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Rhaenyra Targaryen’s 9 Best Costumes from Season 1 of "House of the Dragon"

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Milly Alcock as young Rhaenyra Targaryen

Milly Alcock as young Rhaenyra Targaryen

House of the Dragon

After Game of Thrones ended in May 2019 there was this push for the next big show. Every network and studio wanted something on the same level as a cultural juggernaut. And as it turns the next big show was actually a Game of Thrones Prequel series,

House of the Dragon is based on parts of Fire & Blood by George R R Martin, which is a Targaryen history. House of the Dragon is set 170 years prior to the events of Game of Thrones and depicts a Targaryen civil war called “The Dance of the Dragons.” It aired on HBO on August 21, 2022.

The first season spans twenty years leading up to the conflict.

Emma D’Arcy as Adult  Rhaenyra Targaryen

Emma D’Arcy as Adult Rhaenyra Targaryen

Who is Rhaenyra Targaryen?

Rhaenyra Targaryen is the only living child of King Viserys I and Aemma Arryn. She was dubbed ``the realm’s delight” and was a cup bear for her father.

Rhaenyra is one of the few dragonriders in the world and her dragon is a gold she-dragon named Syrax, named for a Valyrian goddess. In the show she is depicted as intelligent, other-world, stubborn and rebellious. She does her duties but on her terms. She is a “punk princess.” She does care for her family and strives to protect them.

She wants to prove her worth and metal but in the patriarchal society that she lives in she is very much challenged at every turn but the lords of the land.

Younger Rhaenyra is played by Milly Alcock and adult Rhaenyra is played by Emma D’Arcy

Rhaenyra and Costumes

Throughout season one of House of the Dragon Rhaenyra has roughly 20+ costumes and many get reworn.

This is a list of Nine of her best looks. They were ranked by aesthetics and memorability. That is not to say all her costumes are not great.

The costume designer for the show was Jany Temime who took a very West meets East look as she took inspiration. The inspiration ranges from early Medieval European fashion history, Byzantine, Moroccan, and Asian traditions for the costumes.

This prequel of Game of Thrones takes place in the spring so winter is not coming, winter is done so there are vivid and bright colors in this show that were not really seen in the original show. There is also so much more jewelry, which is so great.

This list will contain spoilers through season one but not beyond.

List is subject to change

Thank you for reading even if you disagree with the picks I hope you enjoyed the costumes of House of the Dragon

Spoilers

There are Spoilers for Season 1 of HotD

Poll #1

The Gold Dress

The Gold Dress

9. The Gold Dress

House of the Dragon starts in more idyllic times for Rhaenyra. She is fourteen years old and her mother is alive and about to give birth. She has few duties and is content to ride her dragon and spend time with her best friend Alicent. It halcyon days and to showcase this Rhaenyra wears lighter weight fabric costumes in lighter colors.

This pale gold dress is the second costume we see her wearing in the show. She wears it when she is in the God’s Wood with Alicent and tears a page out of a book about Queen Nymeria of Dorne. She is also wearing it when Daemon gives her the Valyrian steel necklace, which she wears a lot through the show.

The gown has short sleeves and has a wide red and gold ribbon trim along the collar which stand up just a little bit. This trim goes down the center front of the gown as a point of interest. The trim also goes down the shoulder to the edge of the sleeves with a thinner trim along the hem of the sleeves.

The cut of the dress flares out at the bottom which indicates wealth as it means more fabric has to be used to get the pieces. Many of her costumes have this way of piecing together the garments. However this costume is just a more casual look for her.

The Riding Costume

The Riding Costume

8. Riding Attire

We see young Rhaenyra wearing riding attire a few times. She wears it when she is riding her dragon but she did wear it in episode three when she was reading in the God’s Wood. Maybe she had been out on a ride prior to the scene and hadn’t yet changed. This costume was what she wore in the introductory scene.

The color of the outfit is soft dark gray. The most notable details are the three dimensional dragon scale pieces at the shoulders, forearm and the collar on her coat which has a triple row of the scale pieces accentuated with round dark silver beads at the neck hole.

The scales at the shoulder are placed in two directions to resemble an epaulet. The scale details are very Targaryen and very similar to Daeneyers’ costumes in the later seasons of Game of Thrones.

However there are some smaller details on the coat that are worth mentioning. There are some cut-out appliques surrounding the collar which are kind of hard to make out but it looks like the cut-outs in the applique are a lighter gray fabric that has a scaly texture. It also looks like tiny dark silver beads line the applique.

There are also some neat metal elements. The silver closures are fashioned to look like dragons and at the waist and at the cuffs there are metal findings that look like dragon feet. The dragon feet hooks and the dragon closures are both used in many other costumes.

The coat is long and split at the back for ease of movement. There is also a gusset under the arms for more range of movement.

She wears trousers, knee high boots and gloves, all things that make the costume function for riding a massive yer beautiful dragon.

The Hunt Costume

The Hunt Costume

7. The Hunt Outfit

At this point in the show Rhaenyra is the heir but everyone, including her, thinks that she will be passed over in favor of her two year-old brother, Aegon, who is also the son of her former best friend Alicent who married the King. Rhaenyra is seething with anger throughout this episode and she unleashes all her pent up rage on a wild boar during the King’s Hunt.

George R R Martin expressed disappointment at how the King’s Hunt was executed in season one of Game of Thrones. A King’s Hunt should have been a grand multi-day affair, basically a big lavish party in the woods with hunt in the middle. In Game of Thrones it was just a small group of guys walking around. So House of the Dragon did the Hunt episode right and Rhaenyra’s costume does not disappoint.

Her hunt costume is a mix of strong and feminine elements. The color of the outer tunic is a soft gray but the weave of the fabric gives off a sheen. On the front there are layered petal-like appliques. The appliques are dark red and gold and extend down to the bottom of the tunic, on the sleeves and on the back at the waist.

The appliques have a gray border layer around them which added more dimension. The short sleeves are wide and stiff and are open. The collar is a thin mandarin that is trimmed with dark red piping. The front closures are ball-shaped gold shank buttons.

Under her tunic she wears a long sleeve dark red shirt with a woven texture with a gold line running down the sleeve with gold embroidery at the cuff. She also wears a long leather belt, trousers, boots, and gloves. She also wears gold stud earrings and a ring.

The Wedding Gown

The Wedding Gown

6. The Wedding Gown

Towards the middle of the season Rhaenyra accepts her duty to marry for political advantage. As she is the heir to the throne and the princess her wedding is meant to be a grand affair lasting several days. The first event was a “small” welcoming feast that is plunged into chaos and brutality and results in a shot-gun wedding after the room is cleared.

So in the narrative the white gown Rhaenyra wears for the feast was never meant to be her wedding gown. It is however a very lavish gown nonetheless. The gown is embellished with gold which was meant to convey power. The fabric of the gown has a quilted-like texture.

The collar and waistband match the gold and white fabric. Both elements are wide and structured which as convey power in a visual way. It’s sleeveless but there are sways of antique gold ribbons off the arms holes. The same type of chains are at the center front of the waistband just below a gold closure.

Both the collar and the waistband have gold bead accents and the collar has a braided beaded focal point at the center. To add to the use of gold in the gown, gold trim is used over the princess seams.

Her hair is done up in a very elaborate braided style which is a way of giving her prominence and command in the scene. Set amidst the hair style are sparkling little rubies. Her hair is reminiscent of the King landing hairstyles in the earlier seasons of Game of Thrones mostly seen on Cersei and Sansa mixed with Daenerys.

At the end of the episode, as she and Leonor get married, she wears the wedding cloak which instead of bearing the sigil and colors of the house she is marrying into is a combination of house Velaryon and Targaryen.

A large gold and ruby necklace completes the wedding look that wasn’t supposed to be.

Poll #2

On the Beach of Driftmark

On the Beach of Driftmark

5. Driftmark Outfit

One of the first stills from the show was Rhaenyra and Daemon on a beach. The episode is from the seventh episode, which sees the royal family all gathered together on Driftmark for a funeral. Despite the somber affair things go badly.

Rhaenyra dresses in the colors of her house, black and red. The costume has lots of understated yet complex details.

Her tunic has a high open red embroidered collar. The body is made from two different fabrics with one layered over the other. The top layer looks like it’s made from a black-ish red velvet. This velvet has oval cut-outs which have been lined in metallic gold thread and you can sheen the other fabric through.

The other is very dark red and potentially made of silk since it has red-black sheen. A red trim is sewn on the seams along these two fabrics. The oval patterned fabric is also used at the cuffs which are then trimmed with a gold ribbon and the under sleeve pokes through with a rounded edge.

At the waist line there are black ties and has the same dragon feet metal pieces of her riding costume. She wears a vivid red skirt underneath. She also wears gold jewelry with red stones.

The Black Queen Costume

The Black Queen Costume

4. The Black Queen Costume

In the season finale Rhaenyra learns not only of her father’s passing but also that her throne has been usurped by the Hightowers crowning her younger half-brother. This leads to more tragedy. As Rhaenyra mourns she is then crowned Queen with her father’s crown and meets with Black Council. It’s a very powerful scene.

Much like her Driftmark costume, this one is black and red, Targaryen colors. Also like the Driftmark costume it has a high open red collar which looks like it’s made from velvet.

The short tunic is made with a pleating technique that looks like dragon scales. There is red piping around the central portion of the garment and at the hems of the sleeves. The shoulders are raised up giving the impression of a powerful silhouette.

Gold is used for the metal closure, the dragon feet hooks for chains at the waist and gold diamond shapes at the forearm. She wears a simple black skirt that looks like it has a sheen.

During the crowning scene she wears a black cape that looks like it has the texture of a silk dupioni. The cape has a red lining. The cape allows for the high collar to poke through which looks very dramatic.

The Red and Gold Gown

The Red and Gold Gown

3. Red Courting Gown

As Rhaenyra searches for her future Prince Consort in episode four she wears a red gown as she interviews a potential mate at Storm's End and returns to King’s Landing as Daemon arrives for the right time in years. She also wears it on the beach with Leonor in episode five. She does wear different necklaces in the two scenes. In the Storm’s End scene she is wearing the Valayrian steel necklace and on the beach with Leonor an episode later she wears a heavy gold one.

The gown has a delicate metallic gold pattern. It is off the shoulder with long sleeves that are not sewn so they are open but they are gathered around the cuff making for a lovely and unique drape. There is gold beading on gold piping along the neckline and opening of the sleeves.

Like many of her gowns it has the flared out A-line silhouette. At the waist she wears a gold dragon metal belt. She also wears a coat over this gown when she is on a ship. This costume is more romantic looking than Rhaenyra typically wears and yet it is still very in character for her.

The Dragon Gown

The Dragon Gown

2. The Dragon Gown

One of the most beautiful details of the costumes from Game of Thrones was the gorgeous three dimensional embroidery by Michele Carragher. Admittedly in season one of Game of Thrones the embroidery was there but it wasn’t as incredible as other seasons. But in House of the Dragon it starts off running out of the gate.

A pretty yet awesome example of embroidery in season one of House the Dragon is Rhaenyra’s black gown from episodes eight and ten. The gown is black with a silvery damask pattern on the fabric. The neckline is squared with raised pointed yet off the shoulder structures shoulders and three-quarter length sleeves.

The embroidery is a dragon motif. At the neckline and up to the shoulder the embroidery looks like gold dragon scales. The gold scale components look like they were made from metal. The position is rather angular as they come to an inverted point.

he embroidery at waist is two red dragons back to back. This is right over Rhaenyra’s pregnant stomach.The dress is open at this point revealing a deep dark red skirt underneath. The cuffs are turned back with what looks like chain sewn on and beading. This one is just stunning.

The Ceremonial Gown

The Ceremonial Gown

1. The Ceremonial Gown

After a very traumatic birth scene, Rhaenyra’s mother and infant brother die. Rhaenyra is then named heir to the iron throne at the end of episode one setting up the main conflict for the rest of the show. The costume she wears for her investiture ceremony as the heir was used in a lot of the promotion for the show leading up to the premiere.

One of the design ideas behind this costume is that it is supposed to be an antique, something that is passed down. Another design idea was that the inspiration for this costume was a Moroccan bride. The image of the headpiece with the large earring was the main source of inspiration behind this costume.

Starting with the vibrant red under gown which is most likely made from silk. It was meant to look fragile. The gown has a v-neck with long sleeves which has embroidery at the cuffs. The bodice has some smocking which looks like dragon scale and below is more embroidery with an abstract floral design.

Then there is the gold cape with the black yoke. The idea of the cape is that it is heavy and that she has put on the entire realm of her shoulder. It’s a pale gold with a black border. The yoke is heavily embroidered. On either side there is a gold dragon which could be for her own dragon, Syrax. On the black of the yoke is a sun motif. There is definitely a mixture of beading used in the embroidery.

After all the Lords give Rhaenyra their oath of fealty she wears a large massive gold necklace with all the paramount houses’ sigils on it with house Targaryen being front and center.

The other piece of jewelry that she wears on the scene is a beaded collar necklace with gold drop metal pieces. She also wears large gold circular earrings with a hammer pattern, a pearl set at the center with three pearls set above it and a wire wrapped pearl teardrop bead hanging off the circular component.

The headpiece is black with gold elements. The scene is a standout and the costume is nothing less than phenomenal.

Poll #3

Rhaenyra & Daemon's Valayrian Wedding Ceremony

Rhaenyra & Daemon's Valayrian Wedding Ceremony

Honorable Mention

After some scheming and a lot of conspiring, Rhaenyra and Daemon get married. However, their wedding is quite different from other weddings in A Song of Ice and Fire, as it is done in what is assumed to be a Valayrian ceremony. The whole ceremony feels very archaic and primal with some blood letting.

Rhaenyra and Daemon wear the same costume to show that they are equals. The costumes are tan with a fiery red ombre. Rhaenyra also wears a cool headpiece that was inspired from Malaysian antiques.

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