By Laura Fletcher
As we approach Game of Thrones’ season 3 finale, now is a good time to stop and appreciate the great songs we’ve heard on the show this season. Ripped from the pages of George R. R. Martin’s thick volumes and adapted by indie rock favorites, we’ve been treated to The Hold Steady’s rollicking “The Bear and the Maiden Fair” and—much to our recent chagrin—The National’s haunting a capella “Rains of Castamere.”
But what other songs could fit into GRRM’s universe? Don’t worry, we are on it like Tywin Lannister on a stray gold dragon. Here are the songs we’d play for our favorite characters, if we could call up Casey Kasem and send some FM shout-outs over Radio Westeros. (Essos is still on AM.)
This first one goes out to the White Walkers and Sam the Slayer: “More Human Than Human” by White Zombie. Obviously we have the pun factor, but the over-the-top sci-fi shock rock sound also meshes well with the silly-scary drama of the walking dead beyond the Wall. And, let’s be honest—the scariest part of zombie classics like Night of the Living Dead is the point at which the audience recognizes the human savagery reflected in the zombies. Is it too academic to delve into why GRRM calls these nasty characters “the Others”? I mean, not in a Lost way (which is probably why that particular nickname is cut from Game of Thrones), but in an Edward Said way…? (Multidisciplinary geekery FTW!)
Aretha’s version of “Love the One You’re With” goes out to about half of the cast: for the doomed marriages we dedicate this song to Tyrion and Sansa, Cersei and Loras, and Margaery and Joffrey; for Jaime and Brienne’s blooming friendship and Arya and the Hound’s desperate allegiance; for Jon and Ygritte, even, although that one may be kaput. I’d even send it to Edmure and his Frey bride, but—too soon, right? (Oh, and it’s Aretha and not Stills because. Of reasons.)
If Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire” seems an obvious choice for Daenerys Stormborn, hear me out first! The fire pun pleases my Khaleesi, but the semi-political self-righteous tone makes me stare into the middle distance majestically. If she knew about the Cola wars, she’d be damn pissed.
What is with Melisandre? Does she truly believe Stannis is her Lord of Light reborn? Or does she just like toeing the line between sexy and creepy (e.g. putting leeches on wieners)? Perhaps a careful listen to her requested song, “Dancing in the Dark” by the Boss himself, can shed light on the darkness. For a laugh, pretend Courteney Cox dancing is Melisandre and Bruce is Stannis. Or maybe Gendry, poor kid. (The saxophonist is Davos, definitely.)
Here’s another one for Dany—from Jorah Mormont. Although Jorah called in the request anonymously, we can see the threat of Daario Naharis looming behind his one, and Jorah’s poorly hidden desire in the chorus, yes? It’s “Think” by Aretha (yes she gets two songs on this playlist WHAT IT’S FINE). Good call on picking a song where Dany can sing along by yelling “freedom” a whole lot! High five, Jorah.
Maybe you expected a tasteless song on here like Billy Idol’s “White Wedding.” Well, we’re classier than that. We’re giving the honorable dead among the Starks the song they might not want, but the one they need: “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by the Stones. (Plus it starts with “I saw her today at the reception” and we’re still cackling.)
Finally, because all season long we couldn’t stop talking about this, we need to dedicate a song to Podrick. His sexual prowess is unparalleled, even though he has barely any experience and is a total schlub. Maybe Casey Kasem wouldn’t play this, but this is our radio station and we play what we want. And we want Pod to jam out to Color Me Badd’s “I Wanna Sex You Up.” Come to think of it (you’re welcome), maybe this should be from Podrick to the grateful sex workers of King’s Landing. (Oh, this is so absurd.)
What other songs would you imagine a Game of Thrones character requesting, or what would you play for them if you were DJ for a day? Tell us in comments!