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Game of Thrones: the secret fashion detail you probably missed in the season 8 premiere

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Kayleigh Dray
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Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones

It seems there’s more to Daenerys Targaryen’s costumes than first meets the eye…

Please note that this article is dark and full of spoilers for episode one of the eighth (and final) season of HBO’s Game of Thrones. You have been warned.

Game of Thrones roared back onto our screens this week with its eighth season premiere, and fans all over the world have lost their collective minds as a result. What will happen now that Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) has come face-to-face with Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead-Wright), the very same boy he hurled from a tower window last time he was in Winterfell? Will Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) prove a useful ally to the Stark family in the upcoming battle against the White Walkers? And will Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) find the resources she needs to feed the biggest army in Westeros, not to mention two fully grown dragons? 

Sadly, we don’t know the answers to any of these questions… yet. However, we do think we’ve spotted a few clues as to what the future may hold for Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), whose romance seemed to be going well until Samwell Tarly (John Bradley) informed Jon that a) Daenerys had slaughtered his family, and b) that the lovers are actually related (she’s his auntie, he’s the secret son of Rhaegar Targaryen and therefore heir to the Seven Kingdoms… you know the drill).

So where were these clues? Well, they were buried deep within Daenerys’ new winter-appropriate outfit, of course.

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As GOT fans will no doubt already be aware, Daenerys’ costumes have changed throughout the show’s run to reflect her changing personality and goals. Way back in season one, she dressed in soft creams, lavenders and ivories: it helped to emphasises her vulnerability and role as a pawn in her brother’s twisted plot to win back his crown. Since then, we’ve seen her don Dothraki leathers, midriff-bearing gowns, and form-fitting costumes. In season seven, she opted for a military vibe (think strong shoulders, sturdier fabrics, and higher necklines), not to mention a warmer wardrobe… one which was appropriate for the winds of winter.

“I really wanted there to be a definite shift in her look as she embraces aiding Jon’s team trapped north of the wall,” Game of Thrones lead costume designer Michele Claptonpreviously told InStyle. “I also wanted a sense of great beauty and drama. Dany is elevating her look to that of Warrior Queen, with the beautiful silver Mother of Dragons chain worn across her chest in military style, completing the look.”

So what is Daenerys wearing for season eight? And, more importantly, what does it tell us about her story arc?

Well, it’s very similar to the coat from last season, with one key difference: tucked between each row of white fur is a rich, red lining. This could be symbolic of many things: that Daenerys is embracing her Targaryen colours, that she really will take back the Iron Throne, or that she is (as some have predicted Azor Ahai, come to save the Seven Kingdoms from a terrifying enemy.

But what if the colours signify something different? WHat if they suggest a bloody end for our beloved Khaleesi? What if they suggest that Jon is going to be forced to kill the woman he’s come to love?

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It’s horrible to even contemplate such a thing happening, but it’s well worth remembering that the Red Priestess Melisandre (Carice van Houten) predicted that Jon is the legendary “Prince That Was Promised” or “Warrior of Light”.

According to the legend, the figure would be born “amid salt and smoke” and pull a sword named Lightbringer from the flames. However, a theory says that the legend will only come true if the sword is quenched in “living fire” (can you see where we’re going with this?).

In the original legend Azor Ahai forged his sword by stabbing his wife Nissa Nissa in the heart. So, by all accounts, this may mean that Jon has to plunge the blade into the heart of a loved one – aka Daenerys (thought by many to be the new ‘Mad Queen’ of Westeros, especially after she burned Samwell’s relatives to death when they refused to bend the knee) – and kill her.

It’s a dark theory, sure. But it’s certainly a compelling one – particularly when you look at Daenerys’ behaviour in episode one. She has demanded that Sansa show her respect. That the people of Winterfell acknowledge her as their true queen. That her dragons be allowed to eat “whatever they want”. And, when faced with telling a tearful Sam about the deaths of his father and brother, she barely flinched: instead, she kept things as matter-of-fact as possible, and jerked her head in assent when he asked permission to have a moment alone.

Hmm. Then again, these could all be red herrings carefully laid by GOT producers to keep us off the scent. We guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens in episode two, when she (most likely) learns that Jon has a better claim to the Iron Throne than she does. Because, as noted by Samwell, a leader who truly wants the best for their people should be prepared to step aside and make room for another ruler.

Anyone else incredibly doubtful that Daenerys will do so?

Image: HBO

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is editor of Stylist.co.uk, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends. 

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