Designing the Middle Ages Costumes for Game of Thrones

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Game of Thrones is known for its epic battles, over-the-top settings, terrifying CGI pets — and for having the budget to make it all look amazing. So it’s more than a little surprising that one consistent element in the HBO epic is a seriously affordable buy.

During a speaking engagement about Medieval dress at Los Angeles’s Getty Museum in 2016, costume designer Michele Clapton revealed that the furs donned by many members of the Night’s Watch started out as shearling rugs from your favorite big blue box store.

“These capes are actually IKEA rugs,” she says with a laugh. “Bit of a trick. We take anything we can.”

She goes on to detail the process (around 27:30 in the video below): “We cut and we shaved them and added strong leather straps, and then breakdown, which is like a religion on Game of Thrones,” she says. “I want the audience to almost smell the costumes. Here they were waxed and frosted so they belonged to the landscape.” In this case, it was the freezing North and the unforgiving lands beyond the Wall.

 

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