How Game Of Thrones Ended Up With Nipple Armor

Game of Thrones has earned its fair share of controversy since it first cropped up in HBO’s schedule in 2011, but the chatter surrounding the series hardly ever relates to the actors and actresses’ costume choices. However, after some photos leaked from the Game of Thrones Season 5 set featuring new characters The Sand Snakes in some ridiculous armor with nipples, the costumes definitely became a talking point. Today, we learned that the nipples were definitely not part of the show’s original plan.

Apparently, the armor that was fitted for the Sand Snakes—the bastard daughters of Prince Oberyn Martell—for their Season 5 appearances on the hit series were not done exactly as costume designer Michele Clapton would have hoped. The nipples were a part of the original mold that was created for the Game Of Thrones costumes. As the show was moving forward, the costumes had to get finished quickly, and details like sanding off the nipples were rushed.

“They sand it off to an extent, but they didn’t do it as much as I wanted them to. I had the same thought as you. I was surprised when I saw the picture. But I didn’t notice them when I was there. And sometimes you can’t go back and change things.”

It should be a bit of a relief for fans of the books to learn the nipples weren’t exactly a conscious choice. In fact, George R.R. Martin is a famous hater of nipples on the breastplate (I’m assuming he saw the same 90s Batman flicks the rest of us did) and has commented on the “useless” nature of nipples on armor in his Song of Ice and Fire series. While HBO has changed some of the details from the books in order to shape the TV show, adding nipples when Martin outwardly loathes them seems like kind of a middle finger to the famous writer.

It’s also pretty good to know that the Game of Thrones team is on the same page about the creepy effects of nipples armor. Clapton also explained to NY Mag why the nipples don’t work.

“Of course you have to have the woman’s shape. That’s fine. But [nipples on armor] is almost from a man’s point of view, and there’s something slightly cheesy about it.”

Even if the costumes don’t end up being the greatest looks Game of Thrones has ever offered, the Sand Snakes aren’t exactly characters to be trifled with. The show will head to Dorne during Season 5, bringing in three of the daughters: Obara, Tyene and Nymeria—all women who have major skills with various weapons. Nymeria is known for her skills with the whip, while Tyene has knowledge of poison and is handy with a couple of daggers, and the hot-tempered Obara will bring her own skills to the show. We wanted badass females and we’ll get badass females. Even if those nipples weren’t part of the original plan, we’ll just have to deal with the gimmick.

Game of Thrones is expected to hit the schedule in the spring of 2015. In the meantime, you can catch those nipple breastplates, here.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.