Gowns and finery took, for the most part, the week off, and let the truly gorgeous armor have the spotlight in this edition of Game of Threads.
This week’s analysis is pretty brief, given that we spend most of this episode either at a hunting party, or on the battlefield. Rhaenyra is playing the brooding goth teenager outside of the celebration for her little brother. This is the same riding coat she wore in the past two episodes. It’s actually quite funny to see the juxtaposition between her and Alicent. Rhaenyra is still in a teenage rebellion stage, and wearing her (badass) “childhood clothes,” while Alicent has begun to dress way beyond her age. It really illustrates the divide between the two. It’s interesting to note that in an interview with Newsweek actress Milly Alcock described this episode as Rhaenyra’s “rage” stage, which is driven home by the fact that she spends almost all of her scenes wearing harder, armor-like, battle-ready leather textiles, rather than the silks we’ve seen previously.
Rhaenyra changes into a different riding outfit, this time for horses. Here we have even more creeping red on her than we’ve had in the past. Visually, and mentally, she’s stuck in nebulous space, somewhere between her father, in black, and her brother, in red, unsure of her future. The motif embroidered on the leather is still soft and almost delicate, which is then ruined and soaked in blood when Rhaenyra brutally kills a boar. Symbolically, this ushers in a new chapter for her, in a “kill the boy” type fashion.
Alicent’s dress is luckily very practical for pregnancy, but also gives the audience a sense that she’s wearing a costume. I don’t mean that in terms of the design looking costumey, but instead like she’s wearing what she thinks she needs to be wearing, especially when the lady companions that she has to hang around with are decades older than her. She sees what they’re wearing and follows suit, even if it doesn’t particularly suit her. Like Margery Tyrell, there is a bit of a similar costuming trajectory. Both women wear more revealing clothes while courting their respective kings, and once they are queen, they don’t feel the need to expose as much skin. Obviously it’s more likely that Otto was pulling the dressing strings (sorry that sounded creepy), but the idea behind the exposure was the same.
Alicent is also notably wearing red, one of her husband’s house colors. She is, in fact, wearing more red than the actual Targaryens, save for her son Aegon. The red comes hugely into play later in the tent as Viserys starts to unravel. The drunker he gets, the more red is amped up around him. The curtains, the court, even the twilight being filtered in from the outside. Perhaps a symbol of things to come?
Then we get armor.
I love how Corlys’ armor is so water-focused as well as snake like in its design, really bringing his sigil into play just like Daemon’s walking dragon armor.
I wonder how similar or different the full Lannister battle armor is in this era, compared to the time of Thrones…
One extra item that circled the internet earlier today:
We have a look at Alicent’s wedding look, which didn’t make it to the show. Because I’m me, I was immediately reminded of Margery’s Purple Wedding hair, again connecting these two distant family members. The crown is not really my thing but maybe it was a prototype for something else? I do like the marriage of her house colors with the red.
It looks as if the dress went through a few different incarnations. In the closeup of Emily Carey’s face, the fabric has much more adornment. I can’t tell if those are beaded strands or if the motif is actually embroidered onto the bodice. The color also reads a little bluer, which I like better than the white, personally, because it calls back to her blue dresses from the first two episodes.
The white is a bit simpler feeling. It also almost seems like it came from Rhaenyra’s closet and they added the gorgeous stumpwork (a term I learned today from my embroider friend) dragon wings for the occasion. I hope we’ll get this as a deleted scene in the future because I would love to see this dress on camera!