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Which House Has the Coolest Armor on Game of Thrones?

House Tully, or House Martell? Photo: HBO

On Sunday night’s episode of Game of Thrones, “Blood of My Blood,” the Tyrells finally broke out the army of theirs that we’ve heard so much about, sending hundreds of spearmen to the Sept of Baelor to free Margaery from the clutches of the High Sparrow. It didn’t work, of course — Margaery freed herself by arranging an alliance between King Tommen and the High Sparrow — but we’re not here to talk about that right now. What we’re here to talk about is the Tyrells’ armor, because, if you haven’t been paying attention, its appearance means that we’ve now seen all of the different styles worn by the soldiers of each principal House in Westeros. And so it’s only logical that we should now take the time to rank them all, from least coolest to coolest. (We’ve also included some minor houses and various other factions that have their own dress code.) Who comes out on top?


18. House Frey
Yes, the Red Wedding was a crime against the laws of gods and men, but those hideous caps are a crime against good taste!

17. The Sparrows
Say what you will about religious movements here on Earth; none of them that I am currently aware of require anyone to carve a seven-pointed star smack-dab in the middle of their forehead. I’ve heard of “the bleeding edge of fashion,” but this is ridiculous!

Photo: HBO

16. The Sons of the Harpy
What is this, Greek theater? The only tragedy I see is that these guys are showing up to a sword fight wearing silk pajamas.

Photo: HBO

15. The Second Sons
Holy shoulder pads! When Daenerys said she wanted you to help her build a dynasty, Daario, that didn’t mean she wanted you to go full Joan Collins.

14. House Tyrell
Sigil-wise, the Tyrells get the short end of the stick. The Starks get a direwolf, the Lannisters get a lion, the Greyjoys get a freakin’ kraken, while the Tyrells get … a flower. (As an NYU alum, I can sympathize.) Their armor attempts to make lemonade from this fact, turning delicate petals into manly, manly helmets. At least Mace Tyrell leans into the ridiculousness. Look at that magnificent plumage!

Photo: HBO

13. House Bolton
The Bolton soldiers have different armor than the Starks’, which should have been the first indication that something was up with them. (Maybe the second — the fact that their sigil is a flayed man was the first.) The styling is fine here — solid, functional — but the fit is terrible. I haven’t seen this many oversize hats since the 1993 mockumentary Fear of a Black Hat.

Photo: HBO

12. House Baratheon
Also a bit generic, but the fit’s better here, and so is the styling. Dig those brims!

Photo: HBO

11. The Wildlings
Finally, something that’s not just a bunch of metal! This much fur is always a fashion risk — lucky for them, there’s no PETA in Westeros — and, while we applaud the effort, it doesn’t quite pay off: Not only do the snowsuits make the wildlings look a little bit like the kids in A Christmas Story, but in keeping with the relative egalitarianism of wildling society they’re also equally unflattering on every body type.

Photo: Helen Sloan/HBO

10. House Stark
A bold reimagining of the Lego guys. It’s fine.

Photo: HBO

9. House Martell
Dorne is one of the only locations where Game of Thrones actually lets itself get away from its gray-and-brown color palette, and when Game of Thrones does something, it does it up to 11. You want color? Here are some bright oranges and yellows! You want warm-weather outfits? Here are some turbans! You want strong female characters? We’ll give you the Sand Snakes!

8. House Arryn
In keeping with the Vale’s reputation as the home of chivalry, this armor is glitzier than most. Unfortunately, it also perpetuates harmful stereotypes about plate armor being heavy and unwieldy. Historians have their eyes on you, Ser Vardis.

Photo: Helen Sloan/HBO

7. House Tully
The Tully uniform features a heavy use of scale armor, because their sigil is a fish. I hope I’m not alone in finding that hilarious.

6. House Targaryen
Yes, technically the fighters at the Tower of Joy should have been wearing their Kingsguard getups. But then we’d miss out on seeing this Targaryen armor, and it’s a treat: The sigil looks great, and the helmets are just dragon-y enough for the reference to work without getting into silly territory.

Michiel Huisman, Nathalie Emmanuel, Emilia Clarke. Photo: Macall B. Polay

5. The Unsullied
Unsullied training calls for a radical psychological elimination of the self, and this armor works accordingly. No spicing the look up with some cute accessories here. This is fashion at its most functional — except for that little antennae thing on their helmets, which has always looked a little ridiculous.

Photo: HBO

4. House Greyjoy
The Ironborn might be terrible, but their armor is low-key brilliant. It’s practical — no cumbersome plate if you fall overboard — and stylish to boot. In a cool and wet climate, layering is always the way to go.

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3. House Lannister
The Lannisters are one of the richest houses in Westeros, and their armor is appropriately gaudy. Look at all that gold — this stuff costs serious money. The helmets are slightly impractical, but who needs to see when you look this good? Points docked for the articulated eye-guards, though, which are a bit too peekaboo for my tastes.

Photo: Courtesy of HBO

2. The Dothraki
A minimalist classic: The blue accents really pop among the dusty landscapes of Essos, and the smokey eye works wonders at softening up the look. But be warned: This is not fashion for the people — you’ve got to have a very specific body type to pull this one off.

Photo: HBO

1. The Night’s Watch
The Night’s Watch are sworn to take no wives, hold no lands, and father no children, but no one said anything about rocking no sweet threads. As Karl Lagerfeld once said, “One is never over-dressed or under-dressed in a little black cape.”

Who’s Got the Coolest Armor on Game of Thrones?