Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sansa Stark and Margaery Tyrell in Two Swords and The Lion and the Rose

(This post contains spoilers for Season 4 of Game of Thrones and references the third book. We will place an extra spoiler warning when we get to those parts, but EARLY WARNING TURN BACK NOW.)

For reasons of great future import, Two Swords involves lots and lots of necklaces.

Olenna and Margaery are examining some of said necklaces, all of which are deemed too tacky for Margaery’s wedding day. Olenna reminisces about a necklace her late husband bought her and then tosses a similar necklace off the balcony, because she is the best.

Margaery is a breath of sartorial fresh air in King’s Landing. Cersei’s braid helmets and gaudy clothes (heavy embroidery, rich fabric, metalwork) were the height of fashion back in Season 1, but compared to Margaery’s fresh, youthful prettiness, Cersei now looks a bit overdone.

Check out the pieces on the shoulder: Cersei suggested that Margaery might want to add some armor to her wardrobe, but a nod to a warrior's style is all Margaery needs.

Note the similar colors and patterns in Margaery and Olenna’s outfits; light blue, gold accents, roses. While Olenna’s son is technically lord of Highgarden, and Loras is technically his heir, Olenna clearly rules her brood with an iron fist, and is grooming her granddaughter to be her matriarchal successor. Margaery has clearly flourished under her grandmother’s tutelage.

These girls are a great example of Margaery’s signature styles diffusing into the population, mixing Highgarden blues with the warm-colored silks of King’s Landing.

Finally, Brienne stops by and she and Margaery take a little stroll.

And an IMMEDIATE ship is born.

Oh, Sansa. We are sorry about your life. We would, however, like to congratulate you on your face.

We open on our girl refusing to eat, on account of how her mother and brother were slaughtered at a wedding. She then excuses herself to go pray, because no one tries to talk to her in the Godswood.

Sansa’s clothes really set her apart from everyone else in King’s Landing. She's dressing like her mother used to: in heavy cloth and somber, dark colors. This outfit serves as a reminder that Sansa is in a pretty much constant state of mourning (both Arya and Sansa now look and act like they have a freezing, empty hole where their souls are supposed to be). She’s gone back to dressing like a Northerner: long full sleeves, heavy skirts, high necklines. Dressing in the styles of home is the only way Sansa can show allegiance to her family without dying a horrible death. She is also styling her hair like she used to in Winterfell: small, simple braids (the simplest braids in GoT still look impossible for DIY and we are jealous.) Note the ring: heavy gold for a Lannister bride.

A better look at Sansa’s gown, from the days when she had zero hope instead of .000001% hope.

So Ser Dontos (who Sansa rescued that one time in her awesome Joffrey-manipulating way) shows up and gives Sansa a VERY SIGNIFICANT NECKLACE. It is apparently the last thing of value he has to his name, and because she is lovely and sweet, Sansa says she will wear it with pride.

At the royal wedding, Sansa is back to full-on crazy Lannister braids (required as a member of the Lion side of the aisle). We’re pretty sure Cersei’s braid helmets are becoming a little bit of an anachronism in King’s Landing. Young, fashionable women are now taking their cues from Margaery Tyrell and her loose, (relatively) simple curls, though many people are still terrified enough of Cersei to keep a bit of the braids going.
The first time Sansa wore her hair in this style, in was an attempt to curry favor to save her father's life. Those braids and southern dresses were symbolic of how trapped she was. Margaery's arrival loosened those chains a bit, and Sansa began to wear her hair loose while she hoped for freedom, only going back to the braids when she was forced to marry Tyrion. Braids in this show connote power, and those braids have been a symbol of the Lannister's power over her, but even if she doesn’t know it yet, Sansa is a vessel of power this day.

Sansa rarely wears jewels, so in addition to Ser Dontos’ necklace, the gold in her hair contributes to the overall Lannister look, and adds an air of maturity to her costume.


As much as we love costumes, it’s very rare that they directly factor into the plot. So spoiler warning. If you don’t want to know whodun the Purple Wedding Murder Mystery, hit the “back” button now.

Look at the far right jewel! Oh wait you can't because it's totally gone!

Sansa’s VERY SIGNIFICANT NECKLACE is, in fact, how they managed to smuggle “the strangler” into Joffrey’s wedding cup. And by “they” we mean OLENNA FUCKING TYRELL. Our QUEEN. (We would also like to congratulate Dame Diana Rigg on her face.) Watching this episode and knowing what was going to happen was nerve racking and awesome and we may have said many times that MURDER IS AMAZING. (Which, now we think of it, might not have put us in the best light to any neighbors listening in.) Olenna plucks a poisoned jewel from the necklace ("What kind of monster would kill a man at a wedding?" – the BEST), and from there we’re watching the dance of the cup.  Poor Tyrion’s gonna take the fall for a bit, while Sansa gets the hell out of Dodge (into a different, also terrible Dodge.) because everyone thinks she had something to do with it. Which she did! In the books, Dontos gives Sansa a jeweled hairnet to smuggle in the poison jewels, but necklaces are simpler, and the Tyrell’s focus on necklaces in Two Swords made for some awesome foreshadowing. Dontos is also kind of creepy in the book, so it’s nice that for once a dude helping Sansa isn’t acting sexually towards her. Thanks show!

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