Summer, the final track of SEVEN: the Game of Thrones Concept Album

Posted: May 4, 2016 in Game of Thrones, Music, TV
Tags: , , , , ,

I recently began writing about all seven of the songs from SEVEN, the wonderful concept album from the Manimals, inspired by HBO’s Game of Thrones. (Full details can be found in my initial post.) I have covered six out of the seven, and now I’m on to the final song.

Bran_Stark_Season_3

Summer is not only the name of Brandon Stark’s direwolf, it’s also his point of view song on SEVEN, as well as the final track.

SUMMER (track #7)

(Check out the annotated lyrics for Summer)

Name: Summer

Whoozit?: Bran Stark, the Prince of Winterfell, the Wolf With Wings.

My Thoughts: Summer is a legitimately great song, and it captures this kind of magical, dream-journey feeling, which is a primal element in Bran Stark’s storyline in Game of Thrones. The reverb on Haley’s voice is *just* right. The song is woven on a framework of dream imagery, of flight, and of falling. And also of stories. There’s a lot about stories in Bran’s song.

Stories they told, where the names were songs
But different down south, they get the words all wrong

Because Bran is crippled from a dastardly fall (thanks, Ser Jaime) he experiences the world through stories. Sadly, the show has omitted some of the best of this (because, let’s face it, Meera telling Bran the story of the Knight of the Laughing Tree would not go over well with the benighted fools who watch the show without seeing) but at least with this season, his visionary powers will be getting us some of these things by Showing and not Telling. I’m okay with that.

Is it true that summer’s over?
I thought this would go much slower

Bran shares lyrics with Arya, since both have a similar story being told about them. Both are cut off from their family, being trained in their respective wizarding-schools, and having no time at all to be children. Where I think Arya might have a specific and not necessarily positive impact on the story (I’m not saying she’ll be a drag, I just think that she’ll end up being a problem for whomever we eventually decide are the protagonists) I think Bran will be crucial to saving the day. Unless the day has to be saved from him.

But we all are grey
We can do great good or great evil

The final song pretty much has to wrap up the narrative of the concept, and I appreciate that Haley had to write a concept album for a story that is unfinished. But this song just works.

When I first listened to it, I had this emotional feeling, that Bran’s song was doing this retrospective of *everything*, in much the same way that Alexander Hamilton’s aside during his final duel (this can’t be a spoiler, read a goddamn history book) in the musical Hamilton brought everything presented in the story into sharp focus.

Okay, I’m being pretty vague about the song, which is fine, Bran’s story and his impact on the overall narrative is vague at this moment.

Strength lies in the darkest roots
And not every story is true

Not every story is true

I just know that Bran’s story is important, and I appreciated the gravity that was keeping the song Summer together.

Bran

One Seventh: There’s only one archetype left, the Smith. Bran was named after his uncle, Brandon Stark, but there was a mythological figure named Brandon the Builder who created the Wall, the ice structure that is the backbone of the defense against the Others in the north. The Smith is the patron deity of creators and workers and experts. This kind of catch-all tradesman, particularly of a non-warlike aspect, seems to suit Bran and his subtle wizardly ways.


Okay, I’m all done, covering all seven of the characters and their respective deific archetypes from the Manimals’ Game of Thrones concept album, SEVEN. I was delighted to be part of the Patreon effort to fund SEVEN, which gave me access to a ton of bonus material about the album. Original artwork by Haley, extensive notes, demos, all kinds of goodies.

And if you buy the album, you’ll get access to this cool stuff.

SEVEN is a very sophisticated work. I know musically-minded friends, who I admit are into Game of Thrones, who have gone crazy over the album, especially the enrichment of Haley’s annotations for the lyrics. It’s been described to me as a Westeros rabbit hole, and I’m not going to argue. Look, people really into Game of Thrones rarely give anything not-created by George RR Martin a pass, unless it’s excellent. Just saying.

Strength lies in the darkest roots
And not every story is true

Not every story is true

The above implies that some stories are true.

I’d say at least SEVEN are.


 

(Comments are always welcome. Super welcome! But if you want to talk spoilery Game of Thrones talk with me (also welcome) I’d invite you to visit my Safe Spoilers page on my backup blog. That way my non-book-reading friends won’t be shocked with foreknowledge.)

Images from HBO’s Game of Thrones (obviously.)

I make no claims to the artwork and only claims to the text that excludes Haley’s lyrics from Seven. So there. 

If you liked this article, thank you! I have all of my Game of Thrones related articles on my handy-dandy Game of Thrones page should you want to read more but don’t want to navigate around my site.

© Patrick Sponaugle 2016 Some Rights Reserved

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