number of little gears and rotating wheels, not block and stone, as though the entire kingdom is a big clock characterized by interlocking chains of gears and wheels (“Game of Thrones” 00:00:23-00:00:34).
As for the application of imagery and symbolism, Game of Thrones, season one, episode two opening credits’ first 16 seconds, depicts an exciting engraved image recounting times gone by adorning a fiery astrolabe (“Game of Thrones” 00:00:00-00:00:16). Astrolabe is a two-dimensional instrument used in predicting the position of the sun, moon and the stars and determining the local time (Meech “Astrolabe History”). The Astrolabe symbolizes the central theme of the series, “winter is coming” representing the change in seasons which will bring with it the army of the dead from beyond the walls of the seven kingdoms as depicted in the series last two seasons.
At a first glance, the astrolabe is engraved by an image of a young dragon (“Game of Thrones” 00:00:23-00:00:34), representing the dragons of Daenerys Targaryen one of the main antagonist of the iron throne (the iron throne according to the series is the most coveted position in the fictional seven kingdoms). Daenerys Targaryen’s dragons are one of the fundamental elements throughout the entire series. In addition to the dragon image, there is also a depiction of “The War of the Usurper” (“Game of Thrones” 00:01:32), indicating an uprising against the previous ruling dragon house lead by the stag, wolf and lion. The stag represents the house ruling the seven kingdoms, and the wolf represents the Starks who is the house ruling the North of Westeros and the lion represent the House Lannister which is considered as the most powerful family in the seven kingdoms.
Another powerful element of Game of Thrones opening credits is the indication of the map of Westeros (a fictional location in which the seven kingdoms is located and where the entire action takes place) by the use of imagery and symbols (“Game of Thrones” 00:00:23-00:01:34). Game of Thrones opening credits streams through the map of Westeros, starting from Kings Landing which is regarded as the capital of the seven kingdoms and the location of the iron throne; the Centre of governance in the seven countries (“Game of Thrones” 00:00:23-00:00:34). At Kings Landing, the opening clip shows a continuous chain of interlocking shafts and cogwheel gears emerging from the ground representing the buildings of the city and the crown stag sigil representing the House Baratheon, Baratheon is the king of Westeros at that time.
From Kings Landing, the opening credits streams to Winterfell, a town located to the North of the fictional Westeros which is also the ancestral home to the Starks. At Winterfell, additional complicated clockwise mechanism emerges showing the city of Winterfell and a dire wolf sigil representing the House Stark. A red heart tree also sprung from the ground to the rims of the astrolabe depicting its religious significance to the people of the North of Westeros (“Game of Thrones” 00:00:40-00:01:04). After Winterfell the opening credits of Game of Thrones continuous to the wall; an enormous structure made of ice, stone and magic in the far North of the seven kingdoms (“Game of Thrones” 00:01:04-00:01:16). It was designed to separate the living in the seven kingdoms from the “army of the dead” which according to the series resides beyond the wall and will eventually attack the “living” when winter finally arrives.
Finally, the opening credits streams to Pentos (“Game of Thrones” 00:01:20-00:01:34), a fictional free city located to the east of Westeros which act as the temporary home to remaining exiled members of the House Targaryen, after the war in the seven kingdoms in which their father, famously referred to as “the mad king” was backstabbed by his own “hand” and defeat during the great rebellion. At Pentos the opening credit displays the three-headed dragon sigil, which is a symbol of House Targaryen. The final part of the opening credits shows a logo on the astrolabe consisting of the engraved sigil of the four leading houses antagonizing in the scramble for the iron throne.
In addition to the artistic use of imagery and symbolism in Game of Thrones opening credits, one of the most exciting features is the application of a creative and well-orchestrated theme song which is appealing to the viewers. Ramin Djawadi made the signature music that goes with the title grouping. The generation group indicated the title succession they were chipping away at to Djawadi, who was then propelled to make the music for the “Game of Thrones Theme” and completed the signature music three days after the fact. Djawadi said the showrunners Benioff and Weiss needed the signature music to be about an adventure that mirrors the assortment of areas and characters in the show (“Game of Thrones” 00:00:00-00:01:42).
In conclusion, Game of Thrones’ opening credits is more than an essential embellishment. Where different shows incorporate introduction successions as a commitment; with which to obediently dole out gestures to principal cast, makers and executives. Game of Thrones’ title grouping is a whole lot more. It’s an extraordinary state of mind setter and a great beginning to every scene, indeed, but at the same time, it’s a principal part of the layered, Game of Thrones understanding. The producers of the opening credits creatively apply the use of different elements such as imagery, symbols and music to bring a beautiful, long-lasting impression in the audience minds. It is a hook, and it clearly illustrates what a good opening credit should be.
Julia May. “The Art Of Film Title Design Throughout Cinema History.” Smashing Magazine, 4 Oct. 2010, https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2010/10/the-art-of-the-film-title-throughout-cinema-history/.
Astrolabe History, https://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/tops/astl-hist.html.
Axelrod, John. “How The Innovative Game Of Thrones Opening Credits Was Built.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 1 Apr. 2013, https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnaxelrod/2013/03/30/how-the-innovative-game-of-thrones-opening-credits-spring-to-life-in-season-3/#69fd6b427278.
Weiss, D. B., et al., directors. Game of Thrones, Season 1, Episode 2. HBO, 2012.
Kim Renfro. “Meet the Musical Genius behind the ‘Game of Thrones’ Soundtrack Who Watches Each Season before Anyone Else.” Tech Insider, 7 July, 2016, https://web.archive.org/web/20160708130550/http://www.techinsider.io/game-of-thrones-music-composer-ramin-djawadi-interview-2016-7.
Matamala, Anna, and Pilar Orero. “Audio Description and Accessibility Studies: A Work in Progress.” Researching Audio Description, 2016, pp. 1–8., doi:10.1057/978-1-137-56917-2_1.
Perkins, Will, et al. “Game of Thrones.” Art of the Title, https://www.artofthetitle.com/title/game-of-thrones.