Game of Thrones, based on the book series by George R.R. Martin, is one of the most popular shows on HBO. It also offers plenty of fertile ground for costume ideas. Whether you're looking for a great Halloween costume or plan to try cosplaying at a convention, a Game of Thrones costume can be assembled easily if you pay attention to the details.
Your Favorite Game of Thrones Characters
As a fantasy series set in a Medieval-style world, Game of Thrones makes costume-assembling easy. You could wear nearly anything Medieval or Renaissance inspired and tell people you were a commoner of Westeros. If you want to dress up as a specific character, though, you'll need to pay attention to the details. Nail the signature look of some of the iconic characters from the show using these ideas.
As the head of the King's Guard, Jaime dresses in white with a long white cape and gold armor. You can create the breastplate, shoulder guards and mail from pieces of craft foam cut to shape and spray painted gold. Pre-made costume armor could also be repainted instead, if you cannot find a gold version. Paint in the detail work on the armor by hand with white acrylic paint, using a photo for reference for the knotwork. Complete the look with tall brown leather boots and heavy gloves, like welding gloves. A thick black belt tied in a knot at the waist finishes the armor.
Riding Coat With Prosthetic
Another option would be to wear Jaime's signature long riding coat, like the one sold on Etsy. Wear this with the same tall boots, heavy gloves and belt. With either costume, you'll also want to carry a sword and scabbard tucked through your belt. For a nice touch, you can exchange your right glove for a rubber hand painted gold to represent Jaime's prosthetic.
Jaime's blond hair is a key part of his Lannister identity. If you're dark-haired, the armor costume would work just as well for any other member of the King's Guard. Otherwise, pick up a blonde wig to complete the transformation.
Daenerys Targaryen (Khaleesi)
Khaleesi is the title that Daenerys Targaryen took as a queen of the Dothraki, and it's what she's known best as by fans of the show. She's one of the most popular characters and has many outfits to choose from.
No matter what you wear, though, you'll need to emulate her long white-blond hair. Fortunately, a number of wigs are available in different styles that can work. Jellyfish Soup's guide recommends several and gives suggestions for styling the hair to look authentic.
Make Your Own
If you feel like making your own costume, you have plenty of options. Daenerys usually wears blue, so any lightweight blue dress can be modified with accessories to work. If you're going for a more Dothraki style, you can recreate the look by cutting a "V" shape from the bottom of a brown tank top and coupling it with a brown suede skirt or wrap-around sarong. Add a wide tan belt with frayed edges and a strip of burlap to go down the front of the skirt. Finish with moccasins and fingerless brown gloves.
Since Daenerys is the Mother of Dragons, accessorize with some stuffed or vinyl dragon figurines. Alternatively, make it a group costume by dressing your child or even a pet in a dragon costume.
Brienne of Tarth
Brienne is a tall, awkward warrior woman, and she's the perfect choice for any woman who wants a less "girly" Game of Thrones costume. She wears heavier armor than Jaime: To sell the look, you'll want full plate armor. This can be purchased pre-made from a costume store or made from spray painted foam or other materials. She wears several styles of armor throughout the show, so you can make any armor you find work for the costume.
The trick to pulling off Brienne's costume comes down to details. Her short-cropped blond hair is a must-have. A large broadsword at your hip and a brown wool cowl around your neck and shoulders will make it clear who you are.
A favorite anti-hero of the Game of Thrones universe, Sandor Clegane (also known as The Hound) is one of the most instantly recognizable characters in the show. This is due to the burn scars that disfigure one side of his face. To achieve that look, you'll need to use makeup. Fortunately, it's easy to make burn scars with some latex prosthetics and foundation makeup. You might want to practice using liquid latex a few times before costume night so that you get comfortable creating the results you want. Find a helpful makeup tutorial at HalloweenCostume.com's blog.
Once you've gotten the makeup right, you just need a set of armor. The Hound's armor is made of a studded leather jerkin over chain mail with plate for the shoulders, arms and around the collar bone. For the chain mail, you can use a gray knitted sweater with large loops. For the other armor pieces, you can re-purpose costume armor or use foam cut and painted to fit. Tall black boots, a black leather belt and a broadsword at your back will finish the costume. If you want to take it a step further, you can add his iconic hound-shaped helmet.
The feisty tomboy Arya is a perfect choice for a younger girl, but you can still pull off the costume as an adult. Arya has two iconic looks from the show.
- The first combines simple pants and a lace-front, long-sleeved white shirt with leather boots and a brown leather belt. Tuck a wooden practice sword in the belt and wear your hair or an appropriately colored wig in a long braid.
- Later, she dons a short hairstyle and more boyish clothes, including a roughly stitched jerkin over layers of raggedy clothes. Achieve the look with an open-knit sweater laced through with leather bootlaces. Also remember Needle, Arya's petite-sized rapier, worn through a loop in your belt.
Although he didn't survive the first season, Khal Drogo is a favorite costume choice, especially for men whose wives and girlfriends want to dress as his Khaleesi. As a Dothraki, Drogo is dark-skinned; you might want to start your costume with a good tan or some bronzer if you're not already swarthy. You'll also need a beard long enough to tie and long hair or a wig to braid.
To assemble the clothing, start with a pair of dark pants. Suede or leather would be best, but you can use what you have on hand. The most important piece of armor is a patchwork leather girdle worn around the waist. Achieve this look by taking several wide leather belts and stitching them together with leather boot laces. You could also make it from scratch from faux leather or craft foam of the appropriate color. There is an excellent step-by-step tutorial for making one at We Cosplay.
Add extra layers with a conch belt and a fur or shag apron at the waist if you want. Add moccasins and leather bracers or gloves. Finish it off with war paint: You'll want four jagged blue stripes angling from your shoulders down your chest muscles. If you want to make it even more authentic, finish the costume by shaving a line through one eyebrow and using a little liquid latex to create the scar over Drogo's left eye.
A fan favorite, Tyrion is known best for his wit, his womanizing and of course his small stature. Tyrion's size makes him an obvious costume choice for a little person or child, but you can still cosplay as Tyrion regardless of your height. You'll just need to make adjustments by wearing over-sized costume elements; their length will make you seem smaller and less proportionate.
Tyrion wears several outfits throughout the series, but his most iconic look is a red runic over a long-sleeved black shirt, black pants and high boots. Make this look with a red vest, or cut the sleeves from a shirt in the right color. Using a photo for reference, use fabric paint to draw on the knotwork filigree around the collar. Replace the buttons with leather laces.
A few finishing touches can make the costume really stand out. One would be a Hand of the King pin, which can be purchased online or at several Halloween stores. You can also use liquid latex to create the scar crossing his face and nose.
Known as "The Red Woman," Melisandre is a powerful priestess of the Lord of Light. She's also a very good candidate for an easy costume idea, especially if you have dark red hair or a good wig. To achieve the look, you'll need a long red dress with bell sleeves; any Medieval-style dress will work. Couple this with a red hooded cloak and a gold-and-ruby necklace. You can buy a replica of Melisandre's necklace on Etsy, but any bold ruby costume jewelry will work.
People of Westeros and Beyond
A great Game of Thrones costume doesn't have to directly copy the look of a particular character. There are several races and factions in the world with very distinctive appearances, and you can earn some extra fan points by fashioning yourself as an original character or bit-player from any of these groups.
The Night's Watch
The most famous of the Night's Watch is of course Jon Snow, and there are commercial Jon Snow cloaks available to buy. Since these are the Night's Watch's uniform, any Jon Snow costume can be made into a generic Night's Watch member.
There are two things to remember about dressing as a man of the Night's Watch: First, everything you wear has to be black. Second, the Wall is very cold, so choose warm fabrics and lots of layers. The standard Night's Watch uniform includes black pants, long-sleeve shirt, tunic and fur-topped boots. A long black cloak with a fur mantle completes the look. You could customize any cape with faux fur or shag wool. In a pinch, a combed-out bathmat would give a rough texture as well.
Finish the costume off with a weapon. If you're dressed as Jon Snow, you would of course need his sword, Longclaw, with the white wolf's head pommel. Other Night's Watch members could be armed with bows, daggers or, for Sam, a dusty old book. A fake raven perched on your shoulder would be a nice touch.
White Walkers are the most dangerous enemy to Westeros. These ice zombies live beyond the Wall and have no specific design; any frozen undead will be instantly recognizable to a fan. This is fortunate since zombie makeup, masks, and accessories are very easy to buy around Halloween. You can take any pre-made zombie costume and repaint it in icy blues, whites, and grays to transform it into a White Walker costume. Alternatively, you can use liquid latex, prosthetics, and makeup to transform your face into a gruesome ice zombie; HalloweenCostume.com's tutorial can offer you some makeup inspiration. Finish off the costume with some tattered Medieval-style clothes and you're all set!
The Unsullied are Khaleesi's private guard of eunuch warriors. They all wear an identical and very recognizable uniform: Black leather armor held together with rivets and worn over black pants with tall lace-up boots. You can use an old biker jacket or vest as the base of the armor. Add craft foam bent over the shoulders and painted to match to create the spaulders. The helmet has an Asian look; rework a samurai costume or build one from scratch out of a batter's helmet and foam. Finish the costume with a sword and large shield, which can easily be made from cardboard and Styrofoam spray painted black. Or, if you want to look authentic and have plenty of money to spare, you can buy a pre-made leather armor set from Etsy.
Also known as the "free folk," the Wildlings are the human inhabitants beyond the Wall. The most well-known Wildling is Ygritte, Jon Snow's doomed lover, but there are plenty of other characters to choose from. A Wildling costume is easy to put together: Simply build several layers of leather or suede and faux fur. You can use a pre-made Wild Warrior costume as the base. Then roughen it up and add additional layers, keeping to a cool gray and brown color palette.
Find Your Inspiration
The world of Game of Thrones is massive and filled with colorful characters and fascinating cultures. Re-watch a few episodes or browse pictures online to soak in the details for your costume. With a bit of ingenuity, you can create a costume from materials around your own home. The results are sure to please any fan.