Game of Thrones - The Hardhome Embroidery

Game of Thrones

The Hardhome Embroidery unveiled

The Hardhome Embroidery

The Whitewalker (close up)

The Game of Thrones is a fantasy TV drama series, named after the first book in a series called "A Song of Ice and Fire" by author George R R Martin. There have been 6 series so far, the last one of which was aired over 10 weeks from April 2016. It is filmed in Belfast and on locations in Croatia, Iceland, Malta, Morocco, Spain, Scotland and the USA.

House Stark Family Crest House Tyrell Family Crest House Martell Family Crest
House Stark Family Crest House Tyrell Family Crest House Martell Family Crest

The series is set in the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos and interweaves several plot lines with a large ensemble cast. It attracted a record number of viewers and received widespread acclaim including 26 Prime Time Emmy Awards. The novels and their adaptations derive aspects of their settings, characters and plots from various events in European history, including the English War of the Roses.

House Lannister Family Crest House Baratheon Family Crest
House Lannister Family Crest House Baratheon Family Crest

The image features a "White Walker". He is one of a mythical race which descended on Westeros fromt he farthest north and polar regions of hte lands of "Always Winter". They kill everything in their path. Their arrival is usually accompanied by blizzards and dropping temperatures.

Anthea and  her team make last minute adjustment
Anthea and her team make last minute adjustments
Preparing for the assembly
Preparing for the assembly with White Walker image
White Walker being lifted into place
White Walker being lifted into place

The Hardhome Embroidery was assembled for the first time on Friday 18th March at Central St Martins. Assembly started at 6.30 am and was completed an hour later. Anthea Godfrey (Embroiderers' Guild Artistic Director and Project Leader, Muriel Campbell (Embroiderers' Guild Chair of the Board of Trustees) and Terry Murphy (Embroiderers' Guild CEO) were all present along with the HBO London PR team. Here is a selection of pictures showing the assembly of the piece and examples of superb work by Embroiderers' Guild members (the family crest embroideries shown above). Anthea Godfrey was interviewed by the BBC as the centre piece of a news item broadcast on BBC London News on 18th March 2016.

We informed our Patron, HRH The Duchess of Gloucester, about the 'Hardhome' Embroidery. The Duchess said that she was delighted to hear about the project and asked us to convey her congratulations to all concerned and went on to comment that it was an incredible feat to have completed this complicated piece in such a short time.

The Story........

Following on from the success of the Magna Carta embroidery and the Guild's role in its production, the UK representatives of the HBO Home Entertainment TV Network contacted the Embroiderers' Guild with the view to creating a special artwork in stitch to form the backdrop to mark the release of the 'Game of Thrones' Series 5 DVD & Blue Ray boxed set.

The Embroiderers' Guild led the design and production of the piece and invited stitch partners The Royal School of Needlework, Hand & Lock and Fine Cell Work to participate. The final image was selected by HBO in December. It features one of the most intense battle scenes in TV history - the massacre of Hardhome. The first design and production meeting took place just before Christmas 2015, stitching started in mid January 2016 and the piece, measuring 5 metres in length and 4 metres high (nearly 17ft x 13ft 6 inches), was completed during the second week of March 2016… an outstanding achievement by all concerned.

Anthea Godfrey - Project ManagerAnthea Godfrey, Artistic Director of the Embroiderers' Guild and Project Manager, commented: "This has been an amazing project that truly has brought the embroidery community together across the whole of the UK.There is a huge variety of textile skills involved in making the piece, including digital print, surface stitch, machine embroidery, metal thread work beading, applique and quilting. We are really proud to have been involved". The London College of Fashion, for whom Anthea has been a Principal Lecturer have a really interesting blog item on the Embroidery. Click on the link below

Detail of Whitewalker pendant by Shirley Smith

Anthea Godfrey and the Embroiderers' Guild would like to thank the following organisations for their help in the production of the Hardhome Embroidery:

Members of the Embroiderers' Guild from each of the regions in the United Kingdom (click this link for complete list of contributors)

Dan at Hatley Print in Lewes, Sussex for help in solving pre-production issues and delivering an outstanding digital print.

Michael Fowkes of Acme Studios for the sculpted mask of the Whitewalker

Mark Warren and Alan Knowles for the frames

Coats Crafts for their generosity in sponsoring the threads used during the production

Whaley Fabrics for their help and very quick service with supplies

The Royal School of Needlwork

Fine Cell Work

Hand & Lock

The HQ Staff of the Embroiderers' Guild

Michele Carragher for dragonflies and moths

Anthea Godfrey's final assembly team: Renee Lindell, Sophie Malik, Angie Wyman and Caroline Avery

See other reviews of the Hardhome Embroidery at the following websites

Event Magazine


The Drum

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