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Designers Michele Clapton and Deborah Riley discuss symbolism in Game Of Thrones Season 7



The last season of Game of Thrones brought together many characters, strange ironies, and symbolism as described by the production and costume designers Michele Clapton and Deborah Riley. Both these designers have also been nominated for the Emmys of 2018.

The highlights of the award will be the throne room designed for the set of Dragonstone and the winter costumes put on by the Dragon Queen – Daenerys Targaryen in the episode ‘Beyond the Wall’. This isn’t the first time Michele is being nominated for the Emmys, she has previously won three awards for her hard work on the show. She revealed to Indiewire:

“In the top shot, it was important to be able to show Daenerys crossing the space for the first time, the strength of her family history built into the fabric of the space.”

“It was the first time that I could remember that Dany had put herself in danger that is not necessarily for personal gain, so the white was this sense of purity. It had an honesty to it…she has fallen in love with Jon.”

Talking about the white coat Daenerys had put on in the sixth episode of season 7, she also said, “I wanted to create this powerful image of her descending like an Angel to save these men from imminent death…It took a lot of prototyping and collaboration between departments within costume. We created the ‘fabric’ by stitching lengths of leather, faux leather, short white faux fur, and long fine dark faux fur together.”

“Once we found the most effective way to do this each panel of the coat was created and then molded onto a base for strength. This whole structure was then mounted on to a corset-like base to make it secure and flattering. It is essential that a costume fit the actor perfectly and allow them to move with ease. The back panel was faux fur that we cut into to create the idea of a dragon back. It all took a very long time…I chose to design the silhouette of her costume to echo the style that her brother wore, the same style one supposes worn by her family that once ruled. She is also finally beginning to wear her house colors [particularly red]. It’s her belief that she has this absolute right to the throne, at any cost. We really are seeing Dany evolve,” Clapton added.

The other production designer who brought the interiors of the castle and the sets for the TV series to life is Deborah Riley. Riley has been nominated for the 2018 Emmys for the sets she designed for the seventh season of Game of Thrones, especially the debuting set of Dragonstone.

She revealed, “The room had to look like it was constructed of solid materials, taking the lead from Zumaia [the landing spot for the Daenerys shot in Spain], but to also feel like it possessed a certain majesty.”

Talking about the brilliantly designed throne room she said, “The triangle with the top lopped off was a shape that became a very repeatable symbol of power and allowed the space to look like it was standing on its tippy-toes in an uncomfortable defiance of gravity. There was nothing that felt welcoming about the space, it spoke only of ambition with all of the focus towards the throne.”

The castle of Dragonstone was constructed long before the current events of Game of Thrones when the Targaryens arrived in Westeros. It had to look like one, portraying the Targaryen legacy. Riley added:

“It is subtle, but the hexagon shape helps to anchor the space, particularly with the big Targaryen sigil carved into the floor. In the top spot, it was important to be able to show Daenerys crossing the space for the first time, the strength of her family history built into the fabric of the space.”

Which old or new castle would you like to see in the final season of Game of Thrones? Tell us in the comments.

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Founder at Wiki of Thrones and a full-time Game of Thrones fan who does other work when he has finished reading and writing about Game of Thrones and also dreams about playing a role in the show.