HBO taps Vancouver's Pyrrha for official Game of Thrones jewellery collection
If you’re not a Game of Thrones fanatic, chances are you’re sleeping with one. It is, after all, a throat-slitting, zombie-dodging, throne-seeking, dragon-loving, wolf-ghosting, cave-cavorting good time. There’s no shortage of visual stimulation—not the least of which is the character Jon Snow. (Damn you, you bastard son of god knows who! Why must you be such a heartbreaker?)
Accordingly, this fantastical HBO series boasts a following of Trekkie proportions. So when the network’s global licensing department was shopping around for merchandising partners, imagine what an honour it was for Pyrrha Design founders Wade Papin and Danielle Wilmore to get the coveted collaboration call.
That was two years ago. Today, the Vancouver couple is in the middle of rolling out its official Game of Thrones collection of silver and bronze treasures symbolic of the Great Houses of Westeros, which local GoT geeks can buy online at store.hbo.com/ and www.pyrrha.com/ as well as in several local boutiques, including Blue Ruby Jewellery (various locations).
Speaking of Throne-aholics, Wilmore admits that on a scale of 1 to 10, she’s got a slightly bigger addiction than her viewing partner.
“I’m probably an eight—Wade is a little less,” Wilmore says during a phone interview. “Right off the bat, I was in love with it. But I wouldn’t say that I’m a nine because I’m not at the geekdom stage yet. But I do anxiously await it every week…as much as I want to wait for a couple episodes to add up, because it’s more satisfying to watch it that way, I can’t. I don’t have the willpower.”
Fans of Pyrrha know that aesthetically this is a very good fit. A long-time favourite among celebrities, Pyrrha handcrafts beautiful Old World–inspired pieces using reclaimed metals, antique wax seals, and wax-casting methods. Consequently, independent of its partnership with the show, many Pyrrha pendants look like something a GoT character would wear. In fact, Kit Harington (the hunky actor who plays the aforementioned lady’s man, Jon Snow) recently rocked a non-GoT Pyrrha piece in a GQ spread.
Still, it’s one thing to love the series and the jewels, but quite another to display your fave TV show on a pendant. So who is buying these pieces?
“You’d be surprised,” Papin says. “What it comes down to is people can show their loyalty without compromising their fashion sense. And thankfully, people have interpreted it as cool—not just merchandise.
“It’s very much in line with what we do,” he says of Pyrrha’s GoT collection. “It has the heft—physically and conceptually—that our stuff is known for.”
Take the talismans, for example. These pendants come in reclaimed sterling silver or bronze, include a substantial 18-inch cable chain ($198) or a 22-inch, heavy 60-gauge curb chain ($226), and are available in all six houses of Westeros. The quality is so high, each piece looks and feels like authentic medieval jewellery—that just happens to pay homage to a pop-culture phenomenon.
For hard-core fans, there’s the signature GoT cuff ($900). Here we have sterling-silver castings of the symbols of the six major houses bonded side by side to form one solid statement piece that’s flattering on the wrist; you don’t necessarily have to love the show to love the bracelet. For GoT fans on a budget, there are the banner necklaces ($98). Instead of sporting your name—per the Carrie Bradshaw trend of yesteryear—you can choose a phrase like House Lannister’s “Hear Me Roar”.
With more seasons of the show and talk of more houses to come, we can expect plenty more Pyrrha goodness. In other words, these two Vancouver jewellery designers have hit the merchandising mother lode.
“I can’t think of any designer who wouldn’t have given their eyeteeth for it,” Papin concedes. “And I can’t think of another show that would work as well for us.”