Game of Thrones is the most popular show in HBO history, and when millions of fans sit down to watch the riveting fantasy drama each week, the excitement begins with the first note. The Emmy-winning title sequence for Game of Thrones is a three dimensional map detailing the locations to be visited in the particular episode while also explaining the location of each House and a bit of Westeros history. It is one of the most creative opening credits sequences and has naturally sponsored a lot of parodies. Here are five of my favorites to provide you your Game of Thrones fix while we await the new season:
You’re right, Wil Wheaton, this is the Game of Thrones title sequence I didn’t know I was waiting for. Taking the light Brady Bunch famed tune and using lyrics like, “He had hair of gold, like his uncle, because of incest,” it is a delicious treat for any fan.
Matching nearly every frame, this is a great adaptation of the original sequence. Most notably, it replicates the relief sketches in the armbands around the sun, replacing Robert Baratheon’s conquest of the Targaryens with Mario’s succession over Bowser. And the 8-bit version of the main title theme is just as catchy.
The Simpsons have satirized pop culture for decades, so it was no surprise that Game of Thrones could not escape Matt Groening’s grasp. This sequence uses the same concept as Super Mario World and highlights notable locations in The Simpsons’ world, like The Simpsons’ home, Lard Lad Donuts and the couch. It also nods its hat to its source (“Burns Landing,” the three-eyed ravens from the plant and the heart tree with Grampa’s face), allowing this parody to receive top marks.
To me, Jimmy Fallon is the master of late night with his never-ending creative ideas, and “Game of Desks” tops them all. The short title sequence for “Game of Desks” is hilariously creative as it transforms New York and Rockefeller Center into Westeros-worthy settings (“Newest York” and “Rockefell”) while the armbands rotate around a microphone. But this parody goes further than the credits as Fallon, The Roots, Steve Higgins and the rest of the crew act out a Saturday Night Live-esque sketch. Every second is filled with references and puns; “Late Night’s Watch” and “Sweeps are coming” are my favorites. From the Iron Desk being made out of spray-painted TV remotes to Fallon and Higgins’ portrayal of Thrones’ characters, this parody is one of the best.
As much as I love “Game of Desks,” I love Hootsuite’s take on the opening credits. The social media management platform demonstrated flawless animation skills while also advertising its own brand. Just like the original sequence, Hootsuite’s version educated viewers by showing how certain platforms are connected in the same kingdom (e.g. Facebook owns Instagram), and it also showed how you can connect all your separate kingdoms by using its program. In this tech crazy world, it’s important to unite your social kingdoms.
As fans, we appreciate the parodies of the things we love most, and imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. The Game of Thrones title sequence has been recreated so many times because it was originally so captivating. And though it isn’t a spin off of the title sequence, there is one more parody that you simply have to listen to: the entire tune created by repeating Peter Dinklage’s name. You will never listen to the opening credits again.