“Game of Thrones” costume designer Michele Clapton walks us through the creative process of tailoring the costumes to specific characters and episodes on Variety‘s Artisans series, presented by HBO.

Clapton says she begins by sketching all of the characters with specific themes and practicality in mind. For example, she explains the lean design of Arya Stark’s outfit: “Her fighting wasn’t about being armored, it was about quickness.” And the protective wear over Cersei Lannister’s stomach signifies the queen’s “mourning” over a lost child and “strength,” according to Clapton.

Clapton describes her costume choices for the penultimate episode, “The Bells,” in which King’s Landing denizens clad in drab tattered rags scramble through grimy city streets to evade an aerial fiery dragon assault. “I wanted to take almost all the color out of King’s Landing. It’s lost its way. It’s lost its personality,” she says.