From East Lansing to Westeros, licensed vendor makes swords for Game of Thrones
It is, hands down, the most popular show in HBO history: Game of Thrones, with its dragons, power-hungry families, Iron Throne, and lots and lots of swords!
And for the many who want their own replica of Jon Snow's sword, Longclaw, or Ice, the sword of Ser Eddard Stark, they turn to Chris Beasley.
His East Lansing company, Valyrian Steel, is the licensed official vendor of replica Game of Thrones weaponry and armor.
Once an e-commerce retailer, Beasley sold Lord of the Rings collectibles. After the Tennessee-based company that made those collectibles filed for bankruptcy, he hired its employees.
A longtime fan of Of Ice and Fire, the book series on which the show is based, Beasley says he talked to author George R. R. Martin about making replicas for his books.
Little did he know that making replicas for the books would also mean he would be doing the same for an HBO series.
“I can’t take credit for the HBO series," says Beasley, but "I was talking with George R.R. Martin on the phone and I was telling him: 'It wouldn’t work so much on TV but it would really work on HBO…. I really liked Rome [another HBO show], and that’s the only TV show I’ve ever seen that most represents your books'".
Martin’s reply, according to Beasley: “Oh … hmmm ... uh-huh."
“I think”, Beasley says, “he was already in negotiations with HBO at the time”
Beasley also gives us an insight into Martin’s attention to detail.
When he was inquiring about Arya Stark’s sword, Needle, Beasley was under the impression it was like a rapier, a slender sword used in early modern Europe.
Martin told him it would have been impossible for the blacksmith at Winterfell, home of the Starks, to have known about this style of sword. So what he would have likely done is take a northern-style longsword and shrunk it down to a size fit for a 10-year-old girl.
Also check out the ongoing construction of Chris Beasley's new Tennessee-based, medieval styled home at www.buildingmycastle.com.