The opening credits sequence of Game of Thrones is as iconic as the show itself, instantly recognisable even if you are unfamiliar with the ongoings of Westeros.
For the first seven seasons of the show, the sequence acted as a map for viewers, taking them to where the characters would be that week, from Winterfell to King’s Landing, to Meereen and lands beyond the Narrow Sea.
However, HBO have completely rebuilt the opening credits sequence for the final season of the show which returned to our screens early this morning (April 15).
Although the sequence features the usual clockwork models, the camera takes us deeper into the locations which will heavily feature in the eighth season.
This includes the Last Hearth, Winterfell and King’s Landing.
The imagery on the rotating golden bands has also changed, referring to recent events instead of the usual historic moments.
You can watch the new opening credits sequence here:
The production studio behind the sequence, Elastic, have wanted to make it more ambitious since the very first season.
Creative director Angus Wall told BuzzFeed News:
Our initial pitch had all these little bells and whistles that were just too ambitious for the first pass. We wanted a second bite at the apple, as it were, to really do all the stuff that we had initially talked about.
You can go so much further and deeper with the tool set now than you could back when we did Season 1.
The first seven seasons, there’s an impressionistic aspect to the title sequence that I really like in an 8-bit way, in the same way that you would like Minecraft. But the new sequence is rendered with so much more accuracy and fractal detail.
It isn’t just the technology which has changed though, as art director Kirk Shintani explained.
He described how the opening sequence had to adapt to how the Game of Thrones story has grown:
To me, in Season 7, all the storylines and all the interactions between all the characters became a lot more intimate. You became acutely aware of the relationships between everybody, and how these things are going to come to a point.
You’re not getting this overarching view anymore. You’re getting this down-low, really specific micro view of what’s going on.
Excitingly the team at Elastic hinted the sequence will be changing for the final episode of the show, which airs on May 19.
Holding their cards close to their chest though, Wall said ‘we’ll have to wait and see’.
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Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.