Game of Thrones did a rare format break Sunday night by putting a song covered by a contemporary artist over its closing credits (hear it above).
Instead of Ramin Djawadi’s usual classical score, season 8, episode 2, “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms,” featured Florence + the Machine covering “Jenny of Oldstones” from George R.R. Martin’s novels. Titled now “Jenny of Oldstones,” the somber track was sung in the show itself by Brienne’s squire Podrick (Daniel Portman), who regaled other heroes awaiting their fate on the eve of battle.
Florence + the Machine is the only artist to be featured in the final season of the hit HBO series after being personally approached by the show’s creators, longtime fans David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.
“We’ve always been huge fans of Florence’s music, and the season 2 trailer with her song ‘Seven Devils’ was possibly the most powerful we’ve ever had,” Benioff and Weiss said in a statement. “So the opportunity to hear her otherworldly voice on our show was always at the forefront of our minds. We’re still pleasantly shocked that she agreed to sing ‘Jenny of Oldstones,’ and we’re in love with the result.”
“When I first heard the song it sounded like a Celtic lullaby to me,” says lead singer Florence Welch. “Celtic music has always been in my blood, so I felt like I could do something with it. The magic and ritual in Game of Thrones, not to mention the costumes, have always appealed to me. I am honored to be a part of the final season.”
The story behind the song might be relevant to the final season. It’s based on a Westrosi tale from many years ago about Prince Duncan Targaryen, who fell in love with a “strange, lovely, and mysterious” commoner named Jenny of Oldstones. The Prince, already betrothed to another, was forced to choose between inheriting the Iron Throne or his new love and chose to follow his heart, which led to a rebellion. “The Prince of Dragonflies [Duncan] loved Jenny of Oldstones so much he cast aside a crown, and Westeros paid the bride price in corpses.”
So it’s a tale of having to choose between ruling the Seven Kingdoms and love, which isn’t entirely unlike the dynamic brewing between Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen in the wake of the bombshell revelation that he’s heir to the Iron Throne.
More Game of Thrones season 8, episode 2, “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” coverage:
— Maisie Williams discusses her surprise Gendry scene: ‘At first, I thought it was a prank…’
— ‘Game of Thrones’ reveals big battle trailer for season 8, episode 3
— Game of Thrones: Emilia Clarke defends Dany’s reaction to Jon’s parentage
— Game of Thrones’ writer breaks down ‘play-like’ season 8, episode 2’s big scenes
— Deep-dive recap for “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”
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