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Beauty Battles Believability in Costume Design for Margaery Tyrell, Part 2



Contributor at the Fandomentals
Caroline is a lawyer by day, geeky media fan and critic by night, afternoon, and lunch hour. Caroline enjoys long walks on quiet beaches so she can mentally over-analyze fictional characters and settings, and candlelit dinners that don't cause a glare on her TV screen.

We continue our analysis of costuming on Game of Thrones, picking up on the heels of the last analytical piece, A Song of Pins and Needles – Beauty Battles Believability in Game of Thrones Costume Design for Margaery Tyrell Part 1. As we move forward looking at Margaery Tyrell’s (hereinafter “Marg’s”) outfits, keep these important definitions in mind:

Watsonian – The in-universe explanation, view, or analysis of an aspect of media

Doylist – The real-life explanation, view, or analysis of an aspect of media

These terms will be used throughout this analysis. A more detailed explanation of them can be found in Part 1.

In the last piece, we looked at Marg’s early costume issues, including her infamous funnel dress and her variety of sexy dresses. Now we turn to her two final iconic looks: Marg’s wedding dress for her marriage to Joffrey, and her new set of pilgrim dresses introduced in season 6.

And while it won’t be discussed in great detail here, shout-out to whoever designed the gold dress that Marg wears in this scene with Tommen. It is not only beautiful but also a logical progression into a more regal style for Marg based on her original style. It’s a dress I’d love to own, which might betray its anachronistic touch – but I’m willing to ignore that in this case so I can have at least one ray of sunshine in this cloudy landscape of strange fashion choices and illogical accessories.

So let’s jump on in to another round of A Song of Pins and Needles!

Marg Went to Kleinfeld!

She got her shoes from Maggie the Fox.

Marg’s wedding dress from the Purple Wedding – the second wedding dress we ever see on screen, after Sansa’s (Talisa doesn’t have a special dress, she’s too busy being Empowered™) – presents a plethora of problems for an audience with any genuine concern for consistency or world-building. To break it down, let’s start first with a look at the dress itself as a garment.

I always found Marg’s wedding dress quite beautiful. I like the detail of the waterfall roses in the back, and I appreciate the work it took to not only make those roses (there must be hundreds) but also to embroider the back and bodice of the gown. I also like the detail of the leather thorns. I can see the connection between the physical thorns on the garment and Marg’s similarities to her grandmother, the Queen of Thorns. The design is a subtle hint that Marg is not as sweet as she appears, which is at least interesting.

I can also appreciate that this was likely a very difficult dress to construct. You can see the smoothness of the bodice and shoulder-area, which definitely required expert sewing skillz.

The chains crossing the gap in the cut-out is a nice touch, too.

There are a few minor floofs – the back closure doesn’t exactly lie flat, and the length of the front of the skirt is questionable. Overall, the dress itself is an acceptable garment, and whether a viewer likes it void of any Game of Thrones (“GoT”) context is just a matter of opinion.

My opinion? I want this dress! I’d wear this to my own wedding in a heartbeat, albeit with different shoes and no cage hidden in my hair. But the fact that I, a modern-day woman in her twenties, want to wear this dress, and that it would be perfectly acceptable for me to wear it to my own wedding, reveals the innate problem with this design: it is anachronistic.

The gown has a modern silhouette, basically an A-line skirt with a short train, with a bodice that clings to the body. Now, this is a simple design, and we can’t claim the A-line skirt belongs to the modern world by any means. Indeed, there are a number of A-line dresses within the GoT universe that are not anachronistic in any way. The issue here comes from a modern fashion trend.

The dress has a modern look largely because of the cut-outs at the waist and large exposed back. Skin exposure like this was not common in the medieval era and, entirely avoiding the issue of comparing a fantasy world to real-life history, this style is absent elsewhere in Westeros. The closest thing we see is Marg’s own selection of sexy dresses. But the previous wedding dress we saw did not resemble Marg’s at all, nor do later wedding dresses that appear in the show. However, cut-outs and exposed backs are hugely popular in modern wedding dresses. Wedding designers use exposed backs to create drama. Marg’s dress looks much more modern, and therefore appears out-of-place in the GoT setting.

The anachronistic feel permeates both the Watsonian and Doylist analyses of this costume. The in-verse understanding and explanation of this dress starts on a shaky foundation because of that anachronism, while the Doylist may provide yet another example of the show’s general disregard for the source material. At this point, having reviewed multiple female costumes thus far in this series, we should be able to begin to piece together patterns (no pun intended) when it comes to design in the story. With Marg, it appears the pattern is that perceived beauty will always trump believability. We can discern this from the absent or tortured explanation of Marg’s dresses provided by the designers, along with the conflicting world-building that makes her outfit choices unlikely or impossible.

Watsonian: Marg is Not Like Other Girls

Watsonian analysis focuses on the in-verse explanation of why something exists. So, the audience must imagine the process it took to commission, design, and create a wedding dress for the future queen at her big fat royal wedding. First, consider the purpose of having such a large wedding and the role of a young queen.

Royalty of medieval times functioned a lot like politicians today. They had some power to enact laws and control the kingdom, but a large part of a royal’s job is to be a symbol of the monarchy that inspires and influences her people. Two modern-day examples are Michelle Obama and Kate Middleton. As First Lady, almost all of Michelle Obama’s power came from influencing the public through good works and appearances done in the public eye. She set an example for everyone to look up to, solidifying her family’s position as the First Family with political clout. Kate Middleton is in a similar position, albeit a more permanent one, and also does good works in the public eye to represent the kindness and strength of the monarchy. Politics is largely about appearance because a politician sets an example for her people.

The kicker is that we actually see this played out in the show, so at some point in time the writers were aware of it. Early on in Marg’s plot, just after she arrives in King’s Landing, she personally visits an orphanage to talk (read: spread propaganda) to the children about their fathers’ bravery on the Blackwater. She knows the small folk will see her there, and that act of kindness will influence them along with making them adore her. Marg even gets the smallfolk to like Joffrey for a time, as shown when the two appear on the steps outside Baelor’s Sept together and the crowd cheers. Season three Marg seemed to understand her role as an example to the people and a representation of the new monarchy.

So where does the wedding dress from Kleinfeld come in? Here’s the basic problem with the dress (disregarding the anachronism): it’s too plain. We are talking about the most extravagant wedding of the century here! They had seventy-seven courses planned for the feast! Thousands of people attended, and all the smallfolk of King’s Landing cared about and paid attention to this ceremony. Think about how batshit people went over Kate Middleton’s wedding dress, or even Princess Diana’s dress back in the day – and those dresses were fashionably on-point (for their era) and made of expensive fabrics, like silk. Marg is rolling around in a linen-silk blend cut in an unknown, not-popular style. This dress should have been extravagant.

Even Sansa’s wedding dress was more queenly than Marg’s. Take a look at the hand-beaded embroidery happening here, and the beautiful brocade fabric!

Fangirl over dat brocade doh.

The only Watsonian explanation is that Marg completely dispensed with her known purpose at the wedding – to look like the new queen for the audience – and decided to YOLO in a dress I guess she liked? I don’t think it’s possible for Marg, having acted how she did and having been present for Sansa’s marriage, to have thought this dress was appropriately queenly. And if this was meant to be another “experiment” or a statement piece, it was executed at a HIGHLY inappropriate time (a royal wedding?!) and it clearly didn’t make an impact, as we never see any dresses like it again.

Finally, while the Watsonian explanation is lacking (I really can’t think of any other reason that makes any sense), I do like to imagine that someone in-verse put thorns on this dress in a symbolic way. It could have been the city’s most meta seamstress, maybe the same that made the Bjork dress. But my personal headcannon is that Marg herself added the thorns, giggling as she picked them out from the bead section at A.C. Moore, saying to Megga, “Now I’ll really be a thorn in Cersei’s side!”

Doylist: Just Look at the Flowers

Based on the Watsonian analysis, I think it’s a somewhat fruitless effort to compare the show’s wedding dress with the description from the books. It’s clear to me that Michelle Clapton’s driving motivation in designing this garment was just for it to be a beautiful wedding dress. The only tie it has to the GoT universe at all is the presence of roses as the symbol of House Tyrell, and otherwise the style does not make any sense in the context. But for consistency sake, let’s look at the book description.

“The bride was lovely in ivory silk and Myrish lace, her skirts decorated with floral patterns picked out in seed pearls. As Renly’s widow, she might have worn the Baratheon colors, gold and black, yet she came to them a Tyrell, in a maiden’s cloak made of a hundred cloth-of-gold roses sewn to green velvet.” – A Storm of Swords

Book!Margaery clearly chose her wedding dress with care, making sure to appear in the colors of her house with not a hint of her former marriage. This is a major part of Margaery’s ability to marry Joffrey, and remains part of her public persona in the books when she marries Tommen – that she is a maiden according to Westerosi standards, and therefore able to marry royalty. This certainly could not have been the goal of show!Marg’s dress choice, since it is significantly more revealing than other dresses we have seen on screen.

In addition, the book version is clearly more exquisite. The fabrics themselves are of higher quality, specifically silk, a very rich fabric, and “Myrish lace”, which is made expensive by the fantasy universe since the lace comes from across the Narrow Sea. The image of the entire skirt being designed in seed pearls is spectacular – seed pearls are very small, and would require thousands to be sewn on individually to create a skirt-covering pattern. The hundreds of cloth-of-gold roses, too, would have to be individually hand-made and sewn onto a draping velvet cloak. Damn I wish there was a visual adaptation of this novel!

The decision to alter this design baffles me. If this were any other show, I might be able to explain away some of the issues. For instance, a floral design “picked out in seed pearls” may not show up well on screen, since seed pearls are like small beads. But then instead we got tiny chains and tiny thorns all gathered around the middle of the bodice, which also did not show up well on screen! And there are countless examples of hand-beading that must have taken hours that is barely visible. And then of course there’s the six hundred masks issue. If this were any other show, I might say that making hundreds of roses by hand to put on a costume would be too much labor, but then we literally get exactly that in a way that is less dramatic and less beautiful (and less symbolic, since gold is a Tyrell color and mottled grey is not).

There is no logical reason to change this design, which seems to be a running pattern for a lot of these costumes. Clapton basically made a sexier, more dramatic version of Marg’s earlier series of sexy dresses, lightened the color a bit and called it a wedding dress. We know this for a fact because she told us. When asked about her inspiration for the dress, Clapton said:

“Really just a play on her sigil and following the style that she has developed since her arrival at King’s Landing. It had to be very different from Cersei’s style and taste.” – Michele Clapton

We know the costume design wasn’t deeply thought-out here, based on Clapton’s own words. And at a certain point, that’s fine – sometimes a pretty dress is just a pretty dress. The impetus to make Marg’s style markedly different from Cersei’s probably comes from D&D, who set Marg up as the scheming sexual manipulator who must always be working to undermine poor put-upon Cersei.

It appears the design of this wedding dress is just another key-jingling moment for the show, getting the audience excited by making them look at the flowers on that gosh darn pretty dress! At the end of the day, there isn’t a complex Doylist explanation, and the whole thing comes up to a kawaii shrug.

It should be noted that I did got back and re-watch the crowd scenes of the Purple Wedding, and there are in fact extras wearing some of Marg’s series of sexy dresses with large cut-outs and exposed backs. This just begs the question yet again – what’s the temperature in King’s Landing??

The City’s Most Meta Metalworker

“The idea of the briar rose is continued into the crown where it wraps around the Baratheon antlers [Joffrey’s sigil]. This was to show her creeping influence, which is not lost on Cersei.” – Michele Clapton

Both Joffrey’s and Marg’s crowns display this motif of rose vines intertwining with stag antlers. As Clapton explains above, the point is to show the “creeping influence” of the Tyrells over the Baratheons/Lannisters. When I first discovered this, I thought it was an interesting detail.

But then I thought: who made this??

Looking at the in-verse explanation, I must know what goldsmith made these two crowns. Did the goldsmith design the crowns himself? Did he sit there thinking, “Yes, I’ll express my concerns about the encroaching influence of the Tyrell family on our glorious monarchy by crafting briar roses creeping between the stag antlers, so everyone knows the king is truly under the control of these upjumped servants”? I assume by now Marg must be followed by a tail of meta designers who all attended the School of Taking-Things-From-the-Source-Material-Way-Too-Literally. Oh, and also one Bjork fan.

There’s also the option that the Tyrells designed these crowns themselves. I can imagine the Queen of Thorns sketching out a design and showing it to Marg, while Marg shows off the badass thorn beads she picked up from A.C. Moore earlier. Maybe the Tyrell ladies just have so much fun tormenting and scheming against poor Cersei they just couldn’t help but make the crowns symbolic of their attempt to take over the monarchy. Crowns worn at a wedding where they planned to assassinate the king. Yeah. Sounds right.

We know Marg couldn’t have designed the crowns alone. She’s just not that good a sketch artist.

This is a fine example of a cool-sounding Doylist explanation, but a completely absent Watsonian one. The neat thing about symbolism and metaphor in literature is that it happens in a way that is natural in the story and isn’t terribly contrived. For example, in A Game of Thrones the book, the direwolf found dead with the stag’s antler in its throat is symbolic, foreshadowing with its symbolism the fall of House Stark at the hands of the Baratheons. But it also makes sense – stags and direwolves would fight in nature. It would be weird and contrived if, say, the characters had come across a large dead squid in the middle of the woods near Winterfell, its tentacles wrapped around a dead direwolf. The symbolism would be about the same, but the quality of the story and its believability is lost.

The crown idea was neat, but without a Watsonian reasoning, it is useless. Again we see a cool idea poorly executed, ending up in nothing useful.

Though I would love to meet the meta designers. Maybe they went to the art school near Talisa’s nursing college.

The Schools of Anachronism and Meta Design must be in Volantis.

A Pilgrimage to Nowhere

Going into season six, GoT lost Michele Clapton (seven save us!) and gained a new lead designer, April Ferry. By this point the show’s writing and plot was completely off the rails, and it shows in the last few costumes designed for Marg. I’ll be referring to the last two outfits as the “Pilgrim dresses,” since they look like a fantasy version of what Pilgrims wore. Their creation undoubtedly stemmed from D&D’s disregard for and misunderstanding of the source material, so let’s recap a bit on that first.

The Faith of the Seven is NOT Christianity

Regardless of how D&D characterize it, the Faith of the Seven is not, in fact, a fantasy-version of Christianity. The Seven does not contemplate original sin. It does not hate gays. And it does not, importantly, abhor all sex. Instead, the Faith of the Seven as worshiped in Westeros is a projection of their toxically patriarchal society, and simultaneously reinforces that patriarchy through the seven “aspects” of the gods.

In brief, a toxic patriarchy is when certain roles are allowed for people based on their sex and social class, and that proscription is so strong that it limits people’s freedom and dictates their lives. Patriarchy brain, as discussed on the Unabashed Book Snobbery podcast in great detail, is when people living in such a society internalize those limitations in one way or another. The seven gods worshiped in Westeros are both a projection of patriarchy brain and a mode to reinforce the toxic patriarchy. We have:

The Warrior – Male, strong, meant to protect

The Maiden – Female, graceful, beautiful, virginal

The Smith – Male, strong, makes weapons and tools for men, the “hard worker”

The Mother – Female, loving, caring, meant to bear children, NOT virginal and embraced for not being virginal (sex is required for motherhood in Westeros)

The Father – Male, meant to protect, head of the household

The Crone – Female, old, useful for her wisdom and her ability to guide you

The Stranger – gender unknown, representation of death

Through these seven figures, this religion delegates everyone in Westeros to a specific archetype. Acceptable roles for women include maidenhood, motherhood, and old age; acceptable roles for men include knighthood, fatherhood, or as a skilled laborer; and both genders ultimately bow to death. The societal organization of people into simplified categories is a reflection and tool of a toxic patriarchy.

Note that, in this system, it is the characteristics of the aspect that applies to a person that matters when determining their social acceptability. A man can, for example, be a gay knight. Indeed, the seven most revered knights in the kingdom are specifically required to be chaste, limiting their ability to be fathers. Knighthood is premised on chivalry, not sexuality. An old woman can speak her mind more freely than a young woman, since she is used for her wisdom, not her virginity or reproductive capabilities. A married woman is encouraged to have sex with her husband to fulfill her role as a mother, while an unmarried maiden is pressured to remain abstinent. There isn’t a single set of rules applied to everyone across the board – the Faith of the Seven allows for different standards depending on the role a person fills in society.

Based on what we’re given from the show, it’s clear that D&D do not understand the Seven. We are shown a religion that abhors homosexuality, degrades women’s bodies, is against drinking alcohol, and, through the multitude of High Septon speeches, seems to have a concept of original sin. The show!faith also denigrates wealth and the material things that come with wealth, even though it exists in a feudal society built on stable class distinctions. Basically, show!faith is trying to be Christianity – or more accurately, a version of Christianity crafted without actually knowing much about it. D&D just picked the “Christian” issues that are hot-button in the modern world: gays and wealth, and a little bit of sex.

This fundamental misunderstanding of Westeros’s main religion seeps into the costume design for Marg in season six. I think it can go without saying that these dresses are ugly, only coming out as Marg’s second-worst outfits because of the Bjork dress (at least the pilgrim outfits aren’t cones). Some of the fabric is nice, but none of it is brocade, so I’m not about to fangirl over here.

Let’s take it one step at a time and consider the Watsonian explanation for Marg’s pilgrim dresses.

Watsonian: The Best Septa Cosplay in the Seven Kingdoms

Marg comes to wear the first of the two mournful pilgrim dresses after she is released on holy bail from the Great Sept of Baelor, awaiting her trial for perjury. You read that sentence right – her trial for perjury. For the reigning queen to get out of jail pre-trial on her perjury charge, she must start dressing like a pilgrim and be followed around everywhere by a septa. The logic here seems to be that, to show she is pious and virtuous, she dresses in a less revealing way (in comparison to her series of sexy dresses). This might make sense if her charge had anything to do with her virtue or virginity, or if her sexual life was called into question at all, since that is high treason. But that is not the case – Marg is only charged with lying about her brother’s homosexuality, a charge that has nothing to do with her own sexuality. The new costume choice having a sexual origin doesn’t seem to hold water.

Additionally, the other character awaiting trial – a trial that is about adultery and fornication – is Cersei Lannister. Cersei is still given free reign to roam around the Red Keep in her regular old wrap dresses, no high-necklines to be seen. Indeed, the only other character wearing anything similar to Marg is the septa following her, loving known here at The Fandomentals as Septa Spoonella. Perhaps Marg’s goal is to appear pious by dressing like a septa. This is actually a compelling honeypot, especially given the High Sparrow’s multiple long monologues about how wealth is bad and shoes are awful.

I had fun once. It was awful.

But this reasoning falls apart under scrutiny. If Marg wanted to dress like a septa to be pious, why not go full-out and get a septa costume? Marg is still wearing a dress made of nicer material than a septa. She’s still wearing her golden crown. She still has her hair perfectly done, probably by all of her serving ladies. She also still lives in the most important castle in the Seven Kingdoms. Even the pilgrim dress she wears to her trial, when she is in the Great Sept of Baelor, is way fancier than what a poor smallfolk could afford.

Still rockin’ those Tyrell colors – blue and grey!

If the point is that simpleness is pious and wealth is sinful, Marg isn’t actually doing that good a job of putting on those pious airs. Maybe this is why the narrative decides to literally blow everyone up – because of their continuing sinful behavior!

Really, there is no good Watsonian explanation for Marg’s transformation into slightly fancy potato sacks. There is no precedent for it – the other queen awaiting trial isn’t wearing this shit. There’s no demand for it – Marg isn’t awaiting trial on anything sexy. Finally, there’s no need for it – the faith of the seven demands piety and purity, but not virginity for a queen who is proscribed in the role of a mother. Indeed, the High Sparrow himself tells Marg she needs to start gettin’ sexy with Tommen to make an heir!

With no stable explanation from the Watsonian perspective – even considering it from the warped view of the faith as Christianity that D&D employ – we should move on to the Doylist lens.

Doylist: D&D are So Brave™

I think the Doylist reasoning behind these costume designs is pretty clear: D&D think the faith of the seven is Christianity, and the costume designers went with that. The costume department was told “Marg needs to be more religious” and the reaction was to cover her body. There are two main problems here: the first is that this was the reaction at all; the second was that this reaction was employed in this fantasy setting.

First, the fact that the new design team, April & Co., or maybe D&D as well, decided the only way for Marg to show her newfound piety was to forcibly cover her is a problematic view of modern religious women. Piety and piousness are not innately connected to a woman’s sexuality, especially considering the hundreds of religions that exist and have existed in human history. The emphasis on sexuality is Abrahamic and western, and different for many other religions (*cough* including the Faith of the Seven *cough*). Additionally, plenty of religions include forms of covering for both men and women that are free and part of the faith. The fact of the matter is that religions, and forms of worship within those religions, are highly diverse. And the representation of that diversity in media reflects the intentions and opinions of the creators.

That this was the design route the show took reveals a western, negative outlook on religious covering, since Marg was forced into these outfits by the High Sparrow. The only other women dressed the same are the septas, who tortured multiple people and hold Marg hostage, and Cersei’s final outfit which she dons as she blows up the sept:

Cersei went to Hot Topic.

This has some unfortunate implications on the creator’s understanding and vision of religion, since the only similar designs adorn bad people. And we know this can’t be just a result of the confines of the universe – as discussed above, there is no Watsonian basis for this costume choice. This is another piece of the larger pattern that D&D, bleeding also into the costume department, have an agenda against portraying religion in a positive light.

The second issue, largely addressed above, is that the designers would bother trying to pass off these glorified potato sacks as costumes in this setting. Nothing about them makes any sense, and the deviation from the source material makes the show’s story worse, not better. The show dug itself into a massive grave by aging Tommen up so they could make exactly two sex jokes, even bringing down the costume department with it. This is a prime example of how the entire production is dependent on the tone set by D&D, and how the patterns of sexism, racism, homophobia, and others in their writing does permeate the whole show.

Conclusion: A Rose by Any Other Name..is probably dead from the sept explosion.

Coming to the end of our two-part analysis of Marg’s dresses from season two to season six, I think we can pick out some clear patterns. The overall pattern is that believability will always give way to perceived beauty. Marg’s “experiment” dress was high-fashion and couture in Clapton’s eyes; her series of sexy dresses were pretty and flowy, though out of place; her wedding dress was beautifully anachronistic; even her pilgrim dresses were made of nice fabrics and adorned with a golden crown, though she was trying to not be so darn rich!

Marg’s costumes also add to known patterns regarding storytelling devices. First, her costumes solidify her as the scheming, sexual manipulator of all men. Second, subtle details in her wedding dress and in the royal crowns place her purposefully opposite Cersei, adding to the “scheming” Marg does. Third, her pilgrim dresses compliment the woeful misunderstanding D&D have of the Faith of the Seven.

At the beginning of this two-part analysis, I emphasized that a good costume strikes the right balance between in-verse believability and real life expectations while also functioning in its role. Overall, I do believe Marg’s costumes functioned in their various roles as much as can be expected. My problems lie not with how the costumes function, but rather with the situations the costumes must function in. It’s not the designer’s problem that Marg is scripted as a sexual manipulator and that the costume design must follow that path. The intersection of writing and design makes it difficult to judge a costume as a stand-alone piece.

Through the art of costuming, the show emphasizes some of its greatest flaws: its internal inconsistency, its general illogic, and its plethora of meta-designers expressing their concerns about the monarchy through clever goldsmithing. This is simply not the world George R.R. Martin envisioned, and the costuming, while sometimes very impressive, is just not helping matters.

Let’s all take a moment and reflect on the one lovely costume in season six, which graced our screens for a few minutes.

Now THAT is Myrish lace!

Moving on from our looks at Dany and Marg, we will move on next time to a close critical analysis of “Sansa Stark”.

Images courtesy of HBO
Voted Thanks!
  • SlayerNina Friki

    Waiting forward for Sansa’s dresses!

    But I admit that I love Marg’s pilgrim dresses. Don’t know why, they seem confy and functional

  • Suou no Nioi

    Excellent article. I love that you specifically mention negative Western stereotypes about religious covering. It’s been a big issue lately, where Westerners assume that a women in, say, a hijab is forced to wear it by someone else and is necessarily oppressed. And that takes away a woman’s autonomy and choice in the matter, which is profoundly anti-feminist. Yet this supposed feminist masterpiece of a show seems to support that message. It’s just awful.

    As to the meta goldsmiths and clothiers, I’m just assuming they went to the same art school as the actors in the Meta Players troupe. It’s a very prestigious institution. I’m calling it the Metacademy of the Arts.

    I’m so looking forward to the Sansa article and her endless shades of mauve.

    • MinaJen

      As far as being covered, we have scores of Northern ladies and Olenna Tyrell in nothing showing any skin. At all.

      This also ignores the Barathons (or is it Lannister) kimono gown she wears in that spectacularly unsubtle scene about Margaery being catty to Cersei while looking like her Season One clone. So, if she’s supposed to be a manipulator, adopting modesty and daresay motherly clothing while attempting to convince the Faith and hold her status as THE queen isn’t that far fetched from a Watsonian perspective, as the last Tyrell style dress we see her in the one she’s arrested in. There’s no power in that image any more.

    • CarolineBee

      “Metacademy of the Arts” is my new favorite thing. Can we add this to the fandom dictionary??

  • MinaJen

    I appreciate the thought an analysis for these, but I have a few disagreements regarding both conclusions drawn from both Doylist and Watsonian perspectives presented, especially regarding g the theories of court dress and playing roles.

    From the Watsonian perspective, I feel we are seeing a take on playing roles – the reason the wedding dress is so similar to her sexy Tyrell dresses is on point the way the passage describes her dress – virginal (but fertile/sexy), maidenly, and wealthy – but modestly so ( see maidenly). We can argue the significance or lack thereof of the color white as a bridal motif in Westeros, but it is a display of Tyrell themes without being rendered in Tyrell colors. An amenability to her husband’s house, no hint of her previous Baratheons marriage, and an attempt to at least appear as if she’s not trying to upstage the incredibly ambitious and ruthless house with her own pomp and circumstance.

    For whatever reason, Doylist and Watsonian, Tyrell follows this particular silhouette for its young women. Hence her ladies in the more modest, demure versions throughout. When we’re talking (fantasy pseudo) historically, the concept of increasingly ornate but relative uniform clothing regardless of class has only changed since the beginning of the twentieth century, when clothing manufacturing became so easy we could cycle through so many options.

    As for the crowns, the Watsonian explanation doesn’t have to be hard to reach – ornamental crowns showing the union between Baratheon and Tyrell emblems and motifs.

    As far as her latter wear, it’s just as performative as her maidenly act, only now we’ve moved to someone playing the pious Mother, and you could argue the reappearance of Tyrell hues a clear signifier she’s drawing away from the golds of Baratheon/Lannister. She’s wedded and bedded now, so would the sexy maidenly dresses of yesteryear (day) really be appropriate? Fuller skirts and matronly impressions are the promise of what is presumably to come.

    I do agree with a lot of the review of the costumes, but I don’t think they merit as hard a criticism as other aspects of the show (re: the 600 masks issues, practically everything else directly involving narrative and story decisions). However, from a Doylist perspective, I rather enjoy the fantasy of the medieval fantasy, so the implausible silhouettes and a-historical cuts and imagination at hand are something I can forgive rather than criticize, but I can admit to that being a purely personal choice.

    • MinaJen

      Adding, the need for visual distinction is both Watsonian and Doylist. If you think of King’s Landing as riviera coastline, with the Reach as Greek and Dorne as North African, the idea a balmy climate isn’t too ridiculous, and plays on Cersei’s outfits and kimono gowns being more of a Lannister silouhette and at odds with King’s Landing. Which is appropriate from a meta and in universe standpoint. Of course Cersei would put herself through discomforting dresses to prove a point (and vis a vis commoner women, Shae, etc, their costumes are more similar to what we see Danaerys wear.)

      That being said, who knows where the Stormlands would fit, geographically.

    • Suou no Nioi

      Actually, peasants and the less wealthy in general should be behind the fashions of the nobility, since it would be rarer for them to get a new outfit and therefore harder for them to keep up with the latest fashions. There should still be visual differences in silhouette between the classes.

      And frankly, showing that much skin doesn’t in any way imply maidenhood. Yes, she should come across as fertile, but sexy is an ill-placed adjective here. Sexy doesn’t necessarily mean showing skin. It just means desirable, and what is desirable in Westeros is not necessarily the same as what is desirable in modern Western culture. If the dress was supposed to read as sexy to the audience, then it did so at the cost of internal consistency in the world Margaery actually lives in. That is a failure of costuming relative to its role in the overall work.

      And I have said this before and I will say it again, but Cersei’s dresses are not “kimono gowns”. They’re just wrap dresses. Which existed in Europe historically. Clapton can throw around the word kimono all she wants, but they’re just not kimono anything.

      Now, I will agree that having different styles for the different regions makes sense. This continent is huge, and having a single overarching style for the whole place makes little sense. I’m not convinced that it is wise to attempt to map the regions literally to our own world, but the point is valid. But even taking different styles into account, there are certain principles that should carry over because Westeros has a common language, currency, religion, etc. and many shared social values. Which means that they more than likely will speak the same language of wealth, what it looks like, how they express it, when and why they express it. So things like fabrics and how much or little a woman covers up should stay pretty similar across the regions. This is just not happening here. I will accept that, say, Northern women are more inclined to cover their chests and up to their necks because of colds, whereas the Reach favors lower neck lines. But not that a single region, in defiance of the styles everyone else sports, prefers to cut large chunks of fabric out of their gowns. That’s really weird.

      Put another way, there’s stylistic differences, and then there’s Margaery showing up to a formal occasion with fashionably ripped jeans while everyone else is wearing dress slacks.

      • MinaJen

        While there is no middle class, the overall shape of garments are similar, from queen to pauper. The material may be less fine, the shapes not as sharp or the fabric as voluminous, and the colors more drab, but you’re not going to find a peasant girl in 14th century Italy wearing 13th century clothing. Granted, that’s more because the changing shape of clothing was the refining of silhouettes and tech.

        But to the point, showing that much skin can imply youth and desirability, which are things that can certainly be applied to Margaery. She’s supposed to be the epitome of Reach Maidenhood, and the cut outs, while certainly anachronistic to our eyes, come across as the “look, but don’t touch” that seem like it would be a part of that act. That it’s all a variation of the generally short, tight top that spills into a fuller skirt across all of the Reach women outfits (save RenFaire Tarly) makes it less egregious to my eyes. They’re making the point that their climate is so awesome and temperate and perfect for flowers to bloom, that every time you look at her, she’s almost an embodiment of a Tyrell Spring. That’s significant in the only a Lady of Tyrell could get away with choices, as a Watsonian display of power and wealth, and the Doylist intention of setting her apart from the other Reach ladies.

        But I’m willing to admit that this comes perilously close to honeypotting. Though I maintain the “Meta Goldsmiths” is a bit reaching.

        And that being said, even though we can’t map real world location/climates to Westeros, I think there’s an argument for relatively shared silhouettes among the more Northern half, and those of Reach/King’s Landing/Dorne. And that corresponds to the major differences in those disparate cultures that make it the Seven Kingdoms.

        As for the kimono/wrap debate, I don’t want to be rude, but what are you referring to in European history? I’ve found that while garments are based on the chemise and layering, I don’t recall much in the way of wrapping and pieced construction and lacing, versus the belting of wrapped garments in Asian dress. Even North African/Mediterranean/Ottoman garments featured front closures and fasteners.

        Belted wrapped garments seem more to feature in Asian cultures, with maybe some crossover in the far eastern parts of Europe – those countries directly next to Central Asia.

        Though this is purely argumentative, but what’s wrong with using the term kimono? Unless you prefer feel or hanfu when it comes to garments the wrap style resembles the most.

        • Suou no Nioi

          First to the Tyrell stuff, then to the more real world stuff. The issue here is that, if the Faith is meant to be Christianity within the show realm (setting aside the problems laid out in the article and going purely with the show’s apparent logic), then showing skin is the opposite of what a maiden would do to have value in a culture with those views. Showing skin is not generally held to be a way to make someone off limits, but rather is often seen, even in the modern world, to act as an invitation. Yes, you might want to highlight the features that would make a woman an eligible wife, but the bare skin of Marg’s back is plainly not that. You would want to emphasize the size of her hips, for instance, or of her breasts, to imply that she is fertile. You would want to dress her up in fabrics and decorative elements that show the wealth and power of her family. Noble women in Westeros aren’t marrying for love; they are marrying to cement alliances, and for that you need alliances worth making and the ability to produce heirs. It’s not about desirability. Moreover, the Maiden not a sexual figure by the modern standards. While her chastity has sexual implications, she is not a figure to lust after or desire, and women seeking to embody her should not be either. Because the Maiden is about purity and chastity, not about teasing or flaunting how hot she is.

          The general peasantry could have been decades behind the nobility in fashion, depending on what that fashion was and how expensive it would have been to produce. Peasants during the early 15th century, when the nobles turned to houppelandes, would not have jumped immediately on that bandwagon because houppelandes use a ton of fabric. So they still would very likely have been wearing something more akin to the cotehardies seen in the mid-14th century. Fashion trickles down, and at that time, it trickled down pretty slowly.

          As for the wrap dress, there were transitional wrap dresses in evidence in *if I remember my dates correctly* the early Tudor period. I’ll post a couple of photos in a minute once I hunt them back up. I don’t think I saved them last time I looked into it.

          I dislike the term kimono at least partly because robes are not at all exclusive to Asia, and I frankly don’t like the cultural oversimplification that goes along with assigning “kimono” to literally any robe that exists. It’s a trend, and one that I don’t like in the slightest. Moreover, while kimono are robes, they are specific shapes of robe, and the different shapes employed have special meaning and significance in the culture. It’s reductive in a way that feels dismissive. And the full comment was that Cersei’s dresses were like kimono with slight European styling, which is nowhere close to the truth at all and sounds frankly stupid coming from an educated professional costume designer, so it chafes on that level on top of everything else.

          • MinaJen

            I understand the basis of your argument re: kimono, bit I responded to it in the other comment. I’m well aware of the significance and cut and color, and notify with kimono, so I do see where you’re coming from.

            To the historical parallels, with houppelandes I’m your example, they still wore tight cotehardie style dresses beneath them. No, they could not have worn houppelandes with all that fabric, but they were still in the same family of garments.

            However, back to the Margaery and the Maiden. I still maintain that in the Doylist pov, they’ve created a shape for the style of the Reach, and they play around within the framework to acceptable levels. From a Watsonian pov, the amount of skin shown by Margaery is enough to be noticeable and challenge more Northern ideals of modesty, but not enough to be as overtly sexualized to the point of scandal. If you maintain that the sexuality of the Maiden is not a defining characteristic, and the cut-outs, while revealing, don’t emphasize fertility/sexuality, then I may have been wrong in theory but we have theory crafted a reasonable in-universe explanation for them, being that her cutouts aren’t inherently as sexualized as we assumed so still remain Maidenhood, and her ability to get away with these mark her as an outsider to King’s Landing, and in a position of relative power and influence vis-a-vis her family and her supposed youthfulness.

            I do agree that typically, amount of fabric and elaborate techniques often and still do mark the wealthy and elite – but I feel that in going in the direction of making the Tyrells the “stealth Lannisters,” in that their eschewing of the more obvious trappings of wealth – and dress to make them appear less intimidating and relatable when juxtaposed to Cersei and her family. That’s more of Meta decision rather than a justifiable reason for their appearance in context of the world, but I feel that I can see the in world politics and style enough to allow it.

            And I can’t say that for a lot of things about Game of Thrones.

          • Suou no Nioi

            Stealth Lannisters or not, the Tyrells have to interact with a host of other people and families than just the Lannisters. For them or the designers to define their look solely in terms of one other family in the world is short-sighted and likely to cause other problems down the line. It’s not sound, and there are other ways the design could have gotten the juxtaposition across without making Margaery look like she has to recycle old gowns into many tiny bodices to maintain a facade of wealth. For starters, Crimson is a Lannister color, and green a Tyrell color. These are complementary colors and would go far in showing the contrast between the houses. Add in the shared gold element indicating wealth, and you’ve got yourself a perfect visual metaphor. It’s almostnlike there was a logic to those choices in the first place.

            And no, walking around in what Westeros would consider skimpy clothing is not going yo make people think Margaery is chaste or virtuous or anything like the Maiden. It will draw rumors and it will hurt her marriage prospects. Rumors of lascivious behavior or unchastity would make her thoroughly unfit for marriage to the king. If she was lucky, her father would find her a bannerman or his son who was low enough on the fuedal food chain that having Marg would confer more benefits than detractions. But the Tyrells need the Lannisters just as much as the Lannisters need the Tyrells. They can’t risk her purity being called into question or being doubted. And Marg is already on shaky ground because she’s been married once before. Everyone is already stomaching a lot in accepting that Renly never bedded her, despite this being an extremely common feature of noble weddings. Her showing a lot of skin, particularly on ways to do not heighten her fertility or desireability as a wife, stretches that credibility to its breaking point. It isn’t sound. Margaery is essentially taking the approach of, “Who has two thumbs and is totes a virgin? This half-naked widow!” Nobody is gonna believe that. And trying to paint it as some religious symbolism is a fool’s errand and based on nothing the show has presented so far.

          • MinaJen

            “Girlishly sexy” is the term the designer used most often used to describe what we see Margaery in before her marriage to Joffrey, and it works because they need all the help they can get to remind people she’s supposed to be a young girl/woman.

            And it makes no sense for Tyrells to be dressed like Lannisters, because when we’re talking historical tribalism, dress is one of the most important aspects of identifying who is what. To have Margaery to continue to cover up like a respectable married woman after Renly would be more an indicator of being bedded than her “maiden” dresses. In fact, we see the ridiculous funnel coat post marriage – she starts covering up as soon as the ring gets put on it.

            So while the Lannisters, particularly Cersei thinks she’s walking around in skimpy clothing (someone from a more northern region, diametrically opposed to Margaery), the reaction to the variations of the standard uniform we see for young Reach women or the lack thereof indicates that her styling is intention in and out of universe. It says she’s meant to be seen as desirable, and that she comes from a region that’s a mild climate, and the non-sexual cut-outs don’t, in theory, contradict that. It’s definitely a fantasy silhouette, but it’s consistent throughout her screentime as a marriageable maiden.

            And once she does get married, the look does change. Cersei gowns, fuller, stiffer skirts. I’d argue we’re seeing a Baratheon/Tyrell amalgamation, though we never see any Baratheon ladies in their finery (Selyse has gone the way of religious cultist, and obviously eschews any pretensions of dress appropriate for the Lady of a High House). I don’t doubt that we would see more of the nun-like dresses even if she hadn’t been arrested – just as we see her in a Lannister-like court gown the day after her wedding to Tommen. Granted, I do think part of the difference in styles may be due to a different costume designer in Season 6.

          • Suou no Nioi

            “Girlishly sexy” is easily one of the grossest things Clapton could have spit out. Ew.

            Also, just no. This makes no sense. There’s tribalism and then there’s this one family looking so drastically different than anything else in the world as to make no freaking sense.

            It’s not matronly to cover up. It’s modest. Because women whose lives revolve around being sexually groomed and then married off for political power don’t have the agency to flash as much skin as they want. They just don’t. Unless, of course, the patriarchy just doesn’t exist in the Reach. Which of course it fucking does, when D&D need it to. So Margaery walking around like that looks bad. Not just to Cersei, but to literally everyone else in this patriarchal system who cares more about Margaery’s sexual purity than whether or not she is personally fulfilled. Which is everyone.

            And frankly, when the Sand Snakes bother to wear women’s gowns, they even cover up more than Margaery, and the men in Dorne wear long sleeves all the time. Mance wears long sleeves. Olenna wears long sleeves. They manage to survive the climate without issue. So I think it’s pretty fair to throw climate concerns out the window. It’s a flimsy excuse. Also, whether or not Westeros would consider Margaery’s cutouts important/significant for what they deem desireable in a highborn wife, that doesn’t mean that her cutouts are inherently desexualized. I’m not sure where you got this idea, but you’ve thrown it out more than once now, and it does not follow. At all. She’ nto showing off her fertility, but that doesn’t mean that everyone’s just going to be cool with that any more than if she wore short skirts that show off her legs. It will still be considered racy and scandalous.

            And really, when the sex workers in their blousey chemise gowns aren’t showing as much skin as Marg, nobody gets to pretend that this is just business as usual or that it is considered acceptable by the culture at large. It clearly isn’t and I’m not willing to pretend that it is just to make ill-suited costumes make sense.

          • MinaJen

            You’re right. The sex workers and the general peasantry in Kings Landing seem to be wearing a blousy chemise dress, where the closest comparison would be some of the dresses we see in Essos. Which would make sense, given that for all but the last generation, they were under the direct influence of a Valyrian royal family.

            And Sansa, in her wedding dress, has bare arms. In fact, nearly every character south of the neck of a particular age has bare arms.

            And we have seen similar outfits with cutouts and shapes, and those are in fact the Dornish women, primarily Ellaria in Season Five. Otherwise, we see sheer court dress in Dorne in Season Six. It’s almost like women’s dress is being used to make a point of differentiating people of different regions!

            I mean, with what we know of the hyper-chivalry aesthetic in the Reach, they might have this idealized view of women as figures of desire yet somehow girlish and maidenly -, huh, like girlishly sexy?

            You know what the difference between Olenna and Margaery? Olenna’s a grandmother and an octogenarian. Her pure but still sexually viable maiden days are far from over. Why would she dress the way Margaery, and the young ladies that are Margaery’s age, dress?

            Look, there’s a clear divide in dress according to the subregions in Westeros, with a clear delineation between north and south of the neck, and then the individual kingdoms themselves (with the Westerlands being more like the north, and the Eyrie doing whatever they damn well please). Margaery wears different versions of the same thing, and either you like the the settled silhouette of their maiden dress (for a region affluent enough and temperate enough to allow wider range than northern regions, with dress being affected by age and marital status), or you don’t like their choice. That’s matter of personal taste.

            And the costume stories have been far more consistent than anything else in the series, with the exception of the season with a different designer.

          • Suou no Nioi

            Right that’s why the Darth Sansa dress looks like Dany’s white dresses from Season 5, and white Cersei and Mel are wearing the same dresses, despite these characters coming from vastly different parts of the world. Truly, the silhouettes have been telling a clear, unadulterated story of disparate regional cultures.

            You are blatantly refusing to admit that a fiercely patriarchal society would have serious issues with a woman of noble birth, the only girl a powerful house, traipsing around in what that world would consider skimpy clothing, clothing even skimpier than actual sex workers wear. Either Westeros is a deeply entrenched patriarchy, or women can run around with bare waists, backs, etc. without any kind of repercussions and still be considered pure, chaste, and eligible. You cannot have it both ways. More to the point, if Marg can run around like that, then I have no reason to take the show at its word that it is a feminist masterpiece about female empowerment and taking on the patriarchy. If you want to ignore the very basics of the system the show is trying to employ thematically in order to justify these costumes, you be my guest. But that does not change the fact that these costumes are not compatible with the system presented to us. It just doesn’t. And even if, by chance it did work in the Reach, which it doesn’t, the rest of the country would not accept it or take it seriously in any way. And Marg needs the support of the country as a whole, not just her one little corner of it. So it doesn’t work there, either. At all. You want to warp the rules of logic to defend it, that’s fine, but it doesn’t change these very basic concepts.

          • MinaJen

            I’m not refusing to admit that a deeply patriarchal society would have issues with a woman dressing inappropriately. Girlish sexiness is supposed to be gross! This is Westeros, where their daughters viability as pawns depends on controlling their sexuality and reducing them to objects!

            So we have a character that we’re supposed to see or read as manipulating the idealized image of maidenhood in a fantasy setting where wearing versions of her native dress to emphasize her “girlish sexiness” in order to look like something other than a wedded and widowed woman – namely, a maiden – makes sense. Her wedding dress has a similar enough silhouette to the rest of her Tyrell wear to not look as anachronistic to me, than it does the author. To me, as a viewer, it says “This Tyrell is marrying this Baratheon (Lannister).” The difference between her dress and Sansa’s wedding dress, for example, is that Sansa is wearing the Baratheon/Lannister style, which firmly marks her as a continued pawn of her gaolers. Because, comparatively speaking, Sansa and Myrcella are her equivalents, and the former is from a far more conservative region, and the latter is wearing the court dress of another kingdom to show her distance between her and her family. And Myrcella gets called out on it.

            On that note, it appears entirely appropriate for girls and young women King’s Landing and southward to have bare arms. This is shown in Sansa’s dress, all the Reach ladies besides Oleanna, and in Dorne.

            You don’t like the design choices of the costume department, and that’s your right, but it’s your personal judgement call that they’re skimpy or inappropriate. According to the world, their context as the clothing of a wealthy highborn daughter from a more temperate part of Westeros work.

            And its indicative of significantly more internal consistency than other parts of the show.

          • Suou no Nioi

            So, let’s just get this straight. The patriarchy, by your own admission, involves strictly controlling a woman’s sexuality, but Marg is still somehow allowed to show off her body in ways nobody else can get away with and nobody else in the country even bats an eye at that?

            Is that really the story you want to go with? Because that makes zero sense, and it’s the story you keep pushing.

            Yes, Margaery should look like a maiden. But her showing that much skin like that has the opposite effect. And for all you want to talk about regional culture, you have ignored that the rest of the court is not from the Reach and would not take “regional differences” as an answer to why this supposed virgin was running around in skimpy clothing when everyone else is covered up.

            And please, don’t cite Ellaria again, because they all looked down on her and called her a whore. Like they should be doing with Marg based on the rules of this world.

            And it’s not that Westeros is pushing girlish sexiness. It’s that a modern person used that phrase and didn’t see anything wrong with it as an ideal to strive for in the costumes she was making in the modern world for a modern audience. That has meaning and that has consequence and that is what I object to. And also, no, I said before and I will say again that it’s not about whether a girl is sexy. It’s about whether she has the right name, the right claim, and the ability to bear son. That’s what they care about. You think people are after Sansa because she’s hot? No. She is desirable because of who she is related to and what her claims are. The same is true of Margaery and of every other girl in the upper class. So no, they won’t be pushing how sexy a girl is. Moreover, when girls get assaulted and raped in Westeros, there is a strong tendency to blame girls for their own victimization. They weren’t covered up, they weren’t accompanied, they didn’t do the right things. So a girl going around attracting attention for her scandalous clothing is not going to be a good thing in any way. Why is that difficult to understand. A woman that is expected to be the property of a man doesn’t have leeway in how she dresses, and she is not expected to advertise anything or court attention on her own behalf. That’s not what women do in this society. It’s not even like women would spend all that much time socializing with men in the first place, because they have such fundamentally different spheres. So yeah, girlish sexiness is not a thing; Clapton just opened her mouth and let more stupid fall out.

          • MinaJen

            The narrative I am pushing is that Margaery needs to appear to look like a maiden. Someone who is unmarried.

            The court dress of the Reach for maidens of status a tightly fitted vest with a fuller skirt, often flowy skirt fabrics, with brocade vests.

            The Reach is depicted, or implies to be, a very warm place where year long Spring reigns, as it’s a region whose wealth resides in the amount of arable land it has.

            It’s also a place where they obsess over the idea of chivalry, with knights in shiny, ornate armor, and maidens who are beautiful and pure.

            Margaery is from the Reach. So when Renly Baratheon dies, instead of dressing like a Baratheon bride and remind everyone she married him, instead of adopting the dress of her deceased husband’s house, she instead returns to wearing the typical outfit of a maiden, not a woman – of the Reach. Because this advertises that she is still an untouched girl.

            Now, if they put women, and maidens specifically, on a pedestal, they tend to be more ornamented than practical. So, as an illustration that her house doesn’t have to worry about winter coming, her clothing is comparatively brighter and lighter than other kingdoms.

            Now, this pisses off the older queen who eventually becomes her mother in law, because it feels like this younger, prettier girl is supplanting her, and her family, who make a great show of charity, are usurping her family in popularity and influence.

            So, since this is a fantasy world and we aren’t bound by historical details, we have the opportunity to visually differentiate the heavy armor like dresses of the old Queen, with the peeks of skin and unarmored, supposedly (pretending to be) vulnerable sweet maiden out to get her. Of course, none of these cut outs are ever to the point of immodesty, and highlight body parts – her slender waist, her back, her arms, that don’t have significant erotic value. Because even though we cast an actress in her thirties to play a..What, 16? 18? Maybe 20 year old? We need ways to emphasize her seeming youth and beauty.

            Because unlike the traumatized captive hostage that is supposedly a foil for Margaery, who is from a region where it’s constantly grey and overcast and not as wealthy or ostentatious, with garments that, although they have more fabric, stem from practical concerns (warmth), this is supposedly an older girl in the full bloom of youth.

            Her beauty, though unnecessary for someone of her status, serve to make her an attractive prize and prospect. Within the cultural traditions of the place she was born and raised, as a walking advertisement of the Reach’s power and wealth, she gets elaborately constructed and structured dresses, with details and ornaments that her retinue of ladies don’t have access to – now, idealized versions of maidens aren’t going to have fussy details like armor-like embroidery, because that would make her look unavailable and unfriendly, rather than welcoming and approachable. And the Tyrells kill with kindness. (Or Margaery, anyways).

            Look, I’m happy to admit some of the variations aren’t as successful or even as good designs as others, and the boobtacularness of some of her outfits feels more symptomatic of the show and the network it’s on, but she looks like how they’ve established House Tyrell and their people look like. Many of Olenna’s outfits are direct translations of things Margaery wears in her role as part of Tyrell. And this established style only changes significantly when she’s married, or adopting a more pious persona as a married queen of King’s Landing dedicated to the Seven.

            But girlish sexiness is in fact a thing when women are used as ornamentation and objects. Its manipulative, and it’s a how, they’ve decided to portray Margaery. Perhaps a younger looking actress more of an age with Sophie Turner would make the various looks a little less incongruous, but it’s disingenuous at best to say that a woman’s appearance isn’t afforded any value in a setting like this.

            So the clothes are scandalous to you, and they’re scandalous to someone in the show who has an axe to grind. They are not, however, scandalous to anyone else because it’s expected iconography of the Reach/Tyrell (pretty blooming flowers not yet plucked) and says more about Cersei and Margaery’s relationship than it does Westerland attitudes about those from the Reach.

            Because we see other people from the Reach with Margaery, and guess what? They dress like her! Olenna dresses like her! ( There are a few vests and over-gowns that have the exact same shape, except with sleeves).

            Overlong post summarized:
            There are legitimate reasons both in universe and by the designer as to why Margaery dresses as she does, consistent in how they depicted women from the Reach in both age range and status, and distinctions of her character. Some variations may not be as successful, but as a fantasy version of a kingdom incorporating temperate climate, fertile lands, and spring and flower imagery, she remains dressed consistently as a maiden from the region, contrasts with her foils/enemies, and as an advertisement of her house, as suited to her role. Significant changes to her station and position are reflected in her dress, leading to a rather tidy narrative journey involving exploitative femininity, performative maidenhood and queenship. You disagree and the costumes for the Reach don’t satisfy your standards of how you feel historical fantasy characters of this station and age, and region should dress, according to rules grounded in the reality of medieval Europe and your own standards of “scandalous dress.” As per these rules, personal appearance, unique regional climates, histories and attitudes should only yield minimal stylistic differences.

          • Suou no Nioi

            You literally just made that up. You just made up that Margaery showing a ton of skin makes her look like a maiden. That is not in evidence in the show, nor does it fit with the strong patriarchy that permeates the culture. You made up that it would only be scandalous to someone with an axe to grind. You made up all of these cultural traits to retroactively justify a costume that is out of keeping with the patriarchal norms that every other female character is supposed to be fighting and struggling against. And furthermore, it literally does not matter what the Reach would be known for to the nobles with access to that. The general populace is vastly more important in the long run, and since they aren’t from the Reach and since most of the residents of King’s Landing would never visit the Reach in their lives, they would see it as a problem, and they would talk about it all the time. And that’s a problem. You are inventing cultural norms to justify this trait, and it does not work or make sense in any way. The narrative you are pushing is one you made up whole cloth, not one that has basis in the show. So yeah, I’m sure it makes sense in your head because you made it make sense, but it’s not drawing on the empirical evidence.

            And I’m sorry, but when we see look at the differences between any other two regions in Westeros, there are strong similarities of style that speak to common values. Except in this case. This is not a stylistic regional variation. This is a drastic departure, especially as concerns appropriateness. Yet there is only ever one single mention of Margaery being in any way inappropriate and it’s played as cattiness, not an actual astute observation on how scandalous Marg’s attire is. Everybody else who dresses like that is seen as scandalous, in particular the Dornish women mentioned earlier. But not Margaery. The narrative allows her to get away with it in a a way that it allows nobody else, and there is literally no reason in the narrative or the universe for that to happen. So you created reasons and are now acting like those reasons you just made up should be blatantly obvious to everyone. Except no, it’s not obvious. Because you made it up. And not to throw around buzzwords, but that’s honeypotting. You made a reason out of thin air for this to work and now are acting like everyone who doesn’t jump on board with your creation has comprehension skills.

            I understand what you are saying, and I maintain that it makes no sense, isn’t grounded in evidence, and may be summarily rejected.

          • MinaJen

            Look, I’ve even mentioned that the differences may be my own honeypot in previous comments.

            But this comes down to a matter of taste, and you and I aren’t going to share it. In context: Margaery is the wealthy daughter of a noble house and wears the standard uniform of the house consistently through the earlier seasons until she is married and settled. She needs to look like a maiden of House Tyrell, not the Baratheon widow of a traitor. So she wears different versions of the uniform of a maiden of the Reach, a place that does have one of the most intense patriarchy brain-regions in reference to knights and fair ladies. In a springtime​ theme. She needs to stand out, both on a character level and in world, among the other ladies. So if anyone is going to have a fetishised version of what women would wear, it’s going to be the Reach. Ultra feminine. A fetishization of youth and beauty.

            In reality, we need a direct and physical contrast between Margaery, Cersei, and Sansa. We need a unified theme and look for a new faction of characters. And as a fantasy show, it isn’t bound by the constraints of history.

            1. Is Margaery consistently characterized as a Tyrell maiden during this period? Yes.

            2. Do we see other female members of house Tyrell and their banners dressed in a similar manner? Yes.

            3. Does her costume reflect insights as to her character’s as and personality, even though in this world, she’s a member of a class with stratified uniform? Yes

            It irks me that in several instances, the OP/author of the article jumps on things as proof of negligence in design (Meta seamstresses! Meta Goldsmiths!) and seems unwilling to distinguish that there are valid, Watsonian reasons to what the characters are wearing. That’s a matter of taste, not design narrative.

            And again, that you would discount the idea of the idea of “girlish sexiness” and the value of youthful beauty, instead claiming it’s prepubescent pedophilia, is you being contrary and disingenuous.

          • Suou no Nioi

            I’m not being contrary when I point out how men that like young girls and want them sexually are demonized and often murdered. Youthful beauty is not the same thing as girlish sexiness. Beauty in not inherently sexualized, first of all, and there’s a big difference between youthful, which covers women into their twenties, and girlish, which implies the person is still a minor. One is fine, the other is gross. I would never discount the value of youthfulness, particularly as it is often considered synonymous with health and vigor. But I don’t have to extend that so far as girlishness at all. That’s not disingenuous; that’s understanding connotations of words.

            And again, you start with assumptions you made up about how the Reach functions. You cannot say that the Reach is full of patriarchy brain and then claim that said patriarchy brain leads a woman to go around in what is clearly and blatantly a skimpy outfit. These two things do not go together. At all. This isn’t a matter of taste; it’s a matter of understanding what the patriarchy does re: the display or lack thereof of women’s bodies. Women don’t have the leeway to openly display their bodies in a society that strictly controls their sex, sexuality, and reproduction. Maidenhood means you are not having sex, nor are you actively trying to invite sex. Showing off extra skin sends the exact opposite message and you cannot rationalize that away.

            Nor have you at any point addressed the bare fact that Margaery has to interact with other people from other parts and play by those people’s rules. She has neither the authority nor the social power to force the world to change to her or adapt to her. She must change and adapt to the world around her.

            And no, Margaery is not consistently characterized as a maiden. She IS consistently characterized as someone using her body and sexual desirability to manipulate people. Nothing about her characterization implies that she is a virgin. She wields her sexuality like a weapon she has trained many times with and her showing that much skin backs that up. So your first point is blatant erroneous, much less your insistence that this is normal when it clearly isn’t based on the evidence in the show.

            Your arguments hold no water, and repeating the same erroneous points that have no evidence to support them and nothing to back them up does not make those points any more true. Margaery shows a lot of skin. Showing a lot of skin is a problem in this universe (because, in case you haven’t noticed, I haven’t mentioned historical parallels in awhile, but you keep harping on them like I have). Showing a lot of skin is a problem, yet Margaery gets away with it. This is a logical paradox that cannot be explained by hand waving about customs in the Reach because we are NOT IN THE REACH. It does not matter what was in fashion in the Reach, because Margaery isn’t there and isn’t operating within their customs. And that’s ignoring the idea you are clinging to that Margaery proves she’s not having the sex by wearing sexy, revealing clothing. That makes no sense. Nobody is walking around in Westeros telling Sansa that she needs to prove she’s a virgin by taking her clothes off. That doesn’t happen. Because it doesn’t make sense.

            And frankly the fact that you think Margaery has to stand out by being less clothed than everyone else is unimaginative and contrary to Margaery’s position in life. There are many ways Margaery could distance herself without dressing down and showing skin in ways that jeopardize her position. And frankly, no, she doesn’t need to stand out. She is a widow whose husband was a traitor in open rebellion to the Crown. Her entire ability to marry the king and secure an alliance her family desperately needs hinges on whether or not her former husband had sex with her. Her position in society is precarious. She doesn’t need to stand out. She needs to be aggressively normal. Walking around showing as much skin as possible is the opposite of aggressively normal, and there’s no reason whatsoever in universe why the whole court is not talking about the evil seductress who already killed one king and is now making her move on another. Or why the townsfolk aren’t also talking widely about this. Or why men aren’t actively gossiping about her various bits on display and how they would love to finish undressing her since she makes it so easy for them. Or anything of the kind. Because that’s the world she lives in. She is a precious flower that needs to be protected by whatever man is in charge of her at any point, and that means covering up her body as much as possible so she doesn’t tempt men, only showing it to her husband. You pretending otherwise is not going to change these facts, nor is your insistence that this is merely a difference of taste, and not a really big detail of the world that has been established to date.

            But since you are clearly determined to believe that garments that break the rules of their own world are perfectly fine, and since you refuse to in any way actually hear what I am saying, and since you are clinging to your argument while actively ignoring the points that are inconvenient to you, there’s nothing more I can do. You are making explanations up whole cloth and then defending them like they are gospel when it’s clear from the actual content of the show that this is simply not the case. Keep your honeypots, just don’t act like the rest of us are ignoring the evidence of our eyes in the process, because that is not what’s happening here.

          • MinaJen





            And the wedding dress:

            Are all variations of the uniform dress of the Reach, which even Olenna wears, with modification made to be more appropriate for an old woman. Across Highborne and Noble ladies. The wedding dress, which is for a Tyrell -Lannister union, paid for by the Tyrells, is on theme for the costumes as established by the designer for the Reach.

            And her style changes once she is wed to Joffrey/Tommen. It’s almost as if she wants people to think of her as a Tyrell rather than Renly’s widow!

          • Suou no Nioi

            First of all, I see exactly one dress in those photos showing anything near the ount of skin Marg shows, so it’s clearly not just how the Reach shows that women are virgins.

            Second of all, the wedding dress is not the same shape as her other gowns, and your repeated assertions won’t make it so. It is built differently, it hugs the body differently, it’s just not the same.

            Third of all, none of this addresses the facts that showing that much skin is not a good way to indicate you’ve never had sex, and that these characters are not in the Reach and cannot expect to play by what you describe as very region specific rules (that were never established). Nobody is going to think that’s just how they do things in the Reach and that’s fine. They certainly don’t think it for Dorne, and we know that because we’ve seen it.

            You keep harping on a point I never made and also keep insisting that two different styles of dress are the same. Which they aren’t. I said Marg is uniquely drssed down amd showing more skin than normal, which is true, even by your own photos. Nobody else has waist cutouts, and a whole lot of them are covering their breasts with extra fabric under their gowns. I said the Reach doesn’t share features with other parts of Westeros, despite the other parts of Westeros sharing common themes, values, and often literal clothing elements to the point where Sansa and Dany have gowns with nearly identocal lines at one point. This is also true. And rather than counter the points I have actually made, you continue to harp on things that I am not arguing because they have no bearing on the argument whatsoever.

            I think it’s pretty clear that we’re done here.

          • MinaJen

            That I can most certainly agree with, even though I think, just because we weren’t given a written out list of region rules, we can’t infer them from the consistent color story and silhouettes found region to region.

            However, if we’re going to talk about Danaerys and Sansa, and to an extant Melisandre and Cersei, which you mentioned offhand, I think that’s also an intentional choice that relates more to the intended parallels of the characters by the designer/creative forces behind the show, then specifically the rules of their respective surroundings. Which then could lead to parallels between KL Smallfolk and Essosi slaves, which may be more honeypotting than anything else.

          • Suou no Nioi

            Oh, okay. So we can just make up rules out of thim air to justify costumes, but when there are glaring problems that we can’t explain, then we can just fall back on things we just made up about character parallels and how that trumps in universe logic.

            Sure, Jan.

            Yeah, we’re definitely done here.

          • MinaJen

            Rules established in show, and consistently held to, no, those don’t get made up. Just because you don’t like the design doesn’t mean the design itself is wrong. Especially when we have visual consistency over the course of at least two seasons. And yes, the wedding dress does follow the lines and “rules” of Reach style clothing. And that’s important because of how it contrasts with the other wedding dresses we’ve seen.

            But god forbid that there is actually some thought about how the viewer might perceive or interpret the significance of a costume on a thematic scale, as providing insights to characters and their relationships on top the in-character motivations for costume choice.

            It’s almost like, I don’t know, using a pseudo medieval fantasy world as a an analogy/parallel to things the viewer or reader might encounter in reality.

            Sure Jan, none of that matters at all, because realism in authentic Westerosi costume.

          • Suou no Nioi

            Nice try, Jan.

          • Suou no Nioi

            Oh, and also, I still can’t puzzle out how running around scantily clad relative to everyone else in her culture gives Margaery a girlish appearance in any way. Generally speaking, little girls aren’t running around showing off their naked defined waists or large chunks of their back. Because little girls don’t have defined waists, you see, and because showing off your back is just an odd choice in general that we don’t really much see anywhere else. So highlighting a defined, womanly figure by literally uncovering it for the world to see doesn’t make her girlish. So the description falls apart there under the barest of scrutiny. And also, yeah, it’s still gross. Because even in Westeros, being attracted to children is considered gross. Tyrion doesn’t like it when he wants Sansa, because she is a child. Arya murders Meryn Trant after he spends entirely too much narrative time being a disgusting pedophile raping young girls. Whenever Arya is at risk, we are supposed to be disturbed by this because she’s a young girl. Walder Frey keeps taking young wives, and it’s seen as gross and awful. All of this mounts up to the fact that even in Westeros, looking and coming off as young is not a desirable trait, and when men are attracted to young girls, it’s not approved of or seen as appropriate. So yeah, I can sit here and reject the girlish comment as gross and terrible because it fundamentally misunderstands things within the narrative that roundly reject the idea of having sex with young girls. So acting like that’s some sort of ideal in this world is just you making things up again to support things you have predetermined to work.

          • Suou no Nioi

            And girlishly sexy is still fucked up and gross because it speaks of the fetishization of children. I’m not here for that. Especially not when the show has taken pains to age up cast members specifically to avoid such implications.

          • MinaJen

            You want to tell me I’m refusing to admit to the patriarchy inherent to the system of Game of Thrones/Westeros but the way they objectify women and their value vis a vis youth and beauty is not something you’re here for? For a character who is defined by her youth and beauty as inherent parts of her value?

          • Suou no Nioi

            Oh, on the subject of houppelandes, the outer garment is the silhouette, not the underwear. So you have houppelandes as the silhouette in the upper classes, and much more fitted gowns below that. You can’t say that they are still in the same family of garments when the silhouettes are so dramatically different. Undergarments are not what we look at when we judge fashion, elsewise we could say that very little changed stylistically between the Belle Epoch and the Late Bustle periods of Victorian England, because they all utilized corsets, chemises, and drawers or knickers. But the lines of the outer garments changed dramatically between those periods. You can’t talk about the undergarments as some sort of proof that everyone wore the same thing, because no, they clearly didn’t.

          • MinaJen

            If you take off the fancy head gear and the overgown of a houppelande, you’re going to have a cotehardie. Which is what peasants wore. The nobles could dress it up, but it’s a variation on a theme, rather than an entirely different genre.

            For that matter you are able clearly trace Late Victorian dresses to the silhouette of the Belle Epoque because of the similarity in structured undergarments. Aside from the Regency, which was a brief dalliance with a less heavily corseted figure, the freedom of the Belle Epoque which led to the eventual discarding of corsets is directly related to the emergence of Fashion Design, the Industrial Revolution, the emergence of a middle class, and machine constructed garments in the mid 1800s. I don’t think that’s a practical analogy for clothing before the 1700s.

          • Suou no Nioi

            Sure, if you take off everyone’s outer garments, their actual gowns, then everyone looks the same, but again, that’s not the point. If I take off my jeans and t-shirt and some other woman takes off her evening gown that she wore to a black tie event, we’ll probably look close to the same. But that doesn’t mean the outer garments, the actual fashions, look anything close to the same. The gown under the houppelande would have been undergarments, not outerwear. You have to compare outerwear to outerwear, not outerwear to underwear. Otherwise, you are creating an intellectually disingenuous argument.

          • MinaJen

            You’re right. The underwear in this case would be a white chemise type garment.

          • Suou no Nioi

            And the undergown would also be just that – underclothes. That’s why it’s called an undergown. The overgown is what is meant to be seen and it is the overgown that we must compare to other overgowns. And there will be a gap there based on wealth. You are refusing to acknowledge this and I don’t know why. It’s not like the houppelande is an overcoat that we only throw on when going outside in the elements. It’s worn all the time. It’s the outermost layer of the outfit. And the silhouette is markedly different from what we would see on the lower classes, plain and simple.

          • MinaJen

            Because, generally speaking, the houppelande pattern is practically an oversized cotehardie. Developed for the wealthy to use more fabric in the same basic shape as a display of wealth.

          • Suou no Nioi

            No, not it isn’t. It’s a large circle of fabric with sleeves and a collar that is then belted and the excess arranged in pleats in front and back. It is belted under the bust, rather than being fitted to the waist, and has the side effect of making a woman looking vaguely pregnant. It also typically had very wide sleeves, even dragging the ground in many cases, and those sleeves were often dagged. It is not the same as the fitted laced gowns, typically with close sleeves, that predated them. Not at all.

        • Suou no Nioi

          Alright, here’s an album completely dedicated to the transitional wrap dress, dated to the very tail end of the 15th century and into the early 16th, which yes, makes it very early Tudor period.


          • MinaJen

            Thank you for the list is! I love new costume resources.

            I understand the metaphor, and what you’re getting at, but I think we may have to agree to disagree. Or at least, I would say the those dresses in particular look more to have been inspired by Asian wrap-style gowns than any European counterparts in both color and cut.

          • Suou no Nioi

            Given that Cersei’s gowns look exceedingly similar to the European gowns in the album amd nothing at all like kimono in any form or fashion, I am baffled as to how you would come to that conclusion. I honestly can’t think of any element of Cersei’s gowns that read as Asian to me, much less as kimono, but I could point to many different European styles that share elements seen in Cersei’s attire. Your insistence on cleaving to this kimono thing simply don’t bear out with the empirical evidence.

          • MinaJen

            I’m pointing out that the term the designer used, her direct statement that she took Japanese kimono and riffed off them for Cersei’s look is what I’m cleaving to. (“Kimono style with a medieval cut” is the exact quote) And in that instance, it applies to a group of gowns she wears in the first few seasons, and the standard dress we see many ladies wear in the Lannister/Baratheon court. (And I’d argue with it being a Lannister style as we see smaller copies in the flashback with child-Cersei).

            The silhouette remains the same , even when they start being pieced gowns rather than laced gowns. It doesn’t have to be a 1:1 correlation. The scooped necks, the placement of decoration, and the illusion of layered necklines with contrasting colors all harken back to Kimono origins. I’d argue that it’s more reminiscent of Heian garments, rather than modern kimono.

            And this is certainly assumption on my part, but I don’t doubt that starting off from a kimono idea could easily lead to research of wrapped European dresses, but when she’s talking about it, it was kimono that was the genesis. It’s the design process. Each garment you see is the product of hundreds of redesigns and revisions till we get to the pretty sketch we get to see in making of documents.

          • Suou no Nioi

            I know where the term comes from, but she never said she was inspired by kimono. She said Cersei’s dresses were like kimono with slight European styling. That what she says in one of the interviews (that I think is taken from a special feature). That’s very different than saying it was inspired by kimono or anything like that. And continuing to call them very obviously not kimono garments kimono just because it sounds cool just doesn’t hold water.

            And as someone who has made Heian-era garments before, I’m still saying no way in hell. Whether Heian or modern, you are still dealing with a piece that is a straight body and straight sleeves because the fabric of the time was only about 18 inches or so wide and they were just cutting pieces off the bolt to the right length and stitch them together. Then there’s the issue of Heian-era noblewomen wearing pants under all those layers and also of there just being layers at all, so many, in fact, that sumptuary laws had to be enacted to curb the practice. And that’s before you look at the fact that Cersei’s giant belts would, under the kimono model, be the obi, except the obi didn’t actually exist yet in Heian Japan, so that comparison falls apart. Add in the lack of wide collars, the fact that Cersei’s dresses emphasize her figure in a way that Japanese clothing distinctly does not, the significantly lower necklines, and the the fact that Cersei’s dresses keep crossing over the wrong way (right over left instead of left over right), and it’s a mess of details that do not resemble Japanese clothing at any point from start to finish. And yet I still have to hear people blithely calling the dresses kimono dresses. It’s bizarre and pretentious and ignores the most basic precepts of logic.

  • The Dragon Demands

    I just don’t understand all of this hate. For the Margaery dresses in this at least; I mean the wedding dress was nice. Okay, I’m a guy, I don’t know what “brocade” means, but I think things are, well, “nice”. I don’t have a wide ranging vocabulary.

    I just did a panel at a scifi convention on “Costumes in Game of Thrones”; will post video in a few days (it didn’t record well and we ran out of battery). I mention you throughout, saying “and thefandomentals.com really yelled at me for this. I thought Margery’s dress was nice, but for some people Costumes Are Serious Business” (I joke because I love. Stay the course, I think your obsessive need to critique mirrors my own – I just don’t know as much about costuming).

    • Suou no Nioi

      Not that this is the point, but a brocade is a fabric that has a raised/embossed pattern to it. While embroidered patterns are still sometimes considered brocades, traditionally, the pattern would have been achieved by weaving it in. The process was tedious and time consuming and required more than one person to work the pattern on a single loom, making these fabrics very expensive. Similarly, lace has traditionally been very expensive because it was made by hand in a similarly tedious and time-consuming process. These materials therefore were restricted to the very wealthy who could afford them.

      The use of such materials is in itself a sign of affluence, and the conspicuous lack of them in a royal wedding gown is profoundly notable. It begs the question of whether the Tyrells are not as wealthy as they let on because they cannot afford to splurge on nicer, more expensive fabrics for Margaery’s wedding dress. That’s not the angle the show is going for, as they are described as wealthy and militarily powerful (and militaries are expensive), but that’s the story being told by the clothes Margaery wears. Her clothes pre-Lannister wedding use minimal brocade/other fancier fabrics, and she only transitions to the more expensive materials AFTER she marries into House Lannister. It’s a noteworthy feature of her costumes. Even Sansa routine wears brocades and velvets while she is a political prisoner and afterward while she is a fugitive.

      • CarolineBee

        She also transitions into fancier fabrics after the costume designer switch (we only get those pretty gold dresses under April Ferry’s design team).

    • CarolineBee

      Oh don’t get me wrong, I like a LOT of the costumes in GoT. Like I said, I would wear Marg’s wedding dress to my own wedding in a heartbeat (and I’ve purchased the fabric/made the pattern to make the dress as a cosplay for one of my friends in the future). The struggle is just that her later costumes reflect the issues with the narrative itself, particularly with internal inconsistency. But I actually like all of Marg’s series of sexy dresses, her wedding dress, and the various gold dresses she wears as queen.

      Thanks for the shout-out haha! Glad you’re following the series 🙂

      • The Dragon Demands

        Okay, serious question; I recorded my con panels, but the costumes panel didn’t record well – I ran out of memory twice, due to stupid iCloud backup waiting or something. I’m…editing together the remnants now.

        I’d be greatly interested if you could post a review writeup of the panel video?

        Not even like, agreeing with it; I’m insatiably curious at what specific criticisms you might have.

        You see I’m going to be redoing the videos anyway:
        Right before the panel, sitting down and practicing it for runtime, I realized it would last around 3 hours…if I kept all of the stuff on “Seven Kingdoms”, “Beyond the Seven Kingdoms”, and “Major character costuming arcs” (Cersei, Margaery, Sansa, Daenerys). So I frantically cut it down to focus on “Seven Kingdoms” and just breeze through a few quick points about “Beyond the Wall” and “Beyond Westeros”.

        So EITHER WAY, I’m going to be making these into narrated YouTube videos.

        The first 20 minutes didn’t survive, when I talk about costuming for the show in general, design principles. Then the “North” section survived, but “Lannisters and Tyrells” did not. Then everything from late Tyrells to the end of the panel survived.

        Given that this was a LECTURE format panel and I still have all the original slides, I’m just going to “Patch it up” to give the loose experience of being at the live panel, filling in the blanks by just re-presenting the slides (I didn’t pause for Q&A at those points or anything).

        The panel was pretty well received.

        I’ll contact you guys with it when I’m done.

  • Ангелина (Angelina)

    Not only Christianity; the show!Faith seems to be modern (and seemingly American) fundamentalist Protestantism, of some Evangelical sort, I think. Because, y’see, the traits are not pointing anywhere else, and High Grandpa seems to be retired televangelist.
    It is quite interesting as the book!Faith is mostly Judaism wrapped in Catholic-looking clothes and rites and remains, in fact, largely unexplored – for example we know it has concept of sin but what is the sin for the Sevenists and/or how is it derived theologically we don’t know (and concept of sin is a rare thing amongst religions in real life). (Imho, the reason is it started as Fantasy Catholicism, but later JRRM understood some Catholic features don’t sit well with the Seven he wrote; like, no Messia = no communion, et al; but the artifacts from earlier books persist and muddle the picture.)

    A beautiful analisys, as always! Btw, I liked pilgrim dresses myself. But I didn’t like Marg’s more open outfits, so…

  • Ангелина (Angelina)

    Then again about Faith and chastity – there was a precedent I think, with Baelor the Blessed and his Maidenvault, where he clearly enforced celibacy on the married women (including his own lady wife). But that was a complex case (I like a theory where it was a politically sound move to ensure right successor on the throne and eliminate Baelor’s own descendants).

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  • nocticolor

    “But the fact that I, a modern-day woman in her twenties, want to wear this dress, and that it would be perfectly acceptable for me to wear it to my own wedding […]” Not sure how this would be perfectly acceptable to wear to one’s wedding today, it’s way too revealing for that—but makes sense with Margaery’s character. So I have to disagree.

    • Suou no Nioi

      There’s no rule that says a modern wedding dress has to cover a certain amount of the bride’s body. This gown is perfectly acceptable as a modern wedding dress. It might not be acceptable to you personally, but that does not make it inherently unacceptable to society as a whole. Modern wedding dresses may be cocktail length, or have plunging backs. Women who have beach weddings might choose to get married in a sun dress and I’ve even heard of them getting married in swimwear. This dress is not out of the norm in the present day by any stretch of the imagination.