'Game of Thrones' Costume Designer Michele Clapton Spills Her Season 8 Secrets

Winter, fan theories, and killer outfits are coming.

Fur, Fur clothing, Outerwear, Long hair, Winter, Textile, Freezing, Photography,
(Image credit: HBO)

Bundle up: Winter is just about here. HBO’s fantasy juggernaut Game of Thrones enters its eighth and final season on April 14, and die-hard fans are already preparing to read into every single detail of the show—including the outfits of any character still standing. Aside from her meticulous attention to design and construction, designer Michele Clapton imbues her costumes with significance and foreshadowing.

So naturally, we had to ask her about them. Clapton answered some rapid-fire questions about what fans should know right now about her designs and the characters they clothe.

Were there any costume mishaps on set?

Michele: The sound department hated the early Kingsguard armor, as it was made of metal scales. In one quiet scene, we had to put [crafting putty] Blu Tack under every scale to stop the noise!

Who was most likely to ruin an outfit?

Michele: Jaime Lannister [played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau] used to split his trousers a lot in the first season. He was very patient with us having to mend them.

Human, Jacket, Darkness, Facial hair, Photography, Leather, Leather jacket, Armour, Night, Knight,

(Image credit: HBO)

Were there any actors who wanted to keep their costumes?

Michele: Most of them! Except Kit Harington [Jon Snow], who it seems was glad to see the back of his because it weighed so much—which is sad. We were proud of the look we created.

Which character did you have the most fun designing for?

Michele: Personally, I’ve always liked Sansa’s [played by Sophie Turner] style. It’s closest to my own taste.

Fur clothing, Fur, Beauty, Fashion, Outerwear, Textile, Lip, Model, Photography, Portrait,

(Image credit: HBO)

What can we expect from Cersei's style in Season 8?

Michele: True to herself as always. I love her..and how Lena played her.

There were rumors that Daenerys [played by Emilia Clarke] and Jon were made to look like each other as their characters got closer. Anything to look out for where they’re concerned?

Michele: The costumes always tell stories, often hinting at loyalties and desires.

Outerwear, Fur, Fashion, Photography, Fur clothing, Grassland, Outerwear, Fur, Fashion, Photography, Fur clothing, Grassland,

(Image credit: HBO)

Fans realized Cersei and her maid have been wearing matching outfits this whole time? Any significant reason why?

Michele: I liked the idea that Cersei inspired this devotion from some—that this woman would cut her hair and style herself as Cersei was a way of showing that even the worst people have fans.

How early do you know a character’s fate?

Michele: I usually get an outline of the season a few months before we start filming, so I have time to think about the storylines of each character. Sometimes [the show-runners] would tell me something that would come the following season so I could steer the looks in the right direction.

Do you pay special attention to what characters are wearing when they die?

Michele: Yes, sometimes to mock them, sometimes to celebrate them. Often, it’s to underline what we saw in the character.

Without giving anything away, did you plan a special costume for the characters’ last scenes ever?

Michele: Yes. It was essential.


For more stories like this, including celebrity news, beauty and fashion advice, savvy political commentary, and fascinating features, sign up for the Marie Claire newsletter.


Mehera Bonner
Entertainment Editor

Mehera Bonner is a celebrity and entertainment news writer who enjoys Bravo and Antiques Roadshow with equal enthusiasm. She was previously entertainment editor at Marie Claire and has covered pop culture for over a decade.