Could This be the Meaning Behind Lara Croft’s Necklace?

12:00 pm HelenLJohnson 5 Comments

When looking at the initial design image for the reboot Lara Croft, one thing in particular stood out. That was her beautiful jade pendant; the size and placement of it suggesting that the piece of jewellery could be significant to the story. In-game, the size had been decreased, but the vivid green stood out from the blood, mud and neutral tones that was the colour palette for Lara.

While I was playing Tomb Raider 2013, I fully expected that the swirly pendant would be some kind of key or talisman. Imagine my surprise when the end credits rolled and the necklace played no significant part whatsoever. I then thought that it would be important in ‘Rise of the Tomb Raider’, and came up with the theory that because Lara interrupted Himiko’s ritual at the end of Tomb Raider, part of Himiko became trapped in the pendant. A theory that I have built into my fan fiction Tomb Raider 2013 continuation story because I believed in it so much. ‘Rise’ came around, and alas, as far as I know (as I am waiting for the PS4 version of the game) the pendant is simply just character design again.
But what could it mean? During the construction of my cosplay I looked for something of a similar design in jade or faux jade glass that I could buy or take inspiration from. The actual design of Lara’s necklace, a small animal or spirit encased in a leafy style swirl, was nowhere to be found. Or at least, that specific design was absent. What I did find were pounamu necklaces, in particular, the Koru design from New Zealand.
Known as the God Stone by the Maori population, pounamu has the reputation of holding spiritual powers to protect, evoke strength and prosperity, protect the owner, show love and kinship, and to depict growth and harmony. Something Lara would be very thankful to have during her time on Yamatai. It has been suggested that pounamus’ create strong connections with ancestors and the corresponding natural world - this theory is what lead me to believe that the necklace seen throughout the game will become significant during this reboot timeline.

The closest design to Lara’s is the Koru, a spiral. In Maori art, because of its fluid shape took from unfurling fern leaves, it is commonly used as a symbol of creation. Suggesting the ideology of perpetual movement, while the inner coil suggests a return to the point of origin. A metaphor for life both changing and staying the same; perfectly describing the way in which the franchise was rebooted.

The Koru can also represent new life. Taking the baby frond, it slowly unfurls as it grows before opening to a brand new leaf as the old one dies. Again, perfectly fitting for the reboot story line as Lara is thrown into her new life and grows into being a tomb raider (rather than just a very unlucky archaeologist!) as the games are released.
So it certainly seems that the necklace wasn’t just drawn to look nice; it has real world symbolism with a host of hidden meanings relating to Lara’s life and the adventures she takes. I’m still confident that the necklace will become something else, if not, you can tweet at me in a few years time!

What thoughts do you have about Lara’s necklace? Comment below or tweet me!


  1. Since Rise of the Tomb Raider has been out for a while now on the PS4. Does Lara wear the necklace during the game? And do you think the necklace has a second meaning, besides what you already mentioned?

  2. She wears it during the whole game, but depending on the outfit it is not visible.

  3. Hello

    My theory is that the necklace, now that it is a necklace of jade, could also be a reference to the places that lara has visited in this return of the saga, and that could also represent the future places that lara visit

    The first game was about Japan and Asia, regions where jade has a very great spiritual and cultural value,

    And at the end of the rise of the tomb raider, you can see a map of mexico, and in this case, towards the Mayan zone, where jade also has a great value!

    Jade was very sacred to the ancient Mesoamerican civilizations, and it is very interesting that lara has a necklace of jade and that surely in his next adventures visit the ancient Mesoamerican ruins of Mexico

    In my opinion: this necklace of jade will have some important role in the next game, perhaps as a sacred key to open some ancient Mayan door


  4. Well, I typed up jade and it showed green gems and I went down and started seeing similar designs as Lara's necklace and apparently it was called 'strength koru' Which means growth, harmony and new beginnings, etc.
    Also when I typed it up the symbol was the same as the necklace so the name and design means the same thing which also in my opinion fits well with Lara Croft.
    This is the exact meaning of 'strength koru' -
    "Koru, we feel it is the combination of these attributes; growth, strength, harmony and new beginnings, that make us who we are."

  5. If you pay careful attention during the video playbacks from Sam's camera, you'll overhear a conversation between Roth and Lara in which he says he remembers when she found it at one of her father's digs. It's significance is that it was the first artifact Lara ever found.