On the HBO series Game of Thrones, the female leads have enjoyed a kind of character growth surprising for a show about king slayers and dragons. In fact, Wired says that the show, which enters the first half of its last season on July 16, will end in total female domination.
As the show’s characters have grown, so too have the actresses who portray them — nowhere more obviously than in their red carpet style.
When Game of Thrones premiered in 2011, most of the actresses were relative unknowns. Casting directors chose the brunette Emilia Clarke, then 23 and without a major acting gig in her rearview, to play the icy blond Daenerys Targaryen. The Mother of Dragons became as popular a face on the show as she did in real life, especially to fashion tastemakers.
While Clarke played one of the show’s most popular characters, she certainly wasn’t the only actress to catch the fashion world’s attention.
Sophie Turner, a.k.a. Sansa Stark, also casually blossomed in the fashion world, becoming the striking blond Louis Vuitton campaign model who posts selfies with the brand’s beloved creative director, Nicolas Ghesquière.
Maisie Williams plays Sansa’s younger sister Arya, a feisty tomboy, busy learning how to sword-fight and rejecting social norms. Offscreen, Williams is a fashion darling. She’s been on the cover of the Sunday Times Style magazine, has modeled for Converse alongside fellow acting prodigy Millie Bobby Brown, and often wears House of Holland to red carpet events. A far cry from Arya’s sensibilities.
Then there is Lena Headey, whose onscreen malevolence as Cersei Lannister lends itself well to a bad-girl wardrobe IRL that includes wearing a screen-printed muscle T-shirt and leopard print bra on late-night talk shows — that is, when she’s not donning the Row or Jil Sander or Prada for Net-a-Porter’s magazine, the Edit.
Criminally underrated, by this writer’s estimation, is Gwendoline Christie’s off-camera style. The 6-foot-3 English actress who plays highborn lady-turned-knight Brienne of Tarth embraces the fashion world more publicly than perhaps any of her co-stars, despite their numerous magazine covers. Christie attends Miu Miu fashion shows and the Council of Fashion Designers of America awards; the British Fashion Awards named her Red Carpet Fashion Ambassador in 2015; Christie works with legendary activist-designer Vivienne Westwood to promote free gender expression in fashion and beauty; and, to be sure, Christie too has had her name printed in Vogue.
The show may be fantasy, but the real-life fashion flaunted by these women is definitely real life goals.
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Alexandra Mondalek is a writer for Yahoo Style + Beauty. Follow her on Twitter @amondalek.