Game of Thrones' Season 8 premiere may have been short on shock and surprises in favor of long-awaited scenes like Jon Snow's (Kit Harington) disturbing discovery, but there's still plenty of season left for startling revelations and juicy predictions to play out. And though we've scrutinized the epic to find every conceivable hint about what'll happen next — from asking professional gamblers to predict characters' odds to having an actual psychic tell us who's going to sit atop the Iron Throne -- we'd be remiss if we overlooked the most fun way of analyzing the show: costumes.
Game of Throneshas frequently used characters' costumes to give insights about their growth or foreshadow drama to come; for example, Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) donned a stunning white coat last season, which GoT costume designer Michele Clapton said hinted at Dany's coming embrace of the King of the North. With millions of people dying to know what happens next, TV Guide turned to costume expert Nick Verreos to help dissect what the characters wore and possibly learn what those garments mean for the story.
Verreos — the Project Runway alum, costume expert, and co-chair of the Fashion Design program at Los Angeles' Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising — said the costumes in the first episode aren't as grand as they were at the end of Season 7, but they do offer some subtle clues. "While the story revolves around the preparations for the oncoming war surrounded by the bitter cold weather," he told TV Guide, "the costumes tend to be less glorious and more Edwardian melancholic. Even with that, there were some standouts."
Here's Nick's breakdown:
On Daenerys Targaryen's smashing coat: "Daenerys was the Fashion Queen of the episode with that white fur coat of hers. The coat was really the Costume Star of the premiere. This one garment showed the frozen tundra of Winterfell while giving a nod to the Targaryens with its strong shoulder structure. It also had a romantic, icy touch to it with its silver-white-berry colorings. The fit-and-flare coat is actually made from strips of fake fur and leather mounted over a corset, creating a dramatic silhouette befitting a queen making an entrance."
And while Nick didn't say much about the red notes in the coat, we can't help but consider them a suggestion of blood — which could be an opening statement to the people in the North that she's not playing around or, R'hllor forbid, a hint of her own possible demise.
On Sansa Stark's increasingly badass luxury look: "Sansa (Sophie Turner) is slowly but surely showing her strength through her clothing. Her gray/black fitted coat with strong protruding shoulders immediately gives an air of power. The subtle yet still important cross-body leather strips across her chest are a visual 'don't mess with me' cue to anyone who comes within five feet of her (a reminder of what she has gone through in her young past). Sansa's ensemble mirrors the strong men on the show, expressing that if she is to be taken seriously, she has to become, sartorially, one of them."
On Cersei Lannister's armored gown: "Always a costume highlight of Game of Thrones for me is seeing Cersei (Lena Headey), who usually is the Anna Wintour Fashion Diva of the show when it comes to her costumes. While this premiere episode was a bit of a disappointment when it came to her fashions, I still liked one particular look which featured a coat with skeleton-like copper shoulder pads, chain-mail embellishment, and a high neck. The small crown of threaded gold on her head was her semi-fab statement piece. She was giving subdued Medieval war-time elegance."
Indeed, Cersei's luxurious, dark and highly metaled garb suggests she's ready for battle and will spare no expense in doing what she damn well pleases.
On Jon Snow's furry fortress of a coat: "One of my favorite fashions of this episode was Jon Snow's (Kit Harington) sweeping coat with fur. The gray-and-black tweed-like fabrication was luxe, and the mixture of fur gave him a commanding stature and made him a great contrast to Daenerys' icy silver-and-white ensemble. Since Kit Harington is not the tallest of actors, one would think to not overwhelm him with yards upon yards of heavy fabric to weigh him down, but the look had the opposite effect, making him stand out more, and let's just be frank: Only Harrington could make the words gray, black, and fur, look SEXY!"
Jon's look hasn't changed a ton since last season's fateful first meeting with Dany, but it's interesting to note that his ensemble is a little more subdued, and a little less formal than before... but we'll see how that plays out in light of the revelations about his true identity.
On scene-stealing Brandon Stark's get up: "Speaking of fur, Brandon Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) looked every bit a Fashion Peacock in his fur-trimmed outfit, which framed his entire body like something out of a portrait painting from a famous gallery. As the Three-Eyed Raven, with his supernatural powers, he must look the part of someone mysterious and omniscient... I couldn't take my eyes off of him. Whether he knows it or not, every time he has a scene, it is like his Red Carpet Moment, reveling in giving an entire commanding look."
For more of Nick Verreos' style insights, check out his book: A Passion for Fashion: Achieving Your Fashion Dreams One Thread at a Time.
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.