How 'Game Of Thrones' Inspired Taylor Swift's 'Reputation,' From Arya's Kill List To The Death Of Littlefinger
If you always had a sneaking suspicion that Taylor Swift's reputation album was inspired by Game of Thrones, then prepare to feel vindicated. It turns out the "Me!" singer is just as obsessed with the HBO drama as everyone else — maybe even more so, since she recently revealed to Entertainment Weekly that the world of Westeros heavily influenced many of the songs on her 2017 album. While the list of names in "Look What You Made Me Do" always felt very Arya-esque, the Game of Thrones references aren't contained to any one song — not by a long shot.
Swift started watching Game of Thrones in 2016 after managing to avoid spoilers about the series, and she was instantly hooked by the characters and intricate plot, per EW. Watching the show was such an immersive experience that it challenged her to up her own game when it comes to dropping hints about new music and Easter eggs in songs for her fan to discover. "My entire outlook on storytelling has been shaped by [Thrones] — the ability to foreshadow stories, to meticulously craft cryptic story lines," she told the publication. "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."
The fact that she's kept reputation's Westeros inspired secrets this long proves she's already putting Littlefinger to shame. As she told EW, "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." However, she did reveal her secret to two people: series creators D.B. Weiss and David Benioff, who were flattered, according to the magazine.
"Look What You Made Me Do" exuded Arya vibes so hard that plenty of people suggested that the song could be the young assassin's anthem when it was released. Knowing that's pretty much exactly what Swift had in mind makes the bop all the more fun. "'Look What You Made Me Do' is literally Arya Stark's kill list," she explained. "'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." Additionally, she revealed that "I Did Something Bad" was written after Arya and Sansa took down Littlefinger.
Throughout the album she was balancing Game of Thrones vengeance vibes with a desire to find "something sacred throughout all the battle cries." Reputation isn't just an ode to the Seven Kingdoms though, it's also grounded in her thoughts and experiences from that period in her life. "These songs were half based on what I was going through, but seeing them through a Game of Thrones filter," she said to EW.
Now that Swift has shared her love of Game of Thrones with the world, she's also happy to offer up her thoughts on who should sit on the Iron Throne when the show ends. "Daenerys, Arya, or Sansa,” she said. "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. Arya [would] be Hand of the King."
Sansa for Queen of Westeros? Sounds good as long as Swift can be her official troubadour.