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‘The Rains of Castamere’: medievalism, popular culture, and the music of Game of Thrones

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 March 2021

Esther Liberman Cuenca
Affiliation:
University of Houston-Victoria, 3007 N. Ben Wilson Street, Victoria, TX 77901
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Abstract

This article closely examines the song ‘The Rains of Castamere’, from the television series Game of Thrones (2011–19), to draw broader conclusions about how ‘medieval’ music manifests in contemporary popular culture and how music for television has become increasingly important in the last few decades. This article argues for the relevance of ‘The Rains of Castamere’ in popular music from three perspectives: first, as a musical adaptation of the ‘medieval’ world of 'folk’ music popularised in George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire novels (1996–); second, as a song embedded in the rich tradition of modern ‘medieval’ music, which itself is a modern reconstruction influenced by cinematic and literary tropes; and lastly, as a track that exemplifies the influence of fan culture in both shaping and responding to popular medievalist music.

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Article
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Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press

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