A soundtrack production of:
Throne of Glass
Hello! Welcome! If you've found this website, chances are you are already acquainted with the beautiful, twisted world intricately constructed by Sarah J Maas who has stolen the hearts of readers all across the globe. I have been a fan of this series for the past seven years and never has any author enticed me into fantasy and adventure on the same level. Not only to read - but also to write...but maybe in not the way you'd imagine.
So, here you will find six tracks. All of which have made me cry with frustration, laugh with joy, and scream with both. I tried to envision each scene I've composed for as if it was being made into a film, this included an extensive amount of research and a true test of my abilities considering my usual style to write for is pop and R&B. That being said, I've truly enjoyed every step of this journey, no matter how tiresome it got. But after nearly three months of blood, sweat and tears, I've finally managed to create a fairly adequate musical interpretation of this incredible story.
Light of the North
I made this song as a theme tune. Its lyrics are symbolic and I feel like the more you read into them, the more that becomes clear especially if you've read the entire series which I think we can all agree on is something Sarah J Maas tends to master incredibly well so I wanted to imitate that through this song. I kept the melody and instrumentation simple because I didn't really want to take away from the vocals too much.
I think this was the first scene I knew I 100% needed to include. This exact scene was what had inspired me to do this soundtrack in the first place. You can just imagine Celaena being hauled along by Chaol, her chains bouncing along the halls of Endovier. This scene needed a sense of humour despite the darkness of the situation. Despite her being a literal slave, Celaena still finds herself slightly amused by it all. From Chaol trying to confuse her by walking her in all sorts of directions in a hope to confuse her to her grinning at him just to entertain herself. I tried to demonstrate this by using high pitched strings in a staccato way. I tried to take inspiration particularly from Pirates of the Carribean where Sparrow is faced regularly with these kinds of events involving arrest or near death experiences whilst still laughing his way through them.
However, she's very carefully masking her fear of death from him which is why she assumes he's even here. Hence, the use of legato in the stepping sequence on the cellos later on in the song. I marked this as the moment something clicks in her brain when she's stood outside the throne room and realises the day may have finally come where she meets her end. But then as the doors slowly open, everything becomes so empty. Like the air has just been sucked out of everything as she sees the Crown Prince of Adarlan in front of her which is why I slowed down the melody and ended it so threadbare with just a single lute.
Arrival to Rifthold
This is an incredibly short snippet of the chaos that unfolds during the next few chapters after Endovier but I really wanted to focus on the moment she sees the piano in her room for the first time and has a few flashbacks of her times with Arrobynn, particularly when he slammed her hand into a door so she could learn to use her left hand just as well as her right. I also thought the second more severe flashback could be of Sam listening to her play but then her mind drifts to his murdered body and by the end she's left feeling bare and has to close the door to the games room.
So although this isn't 'officially' something directly written from Sarah, it's so obvious throughout the book that Celaena is improving her training with Chaol but their friendship also develops. I created a script for this scene to make it easier to follow and see my point of view with this but I was so excited to go crazy on this composition because I was taking away certain segments of the book and mastering them into my own little montage which is so common in the film industry.
This is also the only song I consistently used a Steinway Grand Piano because I wanted it to mark the change between Celaena being miserable and her slowly building up the courage to stand in a room with a piano again because her physical strength isn't the only type of strength that is building.
Chaol waking up Celaena, eventually tells her to get dressed and that he’ll wait outside.
Celaena procrastinates and basks in the morning sun.
[bar 12 - a pause in music: Chaol shouts into the room ‘Now!’ and Celaena launches a pillow at the door]
change of scene to the palace gardens where Celaena jogs with Chaol, trying hard to keep up but complaining the entire way.
Celaena continuously being enraged with Chaol for knocking her down so many times during sparring matches, despite a slight progress as the days go on and her lasting longer against him.
A small scene of Celaena and Chaol eating dinner together, swapping small glances of judgement, particularly Chaol at the amount she consumes but their gazes soften by bar 30 and they smile slightly at each other.
Again in the palace gardens, but Celaena now keeps pace beside Chaol who is surprised but also looks almost proud.
Celaena improves massively, her stamina increases and her strength nearly knocks Chaol over.
She keeps sparring and finally kicks Chaol’s legs beneath him but he pulls her down with him and she lands on top of him.
A moment of silence for the cliche where they get lost in each others’ eyes for a moment until…
They smile at each other, pleased with her improvements. Chaol gets up first on bar 51, offering her a hand on bar 54 which she hesitantly takes on bar 56.
Celaena and the Hidden Passage
I really enjoyed writing this scene. I followed exactly how it was carried out in the book and hopefully, if you follow along with the novel, you'll see and understand exactly how I've constructed this in a way that flows. There is a number of pauses in this song which may seem confusing at first but I felt as though certain moments worked better when there was no accompaniment in the slightest for example, the first long pause marks when the tapestry moves for the first time so it just allows your focus to be drawn fully on that moment.
Note: I wrote up to the point she is reflecting on what she'd stand to loose if she did run away at this point ie: she'd always be on the run and never truly be free and Chaol would be dismissed and punished hence why I added a little extra piano part to mark the point of her change in attitude towards him and how she comes to care about what happens to him.
Safe and Sound
If you've watched the Hunger Games, you've most likely already heard this song but whenever I hear it, I can't help but compare it to Throne of Glass. The lyrics are so accurate it scary! For example: 'Don't you dare look out your window, darling everything's on fire' - it just reminds me of when Aelin would have her outbursts as a child and set things alight but her parents would only comfort her and shield her from the world. Also let's talk about the literal entire chorus...I just feel like it hits differently when you think of Aelin having that nightmare, crawling into bed wit her parents, assuming the dampness is rain...I won't break your heart any further.
I remastered this into a twisted medieval feel by replacing the familiar acoustic guitar with a mixture of lute and harp as well as a more mystical Dulcimer, famously used by Djawadi in leitmotif of Arya Stark and marks her childhood distinctively which is what I've tried to achieve here.