Life is fragile yet cheap in Westeros, and a man often has to find means to prolong his measly medieval life. One of the best ways to do this is by buying or wearing armor, whether physical... or plot. Suffice to say, in a show like Game of Thrones, there is no shortage of knights and soldiers in armor-- gotta do all you can to make sure you survive wars initiated by royal tantrums.
Of course, not all armor sets are created equal. Some are better than others and you can easily see how wealthy a character is based on the armor they wear. Sometimes, their armor can even be a reflection of their demeanor. Flashier and shinier armor is all the rage among the lords of Westeros, and here are 10 of them certainly made for more than just protective purposes.
10 THE UNSULLIED ARMOR
The armor of Daenerys' Unsullied army is pretty simple and allows for a wide range of agile movements. They are some of the fiercest soldiers trained in Game of Thrones and their armor lends much to this professionalism. It seems their helmets took obvious inspiration from the Kabuto helms of Samurai in feudal Japan.
Meanwhile, the rest of their armor consists of leather straps or metal shoulder guards and do not impede the arm movements unlike the bulkier metal plates of Westerosi knights. The helmet alone makes them worthy of a mention here but their armor on its own doesn't really turn heads. In legions, however, the black leather and robotic Kabuto helmets solidify their fearsome reputation as unyielding murder machines.
When Cersei took over King's Landing she changed the motif of the Kingsguard armor to suit her rule better. She named them Queensguard and turned their armor black-- as if she doesn't appear evil enough already. Cersei also got rid of all the gold and replaced it with silver in stark contrast to the black metal.
The body armor looks good and makes the shoulders of the wearer wider and appear elegant. However, the helmet looks really weird. Who knows what went on with Cersei's head when she was choosing the design for them. Nevertheless, they make the Queensguard look intimidating and soulless.
8 SER VARDIS EGEN'S
The Knights of the Vale don't really get much exposure or screen time on Game of Thrones. When they do, however, they do it in style. Check out this one guy from the Vale. He was first seen in Season 1 when Catelyn Stark took a captive Tyrion Lannister to The Eyrie to stand trial for supposedly having Bran Stark "assassinated."
This lucky dude's name is Ser Vardis Egen and apparently, he's an equivalent of the Kingsguard/Queensguard in the Vale. As such, his armor is menacing and looks badass. Ser Vardis is also the captain of the guard which explains the grand design in his armor. Those mini quadrilateral bumps are quite hard to pull off for a blacksmith. Too bad the armor didn't save him from Bronn's cutthroat fighting skills.
7 THE HOUND'S
Here's a good example of the armor reflecting the character's personality. Ser Gregor Clegane is a rough and unrefined knight and his crude armor shows that much. You can clearly see the dents in his pauldron or shoulder guards. It doesn't even have a metal breastplate-- that's just a brigandine. That's still protective enough but not to the same degree as a full breastplate.
The Hound probably doesn't need that much steel on him, though; he's got enough ferocity to save himself. What completes his armor is the helmet which sadly, wasn't shown much past the early seasons of the show. It's a helmet fashioned to look like a demonic hound's head which can fully close and fully dehumanize Clegane. Scary and awesome as it is, it looks too cumbersome and large to be functional.
6 THE STARKS
By the Starks, we mean Robb and Ned only (sorry Jon) since they wore some of the best armor their house has on offer. It's the cape, you see. That wolf fur coat which extends all the way to a long black draping cape really completes the quintessential Northman noble style. Take out the fur cape and you still have a decent armor with huge pauldrons and a leather brigandine.
This armor also accompanied Robb Stark in many battles during the Clash of Kings arc of HBO's Game of Thrones. Even without the leather layer of protection and just the cape alone, the Starks still had their iconic look as sported by Ned Stark in the very first episode of Game of Thrones.
5 NIGHT'S WATCH
When your group of misfit realm guardians is sometimes referred to as Brothers in Black, you know you're destined for style. It just so happens that that style involves enough black leather and fur to make even Goths blush. We don't really see much metal in their armor but in a place where snow and piercing cold temperatures can impede movement, plate armor is a death sentence.
Regardless, how the typical Night's Watch armor looks is probably enough to lure the hopeless young men of Westeros to the wall. That overcoat looks really classy. One look at Jeor "Bear" Mormont's Lord Commander armor and you'd be sold on guarding the wall for the rest of your life. Meanwhile, the regular Crow attire doesn't look all too bad, especially on Jon Snow.
4 BRIENNE OF TARTH'S
Brienne of Tarth is one of the best knights of Westeros (even though she didn't become a knight until the final season). Most of Brienne's appearances in the show is with her wearing her full plate of armor which has actually changed a lot. Initially, Brienne's armor was of a shiny brass design back when she was an innocent and virtuous soldier for Renly Baratheon.
Her second armor was gifted to her by Jaime Lannister-- it was blacker as if the muck and dregs of Westeros seemingly got to it. Thankfully, it's only her armor that became dirty and not her; it seems it not only protects from physical threats but immoral and shameful ones as well. Props to her blacksmith, many other characters in Game of Thrones could have benefitted from such an armor.
3 JAIME LANNISTER'S/KINGSGUARD ARMOR
We first see Jaime Lannister in the golden Kingsguard armor and he was so radiant, people can easily mistake him for a king. While many other knights such as Ser Barristan Selmy also wore the Kingsguard armor, Jaime wore it best. It's his golden head of hair, you see. It complements the golden theme of the Kingsguard armor, even without the helmet.
Lots of things make such a gleaming armor shine: the white cape, the symmetrical patterns on the breastplate, and even the golden scales. When not wearing his golden duds, Jaime usually covers himself in the regular Lannister noble armor.
2 KING JOFFREY'S
Yes. Sadly, this little sniveling toad gets all the best stuff in Game of Thrones. He's got one of the best swords (which he edgily named Hearteater but never used) and he also has one of the best armor. It was made with the Lannister house in mind: two golden lion heads situated on the bulging pauldrons and a black breastplate and collar embossed in golden lion metal embroidery.
It's an armor fitting for a king-- ironic since the king wearing it is not fit to rule. One of the reasons why it's so beautiful is the fact that Joffrey never really saw any combat with it. He cowered at the sight of Stannis Baratheon's troops and ran back to his mother. Really, the armor is wasted on him. Jaime's and Tywin's Lannister armor also looks similar but those don't have as many intricacies as Joffrey's.
1 LORAS TYRELL'S
When it comes to knights in shining armor, Ser Loras Tyrell takes the cake. He's even more dazzling than Jaime Lannister in a Kingsguard armor. Just look at that reflective sheen. He probably had the armor custom made that way so he can see his own pretty face when looking at it. We first see him wear it in season 1 when he competed and won against Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane in a joust.
Suffice it to say, it's arguably the most beautiful armor Game of Thrones showed us. It's a full plate armor embossed with elegant thorny vines and even covers Loras' legs. The armor set also comes with its own functional helmet to complete the Knight of the Flowers look-- which is awesome considering her grandmother is the Queen of Thorns.