Collaborating with Game of Thrones has been a phenomenon that we are still getting our reeling heads around. Though this venture has been in the works for a few years now, the arrival of the finished books has brought tangible proof that it wasn’t all some sort of skinchanger fever dream.
The world of Game of Thrones is so immersive, dark and beautiful that even in the turbulence of climate change and the dawn of a new nuclear age, many people on social media have voiced that their main concern is to find out how the story ends before it all goes bang. This is the power of a good story – it allows us to escape reality, holding a mirror to it all the while. This is our story of how it all came to be and how our little design company brought the Great Houses and races of Westeros to low poly life.
With the ancestral guidance of Bran the Builder, you will assemble your sigil’s likeness, skulk out into the night, and lap at the open jugular of those that threaten your pack.
It all seems serendipitous now and perhaps the team at our publishing house, Carlton Books, were thinking the same thing when they were discussing official licensing with HBO for a Wintercroft – GOT collaboration. After the success of our Fox and Skull Press-Out Mask Books, it seemed like the perfect union – to design a 3D likeness of four Game of Thrones sigils and make them wall mountable, which was a first for Steve at the time. Like the quest for the Iron Throne itself, Steve’s design path was fraught with challenges and potential peril.
Stride through the crimson fields of victory radiating the pride of the Golden Lion as the blood of the Andal Adventurers courses through your veins.
The criteria were strict and the deadlines were short. Steve’s initial challenge was turning flat, 2D sigils that were designed to be flying on flags into 3D wearable Masks. This was an ambitious endeavour, particularly with the Targaryen Dragon, which was long and serpentine. The Masks not only had to balance on human heads physically, they had to balance aesthetically between sigil and character. Each Mask also had to have a bespoke wall mount designed that would enable the wearer to slide and lock their headpiece into place and support the structure indefinitely.
Your Targaryen lineage was forged, purified and written in Fire and Blood. The quest of dominance set upon you now is aided by a beastly bond beyond that of any mere mortal whisperer.
Two of the sigils feature tongues, which we wanted to include in the finished Masks for that extra lick of likeness and continuity. Again, the challenge was set. Steve, filled with Chelsea Buns, exotic Japanese tea and courage, set forth to task. The first fork in the twists and turns of tongue design was that the tongues couldn’t interfere with headspace. Steve turned a potential setback into utility by building the tongues into internal bracing reinforcement of the structure toward the mouth. This was particularly useful in the long Targaryen Dragon design with its masses of open space in the gaping maw. This was a first in the world of low poly paper Masks.
The dusk of Long Night casts longer shadows with your every stride. You are the whisper that becomes a scream. You are legend. You are legion. You are White Walker.
Part of the brief was to create a trophy that could be hung on a wall and be wearable as a Mask. This design duality bred a whole host of problems, not the least of which was being confined to a limited amount of material to get both Mask and mount made with. The other set of challenges was designing both a new wall mounting system and a new headband system and getting them to interlock harmoniously as the Mask slipped onto the mount. Many shaves and haircuts later, the wall-mountable Mask was realised, which again was a first in the world of low poly paper Masks.
Once all prototyping was completed in-house, we received the production dummies back from Carlton for final build and approval. Then, our Lord Commander Steve and the Meister Surface Art Designers at Carlton put their heads together and the beautiful Masks and mounts you see now came to be. We hope you enjoy following the footsteps of Bran the Builder, forge a likeness of your house sigil and immerse yourself in the world of Wintercroft and Westeros. Wintercroft is here…