Mixtape dethroned: 'Game of Thrones' soundtrack fails
When you take the road to fame, you either win or you die trying. For the “Game of Thrones” series, a lack of minority actors seems to be preventing victory. Inan attempt to attract a more well-rounded audience, HBO released a mixtape called Catch The Throne that heavily features artists of color.
There is almost no racial diversity in the first two seasons of the television series, and by the third, the only diverse characters are portrayed as a massive, uncivilized group of slaves happy to receive guidance from a white leader.
The show seems to be stuck in an era before the American civil rights movement, casting mostly white or white-passing lead characters.
However, the mixtape aims to mend these minority issues.
According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, “The goal is to reach out to the show’s urban, “multicultural” audience, a demographic that includes African-Americans and Latinos, and help capture more viewers and expand the premium cable channel’s subscriber base.”
The mixtape tracks revolve around the plot lines and characters of the show, and features artists such as Big Boi and Common.
The score to the “Game of Thrones” show is undeniably brilliant, and Catch The Throne uses that to its advantage, sprinkling orchestral melodies throughout each song. The mixtape utilizes George R. R. Martin’s quotes from the show to deepen the songs, creating an interesting aura for listeners.
As the songs begin, the cheesiness only partially distracts the listeners due to the fact that the tone is set primarily from the classical music and quotes of the show. Throughout each track, rappers begin inputting plot-lines-turned-rhyme, turning the semi-awkward tune into a full-on mess. They complete each line with spirit, but most “Game of Thrones” fans would agree that the Khaleesi dragon puns, such as Bodega Bamz’s “spit fire like Khaleesi,” are jokes only true fans can really appreciate.
While the musical aspects are intriguing, the absolute absurdity of Catch The Throne is overwhelming and usually results in stuffy, uncomfortable giggles from listeners.
Danielle Hamre, freshman physiology major, said she originally thought the mix tape was a joke.
“Then, I realized it wasn’t a joke,” Hamre said. “HBO’s intent was entirely serious,” said Hamre. “An equivalent action would be producing an original ‘Game of Thrones’ rice brand called ‘Game of Chopsticks’ to combat Asian racial slurring.”
This poorly-created mixtape does not leave one single artist at fault, but the producers and writers of the music as a whole. The “Game of Thrones” books are well written, and the show does not disappoint. For a series with so much talent and such a wide fan base, anything that attempts to ride on its tailcoats will probably be built up more than it deserves. In Catch The Throne’s case, it’s beaten down and really nothing more than a great disappointment.
“Our multicultural audiences are a very important part of our subscribers, and we don’t want to take them for granted,” said Lucinda Martinez, HBO’s senior vice president for multicultural marketing in an article for the Wall Street Journal.
If HBO really is trying to attract minorities to its show, perhaps it should start with something slightly less offensive such as including them in leading roles in the show or portraying them with as much respect as the Snows give their dire wolves.
For now, only next season will tell how HBO responds to the diversity discussion launched on “Game of Thrones.”