Game of Thrones fashion: Daenerys Targaryen’s hair journey in “The Bells”


Hairstyles are just as vital to storytelling as costuming on Game of Thrones, and nowhere is that more important than in Daenerys’ hair in “The Bells.”

Dear Game of Thrones fans, this isn’t the place to discuss whether or not Daenerys’ actions in “The Bells” are keeping in character and make sense with regards to her arc. You could even come to the conclusion that they make sense, but are rushed (which is about where I am with it all) if you like.

What we are instead here to discuss is fashion. More specifically, we’re about to talk hairstyles, because Daenerys’ hair in this episode is telling the story just as much as Emilia Clarke’s acting is.

Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen. Photo: Courtesy of HBO

Fans knew from the moment this photo was released that something was very much up with Daenerys, even before we get the closeup on her face and she looks … well … she looks pretty bad, actually.

So we’re going to look at the other two photos HBO has released more closely.

(L to R) Kit Harington as Jon Snow and Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen. Photo: Helen Sloan/HBO

This comes from the scene at Dragonstone after Varys burns to death, when Daenerys tries to get back together with Jon in a physical sense. It’s not often we see her sporting a single braid down her back like this; she tends to prefer her hair long and loose, with braids in her hair close to her skull. She has those braids here, still, but knowing what happens later in the episode, it’s hard not to read this as someone barely holding herself together — making herself just presentable enough to execute someone or to plead for the man she loves to just get over that teeny incest problem.

“All right, then. Let it be fear,” she says at the end of the scene.

That brings us to this:

Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen. Photo: Courtesy of HBO

In some ways, this is the most standard Daenerys Targaryen hairstyle we get in the entire episode, at least from the front. When you look at the back of her head, though, what’s usually a twisted bun is instead a mass of overlapping braids, with her hair then loose below. Again, Daenerys is holding it together for most of the battle, but then … something goes wrong … and we get the burning of King’s Landing.

At the same time, though, her hair is telling us that this is the Daenerys we’ve known for nearly eight seasons. Maybe she’s a little different, but she is still recognizably Daenerys.

On a more fashion-related note, peep the dragon-scaling look on her arm and pectoral. It’s still not armor, but it’s at least closer.

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Game of Thrones’ final episode airs next Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.

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