Cosplay Tips From the GoT Cast and Costume Designer

Costume designer Michele Clapton sits on the Iron Throne at SDCC.

Costume designer Michele Clapton sits on the Iron Throne at SDCC.

Part of the fun of San Diego Comic-Con is dressing up as your favorite characters. What’s the secret to a good costume? “If the people who are making it have a good idea of the details,” said Game of Thrones costume designer Michele Clapton. “It often doesn’t matter how well it’s made – it’s that the elements are there. It makes you really happy to see people try.”

Below are some tips from the experts on perfecting your character costumes.

Cersei Lannister

Clapton called the Queen on the Iron Throne the most challenging character to dress. “Her dress is very structured and there’s a lot of work that goes underneath it to support the shapes.” Despite the challenge, Clapton said she’d love to dress as the queen. “I’d love to get into the leather dress [from the finale].”


“The key is dirt,” actor Kristian Nairn said of dressing up like Hodor. Your costume “has to be horribly hot and uncomfortable. It needs to smell bad. You need to have a child who is really a man strapped to your back. Sweat a lot in the San Diego sun and I’ll be there with you."

Bran Stark

Isaac Hempstead Wright described Bran as having “this skirt thing going on.”  The key ingredients are “a nice skirt, leather tunic and then some nice Italian leather boots.” If all else fails: “Maybe just come as a tree.”


“The fro needs to be on point,” Nathalie Emmanuel said about imitating Missandei. “Learn how to do a good braid or have a friend do a good braid for you. Buy a lot of blue stuff and some crop tops.”

Sansa Stark

Sophie Turner recommended getting into character: “You need to have a sad face on. You need to be crying, otherwise you’re not Sansa.”

Samwell Tarly

Actor John Bradley had specific advice for fans looking to dress as Sam: “Don’t. I’ve had that costume in all various extreme weather conditions; snow in Iceland, rain in Belfast, sunshine in Spain. It’s never effective anywhere. No matter where you go with it, it’s a burden. So my advice is to not dress like Sam at all.”

Below are a few fans in San Diego who perfected their GoT looks.