The costumes on Game of Thrones are carefully designed by Michele Clapton and put together with equal care by the costume team. Whether we notice every detail or not, they contribute to the look of each costume. That is especially true about the robes and chains of the Maesters. The Maesters attend the Citadel, and as they learn about new topics, they forge a link to add to their chains. There are hundreds of possibilities, and the most studious and knowledgeable of Maesters are weighed down by their chains. They must wear them at all times.
Aside from their chains – which might have the same metals but will look different from everyone else’s – the Maesters typically wear voluminous robes. Aemon Targaryen, pictured above, is the Maester at Castle Black and as such, wears a thick robe since the weather is cold. And then there’s the chain. Making one of these would be fun even if you’re not planning to create a full Maester’s costume and HBO has shared a beautiful reference image showing example links and explaining what a few of the metals are for:
The prop is just gorgeous, but I don’t know if I’d want to wear a chain with so many links around my head for hours of filming. But taking inspiration from this reference for more casual cosplay? Definitely. You could replicate the links from polymer clay or even precious metal clay.