the ultimate game of thrones finale fashion recap
As season five of the bloody series comes to an end, i-D examines the looks that mattered, from Arya's burlap dress and human mask to the Sand Snakes' rainbow gowns.
Here we are at the finale of another season of the only fantasy story that reminds us week after week that maybe we don't have it so bad in the real world. Half the internet is unpacking the significance of every single frame of the episode, while the other half is loudly complaining about how the books were better. We're going to participate in neither of those conversations, and instead focus on the sartorial elements of the Game of Thrones.
We start way up north with The Little King Who Could, Stannis Baratheon, who is not having a great morning! What does one wear the day after burning one's own daughter alive? It seems kind of disingenuous to go full mourning parent in all black, but also you're fighting a hopeless battle for a crown almost no one wants you to have, so anything else is probably too flashy. But this is Stannis we're talking about—everything is too flashy. He does wear all black, but he's probably mourning his chances at sitting the throne as much as his daughter.
Over at Winterfell, Sansa continues to look flawless despite her prisoner status. She's giving us classic "Little Gray Riding Hood"—but how does the hood stay on her head? It balloons out like a parachute as she runs around, but it never seems to move an inch from its perch at the top of her forehead. And it's not just a cute look! It turns out she needs that parachute to survive the jump from the top of the outer wall of Winterfell. Into a nice, fluffy snow bank? Hopefully?
Next we pop over to Braavos to check-in with everyone's favourite assassin-in-training. Sansa bragged earlier this season about sewing her own dress, but looks like she's not the only Stark girl making her own outfits. Here we find Arya, already the undisputed Queen of Reinvention, wearing her most original look yet: the girl she compassionately euthanised a few weeks ago. She uses that girl's face to get close to the Ser Meryn Trant, who rose from relative obscurity to quickly become one of the most disgusting men ever to appear on tv. In a satisfying bit of vengeance, Arya demonstrates how even a simple burlap dress can be dressed up by accessorising with the blood of your defeated foes.
At last, we get to Dorne. It's truly a mystery why anyone would waste their time in the other six kingdoms when apparently hot people and hot weather come so easily in Dorne. The Dornish have probably never even heard the word "White Walker" before. Grace Coddington has just finished styling the whimsical cover shoot assembled on the dock here. The Sand Snakes always looked amazing in their battle gear, but here they show they also look good wearing these sheer romantic dresses in shades of pink and yellow. They could. And unfortunately for Myrcella they are just as deadly!
Myrcella's gorgeous cotton candy gown has to be the winning look of the night. It's nothing short of Cinderella level drama, which is a strange choice for a voyage by sea, but who can stop a teen girl who looks this pretty? How about a poison kiss from your attempted kidnapper? At least she got to make peace her with Uncle/Father just before succumbing to the consequences of going to first base.
On this week's round of "We're Still in Meereen?" Grey Worm shows up half-naked, which is helpful since his beautiful body is the only chance at uniting the citizens of Meereen under a common cause. Dany's Usually Naked Boyfriend is unfortunately not naked this week, but he continues to do his best to make Tom Cruise's costume from The Last Samurai work for him.
Meanwhile, as Daenerys wanders around solo, we can finally see that her dress is really not as cute as it appeared to be last week. Ignoring the fact that it's covered in dirt and dragon blood, the long tunic over pants and suede boots feels a bit basic to preside over the opening of your city's official pastime. Good rule of thumb: if it's practical enough to ride a dragon bareback, it's probably not dressy enough for the red carpet. She's partially redeemed by holding on to that dragon collar, which is the single best accessory we've seen on the show.
Over to Cersei who is still locked up and looking thirsty af. In my opinion, the Mother's Mercy referenced in this episode's title would have included a Moroccan Oil treatment for that blonde hair, but maybe this chop is the next best thing to promote healthy new growth.
I think I already need to take back the award for best accessory from Dany's dragon collar, and give it to that incredible shame bell accompanying Cersei's naked walk through the streets of King's Landing. Cannot wait to bust that out when my friends show up late to brunch in the same clothes as last night.
Finally we return to The Wall where everyone is wearing varying shades of extreme desperation and utter despair. At least Melisandre has finally decided to dress more appropriately for the weather, but I'm not wild about matching your whole outfit to your hair colour. Unlike Cersei she is not forced to confess to her sins (burning the Princess Shireen alive and abandoning her king before battle just to start), which is probably the first good reason to follow the Red God rather than the The Seven.
Jon Snow is probably praying to every god he can think of at the moment. In the greatest act of betrayal since the Red Wedding, Jon is stabbed repeatedly by his own men in what looks like a production of Julius Caesar directed by Rick Owens.
And that's where we leave the poor unfortunate souls on both sides of the narrow sea. Here's hoping that next season we get to spend more time in Dorne, that Grey Worm's abs are still looking right under that bandage, that Cersei can pull off the Imperator Furiosa, that Arya's blindness doesn't keep her from changing hairstyles every two weeks, and that Jorah's battle with greyscale helps men everywhere get more serious about moisturising.