Warning: spoilers ahead for .
When fans first got to know (Emilia Clarke) in the original series, they learnt about the that used to exist but had since been diminished.
However, in the new prequel spin-off House of the Dragon, House Targaryen is at the height of their power – something that is reflected in their elaborate, richly-created costumes, complete with exquisite designs and Eggs galore.
Metro.co.uk recently had the opportunity to speak to , who shed light on the subtle – and not-so-subtle – ways in which the outfits worn by characters on the show not only emphasised how powerful the dragon-riding house is at this point in history, but also where the story will eventually lead.
The most significant way in which each family was set apart from one another was through the use of colour, with the Targaryen’s frequently seen wearing red, black and gold, the Velaryons in blue, green and silver and the Lannisters – who GOT are of course extremely familiar with – in red and gold.
‘We have been trying, and I hope succeeding, for every single costume to reflect the colours of the families,’ said Jany, who’s previously worked on the Harry Potter film franchise and the James Bond movies Spectre and Skyfall.
The importance of the colours of the costumes was drilled into Jany from co-showrunner Ryan Condal – who ‘knew everything’ about the world they were creating, as well as where the story could lead in a second and third season – as well as from the costume designer reading George RR Martin’s book Fire & Blood herself.
This use of colour is particularly significant when it comes to Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock and Emma D’Arcy) and Lady Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey and Olivia Cooke), as it demonstrates the progression of their characters throughout the narrative.
‘Every time that [the characters] want to feel that they are Targaryen, they are wearing black and red. I didn’t put it straight away on Rhaenyra because I wanted to show that she was a young girl,’ Jany said. ‘I wanted to show the youth in her at the beginning. And then she’s going to wear red and black, but later on.’
She continued: ‘So in the beginning she’s in light colours – she’s in light yellow, she’s in beige, she’s just a young girl. She’s not yet dragged into the family. You will see little by little she’s going to start wearing the colour of the family and the same with Alicent.
‘Alicent is going to wear green when she decides that she’s a Hightower before being a Targaryen – you will see that.’
Plus, Jany knew from reading the book that there was ‘going to be the war between the green and the black’, and so ‘the contrast of colour, the war between the family, was going to be the base of my design’.
When it came to Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith), he was also seen wearing red and black to represent his grand house… but when he wanted to be set apart from his older brother King Viserys I Targaryen (Paddy Considine) as the leader of his Gold Cloaks, he of course was seen donning gold instead.
While the colours of the various costumes might be on of the most obvious indicators of the characters’ allegiances to their families, another detail that viewers should keep an eye on is textures.
Fans should be able to spot material that looks like dragon scales on Rhaenyra’s dragon-riding costume, while the Velaryon family – who are led by the Sea Snake himself, Lord Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint) – wear clothes embellished with a fish scale-like fabric.
Rhaenyra’s coronation ensemble, which she wears after Viserys declares her his heir and is featured on House of the Dragon posters around the world, is also adorned with symbols stressing the power of her house, with the buckles, buttons and hoops on the outfit featuring dragons.
This coronation outfit was designed in a carefully-thought-out way, because co-showrunner Miguel Showrunner wanted the weight of the costume to represent the ‘weight of her destiny’.
‘We had to find the right balance between something that was too big for her. So I thought maybe instead of making it too big, we should make it too precious,’ Jany explained.
‘We started adding elements and adding stones and embroidery on it. And then I wanted that crown, which was a sort of elevation. It was progressive.’
The costume designer took inspiration from an image of an ancient Moroccan bride for the look, with Rhaenyra wearing long earrings that hung by her neck.
‘It took a long time for that costume to find the right proportion between the heaviness of the empire that she put on her shoulders and the prettiness of it, because she has to look like a little icon,’ Jany said.
‘When I saw the poster of it, I thought, “Oh my god, this work is gorgeous.” I had to see it in a big poster before realising how gorgeous it was.’
While Jany read Fire & Blood for inspiration for her designs for the series, she completely avoided taking inspiration from Game of Thrones for her looks, as she didn’t want to be influenced by the original series.
Nonetheless, a source of inspiration that she did fall back on was the Renaissance period, as while there are plenty of medieval elements in House of the Dragon, she wanted to highlight just how powerful and wealthy House Targaryen are at this point in time.
‘I wanted to show that, although I use a lot of elements of medieval elements as well, I wanted to show that they were slightly further than that because of the development of their culture. So I did use in the costume a lot of elements from the 13th and 14th century. I went further than medieval because I wanted to show that they were in the upper tails of their dynasty,’ she outlined.
Having begun her two years of work on House of the Dragon speaking to Miguel and Ryan over Zoom while in France, Jany praised the ‘fantastic’ showrunners for their ‘incredible collaboration’.
‘They were both willing to try out things, they were not afraid of trying things and then and going further than was possible. They were very open to everything that I wanted to try. It was very good cooperation,’ she said.
House of the Dragon next airs on Monday from 2am on Sky Atlantic and NOW.
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