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GAME OF THRONES’ Costume Designer Isn’t Keen on the Sand Snakes’ Be-Nippled Breastplates, Either

Back in October, several images (and yes, they are spoilerific, so be warned) from the set of Game of Thrones made their way to the Internet. In these pictures we caught our first glimpses of Oberyn Martell’s bastard daughters, the Sand Snakes, whom are set to play a fairly substantial role in season five of the series. Only, the photos caused quite a ruckus because it looked like the breastplates for these warring women had the most egregious accoutrement: nipples! Now, the series’ costume designer is speaking out on the controversy.

While discussing the costuming at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s SPARK: Conversation Series in collaboration with their most recent exhibit, “Dressed to Kill: Arms and Armor from Medieval Knights to Game of Thrones,” New York Magazine’s the Cut blog spoke to Michele Clapton about the curious addition. “You’ve picked a bone of contention!” Clapton told the Cut, before adding that “it certainly wasn’t my intention” to have nipples all over the ladies’ armor — particularly when no one else on the series (or anywhere save Clooney’s Batman costume) has them.

I mean, heck! The author of the A Song of Ice and Fire series on which the HBO show is based even put his distaste for the trend in the novels themselves, introducing the phrase “as useless as nipples on a breastplate” in A Clash of Kings.


“I’m not terribly keen on it. I don’t see the necessity for it. … 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,” she explained.

So how did they get there? Well, apparently it was all a bit of a mistake. According to Clapton, the nippling came about when the structured molds they used to make the armor weren’t sanded down to her liking — meaning the nipples were there, we guess, but were supposed to be smoothed out and removed — but by the time they noticed it (only in the photos, apparently) it was too late to fix.

“They sand it off to an extent, but they didn’t do it as much as I wanted them to. … 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,” said Clapton. Adding to the issue? Her armory team didn’t see the problem.

“They’re like, ‘No, it’s fine! Don’t change it!'” she said. “But it was a bad move!”

The interview has a lot of other interesting things to say about costumes in the forthcoming season — including Arya FINALLY getting something new to wear, and the continuation of Sansa’s character transformation — so it’s worth reading the whole thing for more details. Besides, who doesn’t want to consume every possible iota of information while we wait for season five, right?

So — what do you think of the nipple blipple? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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  1. Nobody4U says:

    Its not about the nipples, the whole costume is just stupid!

  2. Mike_B. says:

    Jeik is right – Nipples on a female formed armor would only be there as a DISTRACTION to an opponent ~ who would presumably be male anyhow.  I see no better way for a devious and deadly “sand snake” to uniquely capitalize on her “assets” while simultaneously increasing her reputation.

    A perfect example is seen in Kozure Okami / Lone Wolf and Cub – “Performer”, which was also the basis for the movie Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart in Peril (also released as Shogun Assassin 3).

  3. Barry Murphy says:

    Armor needs no decorative elements in any way, that didn’t stop armor makers throughout history from adding them. Including nipples. There is precedent for nipples on armor in both eastern and western culture. (Am I the only one here who saw Excalibur?)

  4. Tits Mgee says:

    Boobies yaaaay!!!

  5. Acya says:

    I could actually see women of Dorne sporting breastplates like this,  given sexuality is such a big part of their culture,  really.  But even more so,  it could be their celebration of female power.  

  6. Henry says:

    This has got to be the dumbest debate I’ve ever come across. Who cares! It’s television fantasy. It’s a fictional world where the imagination and creativity reigns. Hell, incest, rape, murder, kidnapping and sexual torture are a part of this story and we’re bitchin’ about nipples on breastplates!?!

  7. gridsleep says:

    In the photo, it doesn’t really look like nipples to me.

  8. steve says:

    pierce them, then you would have something to hook a cape to.

  9. Lily says:

    I read this and cannot help but tho think back to the rubber Bat-nipples of the 1990’s…..

  10. Lily says:

    I read this and I cannot help but to think back to the rubber Bat-nipples…..

  11. jeik says:

    They are pretty distracting, so i say they are quite useful in a fight against horny dudes haha

  12. lactoseintolerant says:

    Are they functional nipples? 

  13. Katelynne says:

    There’s so much sex, nutidy and sexism in this series, are people really offended by the shape of a breast plate?

    • Jesper says:

      I don’t think people are offended by the fact that it’s sexist, but rather annoyed by the fact that it’s stupid and impractical.

  14. czulkang says:

    If nipple bespoked armor is good enough for Batman. Wait… they weren’t, yep rediculous!

  15. Zombie Shannon says:

    As much as I understand the muscle cuirass in Ancient Greece and Rome (look it up), it really doesn’t make much sense in the more Asian influence of the Dornish characters…

  16. eddy says:

    what are high heels for

  17. Damen says:

    Armor does not need nipples, thats just stupid