Every tiny detail on Game of Thrones is important - and one of the most reliably theory-generating parts of the show is the costume design.
Those of us who spend every week pouring over the latest episode have costume designer Michele Clapton to thank for her easter-egg-filled, minutely detailed work. Clapton creates hundreds of costumes every season, and has scored three Emmys for her work. She also works on Netflix's hit period drama The Crown.
Clapton is always interested in inserting "codes" into her work: small details that reveal something about the character or the story but that might not be immediately noticeable. Speaking to ELLE.COM, she shared some (spoiler-free) details you may have missed:
Game of Thrones is purposefully becoming less colourful
"On Game of Thrones, winter has been coming for a very long time — and now winter has come. I love the women on this show and how they relate to each other. It's almost like the closing down of colour. It's war. War is coming, and I wanted to strengthen them.
People say 'Where's the colour gone?' Well, there is colour in there, but it's very subdued. If the end of the world was coming as you know it, you wouldn't actually be colourful and bright. You'd start being incredibly practical. And, actually, you'd be hiding your femininity. I think that's really important. I wanted the strength in them."
Sansa and Cersei's costumes tell you a lot about who influences them
"Within each of their costumes, there are influences. Cersei's costumes emulate her father. Sansa's are part father, part mother. It's her father's silhouette with the fur, her mother's within. The textures are very much from her mother. Even Littlefinger has influenced Sansa, in a way, with the decision of how she loops and wears things."
Sansa's costumes are a reaction to her past trauma
"With one of the key pieces this year, I wanted it to look as if she was actually sewn or laced into her dress—like there was no way in. So I designed a belt that comes around the neck, across the chest and around the waist. She's trying to protect herself from all the awfulness that's happened. It's a form of armour. It will be interesting to see how that moves forward."
Daenerys' confidence shows in her coat
"With Daenerys, there's a creeping of red within the scaling embroidery of her coat. It's like she's finally beginning to grasp power and she feels closer to the idea of taking the throne, of coming home. Although it's always been her ambition, whether she actually believed she could isn't clear, even though she said she could. So I decided that finally now she can start inhabiting and owning her family's place. I like the emblematic nature of that."
Game of Thrones costumes are often reused or repurposed
"Sometimes in the first draft of the script there's a really huge scene, and then by the end [of production] it's a two-minute scene — and you've designed a whole town's worth of costumes [...] so then next year, maybe those costumes are dyed and cut and changed and broken down and they become something else. We try and be thrifty [...] We have hundreds and thousands of costumes. We have two huge warehouses full at the moment."