Ramin Djawadi, the Emmy-winning composer behind the scores for Iron Man, Pacific Rim, and Game of Thrones, isn’t sure that he has a signature sound to his works for film, TV, video games, and more. “I don’t know if I can analyze myself and say, oh, I sound like Ramin,” he tells Consequence. “I can definitely think of other composers when I hear their music, but I’m not sure if I can say it about myself. I don’t know. I think it’s up to others to decide if I have that or not.”
While he might not be able to hear what makes it distinctive, Djawadi has nonetheless become quite in demand. His latest film, the Tom Holland-starring adaptation of Uncharted, is now available for rental, and on the horizon this year are two massive TV projects: Djawadi will be returning not just to compose the music for the upcoming fourth season of Westworld, but he’ll be making his return to Westeros for the Thrones prequel series House of the Dragon.
Below, in an interview transcribed and edited for clarity, Djawadi tells Consequence all about his process as a composer and whether he brought much personal gaming experience to working on Uncharted. He also reflects on what it was like being a part of the global Thrones phenomenon, and what it was like working with The National to create a full version of “The Rains of Castamere” — a jam session that sounds like it was a lot of fun.
To start, was Uncharted a pandemic project for you?
Definitely. But it was a pandemic work that was more towards the end, meaning vaccinations came into play as we were starting to have our meetings. So first we had no meetings, it was all remote. And then we would have some meetings in person, but with masks, and then when it spiked again, we did it remotely again. So it was a little bit off and on.
Then, the recordings were done in London. So we did not fly over there — normally, obviously, when we record for a week or more then, you know, you fly over there. It’s so much better to be there in person. But at least we could record because obviously, in the height of the pandemic, you couldn’t record at all. So at least I’m happy we were able to record properly.
Were you getting up at like 4:00 AM for recording sessions?
It was actually not so bad — sometimes we have done triple sessions, meaning you start at nine, and you go until nine in the evening, so you do 12 hours. But with COVID, that wasn’t allowed anymore. You were only allowed to do two sessions. So with that, we start in the afternoon in Europe — for us it was pretty comfortable, 6:00 AM or 7:00 AM — it wasn’t a brutal 2:00 AM start, which, you know, at that point you go, “Should I go to bed at all or sleep one hour?” So, yeah, it wasn’t that bad.