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SYFY WIRE Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones’ 12 fiercest costumes (to date), ranked

By Elizabeth Rayne
Jon Snow in Game of Thrones

It's virtually impossible to go to any con these days and not see some form of Game of Thrones cosplay every other second, from Daenerys with a dragon perched on her shoulder to the Hound clutching a KFC bucket (this actually happened). You know at least 10 Jon Snows are going to be there sweating it out in faux fur.

The show’s head costume designer, Michele Clapton, brought the fashion of Westeros to life in every way possible, from wearing down leather and metal as if they’ve already gone through battle to using something really unexpected for that cape Jon never seems to take off. Embroiderer Michele Carragher used her sorcery to add an unreal amount of detail to many of the already rich fabrics. Even the twigs and leaves that cloak the Children of the Forest glimmer with beads and sequins up close.

Fashion in Westeros is loaded with meaning and symbolism. Some, like the animals of Houses that come just short of eating each other on the wedding dress Sansa never actually gets married in, is obvious. Even more is based not just on George R.R. Martin's verbal imagery but the journey a character experiences from the end of a long summer to the blast of brutal winter. Entire wardrobes can represent character evolutions.

Before we see what potential cosplays Season 8 has to reveal, see the costumes we at SYFY WIRE can’t erase from our memory after seven seasons — and relive who wore what to their wedding, battle, death, or otherwise.

Varys in Game of Thrones

The robes Varys can't live without

You think you'd be a little less conspicuous when your main objectives are gossiping and poisoning people, but Varys likes it luxe and lush. He always seems to wear these robes in different colors and has this exact same one in purple. However much you love to hate the eunuch, you can't deny how rich he looks, which probably has to do with the Game of Thrones costume team weaving their own fabrics.

Maybe his little birds told him that.

Littlefinger and Sansa in Game of Thrones

That cloak Littlefinger wears when…

… he hits on Sansa and pretty much exposes himself as evil on legs. Littlefinger always has something up his proverbial sleeve, and apparently under his cloak. Try to forget the creep factor for a moment and marvel at those sleeves, which hide flashes of the same burnished gold brocade he's wearing underneath.

Even creepier is that Sansa eventually ends up wearing a cloak influenced by the pervert himself.

Myrcella Baratheon in Game of Thrones

What is basically Myrcella's funeral dress

First Joffrey, then Lysa, now Myrcella… this gown is another tragic case of someone getting all glammed up before their imminent death. It's become a morbid pattern on Game of Thrones.

No princess should have to die in a pink confection that clearly doesn't belong six feet under. You might not notice it as Jamie starts to freak out when she starts bleeding uncontrollably from the nose, but her dress is exquisitely detailed with embroidered flowers and leaves. Maybe they laid the same types of flowers on her grave.

Cersei in Game of Thrones

Cersei's heavy metal everything

After seeing her son meet his end in the most gruesome way possible (even though he deserved it) and walking a walk of shame way worse than anything you suffered in college, Cersei's fashion sense goes darker. But this whole black-and-armor thing is pretty badass, as if you merged an '80s power suit with raging vengeance.

It's as if she's telling all the septas who forced her to tramp through the streets of King's Landing naked that nobody messes with a lion.

Lysa Arryn in Game of Thrones

The gown Lysa flies in

We mourn for this intricate beaded gown that got thrown out the sky door before it could even be a bridal fashion statement. It doesn't even need any jewelry because an embroidered and beaded Arryn eagle spreads its wings at the neck, with another eagle flying up into the bodice. It is kind of a shame that a dress with so much detail lurks in the shadows of the Aerie most of the time.

Sure, Lysa Arryn was that clingy, insufferable mother her son might have been better off without, but Littlefinger should have waited for the wedding night to undress her and save the gown for one of his ladies of the night.

Sansa in Game of Thrones

Sansa's wedding dress

Joffrey didn't deserve this. What Sansa Stark would have worn to the wedding that never happened is actually the story of her heritage embroidered on a piece of wearable art. If you really look closely, you can see the Tully fish of her mother's side mingling with the Stark direwolves of her father's until the Lannister lion takes over.

Sansa should at least be glad that she wasn't the guest of honor at the Purple Wedding.

Loras Tyrell in Game of Thrones

Armor almost too beautiful to joust in

Ser Loras Tyrell's armor is almost as pretty as he is. The helmet alone is a tangle of metal vines and golden blossoms that shimmer in the sunlight (because what else would represent his house?). The same motifs climb all over his breastplate and everything else he wears to face off against the Mountain... you know, before the Mountain decapitates his horse out of rage and all that.

Admit it, you're relieved he won, because you'd never be able to stand seeing so much beauty get toppled. Renly Baratheon couldn't resist it either.

Children of the Forest in Game of Thrones

The greenery of the Children of the Forest

To make the Greenseers look as organic as possible in Season 4, Carragher gave their costumes organic textures from leaves to moss and even fungus. She somehow worked magic by making these costumes appear to have stepped right out of the dirt and trees at first glance... until you realize how much intricate detail really grows from them.

The beaded and sequined rows of shelf mushrooms might be the most glamorous take on fungus ever.

Margaery and Joffrey in Game of Thrones

Margaery's wedding dress

Though Sansa's prestige as the next princess of King's Landing is stolen by a haughty noble who says no to wanting to be a princess because she wants to be queen, but you have to admit her dress is nothing short of stunning. A trail of thorny roses trailing down the back represents House Tyrell. The fabric roses and stems get edgy with leather leaves painted silver and actual glass thorns.

Joffrey didn't deserve this one either.

Jon Snow in Game of Thrones

Jon Snow's iconic fur cloak

The cloak we've all come to associate with the so-called bastard of Winterfell-turned-King in the North carries some heavy symbolism. Remind you of anyone? Jon wears it as an homage Ned Stark. He also tends to keep it on when confronting a potential threat and shed it when he lets his guard down.

Jon's cloak — and Sansa's, and all the heavy fur cloaks on the snow are made from — wait for it — IKEA rugs. Clapton's design team would cut and shave them before adding leather straps. Luxurious? Hardly, but IKEA was so impressed that they even created a tutorial on how to make your own.

Daenerys in Game of Thrones

Daenerys' dragonscale gown

The Mother of Dragons often wears dresses true to her namesake. Carragher created dragon scales for several of them from textured stitches and metallic thread. Just like Dany's dragons grew, the styles evolved as she came into her own as the unofficial dragon queen of Westeros.

You have to wonder how many teenage girls out there wanted to wear something like this to prom after she rocked it in Season 4.

The Night King in Game of Thrones

The Night King's menacing armor

Even the undead need armor. For Death himself, the show's armorers dreamed up a nightmarish vision of weathered metal that has obviously seen many long winters beyond the Wall (Clapton actually employed a "deconstruction team" to make things look legit worn). It vaguely echoes samurai armor, and samurai didn't mess around.

There are no carvings, no flourishes and certainly no flowers here. Meaning this is clearly not something Loras Tyrell would wear.