It goes without saying that Game of Thrones is one of the most visually stunning shows on TV. From the halls of King's Landing to the vast expanses surrounding the Wall, each new land has its own rituals and way of dressing. We've seen all manner of lords and ladies follow their fortunes (and fates) in a bid for power and standing, and each of them was impeccably attired.
The woman behind some of the most elaborate detailing in the Seven Kingdoms is costume embroiderer Michele Carragher, who has been with the show since the beginning. Under the direction of costume designer Michele Clapton (who has been nominated for an Emmy for all four seasons, with wins in 2012 and 2014), Carragher has crafted everything from the cascading roses on Margaery Tyrell's Purple Wedding dress to the roaring lion heads on Cersei’s gowns.
"Michele Clapton is a great advocate of arts-and-crafts artisans," Carragher says, "and her approach is that she loves to have her main cast's costumes all hand-finished, from fabric that is woven, printed, embroidered and then carefully aged or distressed, so my skills as a hand embroiderer fit in with her ethos."
Carragher spends roughly four months — working 10- to 12-hour days — preparing embellishments for the show, starting with her initial meetings with Clapton. "She will have illustrations, mood boards, colors, and fabric swatches for the costume I will be creating a design for," Carragher says of the process. "Then, I will go and research. This usually involves visiting museums or looking through historical costume reference books. I get my inspiration from anywhere — I love sculpture, architectural decoration, vintage textiles, jewelry, haute couture embroidery, and nature."
Ahead, Carragher discusses some of her most memorable designs, the process behind creating each piece, and her thoughts on who should really be ruling Westeros.