For award winning costume designer Michele Clapton, clothing should tell a story. Her creations for Game of Thrones are incredibly detailed and symbolic; as much a part of the narrative as the characters themselves. Their journeys are mirrored in the costumes they wear, and their journeys are beginning to come to a close.
In a new interview with Uproxx, Clapton breaks down the season seven wardrobe choices for four of the main characters and asserts that – in a way – their clothing symbolizes the approaching endgame for each of them. “It’s a foretelling of things,” she says. “It’s the coming to the end.” For one character in particular, Clapton reveals two key plot points for the upcoming season. MAJOR spoilers below the cut!
When Jon Snow (Kit Harington) resigned as Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch last season, he ditched his blacks for a heavily Northern, Stark-inspired ensemble. “He really embraces this Northern, over-the-Wall style, the Wildling style, and the reason he embraces it is because it’s practical,” Clapton says. Jon won’t always be laden in fur, however. “Kit [Harington] was delighted that he didn’t have the big heavy cape…he could fight and move and I think it was a really interesting process just to take him out into this new look.”
“We had a lot of discussions about does the cape give him presence or is it better to not have that presence? What are we trying to say?” Clapton then confirms two meetings that many have suspected were on the horizon for Jon. “There are times when we removed it because we wanted him to be more vulnerable. Especially I think, when he saw Dany, and he went to see her for the first time in her chamber. We decided to remove it, but then when he went to see Cersei, we put it on.” Considering the chilly reception Cersei is likely to give, that was probably a wise choice.
Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) has come a long way in six seasons, from frightened child to dragon queen. Her impending arrival in Westeros necessitated a new look for the Targaryen would-be conqueror. “She’s this figurehead of her army. I wanted her to be able to stand in front of the Unsullied and be their leader,” Clapton explains.
Her clothing has a militaristic feel with the colors of her House (red and black) finally on display. Clapton decided to forego a crown, at least for now. “She can’t have a crown, she hasn’t conquered yet,” she says. “But I loved this [idea] of this chain of intent.” Dany’s look is inspired by her brother Viserys’ season one attire. “I think it’s quite interesting that we finally see her embracing her brother’s ambition…You’re seeing the beginning of something. We’re not at the end yet and I think it’s very important at this moment that we start seeing who she is.”
Cersei’s (Lena Headey) and Sansa’s (Sophie Turner) outfits are about projecting strength, but there are subtle differences between the two. For Cersei, there is a fragility to her power. Her simple black dress is imposing and almost militaristic, but the beading and accessories are “quite brittle and it’s all an adornment…She has a collar and she has these shoulder pieces, but they’re separate from the dress,” she explains. “She’s in mourning. She puts these things on to show strength but there’s a brittleness in that strength.”
For Sansa, “I wanted a real strength.” Clapton adds. “I think that she’s embraced everything that’s happened to her.” This is quite a change – almost a reversing of roles – from the positions these two women occupied in season one. There is also a protective element to the dress and heavy belt Sansa wears this season. “It’s almost like ‘no one will ever get to me again. There’s an armor to her.” Let’s just hope it will keep Littlefinger at bay.
Read the rest at Uproxx.