The Harry Potter movies and Game of Thrones are hugely popular in India. But what most people don't know is that the threads that connect the two popular franchises also run through India.
Costumes and props such as the Sorting Hat and Invisibility Cloak in the Harry Potter series and Jon Snow’s black robe have one thing in common — they have been made by Indians. Father and daughter Rajiv and Rashi Goil are partners running RS Windlass & Sons, which was established in 1943 by the family patriarch Ved Prakash Windlass. Currently, they are one of the largest manufacturers of costumes, including the swords, shields, and armour used in many popular Hollywood films and TV shows, in the world.
As the visuals in the films mesmerise us, the difficulties that arise in their manufacture go unnoticed. According to Broadly, Pradeep Windlass, who handles the business in America, said,
"Movie merchandise and set props is a very niche business and a lot depends upon the fate of the movie. We have had good times with movies and productions that have done good like the Harry Potter series and Lord of the Rings, while at the same time we have had instances where we had invested several thousand dollars into a project but when the movie bombed at the box office we were left with a lot of unsold inventory."
Though they have made costumes for a lot of successful Hollywood films including The Chronicles of Narnia, Batman Begins, and Pirates of the Carribean, they believe it is Game of Thrones that gave them the long-overdue attention. When they have been manufacturing costumes all over the world, one cannot help but ask why not for Bollywood films? Rajiv Goel told Hindustan Times,
"Intellectual property laws in India are indeed very lax, that is why we do not manufacture many licensed replicas for this region, and there is much at stake in terms of our company’s credibility and financial commitment involved."