May 22, 2019
Photo: Map of Westeros, c. Tunghoe
Well, the final episode ever of Game of Thrones has arrived. But don’t worry - this post doesn't contain spoilers! Regardless of what you think of this season’s turn of events, it can’t be denied that the cultural impact of HBO’s fantasy series has been huge. Discussions about the Seven Kingdoms have dominated cafes and water coolers since the show’s first episode aired back in 2011, and even before then, George R.R. Martin’s books were widely beloved amongst fantasy fans.
There’s something about epic fantasy tales that has the capacity to captivate the world over. Perhaps it’s the fact that they’re often inspired by myths and legends that stretch way back in history—Celtic lore, Arthurian legend, Greek mythology, Arabian tales and more. Perhaps it’s the universal concepts they explore - good vs. evil, power and politics, romance and adventure. Whatever the reason, Game of Thrones certainly wasn’t the first fantasy franchise to bewitch the world, and nor will it be the last.
Here at Dragonspace, we love these pop cultural tales just as much as we love old mythology and ancient legend. From King's Landing to the Shire, here are some selected treasures we've got in store from our favourite fantasy worlds.
The Game of Thrones Collection
You’ll probably be missing the world of Westeros, so why not throw a commiseration feast, using the Official Companion Cookbook from the series? This unique cookbook is endorsed by George R.R. Martin himself, and features recipes like the comfort foods of the frozen North and medieval delicacies of King’s Landing. Not only is this a wonderful way to connect with the worlds of the books, it’s an intriguing look into well-researched cultural fare from throughout history. Sounds delicious!
This beautiful pewter goblet is the same make as as featured throughout Game of Thrones, clutched in the hands of some of your favourite characters. The A.E. Williams family have been making pewter since 1779, so you can be assured this is a well-crafted and unique piece. Perfect for a glass of mead or blood-red wine!
With no modern technology in Westeros, important messages must be sent via tightly-sealed scroll. Play the part of the all-important Hand of the King with your very own wax seal in the official design. Whether you’re sending fate-deciding secrets, or simply catching up with a friend overseas, this traditional seal-and-scroll kit will make you feel like you live in another world, if only for a little while!
The Harry Potter Collection
This is the perfect idea for the creative Harry Potter fan. From jewellry to homewares, this bewitching book contains 30 unique craft ideas inspired by the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Examples of crafts found in the book include Butterbeer lip balm, Golden Snitch necklaces and Pygmy Puff bath fizzies. Who needs a visit to Diagon Alley when you can make your own treasures?
These adorable mini-kits are the ideal gift idea for Potterheads that won’t break the bank. Whether it’s colouring, stickering or prop replicas, these compact kits are a lovely little token of the magic of the wizarding world - including the new world of the Fantastic Beasts film series! Golden Snitches, Bowtruckles, Hogwarts castles, wands and more - these are sure to delight.
Unless you've recently been to London, chances are you haven’t been able to visit the Harry Potter: A History of Magic exhibition at the British Library. But never fear - this beautiful book is the official companion to the exhibition, containing all the collection's wonders in paper form. The collection not only includes artefacts from the franchise - such as old manuscripts, sketches and more - but is a fascinating look at the real-life history and mythology that inspired J.K. Rowling. Whether you’re a die-hard Harry Potter fan or simply a mythology geek or bibliophile, you’ll find something to appreciate in this fascinating tome.
The Lord of The Rings Collection
Before the Iron Throne, there were the Rings of Power from Tolkien’s fantasy world of Middle-earth. This Elven version is a bit less sinister than the One Ring - it’s inscribed with the sentence "To encircle all without beginning or end" in Tolkien’s beautiful Elvish language. Made from sterling silver with a smooth thick set, this is a meaningful and lasting trinket for all Lord of the Rings fans.
Tolkien’s tales of Middle-earth are filled with danger and battle, so weapons are integral to the stories. Here’s your chance to wield the blades of Tolkien’s heros, from Arwen’s elegant sword Hadhafang to Legolas’s awesome fighting knives and Frodo's dainty but fierce Sting. With no orcs to fight in the real world, these decorative swords and daggers are sure to impress when displayed in pride of place on your walls.
David Day is a Tolkien scholar who has dedicated years to intricately understanding the world of Middle-earth. His Tolkien companion books - The Battles of Tolkien, The Heroes of Tolkien, An Atlas of Tolkien, and A Dictionary of Tolkien - explore different layers of Tolkien’s world, accompanied by insightful commentary by David. With vivid flexibound covers, these books are a beautiful addition to any Tolkien fan’s library.
The richness of well-imagined fantasy worlds means that we can spend years and years exploring them and never get bored! Hopefully some of these tomes and treasures help feed your appetite for more Westeros, Middle-earth and wizardry.
VIEW OUR POP CULTURE COLLECTION HERE
including Dungeons & Dragons and the Dark Crystal products!
May 16, 2017
In honour of our exciting new replica weaponry collection - including famed pieces from Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings and the Legend of Zelda - we thought the time was ripe for a spotlight on magical arsenals and the mighty menacing weapons found within them.
While the worlds of myth and legend are full of wonder and delight, they don't come without an element of danger, too. Most of our favourite epic heroes and heroines have a battle to face, and often that battle involves a weapon of some kind, be it a gleaming blade, formidable hammer or swift arrow.
Mythical weapons can become characters themselves - extensions of our favourite fantasy figures and symbols of their triumphs. We trade in ornamental weapons only here at Dragonspace - intended for collectors rather than fighters - but we love exploring the stories behind some of the famed weapons of mythical lore, the battles they've faced and the enemies they've felled.
Ah, the mighty sword. Along with magical wands, swords are perhaps the most recognisable fantasy weapons. One of Britain's greatest legends - King Arthur and his Camelot adventures - starts with the magnificent sword Excalibur. Excalibur is linked with the rightful sovereignty of Great Britain, and when Arthur successfully pulls the sword from the stone, he claims his destined place on the throne. Also believed to have magical abilities, Excalibur is a symbol of destiny, greatness and unexpected power.
The importance of swords stretches further than Western myth, of course. Katanas were the elegant curved swords of the Japanese samurai, often featured in Japanese myths and stories. In a galaxy far far away, Jedis wield glowing lightsabers, and various swords serve as Link's primary weapon in the Legend of Zelda video games.
But swords don't always have to be big to be powerful. Just take a look at Sting, the Elvish-crafted sword owned by Bilbo and then Frodo in Tolkien's Middle-earth tales - a perfect fit for small but mighty hobbits, with the added bonus of glowing blue in the presence of orcs and goblins. Similar in size and power is Needle, in George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series (a.k.a Game of Thrones), owned by Arya Stark - a thin yet effective weapon. The beauty of swords is that they suit their wielders, a true companion moreso than a just a weapon.
Bows and Arrows
For those with a keen eye and elegant precision, a bow and arrow is the weapon of choice. Capable of felling foes from a distance, famous fantasy archers are known for being graceful and on-point, though just as dangerous as their sword-wielding friends.
Continuing with our Tolkien homage, one of literature's most famed archers is Legolas Greenleaf the Elf, whose skills with a bow and arrow befit his elegant elfin strength. Then there's Robin Hood of forest lore, the hero who stole from the rich and gave to the poor, and traditionally shot with a longbow. In more recent times, we have Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games trilogy, whose lethal archery abilities came from her hunting survival skills and turned into a symbol for the 'small' rising up from a far distance to defeat the 'big'. In superhero legend, Hawkeye and the Green Arrow are formidable archers, and let's not forget Cupid, the classical god of desire and love who shoots destined lovers with magical arrows.
Axes and Hammers
Doubling as both tools and weapons, axes and hammers are valuable assets to any mythical arsenal. In many high fantasy worlds, the 'dwarf' figures - sturdy mountain-dwellers - often wield axes. These weapons are not only powerful in combat, but relevant to the dwarf's background as a labourer and miner. An axe can hack into mountainsides for precious jewels just as well as they can cut down an enemy in battle.
In Norse mythology, dwarves also forged perhaps the world's most recognisable hammer - Mjölnir, most commonly known as Thor's hammer. Thor's hammer is believed to never fail in battle, and to never miss its mark when thrown. It was also said that only Thor could pick Mjölnir up, perhaps inspiring the King Arthur and Excalibur legend. The hammer is now a popular symbol in Norse lore, symbolising power and strength, and is often featured in jewelry and decor. The Finnish thunder god Ukko also had a hammer named Ukonvasara, with which he created lightning.
Spears and Tridents
Halfway between the sword and the arrow we have the spear - a large pointed weapon used in both close combat and at a distance. Soldiers of Ancient Rome favoured spears known as 'pilums', a javelin of roughly two metres long with a wooden handle and pointed tip. In other myths and legends, figures such as Karthikeya (the Hindu god of war), Lugh (the Irish warrior hero) and Honda Tadakatsu (the Japanese samurai) wielded powerful spears.
Similar to the spear is the trident, a sharp three-pronged staff associated with the gods of the sea - Poseidon in Greek mythology, and Neptune in Roman. In the old stories, these tridents are magical weapons that can create water and live animals from nothing, strike resistant surfaces, and ward off foes. The three-pronged element is said to represent the three properties of water: liquidity, fecundity and drinkability.
And now that we've covered the offensive, what about the defensive? Well-crafted armour is a staple of many famous fantasy figures' trademark costumes, and is responsible for saving their lives so that they go on to brave further adventures! From Zeus's famous shield Aegis, to Harry Potter's Invisibility Cloak, Beowulf's mail shirt to Thor's iron gloves, Bilbo's mithril chainmail to Skyrim helmets, protective gear is often just as impressive as a clanging sword or whizzing arrow.
Full suits of armour are icons in themselves, often adorning old buildings and preserved castles in modern-day for a medieval feel. In fact, much of our fantasy armour and weaponry owes a great debt to the real-life craftsmanship of medieval times, an era that fantasy writers and artists pull much inspiration from.
If you're now excited to start your own magical arsenal (ornamental only!), then check out our stunning sword collection, as well as our other fantasy-related giftware that evokes images of daring quests and brave battles. We hope the mythical and historical symbolism alone provides you with power and inspiration!
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