Style of Thrones: Cersei’s New Twin

This post contains spoilers for the Game of Thrones episode “First of His Name”.

I have always admired the costumes of Game of Thrones and I have often wanted to discuss them in some depth but I have never been compelled to until I saw this:

Oberyn and Cersei

There are layers and layers of truths shared in this scene between familial enemies Oberyn Martell and Cersei Lannister. Both players have hidden and not so hidden agendas. There are veiled threats and open secrets on each side. Oberyn wants to kill Lannisters, and all the Lannisters know it. Cersei wants to kill kind of everyone, but at the moment mostly Tyrion, and she will do whatever she has to to make it happen. Oberyn is proud of the gilded cage his family has Myrcella in. Through him Cersei gifts her daughter a boat that she may as well have named Escape Clause. But in the midst of all this scheming and deceiving, they are connected. They are alike.

With Margaery

In Cersei’s earlier chat with a frenemy she specifically noted that their clothes — mourning black for wife and mother — tied them together. But their clothes, like their conversation, were only pretending to get along. Margaery’s dress is more youthful, less heavy. Cersei’s pattern is linear and rigid where Margaery’s is like a vine (growing strong no doubt). Cersei’s black is deeper, Margaery’s is affected.

tycerAt the coronation, Tywin matches Tommen more than he does Cersei.

1-wideAnd notably Jaime, in armor, matched only the crown (fwiw, armor played a significant part in Brienne’s and Arya’s stories this episode; Jaime is at odds with the Lannisters and in sync with the two wandering¬†warrior maidens). But in chambers:


cersBlack with gold accents. And wine. The design on Tywin’s tunic actually resembles Cersei’s earlier dress. The one she wore in the scene with Margaery, in which she enacted the advice Tywin gives in this scene — make alliances with the people you don’t trust or like. Cersei is, as always, Tywin’s daughter.

oberycersBack to this. They do share all the things they talk about sharing: power, and chains, and loss, and a desire (need) for revenge, and a love of daughters they cannot protect. Their color palettes are identical and reversed, down to hair color. At odds and analogous. Oberyn’s worn this outfit all along but it pops next to Cersei. Their brocades are similar, certainly more than Cersei’s and Margaery’s were.

sideAnd they share this embellishment.

Cersei and Oberyn are not friends, but the costuming says they are connected.


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