Nothing goes together like epic fantasy literature and…the Hold Steady? Isn’t that how the old saying goes? No? Well, yesterday Entertainment Weekly reported that the Brooklyn rock band has recorded a song for the third season of HBO’s Game Of Thrones, the series based on George R.R. Martin’s A Song Of Ice And Fire fantasy novels. Craig Finn and co. will join fellow Brooklynites the National in the very short lineage of Brooklyn indie-rock bands that have peformed songs for Game-Of-Thrones, which is presumably a cool club with robes and helmets. While the National’s track was quiet and contemplative, the Hold Steady’s is, of course, a drinking song.
The track is called “The Bear And The Maiden Fair,” and it will be released as part of a 7″ the band is putting out for Record Store Day on April 20, along with a new track, titled “Criminal Fingers.” The song’s goofy lyrics, which you can read here, were written by George R.R. Martin, and the music was put together by the show’s composer Ramin Djawadi. Unfortunately, it’s not available to stream or download yet.
This got me thinking: What preexisting Hold Steady songs could be used to score dramatic Game Of Thrones scenes? A lot. It turns out the dingy, booze-soaked world of the Hold Steady is not too different from the dingy, mead-soaked world of Westeros: You’ve got sneaky drug addicts, violent criminals, unified scenes being torn apart by internal squabbles, sad sex and plenty of ’80s hardcore references. What? You don’t remember that scene where Tyrion wore a 7 Seconds T-shirt and got in a long argument about Zen Arcade? OK, so maybe this concept isn’t airtight, but hear me out.

“Stuck Between Stations”

Choice Lyric: “He loved the Golden Gophers, but he hated all the drawn-out winters”
Graphic Beheading Or Graphic Sex Scene: Sex.

“One For The Cutters”

Choice Lyric: “He didn’t seem that different except for that blood on his jacket”
Graphic Beheading Or Graphic Sex Scene: Beheading.

“Chillout Tent”

Choice Lyric: “He was kind of cute, we kind of kicked it in the chillout tent/And I never saw that boy again”
Graphic Beheading Or Graphic Sex Scene: Look at that picture. What happens in the chillout tent, stays in the chillout tent.

“Multitude Of Casualties”

Choice Lyric: “We heard the deacon’s hopeful eulogy/At least in dying you don’t have to deal with new wave for a second time.”
Graphic Beheading Or Graphic Sex Scene: CARNAGE!

“Chips Ahoy”

Choice Lyric: “She put $900 on the fifth horse in the sixth race”
Graphic Beheading Or Graphic Sex Scene: Horse beheading or graphic horse sex scene? Both sound unpleasant but very possible in the universe of the show. I’m still figuring this one out. Maybe it could be a Luck crossover.