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The Inspiration Behind the “Fiery” Costumes from ‘House of the Dragon’

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CU Boulder chapter.

With incredible acting performances, stunning dragons, and lore-rich Targaryen civil wars, there are many reasons to start watching HBO Max’s new series “House of the Dragon.” However, if you’re a fashion lover, there’s another (and in my opinion, extremely underrated) reason to binge this prequel to the original “Game of Thrones” series: the fantastic costume designs courtesy of designer Jany Temime. 

Even Matt Smith, who portrays Prince Daemon Targaryen in the series, went out of his way to praise the costume designs in his interview with Looper, “I have to say the costumes in “House of the Dragon” are just absolutely beautiful. [Jany Temime has] done such great work. That’s one of the things that I think we can really be proud of in this show, that is, the costumes have really delivered.” When an actor speaks that highly of the show’s costume designer, you know they’ve done fantastic work. 

The Impressive Career Of Jany Temime.

Starting her career as a fashion editor at Elle magazine, “House of the Dragon” costume designer, Jany Temime, switched to working for films. “House of the Dragon” is not the first time Temime has worked on such a large-scale project; in the past, she’s worked on films such as James Bond’s “Skyfall” (2012) and the “Harry Potter” series. 

Kings Landing Gold GIF by Game of Thrones - Find & Share on GIPHY
The Importance Of “Color Story” And How It Affected Temime’s Creative Process.

In an interview with Talter, Temime admitted she never watched “Game of Thrones.” So to prepare for this series, she made sure to read “Dance of the Dragons”—the book that “House of the Dragon” uses as its source material. When designing costumes for book-to-show adaptations, especially for a series as popular as George R. R. Martin’s, it’s important to stick to the existing lore so as to not upset the fandom.

In the same Talter interview, Temime explained how the colors of the characters’ outfits were mostly dictated by their respective houses, a process which she called ‘color story.’ She goes on to mention how “The main point the showrunners made was that we should design costumes with the colours of each side of the family in mind: red, black and gold, and green and blue.” Working so closely with the showrunners allowed Temime to build off of their ideas and help the show feel similar to “Game of Thrones,” even though she didn’t have previous experience with the series. She goes on to explain, “[Having a strong color story] affected the [silhouettes of the costumes]—simple and graphic shapes helped to accentuate the colours further—and [forced us] to consider how these colours would appear on screen.”

Hbo Dragon GIF by Game of Thrones - Find & Share on GIPHY
The influence of Moroccan bride accessories And the Power Costumes Have Over The Viewer’s Emotions.

Because “House of the Dragon” is set in a medieval-style world, Temime had to study historical fashion trends for inspiration. For instance, one of her main sources of inspiration for Rhaenyra Targaryen’s costumes was the accessories of traditional Moroccan brides. During Rhaenyra’s coronation, she can be seen wearing these large, dramatic earrings which best show off the influence Moroccan culture had on the show’s costumes. 

Temime also understands the importance of creating costumes that resonate with viewers. She ends her interview with Talter by explaining, “I wanted to create a beautiful version of something that viewers would be interested in wearing themselves. One way people connect with characters is if who they see on screen resembles them in some way, so you need to draw inspiration from many places.”

Costume design is one of the most important and nuanced aspects of film and shows, as it subconsciously affects how viewers perceive characters and can help perpetuate the main aspects of the plot. As of writing this, only two episodes have aired of “House of the Dragon“; however, the costumes of the characters we’ve met so far are some of the most effective examples of the power of good costume design for a TV series I’ve seen in a long time. I highly recommend watching it yourself, especially if you’re a fellow fashion lover!

Mackenzie is an article contributor for Her Campus at the University of Colorado Boulder. She enjoys writing about a variety of topics with a focus on Beauty, Fashion and Sex + Relationships. During the Spring 2023 semester, Mackenzie had the opportunity to further her public relations studies at the University of Westminster in London. Beyond Her Campus, she has experience writing for other publications including ROAM Boulder, CU Boulder's first life and style publication, and The ISA Journal, a blog dedicated to documenting students' experiences abroad. Additionally, Mackenzie has worked as a Seasonal Associate at Victoria's Secret, where she helped facilitate product releases within the fashion industry --- including the Victoria's Secret Icon Collection. In her free time, Mackenzie enjoys thrifting online, listening to her favorite Spotify playlists (each playlist has to have at least one Selena Gomez song, it's a rule!), and curating new content for her Instagram @mackenziehornik.