Music is at the heart of every Zelda game. The themes of overworlds, dungeons, and character leitmotifs are ones that become permanently etched in our thoughts so that years after we’ve played the game, the memories and stories attached to those songs can be recalled in just a few notes.
“Midna’s Lament” does this to me. I need only hear a few strains of the piano to recall the sense of urgency I felt as I raced across Hyrule carrying my friend on my back. That emotion is forever etched in my brain, and when a friend sent me a remix of “Midna’s Lament” blended with another evocative song from one of my favorite book and television series, the two became intermingled in a way I never thought possible.
Medli’s Melodies is a series in which we choose our favorite songs from The Legend of Zelda franchise, or highlight a special piece of music from the perpetually creative fan community. Music has always such been such an integral component of Zelda games, and we’re here to celebrate that every week!
Game of Thrones is one of my favorite series. It has been since the first season of the show, after which I immediately read through all the books that were available. There are numerous melodies and songs referenced in the text and on the show, but one of the more famous ones is the unofficial theme of House Lannister, the “Rains of Castamere.” While I’m a music aficionado, I am not a musician, and the thought of remixing songs has never occured to me, but I’m glad the idea blossoms within others. It created the music I’m sharing today: a combination of two seemingly unrelated songs woven together as though they were always meant to be.
Andrew Hartley plays this piece on a keyboard. There’s no fanfare or grand production; it’s just him and the keys and that’s what makes it perfect. The simplicity of both pieces lends to their stories, and even in this simplistic setup
On a basic level, not much. They’re both fantasy stories with a medieval and magical aesthetic, but the stories are very different. Yet, if you know the lore behind “Rains of Castamere,” you can see bits of Midna’s journey reflected in both its melody and lyrics, which were left out of the remix but are important to note.
“Rains of Castamere” is a song of vengeance, of an insulted family issuing a challenge that anyone should mock their power. While “Midna’s Lament” first appears as Midna is near death and seemingly powerless, we have to remember who she is: the Twilight Princess, and up until then, she’s been out for vengeance. Her kingdom has been stolen, her throne usurped, and she’s seeking to reclaim the Fused Shadow to simultaneously take back her throne and hide her own shame for fleeing when her people needed her. The stories are different, but the theme is present in the gameplay and in Midna’s actions up until that point. While her ultimate motive changes from wanting to save only her kingdom to wanting to save both the Twilight Realm and Hyrule, her desire to seek vengeance against Zant for what he’s done to her and her people still remains.
The emotions music can foster are always interesting, but it’s even more interesting when you take a piece that evokes a sense of sadness with one that reminds you of vengeance. I love this piece, and I have shared it often with anyone who happens to have a fondness for both Twilight Princess and the Game of Thrones series because there’s nothing better than when two of your favorite things collide to create something new.