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Behind the Scenes 01: Screencap 34

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Now here is something ... interesting. These are two knights of the Kingsguard, and unless we’re mistaken, the one in foreground is Ser Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), the Kingslayer. At a guess, this is from the pilot shoot and the arrival at Winterfell. This is a bit of a change in several ways. Scene-wise, Jaime does not wear his armor, preferring the comfort of rich garments, and when he does wear armor, he inevitably breaks the Kingsguard dress code by wearing his fabulous suit of gold-plated armor, with a lion’s head helmet. But here, he is in the full regalia of the Kingsguard. The ceremonial armor of the Kingsguard knights is often described as an “intricate suit of scales”, and they have retained a nod to this. On the other hand, the Kingsguard—a Sworn Brotherhood of seven knights, founded by Aegon the Conqueror to be the personal bodyguard of the king—has a very pure aesthetic: their white cloak is a watchword for the brotherhood, they are sometimes called the White Swords, and even their clothing and garments are all white.

That seems to have almost entirely disappeared.

We’re told by an extra who has been on set that the Kingsguard do indeed wear cloaks. He was present in costuming when the costumers discused how best to put them on. However, he notes that they do not wear the cloaks at all times, which is something of a change from the books.

The crown etched on their ornate breastplate is, however, a nice touch. The helmets, on the other hand, are extremely fantastical and have no real historical precedent that we know of. This is not strange since Martin describes fantastical helmets as well, but those at least nod in the direction of historical predecessors while this particular style does not seem to do so. The three crests or combs do make us think that this represents a nod to the Targaryen dynasty, whose banner was a three-headed dragon, and it may be that their dragons had natural crests.

We are, on the whole, not sold on this look. But for the most part it’s due to the loss of the white, down to the disappearance of the white cloak which we find particularly regrettable since it’s the item most associated with the Kingsguard. We note that the Kingsguard in back seems to be carrying a round shield, and we wonder if that, at least, will reference the white.

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