Game of Thrones costume designer on Daenerys’ “epic” fashion journey

Credit: HBO
Credit: HBO /

TV costuming does more than just provide cosplay references. It’s as much a part of the story as dialogue and action. When you have a character like Daenerys Targaryen go from being a pawn in someone else’s game to would-be world savior, the steps in her journey are reflected sartorially.

Enter Michele Clapton, Game of Thrones‘ costume designer, who designed the outfits for the show absent a chunk of season 6. She described her thinking on Daenerys’ “epic journey” to The Hollywood Reporter:

"She first adopted the Dothraki blue as her color and the leather trousers and boots inspired by Khal Drogo, which gave agility and strength [… In later seasons we] see her costumes vary more from scene to scene to reflect her emotions. As winter comes, the silhouette of the costumes and the colors start to move toward that which we associate with the Targaryens."

To be fair, there really aren’t that many Targaryens on the show. Aside from Daenerys, we really only have Viserys and, in flashback visions, Rhaegar. All three have their own distinct interpretations of the Targaryen look. Throughout seasons 7 and 8, we see Daenerys abandon lighter colors almost entirely and go solely for the blacks and reds of her house. She also loses her capes from the middle seasons of the show, although she keeps her strong shoulders in her Dragon Queen looks.

Let’s take a quick look back at Daenerys’ fashion journey. Here she is in her Dothraki blue, riding boots and trousers:

And here she is in the fighting pits of Meereen. She wore of lot of white in season 5:

Photo Credit: HBO

And here she is in season 7, with the dark colors, strong shoulders, and a cape. Note also that she’s wearing trousers and boots again, which at this point certainly seems like an intentional nod to her earlier wardrobe choices:

Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen. Photo: HBO / Helen Sloan

And here she is from the back, only with a half-cape and strong shoulders, as she overlooks the ruined city of King’s Landing:

The final look is kind of a cross between her full dresses and her dress-over-leggings-and-boots looks, since she clearly has boots and leggings on underneath this one. “It’s somewhere I wouldn’t have predicted her going but it was amazing to see how easily it seemed to develop out of the direction that her costumes had been heading,” Clapton said of where Dany ended up.


Philadelphia Phillies Game Of Thrones Direwolf Bobblehead
Philadelphia Phillies Game Of Thrones Direwolf Bobblehead /

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Clapton and her team are up for an Emmy for Outstanding Fantasy/Sci-Fi Costumes for their work on season 8. We’ll be pulling for them.

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