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Out of the Box: Look of the Week

14 Jul

Game of Thrones returns this Sunday (July 16) and this week’s “Out of the Box” is dominated by the HBO juggernaut with both the big LA premiere and magazine covers (see also Lena Headey’s stunner for The Edit). It is not just all GoT and there’s more fashion shows, editorials and fun cover shoots. Love is dead for Jon Snow and Ygritte (quite literally), but it is still very much alive IRL for Kit Harington and Rose Leslie on the GoT blue carpet. Plus they’re doing a couples floral theme with Harington adding some flare in jacquard Dolce & Gabbana and Leslie in a dramatic Erdem.

A brief interlude because this collaboration is VERY exciting:

Leslie is also ticking those important pocket boxes and I know that YMMV when it comes to a guy not wearing socks on the red carpet, but it very much goes with Kit’s overall look here. Plus it is summer. And who doesn’t want to wear formal slippers when they can. This is a very fun (and slightly terrifying) Vivienne Westwood frock from Nathalie Emmanuel and she’s got the perfect red lipstick for this look. Love the floral metallic heels too.Keeping with the face theme is Sophie Turner in a sparkly Louis Vuitton Resort mini dress. Turner has been at quite a few LV events recently so expect to see more of her in this brand and this looks great on her.Also getting the shimmer memo is Gwendoline Christie in this ethereal plunging number that is straight out of The Great Gatsby.It is never too early for animal print and Amanda Peet is also bringing the red lipstick power to the GoT blue carpet.This looks very warm for this time of year, but Julianne Moore is working the Calvin Klein duvet as coat vibe at Raf Simons runway show. Contrasting plaid sleeves add to the slightly bananas cool.For a more classic approach there’s Matt Bomer at the Todd Snyder – who he wore to the CFDA Awards – and he’s also gone sockless. As with Kit Harington, it works with this ensemble. Polo shirt perfection.While watching GLOW I tried to work out where I knew Gayle Rankin (Sheila) from and because I am sometimes stubborn I didn’t turn to IMDb to answer this question. Enter Interview Magazine and this fabulous profile of Rankin, which informs me that she is so familiar because I saw her in the recent Cabaret revival back in May 2014.

This profile is less about GLOW and more about her current project as she is playing Ophelia to Oscar Isaac’s Hamlet and because I am pretty basic at times, this is my favorite Shakespeare play. And I love Rankin’s Ophelia interpretation:

“The reason she kills herself is because the world has proven to her that love doesn’t exist. I get that, I understand why she’s like “Well, what’s the point? If love doesn’t exist, what’s the point?”

The shoot is also fantastic with oversized menswear, sweaters and tailored suits with the look above capturing a lot of what I am looking forward to from fall fashion.Absent from the GoT premiere, but crushing it on the cover of the new August issue of Elle is Emilia Clarke. This Dolce & Gabbana frock is giving me strong early ’90s vibes and use of lipstick print works like a charm.

In the excerpt she discusses Daenerys’ “commanding sex scene with Daario” to which she says:

“That’s a scene I’ve been waiting for!’ Because I get a lot of crap for having done nudes scenes and sex scenes. That, in itself, is so antifeminist. Women hating on other women is just the problem. That’s upsetting, so it’s kind of wonderful to have a scene where I was like, ‘There you go!”

I’m gonna have to disagree with Clarke here in that it isn’t about women hating on other women, but objecting to scenes which use “sexposition” (to use a term coined by Myles McNutt). This isn’t to say she hasn’t experienced a level of unnecessary vitriol, but the objections to the amount of nudity in GoT is not antifeminist as it is directed at the creatives rather than the actors. Or at least it should be directed at those behind the camera. Another show returning soon is Broad City (August 23) and Abbi and Ilana are on the cover of the Nylon denim issue. There are a lot of out there denim pieces to enjoy and the interview discusses their partnership as well as the new season. One factor I am looking forward to is Broad City turning from a summer show that airs in winter to a winter show airing in summer. Something I have definitely thought about more than I should.

Part of this change comes as a result of the current political climate and Ilana explains how this will impact the fabric of Broad City:

“We won’t be picking up exactly from November 9. But our timeline will be vaguely current. This season is infused with what they’re feeling—and what we’re feeling—which is something along the stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Sometimes it may just be a joke, or something in the background, but we definitely want that feeling to be cohesive across the season.”

The interview also explores their creative evolution and why it is important for them to work on separate projects. While season 3 wasn’t my fave, I am excited to have these ladies and characters back soon.


Thank you, Beyoncé. This was the first image I saw when I clicked on Twitter this morning.

Music Monday: The Game of Thrones Season 6 Finale Edition

28 Jun

The Game of Thrones season 6 finale delivered on every front finally confirming a long held theory about a certain character’s parentage, resolving conflicts, setting up new ones and leaving us in a place clamoring for more episodes. Some spoilers ahead.

Plus this piece of music is so good we’re doing Music Monday on a Tuesday.

Cersei’s big plan paid off while leaving a trail of the dead and this opening extended sequence is one of the best that Game of Thrones has ever done ratcheting up the tension at every turn. Part of this was down to Ramin Djawadi’s score which started off sounding like a less melancholy version of the Leftovers repeated piano themes. Bringing in cellos and then the super dramatic sounding organ as the pieces fall into place is next level score genius and it has been pretty much been on repeat for most of yesterday and this morning. It makes typing feel all the more urgent.

Best of the Game of Thrones Season 6 Premiere Red Carpet

11 Apr

If you want your Jon Snow red carpet fix then you will have to make do with this (plus bonus Ygritte) as Kit Harington was a no show at the Game of Thrones season 6 premiere.

This was not a surprise and it means the attention can rest on those characters that weren’t stabbed to death in the last episode of season 5; even if Jon Snow is all anyone has on their mind and it is very likely Kit Harington will be back in some capacity. The Game of Thrones red carpet is always a fun one and this year is no different.

Maisie WilliamsThe bandeau top is a hard garment to pull off on the red carpet and Maisie Williams does just this in a Emilio de la Morena ensemble. 50s meets super contemporary by pairing a high waisted floral skirt with this teeny tiny top and Maisie Williams is our standout. Emilia ClarkeVery different florals from Emilia Clarke in a strapless black gown and some really great accessorizing, but does this need a necklace? Maybe I’m so used to seeing her with that dragon choker, but I do think this needs something else, Great orange lipstick though. Nathalie EmmanuelAnd then going for a very classic look is Nathalie Emmanuel also scoring the bold lip color points. Sophie TurnerThis purple on Sophie Turner is fantastic as is the silhouette of this Stella McCartney gown and the gold choker is the ideal accessory here. Can Sansa get some power and revenge on season 6? Please and thank you.Lena HeadeyGoing for slightly more relaxed long dress styling is Lena Headey and she is working it like a charm.Kristofer Hivju and Gry MolvaerTormund definitely doesn’t have a fake beard as Kristofer Hivju’s shows on the red carpet last night and he scrubs up rather well out of his wildling leader gear. Wife and journalist Gry Molvær’s sparkly dress is an icy color treat.Joe NaufahuNew handsome dude in a tux alert and Joe Naufahu will be playing Khal Moro this season.Iwan RheonI love how shifty Iwan Rheon looks here and also that his shoes are two-tone.Amanda PeetMore florals and the photo assumption I’m getting is that Amanda Peet is bummed out that she is at another one of these events while her own excellent HBO show Togetherness aired its very last episode last night. I am also very sad about this cancellation.

Game of Thrones returns Sunday, April 24.

Game of Thrones Magazine Covers – Emilia Clarke and Maisie Williams

8 Apr

The magazine covers keep on coming for the stars of Game of Thrones as the season 5 premiere date fast approaches (4 days to go!) and these fashion publications are going in different directions with one actress looking more like her character and the other in a stylized editorial.

Emilia Clarke VogueWhen Emilia Clarke covers magazines – such as these ones – they tend to stick to her non-Daenerys looking hair and styling. British Vogue breaks this template opting for a dress style that wouldn’t look out of place on Game of Thrones as long as you replaced the flowers with something resembling dragon scales (the floral approach is more Margaery’s signature).

There is often the desire to separate character from actor and by embracing the look of Daenerys it sets this cover apart from the previous fashion magazines she has appeared in; this is Clarke’s first Vogue cover after all. Plus there is instant Game of Thrones brand recognition rather than pondering who this brunette you might recognize is. I’m still holding out for a Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams Vogue.

Maisie WilliamsNow for something more stylized and Maisie Williams has already done the Arya cover thing for Entertainment Weekly in character and with a preview of her new costume. With the forthcoming UK general election less than a month away Dazed has used this as a thematic jumping off point with Williams in an oversized jacket and multiple rosettes complete with an excellent ‘don’t fuck with me’ expression. Arya Stark would be pleased with that.

Inside the issue Williams wears something which looks a little more Westeros in a dress by Gareth Pugh.

Maisie DazedDazed is available now and Vogue hits newsstands April 9. Both are available in print and digital formats.

Out of the Box: Look of the Week

27 Mar

April is fast approaching and this means a bunch of hotly anticipated shows will be back on our screens very soon. Mad Men is one and yesterday we discussed their sartorial highs. They are not alone in being on a whirlwind promotional tour as the Game of Thrones cast has gone from a premiere at the Tower of London last week to an extravaganza in San Francisco on Monday. This is a GoT “Out of the Box” special is an all lady affair including the San Francisco premiere, talk show outfits and magazine editorials.

Maisie WilliamsMaisie Williams does super cute and funky in a summery Markus Lupfer dress passing the pockets test. The disco ball Lulu Guinness bag is everything and very much something for the Williams late teen set. Alas those days are long gone so I won’t be adding it to my wish list.

Maisie and SophieIt has been forever since Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams shared a scene on screen and while I so badly want to see a Sansa/Arya team-up I think this is the best I can expect for now. And it is pretty great.

Nathalie EmmanuelA stunning color combination from Nathalie Emmanuel in Mugler working the awkward shoulder detail with aplomb. It would also appear that silver strappy heels are the shoe du jour.

Carice van HoutenProbably looking the least like her character is Carice van Houten and this isn’t just down to the lack of Melisandre’s red cloak as there is a softness to her styling. Another vibrant dress ideal for spring and complete with those all important pockets.

Gwendoline ChristieGwendoline Christie continues her fierce as fuck reign on the red carpet wearing Jean Paul Gaultier Couture and I’m swooning pretty hard over this color on her.

Maisie Williams KimmelAlso going for the green and white winning combination is Maisie Williams for her appearance on Jimmy Kimmel in Kate Spade two piece. Adding another novelty bag to her collection with this Kate Spade wicker frog – the lining matches her outfit – and Williams documented the getting ready process for Entertainment Weekly on Instagram.

Emilia ClarkeOn the cover of The Hollywood Reporter is Emilia Clarke and she is being touted as part of ‘The New A List.’ Part of this is down to the global sensation that is Game of Thrones, the other being her starring role in the forthcoming Terminator: Genisys as the all important and iconic “Sarah fucking Connor.” While we will have to see how well that movie does and what Clarke does next to see if this new status sticks, the shoot itself includes this stunning Valentino dress which has been on featured in pretty much every fashion magazine as part of Valentino’s ad current ad campaign.

The Rise of Sansa Stark: A New Cape and Purpose for Season 5 of Game of Thrones

3 Feb

The Game of Thrones season 5 promotional juggernaut switched gears from teasers to a full blown trailer and a whole batch of promo photos. There is a lot to unpack from the two minutes of new footage and 19 brand new shots, but I want to focus on one character who appears very briefly and that is Sansa Stark.

Sansa and LittlefingerFirst a disclaimer – I haven’t read the books so everything that follows is pure speculation as I have no idea where the story is going to take this character. And now some background with my feelings towards this character; when Sansa is first introduced she is a social climbing brat who at the first glimpse of Joffrey’s proclivity to picking the harshest punishment possible doesn’t run in the opposite direction. This seems dumb and therefore everything that follows could be seen as Sansa’s fault for wanting to marry the boy who would become king. But hold up, as age is a factor that should be considered and despite how fresh faced Sophie Turner looks during the first season it is easy to forget how young Sansa is meant to be. Later on when Tyrion asks how old she is, her reply of “fourteen” is incredibly shocking.

In any other show her actions would result in the usual teen punishments and the consequences would be less severe; in this world she has to witness the very brutal death of her father and then she is subject to various emotional and physical torments all at the hands of the boy she naively thought would be ‘the one.’ This is no fairy tale and the would-be queen sure doesn’t get her happy ending.

Cut to the last time we saw Sansa in “The Mountain and the Viper” and while this character has cried plenty in the past (and I’m sure there will be tears in the future) she responds to her current situation with all the knowledge and lessons from the women she has been surrounded by. Sansa has spent time with those who have all learned how to use what strength and skills they have to survive in a world where women don’t tend to have a lot of power; Catelyn, Cersei and Margaery are all very different of course but each has imbued valuable lessons. Margaery is on the surface the kindest of the three, but she is also using manipulation to stay ahead and this will be an important tool when it comes to Sansa’s current companion, Littlefinger. To me Sansa is the Blair Waldorf of Westeros (a theory I will expand upon one day) and I’m hoping season 5 will see her reaching the levels of scheming that would make Blair proud.

Littlefinger was in love with Sansa’s mother and there is definitely an element of transference here. What happens when the master manipulator is confronted by a vision of the woman he loved? And Sansa’s new steely darker look makes her resemblance to her mother even more uncanny giving her an advantage over Littlefinger. He really doesn’t have a lot of weak points but the Stark women – remember he didn’t sell Arya out to Tywin – have a way of reaching into the dark depths of Littlefinger and finding what little compassion he possesses.


Okay let’s talk about one of the costuming highlights of season four as Sansa switched up her floral muted pastel color frocks for the Goth feathered approach, complete with new pointy jewelry (to mirror her sister’s sword). Most teens have a moment where they dramatically change their look but this is not a moment of rebellion, instead it is a visual battle cry to show Sansa as far more than a victim. This is her taking charge of her fate and if she has to align herself with the super slimy Littlefinger then so be it. The way he looks at her with thirst in his eyes is of course incredibly creepy and I am hoping she doesn’t have to compromise herself too much to stay in favor.

A new cape and a style that mirrors Littlefinger’s dark attire keeps up the appearance that they are in this together; maybe Sansa will go all Stockholm Syndrome on us and Littlefinger’s hold over her will go from necessary survival tactic to something deeper. This is a scenario I want Sansa to avoid and if she can keep a piece of herself free from his clutches then this will be a small victory. In the promo (which you can see below) he puts his hands on her face imploring her to “avenge them” in the promo and he should add his name to the long list of Stark wrongdoers as he kick-started the whole thing; there is so much blood on Littlefinger’s hands you can’t even see his actual fingers.

The Stark children keep missing each other for reasons which include death and other missions they are taking part in; one of the most heartbreaking is how close Arya and Sansa were to seeing each other again. Now there is a sea between them and my hopes for an Arya/Sansa team-up have been dashed. So much has happened to both of them and if they could put aside previous grievances I think they would be a formidable team. Alas, now they have to go it alone and while they are better equipped to deal with the harsh realities of this world it would be much better if they were together.

And here is the very exciting and action packed season 5 trailer with plenty of conflict and a very beardy Tyrion.

Game of Thrones Comic-Con Style Watch, Bloopers and New Cast Members

26 Jul

The Game of Thrones Comic-Con panel delivered with treats aplenty including sartorial delights, a dance filled blooper reel and a new cast member showcase.

Natalie Dormer SDCCNatalie Dormer is one of several GoT panel participants to opt for bold print with a summery funky floral frock.

Natalie Dormer Comic ConFor the Hunger Games teaser trailer premiere (yes teaser trailers get premieres too) Dormer has gone for a more autumnal look – sweater season will soon be upon us and I cannot wait – and she is still rocking the super side parting as result of the Mockingjay half head shaving. As you will see the side sweep is the GoT long hair top trend.

Natalie Dormer wears outfit number two in this Pedro Pascal Instagram shot with co-stars Maisie Williams, Sophie Turner and Pedro Pascal for their “Comic-Con Album Cover.’ This is one cool girl band (in my version Pascal is a backup dancer, as if that fight scene was anything to go by he definitely has the moves).

GoT Comic ConI think I liked Sophie Turner’s ensemble better when I thought it was a dress, but hey if you’re going to wear a jump suit one covered in huge colorful letters this one by Tata Naka is the way to go. Maisie Williams’ metallic shift is a good choice for her and Kit Harrington and Pedro Pascal have gone for standard and approved black tee/Henley hot guy uniform. As I mentioned yesterday Comic-Con attire varies greatly and the GoT women have all gone for a variety of pretty cool choices.


Or dark shirt will also do as Nikolaj Coster-Waldau demonstrates. Look how adorable these dudes are when they’re not doing all kinds of terrible things to each other.

Gwendoline ChristieGwendoline Christie works a printed and plunging neckline Giles Resort 2015 A-line dress and I expect she will be pulling double duty next year when Stars Wars no doubt takes over.

Rose LeslieTaking a very simple and super chic approach is the stunning Rose Leslie in black vest and pants; bold lip color and her incredible red hair make her stand out.

GoT cast SDCC

The whole cast in attendance (with George RR Martin and minus Natalie Dormer) and Pedro Pascal continues to be the most adorable. Sadness is a squished head.

Watch the blooper and new cast (Jonathan Pryce!) videos below.

Game of Thrones in Discussion: From Spoiler Culture to Style Inspiration

18 Jul

Over the past couple of months I finally did that thing that I have been saying I would do for the past three years and I watched Game of Thrones. After mainlining four seasons I wanted to discuss everything GoT related that I have tried to avoid up to now, which in turn brings me to a relatively recent prevalent pop culture hot topic; spoilers. I am joined by my Felicity discussion partner Julie Hammerle to look at the many GoT talking points of including spoiler culture, the books vs. the show, nudity, violence, the exquisite costuming and who our Westeros style inspiration is. Speaking of spoilers we talk about everything up to the end of season 4 with a brief abstract mention of the thing that didn’t happen at the end of this recent season.

TyrionEmma: Game of Thrones has been part of the pop culture conversation for the past 3 years (18 if you factor when the books was first published as this Buzzfeed “18 things that turn 18 this year” listicle informed me – off topic but Romeo + Juliet makes me feel the oldest) and for most of those three years I have been saying that yes I do want to watch and will catch up soon. Well that finally happened recently and I can now finally stop trying to avoid chat, photos and anything GoT related to stay as spoiler free as possible. In fact spoilers might be a good place to start this discussion as it’s become such a cultural phenomenon with anti-spoiler zealots often shouting the loudest (this essay by Todd VanDerWerff on this subject is pretty great) and it’s pretty hard to catch up on something like GoT without knowing a few of the big story beats.

Brutal and violent death is one constant on GoT (nudity is another, which I am sure we will talk about later) and by killing Ned Stark in season 1 (and book 1) both George RR Martin and David Benioff/D. B. Weiss are sending out a message to say that in this world there is no one who is safe. Sean Bean is the most famous person in that season 1 cast and of course it was a big shock to kill off the star (though Bean’s filmography and this handy montage show that it would be way more surprising if Bean had lived). The season 2 artwork featured Ned’s head on a spike and I saw a lot of people who hadn’t watched S1 complain how this was a major spoiler, however this is a case where HBO shouldn’t refrain from using something that has happened (in a previous season) to protect those who have yet to watch.

This is why I don’t mind that I knew about who died at the Red Wedding (well two of the big ones) or when Joffrey was going to meet his end. Those spoilers are on me as I spend time in a TV heavy discussion area on Twitter and online in general, that is all on me finding out. What I do want to look at in terms of spoilers is how it then impacted how I watched and what it added/took away. I also want to ask you about your position as a book reader and how being in this privileged position in terms of what you know is coming up (or not as they change the material) shapes how you watch.

I spent most of season 1 waiting for Ned Stark to die and even though I knew which episode it happened in, it didn’t take away any of the tension because knowing doesn’t necessarily reduce the desire to see the opposite happen. To bring it back to Romeo and Juliet even though you know they’re both going to die it doesn’t stop you desiring the impossible and for Romeo to see Juliet’s fluttering eyelids before he drinks the poison. So in a similar vein I knew his head was going to get loped off and I still willed it not to happen; it was also fun working out who was going to be behind his downfall (always Littlefinger).

WolfieSeason 2 is the only one I knew nothing about and I guess ultimately it’s the one with no HUGE deaths. Red Wedding has been a term that I have been so familiar with and yet I didn’t know whose wedding it was going to be or who would be the one behind the killings. I had a good idea that Catelyn Stark was dunzo as this is an image I saw everywhere and Robb’s death was one I was certain of. Knowing that it happened in episode 9 (always episode 9) meant I spent the whole thing with my stomach churning due to the tension and it was the stomach stabbing of Talisa that drew the biggest gasp from me, quickly followed by the shooting of Grey Wind in front of Arya – I have a habit of yelling “Woolfie” at the screen when any of the direwolves appear like I’m a toddler or something so I was particularly upset by this.

If tension and dread sponsored this episode then pure joy was behind the Purple Wedding of season 4. I’ve watched all of GoT with my now fiance (still sounds so weird/too formal) Titch and he’s also had some prior knowledge of certain storylines, though we haven’t wanted to reveal what we knew to each other in case the other didn’t know that bit. Jofffrey’s death is something we had both found out about and in this case I had the upper hand as I knew the how and the when, just not the who. It made this episode more fun in a way as they make Joffrey his most vile self to give those final moments a much bigger punch and so while he is being this disgusting I took pleasure in what was about to happen. Pretty much a reverse reaction to the previous deathly nuptials (also getting heaps of ideas of how not to throw a wedding).

There are many other spoiler points I can reference like how a friend mentioned Tywin’s death as he misheard me saying I was only on episode 8 of the most recent season or how if an actor was on a different show it probably meant their character had met their end (like Jason Momoa). Or how as soon I finished the last episode I immediately looked up what book fans were mad about being omitted (and holy shit LSH would have been an amazing scene to end with). Before I go on any further I want to hand over to you and what you think about spoilers in general and books vs. the show. You know, the easy stuff, haha.

Game of Thrones red weddingJulie: The reason I started reading and watching Game of Thrones was because of a spoiler. I opened up my Entertainment Weekly a few weeks (days?) after the infamous Season 1 episode and saw a picture of Ned Stark’s head rolling across the ground. That blew me away. I had never seen the show and I didn’t know much about it, but the fact that the biggest actor, the lead actor, could be killed off like that intrigued me.

I started by watching the pilot episode, but it didn’t grip me right away. I had trouble distinguishing the young men from one another, and I just felt kind of lost. So, instead of 86-ing the whole enterprise, I jumped in and started reading the books, so obviously I saw something there that I liked.

The books are my everything, though you wouldn’t know it by the way I read them. I burned through the first book (and immediately watched the first season). It took me almost six months to finish A Clash of Kings. I read A Storm of Swords in two weeks. I let A Feast for Crows linger on my (digital) shelf for almost a year. And then I read A Dance with Dragons over the course of about a month. Apparently I’m very motivated to read the odd-numbered books.

Knowing about Ned Stark’s death didn’t impact my enjoyment either. Like you, I had no idea how we’d get to that point, and I had no idea about the other surprise deaths that would happen along the way — King Robert, Drogo, and Viserys, namely. While people love to talk about the Big Shocking Moments, this show is way more than a few brutal deaths. What happens between the deaths is what makes the show so compelling.

Ned Stark GoT(Though, honestly, part of the reason I read Book 3 so quickly was because I saw someone on Twitter mention that they had gotten to the point in ASOS that everyone “speaks about in hushed tones.” I just HAD to see what that part way. I just had to! And honestly, when Catelyn and Robb got popped in the middle of the book, I wasn’t all that shocked about it. Maybe I was shocked about Catelyn’s death. As far as Robb went, I knew he’d be a goner eventually. I actually thought the show did a better job of mining the tension from the Red Wedding than the book did. Adding the stomach stabbing was horrifyingly potent.)

As the show continues, though, the writers have started to take more liberties with the source material (probably since GRRM is taking his sweet time finishing the series, but don’t tell him that). There are a few characters who are alive in the book, but have died on the show (and vice versa, actually). The Theon storyline in seasons 3 and 4 didn’t happen until the fourth book. The stuff with the crows attacking Craster’s Keep this season was manufactured just to give the Crows something to do (I’m assuming). And heading into the next few seasons, which will focus on two books that are so scattered, geographically and story-wise, I have no idea how they’re going to handle it. And I do have concerns that many of the Big Moments have come and gone. I’m sure the writers feel like they owe it to the TV-only fans to manufacture some new Big Moments, and I wonder what they’ll come up with.

AryaEmma: I rewatched the pilot after the season 4 finale – I was in that post finishing funk and it felt like a good use of my time – and of course it reads in an entirely different manner. On first watch there are so many names and dynamics to take on board, plus something bristles pretty bad about the inherent misogyny that pretty much all of the female characters are subjected to. It’s like when you first watch Mad Men and it’s hard to not react to the situation these women find themselves in. Of course they have power in many other ways (and not just boobs thankfully, though that is also an issue on occasions), but it’s hard to adjust to the overt masculinity that’s on screen. Like straight away Arya was favourite character, pretty much from when she shot the arrow while Bran was failing miserably and Cersei is clearly the HBIC (with Catelyn a close second), it just doesn’t necessarily leap off the screen like that straight away.

In fact I watched season 1 at a pretty steady pace, a few episodes here and there. And then I think I probably watch 2-4 in the same amount of time it took to do the first one. It sometimes takes a while to get into something and it was the moment where Littlefinger betrays Ned that it all clicked into place for me and I understood why everyone is so mad for this show. And you’re right, the deaths can be shocking but it’s how these characters react and adapt to these moments that is far more interesting to watch. Big Moments are easier in a way, it’s the what happens after that is harder and can be way more compelling.

That’s interesting about the books and ha to GRRM’s reaction to that question. I do want to read them, I just know that my current reading pile is ridiculous and I really shouldn’t start something I have already watched, if that makes sense. Maybe when the new book comes out I will catch up.

The position of reader and knowing when the Big Moments are coming can be beneficial, but now those are pretty much done I guess it means book readers might be more concerned, whereas just watchers are blissfully ignorant. It must be kinda fun when they go off book as you’re now in for surprises too. Am I right that the Bran story is now up to date with where the book is? Creepy children and tree people.

I have one more book related question before I move onto more show based thoughts (like how much I want to talk about the costuming, because oh my word are they beyond incredible) and that’s if there are characters/locations that you like on the page and not on the screen or vice versa? Like I’ve grown very restless with Daenerys scenes (except for her costume design and Daario) and never tire of King’s Landing.

Cersei Game of ThronesJulie: First of all, the ladies. Maybe it’s because I read the books first, but I’ve never really gotten the whole “this show is so misogynist” thing. I actually wrote a post about how the show is very good for women (horn toot). The women in the books and show have to play by the rule of the male dominated society, but they all find ways around them. They all find their way of grabbing for power, some overtly (Dany) and some covertly (Cersei, and now Sansa).

One thing I love about the way GRRM writes women is that he doesn’t treat them as a monolith. Every woman on this show is her own person, fully realized. Do we like all of these women? No, which I think is fabulous. They all have their strengths and faults. He allows them to fail and succeed in equal measure with the men. There aren’t a lot of stereotypical Strong Female Characters here.

Daenerys is the exception. She’s sort of the Mary Sue of the story, and obviously the one GRRM is rooting for. At this point, everything she’s done has been above board and has worked out well for her. And it drives me crazy. Her story is the least compelling to me, in the books and on screen. There’s always been this subtext that Dany is the one who will drag Westeros out of the mess, and I just think that’s too easy and boring. Or maybe GRRM will shock us all (again) and kill Dany in Book 6. I would cheer. I’m a jerk.

As far as the stories I like vs. the ones I don’t on screen and off…Bran’s stuff bores me in the books, but I kind of like it on screen (and, yes, his story is all caught up now). The two POV characters that are my favorites right now in the books (as of Book 5, A Dance With Dragons) were two of the most boring stories early on, in my opinion. Those characters are Jon Snow and Davos. On the show, we haven’t gotten to their ADWD stories obviously, so who knows. But right now those two really don’t do much for me on the show. Jon has his moments, but I’m hoping they’ll really beef up the complexity of his character in the coming seasons. And the Davos stuff, without revealing anything, he ends up going off on his own to places we haven’t been before, generally proving what a savvy badass he is wherever he goes. The show has shown us glimmers of this kick ass Davos, but I want more, MORE.

I’ve said enough. Let’s talk about costumes!

Goth SansaEmma: Woah to the article that prompted your GoT/women viewers piece and I was trying to figure out if the original is satire because it hurts my brain if those are real thoughts.

When it comes to HBO and nudity it is disappointing that it’s generally a whole lot of boobs and not all that much male nudity, my response is eye rolls more than anything – The Leftovers might be setting a new record as I don’t think there’s been any female nudity, brief flashback aside in three episodes. I was surprised to see Theon’s favorite toy before it got lopped off in season 1 so there has been dong on at least one occasion. I am also thankful for the Daario stripping scene to take this down to the most superficial level I can. Sexual violence and the threat of it is something I think that is used too often and the Cersei/Jaime scene made no sense and was incredibly disappointing, particularly when I heard how the book version was different. I know I’ve asked a few book questions already, but how did you feel about this whole debate?

la_ca_0224_game_of_throneI’m also glad that the power wielded by the women on this show is varied and goes beyond their sexuality. Manipulation is the tool that Cersei has mastered over the years and she’s terrifying. Cersei does have a weakness and that’s her kids, but this doesn’t feel like the usual motherhood cliches that get portrayed on TV time and time again. I’m also really pleased to see Lena Headey up for an Emmy as she’s killed it this season. Strength comes in other ways – Brienne is awkward, but physically strong and incredibly loyal. I’m going to miss the friendship that developed between Jaime and Brienne, but he sure does know how to give a good parting gift and her new armor is very impressive. Arya as I’ve mentioned is my favorite and yet the other Stark sister has gone up in my estimations.

Sansa gets a bit of a raw deal from both viewer reactions (I’ve heard many call her whiny, which she was at first because she was a brat and definitely had a right to be after everything she has gone through at King’s Landing) and the shit she has dealt with. I forgot how young she was playing so when Tyrion asked her age and she said 14 my jaw dropped on the floor. Sansa’s crowning moment comes in the form of Goth Sansa in the last episode we saw her in and this is one of my favorite costumes from GoT’s entire run. I’m really looking forward to seeing what lessons she has taken from her time with Cersei and those imbued on her by her mother.

The ladies of the Tyrell family are also good fun to watch and while I worry that Margaery is in over her head, I enjoy watching Natalie Dormer navigating those treacherous waters and Diana Rigg as Bad Gran (okay Olenna) is incredible. Another Emmy nominations that I was happy to see.

This is a good place to discuss costumes (also Emmy nominated) and I’m constantly in awe with what I see on screen. This is also where the women truly shine as while the armor is of course incredible, it’s the different styles and color palettes that get used for the female characters that stand out. Blue is dominant for Daenerys, the Tyrells and Brienne so am I right in assuming these are their family colors? Red and gold is of course Lannister and the Starks wear much more muted tones (Arya’s got brown down now). It’s all about those fur pelts up north. I do associate green with Catelyn, is this the House Tully color?

This distinctive approach helps for a variety of reasons, partly so you can identify who everyone is and where they fit in this expansive world. Costume is of course used to show wealth and by that extension the Lannister gold is showing just how rich they are and how happy they are to show their wealth. No one likes a show off. Cersei’s dress that featured a metal breast plate is probably my favorite piece on the show so far, I am also partial to Margaery’s plunging necklines and her wedding dress is also a highlight. Daenerys graduating to pants as her power grew is also up there for me.  Before I go on, I want to throw it back to you to see what has stood out to you? Whose wardrobe would you like to try in the real world? Maybe for your Mimi going down the park moments.

GoT C and MJulie: First of all, about Jaime and Cersei’s relationship — I was really upset by the rape scene, for obvious reasons, but also because it didn’t feel true to the Jaime character. He is very loyal and thinks of the greater good. He loves his sister; I truly think he does. I just can’t reconcile the character that I’ve gotten to know over the past five books with this guy who would force his sister to have sex with him in front of their son’s corpse. (That was a sentence I never thought I’d type.)

There has been some discussion about the fact that this scene occurs from Jaime’s POV in the book, and maybe he thought it was consensual and the TV show was just supposing it wasn’t, which I suppose makes sense, but it still doesn’t jibe with everything we’ve learned about him.

Also, I love Sansa. She is one of my favorite characters on the show and in the books. I liked her from the start because she’s obviously someone who has a lot of growing to do, and we’ve seen her do it. I also love her relationship with the Hound, which hasn’t been highlighted as much in the show. I totally ship them. She’s the girl who has been looking for a handsome knight to save her. He’s the unlikely brute to do it. (And, yeah, I know we saw that Sandor Clegane was left for dead in the last episode of the show, but even in the books, we’re still not sure of his whereabouts. If you don’t see someone die on this show, assume they’re not dead. Hell, even if you do see them die.)

GoT DaenerysI looked up the sigils. House Tully is red and blue. House Tyrell is green and gold. Lannister, red and gold. Stark, black and gray, which really goes with the dark, winter motif. House Targaryen is red and black, which doesn’t really fit Dany’s blue wardrobe. I’m assuming the blue is represents her calm demeanor, and maybe that she holds the promise of peace for Westeros. Also, blue is the color of the sky, where her dragons reside (when she’s not locking them in dungeons).

When I dress up like Mimi to take my kids to the park, I want to dress like Cersei. She is The Queen. I know that Daenerys thinks she’s the queen, but no. It’s all about Cersei. She gets the hair and the jewels and the clothes (not to mention the arm candy; Dany can keep Daario). I love the rich reds and golds. She’s the Head Bitch in Charge, and she dresses like it. I think I might need to get this Cersei-esque dress by Ella Zahlan. I’d be the best dressed at the park.

Who’s your GoT wardrobe inspiration?

GoT JoffreyEmma: Cersei definitely has the best style and that Ella Zahlan dress is perfect park Mimi-like material. I’m going to go slightly left-field with Joffrey as boy did he rock a beautiful patterned cape and half capes well. He definitely has his mother’s style – Jaime also is sartorially gifted – even if he is a massive prick. I think I might miss Joffrey. I am also partial to the Starks styling as while they don’t have much colour in their wardrobe, they still have a lot of flare thanks to their furs (although I’m anti-fur IRL). If I was doing fancy dress I would be Arya all the way as we have similar haircuts now. Plus she’s a badass. And as I mentioned previously, Goth Sansa is one of my all time favorite costumes this show has done – I’m glad to hear you’re a fan of this character too. Do you think they transferred the Hound/Sansa relationship onto Arya? I’m with you on thinking that he probably isn’t dead, even if he was in a bad way when Arya left him.

I also find something rather enticing about the Night’s Watch and Wildling attire; I mean who wouldn’t want to wear something that doubles as a super warm duvet? Clothes that can also be bed linen are my jam, so I’m also weirdly drawn to the Shae’s bed sheet like gown.

One character whose style I was very fond of is Oberyn before his head went pop so I’m looking forward to seeing what Dorne will bring to the style table next season. Also a quick word on the violence of the show as I think this is the first time I screamed at something the show has done; I was pre-warned that something on an epically horrific scale was going to happen in this episode so I was amped for something super gross, but I did not expect THAT.

Is there anything else you want to mention?

GoT OberynJulie: For a second there I thought you were calling Jaime a prick and I was like, “Wait.” But no. You were referring to Joffrey. Carry on.

The Hound/Arya stuff is all in the books. And I completely love the two of them hanging out together.  They’re both loners who really have no one else to turn to, so they turn to each other. And they learn life lessons. It’s beautiful.

I’ve never considered clothing-that-doubles-as-bed-linens as a fashion category, but I think it should be the new wave. Maybe we’ll see some of that at NYFW in the spring. With last winter we had, I don’t think it’s a bad idea to carry a duvet with you wherever you go.

About the Dornish, it looks like we’ll be getting a lot more of them next season (minus sexy Oberyn, of course). This show does a great job of giving each new place its own sartorial flavor. Next season, it looks like we’ll be seeing more of Braavos as well (home of the erstwhile Jaqen H’ghar and Syrio Forel, AKA Arya’s teacher). We may spend more time in Theon-land, the Iron Islands, where I expect some Poseidon-like garb to accompany Yara’s battle grays.

As far as the gore goes, it’s something I accept as part of the show, but I could do without it. Sometimes things are better left unseen. I watched Snowpiercer over the weekend; and every time something violent was about to happen, the camera would cut away. It did nothing to dampen the suspense. Less is more for me; but based on the collective reaction to Oberyn’s death this season, I think I may be in the minority.

GoT Jon snowEmma: Ha, oops yeah that isn’t that clear. I wasn’t too keen on Jaime in season 1, but he has definitely grown on me. The scenes with Tyrion in the jail cell were some of my favorites this show has done. As I tweeted at the time when Jaime kissed his brother on the cheek, it was one Lannister sign of affection that I didn’t mind witnessing.

Wildlings and Crows have got Polar Vortex fashion down and I hope to see a whole range of inspired clothes come the next NYFW.

Super excited for the new lands that will be featured next year and you’re spot on with how different each location/family is. Even the characters that share a color palette like Margaery and Daenerys look incredibly different thanks to cut, embroidery and texture.

As with the Scandal catch up last year, I am very much looking forward to sharing in the wider collective conversation and not having to scroll through endless tweets that I can’t read. That’s going to be fun as while it’s been good talking to people while I’ve been catching up everyone is always in that “oh has that happened” yet mind space where they don’t want to say too much as they might accidentally say something of give away a character’s death through a facial expression. Now to catch up on other things like Fargo (there is always something).

Julie Hammerle is, according to Klout, an expert in the areas of both Morgan Freeman and glasses. Her writing can be found at and you can holler at her on Twitter as well.


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