- Joined Jul 11, 2006
This article's kinda lazily done but I wanted to write something similar anyway, so here you go:
Jay-Z and Kanye West's long-awaited collaboration, Watch the Throne, debuted on Monday. In the two days since, we've listened to it very closely. At first, we were all like, "Hey, that's pretty good, plain and simple" but as the listens mounted up, we noticed something odd. We're just going to come out and say it: Possibly Watch the Throne is an undercover homage to the HBO adaptation of George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones? Look, we're not saying it's quite on the "sync Dark Side of the Moon with the Wizard of Oz and watch some crazy *%$! happen" level, but Ho and 'Ye may, in fact, whisper "Winter is coming!" to psych each other up before a show. (Or, maybe, they just watch HBO.) Please, take a look at the track-by-track evidence of the connection between the two (note, it contains spoilers from the first book in the series and the TV show):
[h4]"What's a mob to a king? What's a king to a god?" ("No Church in the Wild")
[/h4]The opening track on WTT hits on two of GoT's (and the actual world's) big themes: power and sex. It's something Robert and Ned grapple with: Being the king can be lonely and miserable, but being not-king isn't exactly a cakewalk either. How do people relate those who outrank them? What about in the other direction?
[h4]"You will not control the threesome." ("No Church in the Wild")
[/h4]What a Littlefinger-y thing to say! But it's actually part of the song's exploration of sexuality and power dynamics.
[h4]"You don’t know what we been through to make it this far / So many scars" ("Lift Off")
[/h4]The Hound is covered in scars, and Beyoncé is right: we don't really know what he's been through. (Although we do know that the scar is courtesy of his violent brother.)
[h4]"'No one knows what it means, but it's provocative.' 'No it's not, it's gross.'" ("*!@@*! in Paris")
[/h4]Not enough songs sample lines of dialogue from Blades of Glory. And so far on GoT (just the show, not the books!), there hasn't been much in the way of explaining what Daenerys's dragon-nursing abilities really mean. But it is provocative!
[h4]"New watch alert!" ("Otis")
[/h4]New night's watch.
[h4]Everything's for sale ... I'm never going to jail" ("Otis")
[/h4]Jay-Z and Tyrion might not have a ton in common, but they share similar attitudes about their positions in the criminal justice systems they're able to manipulate.
[h4]"Sorry I'm in pajamas but I just got off the PJ" ("Gotta Have It")
[/h4]Kanye likes to get on his private jet and be comfortable. Pycelle likes to do surprising post-sex calisthenics in his. Potayto, potahto.
[h4]"Sins of a father make your life ten times harder" ("New Day")
[/h4]Fatherhood can be scary, and Kanye and Jay-Z each have specific concerns about what kind of parent they'd be: Kanye worries that his child will make the same mistakes he did, and Jay-Z worries that his fame will "ruin" his child's life. Ned's issues aren't all sins (necessarily), but Robb's life gets a whole lot harder when he becomes King of the North. He's not the only Stark who pays for his father's deeds, though: Jon Snow's whole life is an exercise in paying for his father's mistakes.
[h4]"That's my @%%$* / that's my @%%$* / shorty right there / that's my @%%$*" ("That's My @%%$*")
[/h4]Cersei and Jaime Lannister could probably greet one another by chanting "that's my @%%$*." It's so much catchier than "that's my twin whom I also procreate with."
[h4]"My uncle died, my daddy did too ... my heart is torn" / "Just when I thought I had everything, I lost it all" ("Welcome to the Jungle")
[/h4]Arya Stark ended this season with as much grief and baggage as one kid can possibly have, but she started it in okay shape: She's smart, she's independent, she had just gotten a direwolf puppy and been given swordsmanship lessons. Things were going pretty well! Then ... they went a lot less well. Welcome to the jungle, Arya.
[h4]"Y'all can play me for a $%!@+!%+!$!*% fool if you wanna / Street smart, and I'm book smart" ("Who Gon Stop Me")
[/h4]Part of Bronn's success comes from people underestimating him, and the banter alone between him and Tyrion just proves what a clever fellow he is.
[h4]" ... the church ain't got enough room for all the tombs" ("Murder to Excellence")
[/h4]This song is a eulogy turned rally cry, borne out of frustration, grief, a tinge of survivor guilt ("they say by 21 I was supposed to die"), and eventually an explanation of what the narrators dream of for the future. Bran's visit to his family's mausoleum showed Osha that the injured munchkin had a sadder, darker side than she'd realized, and Bran himself is a little too young to grasp exactly how much he's lost.
[h4]"I'm trying to lead a nation, leave to my little man's or my daughter ... the scales was lopsided / I'm just restoring order" ("Made in America")
[/h4]For Jay-Z, this is a noble calling, but for Viserys, it brought out the worst in both him and, whether he realized at the time or not, his entire world. He thinks he's restoring order, but, one gold crown later, it's clear he's contributed to his society's entropy.
[h4]"Picture if you will that the throne was burning / Rome was burning / And I'm sitting in the corner all alone burning" ("Why I Love You")
[/h4]We don't have to picture it! We saw it, when Daenerys survived her literal trial by fire, sitting in the corner, all alone. Not burning, but still in fire.
[h4]"I tried to teach *!@@*! how to be kings, and all they ever wanted to be was soldiers" ("Why I Love You")
[/h4]Dothraki culture is contrasted with Westerotian culture throughout the series, but both acknowledge a shared truth: Being a warrior and being a leader aren't the same thing. Renly even asks Ned, "Do you still believe good soldiers make good kings?" knowing the answer: nope! Drogo, though, was the rare combo of both a capable combatant and a respected leader. So, of course, he had to die. R.I.P., Drogo.
[h4]"Wasn't I a good king? Maybe too much of a good thing? Didn't I spoil you? Me or the money, what you loyal to?" ("Why I Love You")
[/h4]Don't test Ned! He's able to out-loyal anyone.
[h4]"I'm the illest !**$#*!%#%%+ alive" ("Illest !**$#*!%#%%+ Alive")
[/h4]Given his family's appetite for incest, Joffrey could theoretically someday become a literal em-effer, but until that day, he is at least among the Seven Kingdoms' most ego-fueled creatures. Dangerously so!
[h4]"Champagne, I'm sipping on it / *%$! taste different, don’t it? / You know what, you right / It’s like the best damn champagne I had in my life" ("Prime Time")
[/h4]Tyrion is one of the few characters we ever see enjoy anything. Westeros is not a particularly jovial society, but at least the Imp knows how to party.
[h4]"I never understood Planned Parenthood, 'cause I never met nobody planned to be a parent in the hood ... another shorty that won't make it to the family will" ("The Joy")
[/h4]Gendry's the kid no one planned, the bastard son of a drunk and a barmaid. But that drunk was King Robert, and he's the kid someone had — and an heir to the throne.
[h4]"I'm about to go HAM, hard as a !**$#*!%#%%+" ("H.A.M.")
[/h4]With the exception of maybe one or two people, pretty much everyone on GoT "goes ham" in the first ten episodes.