She’d started watching the series in 2016, while working on her sixth studio album, and pretty soon, found herself constantly thinking about Game of Thrones — so much so, that key arcs of the show became integrated into the music.
“These songs were half based on what I was going through, but seeing them through a Game of Thrones filter,” Swift told Entertainment Weekly. “‘Look What You Made Me Do’ is literally Arya Stark’s kill list. ‘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.”
“Look What You Made Me Do” was the first single off Reputation, and almost immediately upon release, fans noticed parallels in the lyrics and the very public feud that Taylor Swift had with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. A look at the lyrics definitely does draw up some Arya Stark Kill List comparisons, especially the pre-chorus, which does, in fact, reference a list:
But I got smarter, I got harder in the nick of time
Honey, I rose up from the dead, I do it all the time
I’ve got a list of names and yours is in red, underlined
I check it once, then I check it twice, oh!
It’s not just Arya Stark who inspired the revenge song, though. Swift added that song also has “Cersei vibes. Daenerys, too.”
Fans continued to pour over the subsequent music video for “Look What You Made Me Do,” looking for references to other celebrity rivalries involving Swift, including Katy Perry and Beyonce. Every frame of the video is chock full of references, which Swift seems quite pleased about.
“Literally the whole video is just an Easter egg,” said Swift in an EW video about her love of leaving little tidbits for fans to pick up on within her work. “There’s like thousands of Easter eggs. There are some people still haven’t found. It will be decades before people find them all.”
Reputation mixes songs about vengeance and songs about exploring love. As we head into the final two episodes of Game of Thrones, maybe it’s time to give Reputation another listen, now that we know its origins.