How Michele Clapton wove callbacks and references into Sansa’s coronation gown


Game of Thrones is over forever, but thanks to Insight Editions — who has published four coffee table books on topics like the art, photography, storyboards and costumes from the show — it can live on forever.

For example, in Game of Thrones: The Costumes, costume designer Michele Clapton reveals some fascinating details hidden in the coronation gown Sansa wears in the final moments of the series finale. Let’s go behind the fabric.

“The gown has a full skirt made from many different panels in the style that Catelyn Stark favors, as well as long narrow sleeves,” writes Clapton. “Over this modest gown, she wears a metal corset featuring a pattern of weirwood branches growing upward to show hope for the North. We heated the metal to take the shine away and make it look like iron.”

“There’s something Elizabethan about it — it also represents protection, as even now Sansa continues to armor herself,” Clapton continued. “She still wears her needle necklace, which I attached to the metal corset the same way that Littlefinger would hook his dagger onto the fine chain bet he wore. Although Sansa despised Littlefinger, she learned a great deal from him.”

And that’s just the beginning. Sansa’s gown is packed full of details, references, and callbacks, including:

  • An asymmetrical cloak in the same style Arya wore in seasons 7 and 8.
  • A neck pad like her father Ned wore. It’s embroidered with a “fur-like texture” of the direwolf of House Stark, and lined with rabbit fur like her brothers wore in Winterfell earlier in the series.
  • That fur-like embroidery trails down cloak and becomes the fish scales of House Tully, her mother Catelyn’s house.
  • Beaded red leaves that fall to the train of the gown as a dedication to House Stark’s godswood tree.
  • Adored on the dress are representations of the fish of House Tully and direwolves representing House Stark, as well as Sansa’s own direwolf, Lady, who was put to death by Ned at the command of Cersei on the road to King’s Landing in season 1.
  • Black feathers represent the “Dark Sansa” look from the end of season 4.
  • The crown not only represents the direwolves of House Stark, but it also serves as a tribute to her brother Robb, who wore a clasp resembling the crown’s design at the Red Wedding.

It’s easy to see why Michele Clapton is easily one of the best costume designers in the business. We can’t wait to see what she does on The Nevers!

Game of Thrones: The Costumes can be purchased for $75 from Insight Editions.

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h/t Insider