Costume Designer On “Thrones” Nipple Armor

Through several months of production on the fifth season of HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” set photos have been making the rounds. One of the more surprising reactions has been the backlash to the appearance of the famed ‘Sand Snakes,’ the daughters of Oberyn Martell (Pedro Pascal) who play a key part in the season.

The backlash has nothing to do with the casting, and rather all to do with what the characters are wearing – nippled armor. Now, costume designer Michele Clapton has revealed to The Cut magazine that she herself is not a fan of the design:

“You’ve picked a bone of contention.. It certainly wasn’t my intention. I’m not terribly keen on it. I don’t see the necessity for it. You don’t do it on men… I wouldn’t do it on men, and I don’t really like the concept of it on women. 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.”

So why did it happen? Turns out it was a mistake in the manufacturing process with the structured molds they use on the armor. It’s a mistake they tried to correct but didn’t have the time to properly 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.”

With the show rushing into production, Clapton didn’t notice the nipples weren’t sanded off enough until they were already shooting. Even so, she says it’s far more noticeable in the set photos than it is in the actual footage.