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Game of Thrones Calls Upon Indie Rockers The Hold Steady to Sing One of Westeros’ Most Popular Songs

Winter Is Coming

“The Rains of Castamere” is good and all, but man what a downer. The Hold Steady will be trying their hand at bawdy drinking song “The Bear and the Maiden Fair” instead for season three of Game of Thrones.

The song, about a fair maiden who’s wooed by a bear (here are the lyrics) pops up quite a few times throughout the series. Say showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss:

“This is one of the most popular songs in Westeros, beloved by nobles and commoners alike, sung at taverns and feasts and etc. We wanted our rendition to be bawdy and a little sloppy — drunken musicians getting up on the table and jamming while the rowdy party continues around them. There was no one better for the job than the Hold Steady, and the song they delivered has been stuck in our heads for the last four weeks.”

I’m guessing it’ll be played over the end credits of episode seven, as it’s titled “The Bear and the Maiden Fair” (yes, yes, I’m a regular Sherlock, I know) and is almost certainly the episode where not-so-fair maiden Brienne of Tarth and Jaime Lannister find themselves up against a bear (A BEAR! All black and brown and covered with hair!) in Harrenhal.

I must confess to not knowing any of the Hold Steady’s songs—most of my attention goes to movies, not music—but HBO did well choosing The National to sing their eerily beautiful cover of “The Rains of Castamere” last season. So I’m excited to hear the ribald drinking song I’ll be adding to my iPhone in a few months’ time.


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