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Over the past eight seasons of Game of Thrones, a lot has changed in the Seven Kingdoms. But one thing remains a constant: how your favorite characters' costumes often communicate a hidden message, especially if they wear it on more than one occasion. So if you've noticed Sansa Stark's necklace in the past few episodes—and past few seasons—costume designer Michele Clapton says you might get a clue about her fate.
Since season five Sansa has been wearing a striking necklace, featuring a large silver circle pierced by a needle. And after Sunday night's episode, viewers started inquiring about what the accessory might represent. Clapton shared an image of Sansa to her Instagram, with the caption: "The moment Sansa grew up, no more a naive victim." And she began responding to fan questions about the necklace's symbolism.
"I use circles as they represent a positive emotional message of harmony and protection. The circle is often used to represent unity and commitment, they are associated with women's strength," she wrote.
Strength is a big part of Sansa's journey over the course of the show: She's gone from a prisoner of Cersei Lannister to a fugitive on the run with Littlefinger to a forced wife of Ramsay Bolton. In those trying moments, she's had to learn to fend for herself. Now, as the restored Lady of Winterfell, she's transitioned to protecting not only herself and her family, but everyone in the North.
Moreover, Clapton says the circle also represents community, likely in reference to Sansa's loyalty to her family. Other elements of her costumes in season eight reflect that: Her wardrobe incorporates fur and fish scales, which tie back to the Stark and Tully family sigils.
Then there are the necklace's silver chain and daggerlike spear, which pierces the circle. "The chain represents her sense of imprisonment"—a throwback to her confines with Littlefinger and Bolton—"and the needle is the link to the strength of her sister that she previously didn't understand," Clapton wrote. Needle, fans know, is the name of her sister Arya's sword; having that image close to her heart symbolizes Sansa's newfound understanding of and reconciliation with her sister.
As a whole, Sansa's costumes in season eight are meant to evoke a sense of power and self-preservation. "She suffered at the hands of Joffrey, her mother's sister, and Ramsey [Bolton]; this influences the design of the belt in season seven that wraps around her body, protecting her," Clapton told Glamour. "The wrap-over front and laced dress, the shorter length and the stitched, quilted heavy cloth—all tell of protection and the ease of movement if needed."
Halie LeSavage is the fashion associate at Glamour. Follow her @halielesavage.