[Spoilers for season 8, episode 2 of Game Of Thrones]
In just a few days, Game Of Thrones is set to kill off an untold number of its major characters in an episode devoted entirely to a seemingly hopeless fight between a castle filled with puny humans and a vast army of unrelenting, freezer-burned super zombies.
Considering just how hopeless the odds are that any character you like is going to make it out of this episode alive, it might be nice to prepare for the inevitable sadness by listening to Podrick “Pod” Payne, a gentle and loyal squire played by Daniel Portman, sing his eve of battle song, “Jenny Of Oldstones” on loop for an hour at a time.
The original scene used for this video appeared in last Sunday’s episode, which, for better or worse, devoted its entire runtime to characters preparing for the coming fight by trying to make the most of the time left to them. In it, Pod breaks his usual silence during a fireside chat with a bunch of characters—at least half of whom we must assume are going to die horribly this weekend—to sing a few verses.
As detailed in an article from earlier this week, Pod’s song choice is filled with greater meaning. It’s also, though, just a beautifully haunting melody that sounds suitably reflective and foreboding delivered in Portman’s strong, clear voice above the sound of crackling fire and a background of moaning strings.
Another version of “Jenny Of Oldstones,” performed by Florence + The Machine for the episode’s end credits and officially released as a sort of “best of Game Of Thrones” music video, is just as melancholy. But it’s Pod’s simpler, in-fiction delivery of the tune that best captures the quiet fear and anticipatory mourning that the story deserves.
Play it nice and loud, over and over again, and just try to deaden your heart to the character names you’re coldly adding to your office’s dead pool for this weekend, monsters.
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