This post is dark and full of spoilers. You have been warned.
There’s only one thing fans can agree on when it comes to the Game of Thrones series finale: Sansa Stark is a queen. I mean that both literally and metaphorically: Not only did she become queen of the North after the region separated from the other six kingdoms, but she ascended her throne in a very badass dress. A dress that, unsurprisingly, was covered in hidden meanings.
We’ve long known that an outfit or hairstyle on Game of Thrones is never simply just for aesthetics. Whether it’s a sigil’s placement on a coat or a distinct dress pattern, the costume design and hair and makeup often the first place the showrunners and costume designer Michele Clapton will embed details about the characters’ development. Their outfits tell as much a story about who they are—and who they’ve become—as their actions. And no one has demonstrated that more than Sansa.
“I think you can see that she is influenced throughout her journey until she finally comes into her own style in season seven,” Clapton told Glamour before the season eight premiere. “The look is a culmination of her difficult story. The ‘Little Bird’ initially copied the style of Cersei, when she first arrives in Kings Landing. She then retreats to the cut of her mother’s costume, a refuge, showing how she feels, wounded and scared, but she can’t speak it…. She tells of her pain through embroidery and color.”
The show’s finale—and Sansa’s coronation outfit—then represent the strength and power she now represents. Take a close look at both of these GIFs, below. Notice the small details in Sansa’s sleeves and the wolf stole around her neck. All of these shades have deep, special meanings—and some of them might surprise you.
Let’s start with those aforementioned sleeves, which are printed with leaves from the Weirwood trees in Winterfell. These trees are grown only in the North, so naturally Sansa would reference them somewhere on her dress.
The sleeves are also covered in fish scales, a subtle nod to the House of Tully (her mom Catelyn Stark’s house). If you recall, Sansa’s mother was killed during the Red Wedding, so her representing House of Tully at her coronation is a nice full-circle gesture to her mother’s legacy.
Sansa’s breast plate is also adorned in tree branches—yet another nod to the Weirwood forest. Refinery 29 points out that the branches on this piece of armor are a good omen: The North is strong and resilient but, above all, peaceful. That’s refreshing.
The wolf stole, as you probably know, is the House of Stark’s token, so it’s no surprise we see it on this finale look. Sansa’s crown is essentially in the shape of a wolf too. Talk about some family pride.
Fans are living for all of these hidden references. Check out just a few of their tweets, which have even more photos of Sansa’s gorgeous dress.
Clapton has done it again.