Taylor Swift’s Game of Thrones obsession influenced the ‘Reputation’ album

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, pose with their newborn son

Taylor Swift covers the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, all to promote her new album, which we still don’t know the name of (I think it’s for-sure Kaleidoscope, for what it’s worth). I have to say something nice about Taylor before I really get into this: I’m soooo glad she’s back to speaking on her own behalf. The Beyonce-like cone of silence/no-interview thing was incredibly annoying. It’s so much easier on her AND me that she’s just giving interviews again. And how! This EW cover story is so epic, I’m actually splitting it up into multiple posts, so please don’t come into the comments with “she also said this and this!” I know she did. We’ll discuss it separately. Right now I want to talk about how Tay is obsessed with Game of Thrones and how she claims the darkness of GoT influenced her “dark album,” Reputation. Some highlights:

When she started watching GoT: Taylor Swift began binge-watching Game of Thrones in 2016. Though she’d heard rumblings about a Red Wedding, the pop star managed to stay away from most major spoilers. “I can avoid pretty much any information,” she tells EW. “For a couple years, every time I’d see my name in print, I’d throw the phone. If you can avoid your own presence, spoilers [are] easy.”

GoT as a musical influence: “So much of my imagination was spent on Game of Thrones. At the time, I was making reputation and I didn’t talk about it in interviews, so I didn’t reveal that a lot of the songs were influenced by the show.” Swift adds that reputation ended up turning into a split album, with one side featuring weaponized songs about vengeance, and the other exploring love and looking to find “something sacred throughout all the battle cries.”

The Kill List song?? “These songs were half based on what I was going through, but seeing them through a Game of Thrones filter. ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ is literally Arya Stark’s kill list. ‘King of My Heart’ was influenced by Khal Drogo and Daenerys. It’s even got this post-hook of drums — I wanted them to sound like Dothraki drums.”

The timing though: She also wrote lines based on plots from season 7 right before the record dropped. “‘I Did Something Bad’ I wrote after Arya and Sansa conspire to kill Littlefinger,” she says. That and “Look What You Made Me Do’ are very Cersei vibes, too. Daenerys as well.”

Her love of GoT & her love of Easter eggs: “My entire outlook on storytelling has been shaped by [Thrones] — the ability to foreshadow stories, to meticulously craft cryptic story lines. So, I found ways to get more cryptic with information and still be able to share messages with the fans. I aspire to be one one-millionth of the kind of hint dropper the makers of Game of Thrones have been.”

Understanding the characters: “You find yourself identifying with different characters several times an episode. You go from hating someone to loving someone. You see someone as cold, and then you see the reasons behind why they do what they do. I just feel so lucky to exist when Game of Thrones is coming out.”

Who will end up on the Iron Throne? “Daenerys, Arya, or Sansa. But if I’m being realistic, I think Sansa has the skill set and the ability to delegate and put on a brave face but a stoic demeanor.” Then what happens to Arya? “Arya [would] be Hand of the King.”

[From People]

How did she avoid getting into Game of Thrones until 2016? My lord, the GoT world is MADE for someone like Taylor. This is the most I’ve liked her – I want to hear more about her GoT theories and opinions. She obviously identifies with Arya, Daenerys and (of course) Sansa… but Taylor is so clearly a f–king LANNISTER. Cersei Vibes for DAYS. The biggest eyebrow-raiser for me was the timeline in 2017 – Season 7 began airing mid-July that summer, and it was what? Eight episodes, eight weeks, and it wasn’t until the last episode of Season 7 that you get to see how Sansa and Arya plotted against Littlefinger. The thing is… Reputation was released on November 10th. She probably had to have the playlist and the songs locked in a good month beforehand. That’s a really quick turn-around for “songs inspired by Littlefinger’s betrayal at the hands of the Starks.”

And after all of that though… I understand how GoT’s darkness would influence her and how it’s one explanation for Reputation’s “dark” vibes. But so many of the lyrical references are not so much about Arya, Sansa or dragons, they’re about how she’s still mad at Kim Kardashian and Kanye West.

2019 Billboard Music Awards

Photos courtesy of WENN, cover courtesy of EW.

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29 Responses to “Taylor Swift’s Game of Thrones obsession influenced the ‘Reputation’ album”

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  1. Rapunzel says:

    Yeah…. I’m not sure if she’s being totally honest here. Look What You Made Me Do for example, is definitely about Kanye/Kim. Is she rewriting history?

    • Alissa says:

      she tends to do that in her interviews, and she usually does articles with interviewers who don’t call her on that. there’s been a few times in the past that she’s done that and it’s really frustrating. because she’s obviously lying when she’s talking.

    • Ann says:

      Re-writing history is so on point for the Snek queen. It makes me laugh so I hope she keeps up with the interviews where she’s clearly lying. Yeah, sure, Reputation was inspired by GoT… how convenient to have related press at peak GoT frenzy. Whatever you say Tay Tay.

    • petee says:

      I don’t believe she is a true fan at all.Anything to stay relevant.I am so sick of her and her music and dancing at award show’s.She need’s to really go away for awhile.Don’t jump on my show’s coattail’s.

    • kim says:

      She seems less then accurate and honest in this interview. She is totally rewriting history to play to current pop culture…people are more into GoT than the Kardashians at this point. I don’t know anyone who follows Kardashian/Jenner or watches the show anymore.

  2. Alissa says:

    yeah, I’ll be honest that while she clearly watches game of thrones, I don’t think reputation was really super inspired by game of thrones. it was inspired by being salty about someone calling her on her pettiness, and her falling in love with Joe. it kind of seems like she’s talking about it because game of thrones is big deal right now. I am glad that she’s doing interviews again, but it reminds me of how she says stuff that just makes me roll my eyes a decent amount of time.

  3. Raquelle says:

    I’ve only ever watched one episode of GOT where they push a child out of a tower. Not even sure what season it was. Am I too late?

  4. Busyann says:

    Hmmm, I wonder if she’s just capitalizing on the popularity of GoT now to increase her coverage? Just like the mayochella thing. Everything with her seems….contrived.

    • jammypants says:

      I was thinking the same. I saw an E! Article that was clearly written by Tree that has a headline of Game of Thrones vs The Avengers vs Taylor Swift for that April 26 “showdown”, which is silly because I didn’t think any of them directly competed with one another. Her team definitely has always capitalized on the buzz of whatever is popular at the moment.

    • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

      Yeppers.

    • petee says:

      You called it.

  5. BANANIE says:

    I’m a Taylor fan in general but I don’t believe this for a second, and I hope none of her diehard fans do, either. Also I hate on this cover how they matched pink eyeshadow to her pink hair. She looks like she has a cold.

  6. Chisey says:

    I doubt she wrote those songs about GoT entirely, but maybe her feelings about her real life (Kimye et al) blended with her feelings about the show, and it all came out in the songs. Like, ‘oh I have this feeling that I want to get back at the people who hurt me, and this part of me really identifies with Arya’s kill list, and so I feel like Arya when I’m writing or recording this song’. The song isn’t about Arya/GoT, but there’s an influence. That’s my interpretation anyway.

    • KA says:

      Agree. When I am feeling a certain way, lets say sad, and I am watching a show that mirrors those feelings, I definitely cry harder/feel more. Those scenes sit with me longer and take on greater meaning for me. Same goes for other feelings. So I could see Taylor, being already in a place of anger and vengeance against Kimye, watching GOT and leaning into those feelings.

    • Case says:

      Agreed. I don’t think she’s claiming they’re completely about GoT, just that the songs were partially inspired by them. And I was quite charmed by the idea that she’s that geeky, lol — my geek obsessions leak into my real life all the time, so it’s fun to see other people experience the same. 

  7. broodytrudy says:

    Uhhhh, we not gonna talk about her face?!

  8. Hikaru says:

    Well that explains Gorgeous lol. When you catch yourself comparing your boyfriend to your brother it’s a sign to stop watching GOT.

  9. Chef Grace says:

    Cashing in on the GoT fame.
    Hiddles must be sighing with relief.
    ;)

    • Dara says:

      As are all his fans. I’m surprised Ms. Swift didn’t try harder to attach herself or her music to the Avengers box office tidal wave. I never thought I’d be glad Loki doesn’t have much screen time in Endgame but here we are.

  10. susiecue says:

    I’m feeling nice. It’s Friday. I think Taylor looks great here. I do love enamel pins though, so I may be biased.

  11. Sheamus says:

    I started watching GoT about a month ago (just started season 3!) and I was able to avoid spoilers up until now. It’s probably because I never cared about the show until recently, so if I saw something GoT related back then I had no idea who the characters were, so it meant nothing to me. Now, though…I avoid Facebook like the plague on Sundays and Mondays lol.

    Also…very convenient that now that Taylor is being asked questions about Reputation, suddenly it’s alllll inspired by the most popular show on TV right now. I just rolled my eyes so hard I hurt myself.

  12. Steph says:

    Sure Jan.

    I’m so sure she modelled her drums after the dothraki even though it sounds nothing like it. Shes a poser through and through.

  13. Alice says:

    THANK YOU!!!

    I thought I was the only one who though it was weird that she did that LOL

  14. xo says:

    Yeah, it’s clear: We’ve past peak Taylor now. The rest is just descent.