I feel very empathetic towards the members of the Night's Watch who lurk in ruins at the edge of civilization to pay for their sins (although they do look downright cool in their all-black Night's Watch uniform, especially a certain heartthrob, Mr. Snow). In thinking about the men on the wall, I began asking myself a certain question: How would female Night's Watch members dress? That is, of course, if women were allowed to join the Night's Watch. (Just a little aside, beware there are spoilers afoot!)
For those not on the Game of Thrones bandwagon — once you get on, there's no getting off — the Night's Watch is a military order that guards The Wall in the North of Westeros to keep the rest of the realm safe from dangers (such as Wildlings and White Walkers). On occasion, a new Night's Watch recruit may be someone who is down on their luck (very impoverished with nowhere else to go), but for the most part, the Night's Watch is made up of criminals who have been sent to The Wall instead of facing an alternative punishment (for example, having their hand cut off for stealing).
The Night's Watch was once a thriving community filled to the brim with men willing to give their lives so that others in Westeros could be safe. But nowadays their numbers and supplies are dwindling and the Night's Watch is a weak shadow of its former self.
In the case of Jon Snow, one of the main characters in Game of Thrones and the bastard of Lord Eddard Stark who ruled the North, he decided "to take the black" in an attempt to earn his honor. He was not the first bastard to join the Night's Watch for this reason, but he is a more unusual recruit as most "brothers" are taken from Westeros' prison cells.
Although he was totally accepted as one of Eddard Stark's own children by Eddard and his half-siblings, Lady Catelyn Stark (Eddard's wife and mother to the rest of his children), found it very difficult to accept Jon as one of her own. This made Jon's life quite difficult, to say the least, as he never felt like he truly fit in as a Stark. Thus, when he was deemed of age, he joined the Night's Watch with his direwolf Ghost in tow.
Luckily for Jon who came from a wealthy background, it appeared he came prepared with a fabulous Night's Watch uniform including luxurious, black furs and good quality, warm clothes in the same midnight shade. However, not all recruits are as lucky.
Unfortunately, Westeros is rather Medieval in its outlook and is an all-out patriarchal society. As mentioned, men can pay for their sins by pledging their lives — including forsaking the right to marry and have children or own any property or land — to the Night's Watch. However, I shudder to think what fate waits for Westerosi women who commit the same crimes. In an alternative Game of Thrones reality that allowed women to join the Night's Watch, I wondered what these strong, fearless femmes would wear. So here's my take on Night's Watch uniform for women.
In a recent episode of Game of Thrones, Jon Snow is appointed Lord Commander of the Night's Watch while the mean Ser Alliser Thorne, once Jon's higher-ranking tormentor, loses the vote and must step down from his position as acting Lord Commander. Jon doesn't let his pride get in the way of his responsibilities, of course, and knowing that Ser Alliser is probably his strongest fighter with many years of fighting and training experience, he appoints him First Ranger.
A ranger's responsibility is to venture beyond the wall on any number of dangerous missions, including scouting or warring against Wildling tribes. Rangers must be well equipped and dressed appropriately for the task.
Religion Insignia Faux Fur Coat With Oversized Collar, $216, asos.com
This oversized faux fur coat would be a must for any ranger marching beyond the wall in the freezing cold temperatures.
Haubergeon Chain Mail Replica Armor Long Shirt, $76, amazon.com
Rangers need to be prepared for an attack at any moment. This chain mail shirt would be a great way for a ranger to stay protected. Instead of heavy armor, this lightweight chain mail would allow for freedom of movement during battle.
High-Waisted Leather-Look Trousers, $35, topshop.com
It is essential that a ranger can move around freely — these trousers will allow the wearer to run, jump, and fight with ease and the material will most likely keep the wearer dry.
Madpax Silver Heavy Metals Half Pack Backpack, $77, schuh.co.uk
Although not strictly black, this metallic, spiked backpack can be used to carry provisions and to deter attacks. It could also be used as a weapon to impale enemies.
Black Buckle Combat Boots, $37, hottopic.com
Finally, a sensible lace-up boot, which will have the wearer combat-ready.
The maesters of the Night's Watch are warriors of knowledge rather than war. They are wise advisors to the Lord Commandor. Maester Aemon, pictured above, was of House Targaryen and took the black so as not to be seen as a rival against his younger brother who became king. He has been a loyal and faithful servant of the Night's Watch and appointed Jon Snow's friend Samwell Tarly as his steward.
Although we would all love to dress like Margaery Tyrell or, in fact, channel all the GoT leading ladies, chances are if we were all flung into Westeros, we could end up in a female version of the Night's Watch rather than in a powerful, wealthy family. However, being a maester in the Night's Watch is a peaceful role many may wish to opt for.
Long-Sleeved Maxi Dress, $10, forever21.com
Maesters are not seen anywhere near the source of a battle. They are often found in libraries or in meetings with the Lord Commander. Thus, this long, black maxi dress is a suitable, demure choice for a maester of the Night's Watch.
New Look Faux Fur Waterfall Gilet, $63, asos.com
A semi-obligatory fur garment, this faux fur gilet will keep maesters warm when studying by candlelight on dark, cold nights.
Aerial Boot, $160, drmartens.com
This sensible yet very stylish boot will enable a maester to get around their respective castles easily.
The Lord (Or Rather, Lady) Commander
As newly appointed Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, Jon Snow has already shown that he means business. A Lord Commander must be able to keep their troops in check and therefore they need an outfit to show as much.
Faith Faux Fur Collar Chuck On Jacket, $30, boohoo.com
A commander needs a statement jacket. With its black, fur collar and smart tailoring, this is the perfect jacket for a Lady Commander.
FUYI Women's Black O-neck PU Cortical Splicing Long Sleeved T-Shirt, $18, amazon.com
This long sleeved top with leather look detailing will keep a Lady Commander warm while also looking edgy.
Female/Male Futuristic Chest and Back Armor, $80, etsy.com
Obviously a Lady Commander is a target for enemy attack and she may also be called to lead her sisters to war, so she must be battle-ready.
PU Ottoman Zip Skort, $35, topshop.com
Easy to move around in yet also exuding effortless chicness, this zip skort is a great piece for a Lady Commander to have in her wardrobe.
Black Leggings Velvet, $40, etsy.com
A Lady Commander will need to keep covered up in the arctic conditions of Castle Black — these velvet leggings will keep her toasty.
Women's Corso Como Splendid, $92, shoes.com
These over-the-knee boots would be perfect for not only keeping warm but also for hopping on a horse and exuding equine elegance.
So now that your wardrobe's sorted, all you need to do is protest to get women the right to join the Night's Watch. Are you ready to pledge your oath?
Images: HBO (4); Giphy (2); Courtesy Brands