February 2021 – 1st Anniversary

Welcome to the Diary entry for February 2021 when Music of Ice and Fire celebrates its first anniversary, or the closest thing to an anniversary, since there won’t be another February 29th until 2024. The website, as it stands today contains 1 hour of music split into 39 tracks, all available in the Library. 18 main characters have had their leitmotifs uploaded and with exception of House Greyjoy and House Arryn the major houses of Westeros have had their pages published. I wish I could have uploaded more content, but all in all I am pleased with the progress but first and foremost I’m very pleased that the website is receiving regular visits.

Promise me

So, what can we expect from 2021? I wish I had obsidian glass to look past the here and now to tell but here is where I make some promises about what is to come.

First, as this is a website dedicate to music in the Song of Ice and Fire universe, I want to upload way more music. My goal for this second year is to have at least 3 hours of music before the website’s next anniversary, that is, to double the output of what I have doing so far. This is nothing if not ambitious but that’s the main goal.

Second, the website needs some visuals to accompany the music, so uploading illustrations to go along with the tracks is the second goal. As I mentioned last month, I have bought a tablet to get started with digital illustration and I am mostly positive about the results even if I need more time to get into the process; so, expect something in the upcoming months.

But how on Earth can I double the output of music and learn how to create illustrations at the same time? That’s what I’d like to know, but it certainly helps that I am taking a break between jobs. As this was a planned break and I have some savings in the bank my mind is at ease, so I want to use the extra time to give the website an extra push.

New Milestones

Today I am uploading some music that has taken me longer than I am willing to admit. Infanticide aside, Jaime Lannister is probably my favorite character, and has been probably the most difficult characters to write music for so far. The list of other grey characters that are difficult to write for also includes Theon Greyjoy and Daenerys Targaryen, which is why their leitmotifs are still under wraps. However, with Jaime I think the basic leitmotif is close enough to what I want it to be that I can upload it without second guessing myself. Another reason why Jaime’s leitmotif was so hard is that his leitmotif needed to be a perfect match to Cersei’s. Cersei might be a less grey and darker character than Jaime, but still full of nuances and character arc, so that wasn’t also easy. The need to balance the outer beauty of Cersei with her inner cruelty is a real challenge.

And so, The Twin Lions is a track that represents the births of Cersei and Jaime by combining the first notes of Cersei’s leitmotif (lower voice) with Jaime’s leitmotifs (upper voice) to create the leitmotif of life.

Fig. a – The Twin Lions

Whenever I have played this music to anybody the reaction has always been “Why would you have nice beautiful music for such horrible people?!” My answer is that these are not horrible people, or at least not yet: these are babies full of potential and their ending, while possibly dark, is unknown. My take on this music is that, while beautiful at first (or so I hope) it shows that Jaime’s leitmotif has the potential to be a heroic figure but Cersei’s own leitmotif eventually corrupts it.

Left to his own devices Jaime’s The White Lion leitmotif depicts a knight in all its splendor, or to quote Jon:

Ser Jaime Lannister was twin to Queen Cersei; tall and golden, with flashing green eyes and a smile that cut like a knife. He wore crimson silk, high black boots, a black satin cloak. On the breast of his tunic, the lion of his House was embroidered in gold thread, roaring its defiance. They called him the Lion of Lannister to his face and whispered “Kingslayer” behind his back. Jon found it hard to look away from him. This is what a king should look like, he thought to himself as the man passed.

JON I, A Game of Thrones.
Fig. b – The White Lion

Cersei is beauty but those with keen eyes can see underneath the surface.

His lord father had come first, escorting the queen. She was as beautiful as men said. A jeweled tiara gleamed amidst her long golden hair, its emeralds a perfect match for the green of her eyes. His father helped her up the steps to the dais and led her to her seat, but the queen never so much as looked at him. Even at fourteen, Jon could see through her smile.

JON I, A Game of Thrones
Fig. c – The Lioness

That’s all for now. I hope to see you again next month!

Maester Ludwig

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