WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD……well sorta. Slight mild spoilers ahead where I sort of mention characters that haven’t appeared in the books yet, fan theories, and one picture that is a spoiler but only if you know it’s a spoiler…….so really, if you care that much you probably already know. 🙂
The inspiration for this shoot came from withdrawal symptoms as season four came to an end. It was sooooo good this year too. You know the feeling when you read a great series or binge on an awesome TV show and then suddenly it’s over and you have no idea what to do with your life? Well, that’s me….only I did know what to do with my life! DENIAL! I threw myself into GOT and pretended that season 5 was just around the corner. Hours of just sitting around thinking about GOT, drawing designs for GOT, talking about it with friends who were getting really tired about me talking about it all the time, and falling asleep to the audio book.
I started by creating a couple designs to try and get people excited about the project. I posted the designs on a Wellington model/photographer Facebook group hoping to snare a few talented fellow nerds….and BOY did some amazingly talented people jump on board! I was lucky to connect with photographer, Matt Barnes, who was also a GOT fan and was really excited about the concept. Together we finalized the casting and came up with the idea for the backgrounds and props for each house. We were really lucky with the casting as all the models really brought out the feel of the different houses.
Each house design had it’s own inspiration story and challenges for the makeup, here’s the story behind each one.
Let’s start with Baratheon. One, because it’s the first design I did and second…LOOK IT’S ME! I don’t normally model in my own projects, but in this case it was hard to find models who would shave off half their eyebrows….can’t imagine why.
I actually didn’t connect that much with the Baratheon house so this was one of the harder looks I worked on. I decided to just draw inspiration from the house words, “OURS IS THE FURY”. Ok, so think really angry deer…..and GO! I had seen quite a few takes on the antler/eyebrow thing. I practiced a few different versions out on myself. It kept looking too heavy and weird…..in the end I tried to choose a thin shaped that matched the profile view of the horns you see on the Sigil. However for it too look the way I wanted it too, it meant lifting up the ends and shaving of the ends of my eyebrows. I could have tried to wax them down and cover them with makeup, or photoshop, but it would just look cleaner and better in the pictures to shave.
The most difficult part of application for this look was getting it symmetrical….which didn’t really happen as much as i’d like. I still like the “angry crying mascara lines” running down my face, even if they are a bit uneven.
Originally the lipstick was going to be black. However, I went with purple in the end because it complimented the yellow so well. The lipstick I used was Ausralis COLOR INJECT shade:Grunge
The crown you might recognize from the show. I created a replica of Renly’s crown from the show. I liked his the best because it was so pretty. I created the crown out of clay and painted it with gold acrylic. I would not recommend clay as a good cosplay material. It was quick and easy to work with but incredibly fragile. It lasted just long enough to get some pictures and then promptly shattered later that evening.
For the final photos we ended up with Renly’s crown, Robert’s curly black hair, and Stannis’ complete lack of humor. So all three Baratheon boys were represented in one photograph!
This is my favorite makeup look of the series…but I’m probably bias. I was happy with how well the yellow showed up……..and as I’m writing this, I’m very happy to announce that my eyebrows have finally grown back!
Creating the look for house Lannister was my second task. It was this look that set up the idea to put in hidden references from the book.
Lannister was originally going to look much more elaborate and have lion designs all over her face. I was inspired by the decorations that you see in the Tower of the Hand. In the show there are these fantastic cast iron lions.
There in the middle! It had some amazing shapes. I wanted to have that whole lion shape painted on the face originally. In the end I took some pictures of cast iron fences/metalwork, old Victorian designs, and some of the embroidery from the actual Lannister costumes, to create the gold look around the model’s eyes.
The idea for the golden hand started out as just an excuse to use more of the gold paint. I love the gold Mehron powder I have. It’s so much fun to work with. I once covered an entire model head to toe in it! (Thanks again April!). Not only would I get to use more gold but other fans would love the reference. Matt loved the reference so much he insisted we have a reference in EVERY picture. Dang that Matt, making me work and have to think more about stuff. Sheesh. 😛
Casting Lannister was a bit difficult because we didn’t want to use a wig if we didn’t have to. The lovely Ange Fitzharris had such a Cersi look, and as an actress could bring the Lannister attitude that we needed. However, her dark auburn hair meant having to make ONE exception to the wig rule. Using the wig meant not having a more elaborate hairstyle, but the end result was fantastic and now we all think Ange needs to go blonde!
Oh, the Martells! One of my favorite houses in the entire series! Dorn is where I would want to live if I existed in the Westeros universe, and not just because of their healthy attitudes toward sex and the female right to inheritance and right to rule……it’s because it’s HOT….and has warm winters so when the long winter finally comes and the White Walkers march forth on Westeros, Dorn will be the last standing! I’m getting off topic…..
Martell was one of the only looks inspiring by the casting. Miss. June Moon was the first person to respond to my casting summons. She was an obvious choice for Martel from the start and I created the makeup look specifically for her. There was a great picture on her FB page where she was wearing a similar headpiece to the one you see above. It just looked, so…..Arienne!
I wanted a really dramatic and color full look. I took a lot of pictures of Bollywood makeup and worked from there. I added the flame design on the cheek to represent the Martell sun. At one point I considered adding a spear in the makeup as well, but each way I tried, it ended up looking a bit overkill and silly.
The amazing headpiece you see was a handcrafted piece made specially for this photoshoot. The amazing owner of CIRCLE of WOLVES JEWELRY designed and crafted it for us. It was somewhat inspired by the lovely headpiece you see Ellaria Sand wearing at the Purple Wedding. It really brought the whole Martell look together and added that extra flair that all Dornish women have.
For the secret reference, I really wanted to find a live red viper June could wear around her neck….obviously this was harder said than done. The reference ended up being the sun that was so wonderfully added into the headpeice….June also gave us some great viper like facial expressions to seal the deal.
Tyrell is another one of my favorites. I didn’t have to do too many drafts of this look. It came together rather quickly. Perhaps that’s because the Tyrell colors of green and gold just look so great together. I wanted the look to represent the wealth and elegance of the Tyrell family. I spent a lot of time looking at lace patterns. The costumes from the show were a big inspiration as well. The Tyrells are all about patterns. I drew a lot of patterns with Roses hidden in them….I loved the idea of hidden roses, even though the Queen of Thorns would disagree with me.
I know the Tyrells are actually sharp, ambitious and DANGEROUS…but on the outside they stay soft and pretty, which is their best disguise. It’s the softer look that I went for in the green eye design. I was so excited to find such a brilliant emerald color. After this shoot I’m head over heels for my BH cosmetics 120 color eye shadow pallet. The green pigments showed up great.
While I love my gold color very much, the way the light reflected off of it, a lot of the detail was lost. 😦 It still looked quite lacey but I don’t think anyone could point out the roses in the design. Here is the original design plot…
I was quite excited to get to use my GOT hair skills with this look! There are only a few of the photos that have hairstyles straight from the show. I actually do my hair in the style of Margery Tyrell quite a lot. Her curly half updo, is incredibly easy to do. I’ve left a link at the end of this blog to my favorite tutorial.
Tyrell was the very last look we cast. We were actually getting a little worried. Then I got a message from a Miss Morgan Davison. “Yes, her, that’s the one!” Big doe eyes, lots of hair and resembles a cross between Natalie Dormer and a Young Diana Rigg (Sidenote: How amazing was that casting! Natalie dormer actually looks like she could be Dianna Riggs granddaughter. It’s just too perfect.)
I considered creating Megan her own crown made of thorns as the Tyrell secret reference. It ended up being another no-go, for various reasons. Partially, we just ran out of time, but mostly I was having trouble creating something that CLEARLY looked like thorns. It kept looking like a tiara made out of barbed wire. We ended up going with a Golden rose in her hair. I think it looks great but again…I can feel Olenna Tyrell’s stern look of disapproval…..
“I eat from plates stamped with roses, I sleep in sheets embroidered with roses, I have a golden rose painted on my chamber pot — as if that makes it smell any better. Roses are boring, dear.”~Olenna Tyrell
OK! It’s getting late! Apparently I talk a lot so this post has gone on very long. I will be posting part 2 later where I talk about Tully, Targaryen, Stark, Greyjoy and Bolton!
Ta ta for now, I’m going to bed!\
ANGE FITZHARRIS: http://www.starnow.co.nz/angefitzharris
JUNE MOON: https://www.facebook.com/MissMoonlovesyou
CIRCLE OF WOLVES JEWELRY: https://www.facebook.com/circleofwolvesjewellery
MARGERY HAIR TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f25zUq6ScT8