Warning: Spoilers ahead for “Game of Thrones.”
Sansa Stark is killing it as the new Lady of Winterfell, and her new costume is a direct symbol of her growing power and strength. But tucked beneath her powerful new fur cape is a symbol of the horrors she endured at the hands of men earlier on the series.
In a new interview on HBO’s “Making ‘Game of Thrones'” site, costume designer Michele Clapton revealed the meaning behind a new belt Sansa wears this season.
“This is her taking back control of her body,” Clapton told HBO. “I designed it to wrap around over her side-laced dress to represent the absolute removal of any possible physical touch. Her dresses are also tightly-laced on, incredibly difficult to remove; it’s a message to Littlefinger.”
Though Clapton doesn’t explicitly state it, this is a clear reference to the horrific sexual assaults Sansa endured from Ramsay Bolton on the fifth season. Littlefinger arranged her betrothal to the sadistic Bolton bastard, and later told her that he had underestimated Ramsay.
Sansa hasn’t forgiven Littlefinger for that betrayal, nor does she trust him again. This is being conveyed by her verbal rejection of his advances along with the symbolic construction of her clothes.
“She’s clothed to protect herself from the things that have happened,” Clapton told INSIDER during a pre-season seven interview. “At the same time, she’s beginning to assert herself as an independent woman and not actually being manipulated by anyone anymore.”
Littlefinger told Sansa on the season six finale that he imagined a future where they ruled the Seven Kingdoms, but she was not having it. “It’s a pretty picture,” Sansa said before walking away.
Her days of being manipulated by Littlefinger are (hopefully) over, even if his behavior recently has been strange. Sansa only tolerates Littlefinger’s presence, because of his control of the Vale — gone are the days where she’d allow him any closer.
Read the full interview with Michele Clapton and get a closer look at Bran and Arya’s costumes on “Making ‘Game of Thrones.'”