Game of Thrones is a show that works on multiple levels. The series can be read as a political metaphor, a climate change parable, a fantasy series about dragons, an epic, sprawling, continent-spanning tale of two families at war, and a simple love story about two people fated to be together. However, one of my favorite angles of Game of Thrones is the design aspects, especially the costumes Michele Clapton has created over the eight seasons. One can read Sansa's history in her gowns. The same is true for others. Daenerys' Game of Thrones Season 8 costumes, for instance, can tell viewers much.
Emilia Clarke, who plays the Mother of Dragons, recently mentioned her new looks in an interview with Harper's Bazaar.
There's a real throughline for this particular season, there's a real arc and I feel like fans, like hardcore fans, will clock what's happening within the reflection of the clothing. There's definitely a story to tell there.
This has been true for her character since the beginning, but perhaps fans weren't paying attention. When Dany first is introduced, she wears a white gown, almost sheer, and her clothes throughout the pilot, including the wedding are nearly colorless. She has no personality yet. Her Dothraki clothes are a reflection of the culture she adapts to, and when she arrives in Qarth in Season 2, she mostly wears giant neck- and breast-plates, a terrified girl hiding behind a shield.
Dany's outfits have always reflected where her head was. As "Khaleesi," she wore a blue that matched Khal Drogo's stripes. As the ruler of Meereen, she wore white, an abandonment of her Khaleesi responsibilities and her Targaryen heritage. Since returning to Westeros, she has taken to wearing black, the main Targaryen house color. This year sees her embrace the red of the Targaryen family colors as well. What does it mean?
Red is the color of blood, of life, of rebirth. Part of Daenerys was dead inside since losing Drogo. Though she's enjoyed men since, she never cared about them, eager to move on from them when things were over. One could argue her relationship with Jon Snow (Aegon) has woken her up again, brought the fire into her heart and the red into her wardrobe. Those rooting for a Targaryen baby can also take hope. This red could be a sign she's alive inside in more ways than one.
The red also differentiates her from the Starks. One thing fans have seen with female characters is their wardrobes change to fit their husbands. Both Cersei and Margaery have been examples of this. Cersei's Season 1 outfits were brown and stag covered, the moment Robert died, she changed to the red and gold luxury of the Lannister clan. Margaery also changed to match whomever she was engaged to and how hard she was cleaving to them. The more Tyrell blue she wore, the less she cared to be seen as one with her man.
By not embracing the black and grey of House Stark, Daenerys is signaling her outsider status. But then again, she's not sleeping with a Stark, is she? Jon Snow is Aegon Targaryen.
Dany could be embracing her man's new colors. Or she could be wearing them to show she is more Targaryen than thou and deserves the Iron Throne over a man who knows nothing.
Game of Thrones Season 8 premieres on Sunday, April 14, 2019.