According to costume designer Michele Clapton, the clothes have just as important a role to play in the upcoming episodes of the fantasy series as White Walkers and dragons. Clapton, who dressed the first five seasons of the show before exiting, then returning in time to deliver Cersei’s militarized makeover last year, says there’s a feeling of finality in the way the characters are clothed that mirrors the show’s storytelling.
“It’s a foretelling of things,” Clapton told Uproxx. “It’s the coming to the end.”
With the show wrapping up, the designer was keen to represent visually each character’s physical and psychological journey – a journey that’s always been echoed in their clothes. Here’s a breakdown of the clothes of four major characters – Daenerys Targaryen, Cersei Lannister, Jon Snow, and Sansa Stark – might foreshadow.
Compared to Cersei, Sansa, and Daenerys, Jon Snow hasn’t had quite as exciting a journey, at least when it comes to fashion. The guy may have been brought back from the brink of death but his wardrobe hasn’t been as lucky. Born a bastard in the North, Jon donned dark browns and blues with heavy furs and little embellishment.
When he joined the Night’s Watch, his mandatory uniform didn’t stray too far from his original dress code. Last season, after leading men into battle and reclaiming Winterfell, Jon began to favor a look reminiscent of his “father” – one highlighted by copious amounts of fur, warlike practicality, and a statement-making cape. That cape will become the centerpiece of the character’s story come season seven.
Clapton hints that Jon ditches his lord-like outfit for something paired down when he ventures north of the wall this season.
“He really embraces this Northern, over-the-Wall style, the Wildling style, and the reason he embraces it is because it’s practical,” Clapton explains. “Kit [Harington] was delighted that he didn’t have the big heavy cape. This was agile and he could fight and move and I think it was a really interesting process just to take him out into this new look.”
When he isn’t fighting White Walkers, Jon will be interacting with players just as dangerous as the Ice King. It’s why Clapton insisted on emphasizing the character’s dress, or lack thereof.
“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 says. “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.”
For Jon, a man of two worlds with allegiances to two different peoples, the idea that his costume reflect his dual responsibilities became important when trying to visually tell the story of the character.
“That’s a big heavy cape and yes, it is him as Ned, but he’s actually not Ned,” Clapton says. “It was quite interesting to see him transition to another look because it took on another part of his journey. Suddenly people understood him in that role; the way that he can appeal to not just the Northerners, but the way he’s brought that whole group with the Wildlings and everyone together, I thought was really important.”