In the final season of Game of Thrones, at least one thing is completely different. The show’s opening credits have been remade with brand-new locations, designs, and an improved sense of scale. While the previous title sequence swooped and spun over locations across the show’s enormous fantasy world, this one dives inside, showing not just the exteriors but also interior spaces. “This season is a lot more intimate and grounded,” credits creator Kirk Shintani tells Vulture. “Narratively, they are doing a lot more than just flying from location to location. There’s a lot more story to it.”
Game of Thrones showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff first approached Elastic, the company behind the show’s title sequence, about the idea of remaking it from scratch several years ago. “Around June of 2017, Dan and David and Greg [Spence, a Game of Thrones producer] came by and said, ‘We want to change everything. Brand new. Let’s do it all over again,’” Shintani says. “We’ve been dying to give this thing a facelift, because we’ve been looking at the same thing for almost nine years.”
Much of the original concept is the same, following the central idea that Shintani, Angus Wall, and others at Elastic developed for GoT’s first season.
To the casual viewer, though, the biggest difference is surely the view into interior spaces. It was Weiss and Benioff’s idea to move inside the buildings, and as Shintani says, “The biggest thing for them was to start at the Wall.” From there, the new credits move southward before finally arriving in Kings Landing, with the Iron Throne unfurling at the end of the Red Keep. “The show has been inexorably moving towards the Iron Throne,” Wall says. “Being able to go inside allowed us to actually end the title sequence at the throne.”
The astrolabe surrounding the map has been updated for the final season as well. While Shintani says that diehard fans have “picked out pretty much everything” in the credits, he’s surprised that the astrolabe seems to get less attention. In the first seven seasons, he says the astrolabe’s bands showed images of events “leading up to season one,” but people “haven’t necessarily tried to figure out exactly what the pre-history was.”