In their third complete season, design duo Benioff and Weiss struck a blade-sharp balance between the sometimes too sprawling narratives of their earlier collections and the beautifully violent cinematic overtures that kept us enthralled these past few years despite their wanderings. Pooling a breadth of anthropological influences, the collection, titled “A Storm of Swords,” constructs an expansive fantastical world where beauty is found in the function of military-inspired outerwear, woven in the fine silk of the cruel nobility and sheathed in the understated workmanship of utilitarian garb. Spanning two continents and the range of socioeconomic strata throughout, the collection uses a palette of haves and have-nots to exhibit an otherworldly fashion perspective from aristocratic linens to battered workman’s leathers. In its completion, the third season delivers a spectrum of emotion, leaving critics both satisfied and thirsting for more, finally confident that future offerings will be worth the commitment. The expansive and nuanced offering demands a studies analysis. Let’s take a deeper look.

Angelo Spagnolo is a writer living in Portland, Oregon. Read his blog here and follow him on Twitter here.