The Hidden Meanings Behind the Costumes on "House of the Dragon"
Ever since the announcement of the "Game of Thrones" prequel, "House of the Dragon," the highly praised HBO series, has taken the internet by storm, bringing in close to 20 million viewers after the first installment aired on Aug. 21. As if the plot isn't captivating enough, the popular show takes fashion enthusiasts on a nostalgic journey with its distinct costumes, where each house has their own unique style, similar to "Game of Thrones."
While "House of the Dragon" has undeniable ties to its predecessor, the new series has developed its own visual identity that leaves viewers at the edge of their seats, and fans have award-winning French costume designer Jany Temime to thank for that. With an impressive career spanning from being fashion editor at Elle Magazine to working on the wardrobe for the iconic Harry Potter film series, it's no surprise that Temime elevated the costumes worn by the main players in the Targaryen family: King Viserys I (Paddy Considine), Prince Daemon (Matt Smith), Princess Rhaenyra (Emma D'Arcy and Milly Alcock), Princess Rhaenys (Eve Best), and Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey), as well as the Cole family with Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) and the Velaryon family.
"To be honest, I'd never seen 'Game of Thrones,'" Temime told Tatler Magazine. "I got the offer during quarantine, and I thought 'House of the Dragon' was interesting because it was a prequel. Working on a prequel is like starting a new project, because it's not directly related to the original." Initially unfamiliar with the original series, Temime still managed to successfully incorporate concepts like color theory to create one-of-a-kind costumes for "House of the Dragon."
The producers came up with the meaning behind the costumes, giving the colors special significance. Each hue represents the colors of each side of the family as well as their political ties; red, black, and gold symbolize blood, death, sex, and fire, for example. "Having such a strong color story . . . affected the [silhouettes] — simple and graphic shapes helped to accentuate the colors further — and [forced us] to consider how these colors would appear on screen," Temime shared. Inspired by the Renaissance era and Byzantine empire, one standout ensemble is the young Princess Rhaenyra's coronation gown, which symbolizes the pride she has in her family (as well as their rich heritage), as those were the colors worn by her father during his big tournament.
Whether you're a "House of the Dragon" fanatic or just simply intrigued by the show's wardrobe, keep scrolling to take in the captivating costumes from the houses featured.
House Targaryen: King Viserys I Targaryen
As the patriarch of the house, King Viserys (Considine) is dressed in regal clothes in rich hues and luxe textures.
House Targaryen: Prince Daemon Targaryen
Standout elements of Prince Daemon's costume include the dragon-inspired headpiece and accentuated shoulder plates.
House Targaryen: Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen
Rhaenyra's coronation dress captivated fans everywhere, and Temime drew inspiration from Moroccan bridal fashion for the accessories.
House Targaryen: Princess Rhaenys Targaryen
Temime's diverse inspiration for the show is evident with all of the characters' costumes, especially Princess Rhaenys's.
House Hightower: Alicent Hightower
It's no secret that colors play a significant role in "House of the Dragon," especially when Alicent arrived fashionably late to Rhaenyra's wedding celebration, making a statement in an emerald green gown. In line with her house's history, Alicent's gown represents the beacon of the high tower glowing green, sounding the alarm for war.
House Cole: Ser Criston Cole
As a participant in King Viserys's tournament, Ser Criston Cole's (Frankel) armor is composed of dirtied, dented plates and a scuffed helmet — far from the expected flashy armor. His ensemble is fitting for his low-class background; he is the lowborn son of House Cole, which serves under House Dondarrion under which he was fortunately knighted.
House Velaryon: Lord Corlys Velaryon
Similar to Prince Daemon's armor, Lord Corlys's costume decorated with gold accents was inspired by the Japanese.
House Velaryon: Laenor Velaryon
Temime's inspiration stemming from Byzantine art is especially shown in Laenor's costume, incorporating gold embroidery and medallions. "It was important to think about the Byzantine time, because the gold means power. The rubies and the emeralds as well — everything means wealth," Temime told Grazia USA.