HBO has announced that they are teaming up with Columbia Records to create an album of songs by popular artists inspired by the massive hit series, Game of Thrones. Based on George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire books, Game of Thrones has become nothing short of an international phenomenon but has taken a hiatus this year ahead of its final season in 2019. The concluding run is currently filming and secrecy abounds in order to prevent the leaks that plagued the series in 2017, with actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau recently revealing that the production is digitally erasing scripts immediately after scenes have been filmed.
In between the fire-breathing dragons, relentless brutality and copious amounts of nudity, Game of Thrones has become renowned for cameos from a variety of musical stars. Coldplay were famously present at the Red Wedding, members of Mastodon appeared as background Wildlings and Sigur Rós were Joffrey's wedding band. Most prominently, Ed Sheeran scored a speaking part in Game of Thrones' most recent season - a role many fans felt was a little forced compared to other musician cameos.
Furthering the relationship between Game of Thrones and the modern music scene, HBO has partnered with Columbia Records to release an album of songs inspired by the show as a way of celebrating the forthcoming final season. Although HBO didn't mention any specific artists currently attached, they did promise artists from "diverse music genres" would be involved.
Although it might be expected that some of the musicians who have previously appeared in Game of Thrones will be contributing tracks for the album, it's likely that the lineup will be dominated by artists signed to Columbia or other labels under the Sony umbrella, which, if true, could potentially rule out the likes of Coldplay, Sheeran and Mastodon. While the Columbia roster definitely includes some artists who would sound out of place singing about Westeros - no one wants to hear Calvin Harris do "The Rains of Castamere" - there are a number of Columbia acts whose style would work perfectly with Game of Thrones such as Roger Walters, David Gilmour, Arcade Fire and, possibly, Tenacious D.
Whichever artists end up appearing on the album, the release is certainly an original and interesting way to celebrate the end of Game of Thrones. It also contributes to the series' cinematic feel as "inspired by" compilation albums of this kind are usually produced in conjunction with movie releases instead of TV shows.
Game of Thrones season 8 is due in 2019.