Out of the many characters that make up the Game of Thrones universe, Jon Snow is undoubtedly one of the most iconic. He kills a White Walker! He has a gigantic pet Direwolf! He...shops at IKEA? Yes, a TV show that regularly spends millions of dollars per episode sources the heavy fur rugs favored by Northerners from IKEA. Award-winning HBO costume designers, they're just like us.
Fur is frequently used on the show to create clothes that feel worn, lived-in, and practical. Jon Snow and his not-so-merry band of Nights Watch brothers cloak themselves in an array of heavy pelts to keep warm while battling White Walkers, Wildlings, and basically anything that moves beyond the wall — a dream job, it is not. When the worst winter the world has ever known is imminent, it makes sense that characters who hang out at Winterfell and the Wall wear thickly padded tunics and fur capes to stay warm. Still, we always assumed the famously rugged Northerners' outerwear had a slightly more badass source than a $49.99 SEJLING.
At a talk sponsored by the Getty Museum in L.A., chief costume designer Michele Clapton (who has won three Emmy's for her work on Game of Thrones), explained that some of the fur on Night's Watch capes are actually carpets from IKEA. The process for turning the carpets into something wearable involves cutting them, shaving, adding leather straps, and "breakdown, which is like a religion on Game of Thrones." It is a process that ages and dirties the costumes so they look worn and old. "We want the audience to almost smell the costumes," she says. Sure enough, there are plenty of fangirls who would kill The Hound for the chance to smell Jon Snow's flowing locks. HBO, make scratch and sniff screens happen!
We highly doubt that there were any IKEA parts on Euron Greyjoy's recent style evolution from mad pirate to Rick Owens model, but maybe he's rocking a secret OFELIA somewhere. The whole talk is fascinating and worth a look if you're especially interested in the historical references in the Game of Thrones costumes. The mindfulness that goes into these costumes is incredible, and the show wouldn't be as transcendent if these details weren't labored over so painstakingly.
Clapton discusses the IKEA rug hack below, at around 27 minutes into the video.