Blood Ties: Secrets And Wonders In The Croft Manor

Monday 19 December 2016

In the recent installment of the Tomb Raider series, Rise of the Tomb Raider, we get the chance to explore Lara Croft's mansion in the separate mission Blood Ties. The story of this mission revolves around a letter that Lara recieved from her uncle, making known to her that unless there's some change in the conditions concerning the manor, it will go under his possession. Certain that there have to be clues somewhere that would establish her ownership of her parental home, Lara starts searching the rooms for any little detail that could lead her to them.

While exploring, she comes across several relics and items that are connected to her known adventures. Of course since, Rise of the Tomb Raider takes place long before many of the other expeditions, locating all these things and making the connections becomes even more interesting.

Note that this article is strictly about the items found in the Croft Manor and that are connected specifically to other Tomb Raider games only.

The Jade Dragon

The Jade Dragon figurine is found in Lord Croft's secret vault.

"This was part of a set of statues Dad found in China. He thought it was linked to the Temple of Xian... perhaps I should look into it someday" Lara comments upon finding it among her father's possessions.

As we know, she did go to China later, and did find the Temple of Xian, in Tomb Raider 2:

Moreover, throughout the Tomb Raider 2 game, Lara found dragon statuettes, among which were the Jade Dragons:

The Egyptian Ankh

Lara finds the Ankh in a glass case, in the main hall of the manor.

Her father brought it from Egypt where he had gone on an expedition. So I guess that now we know where Lara's love for Egypt comes from. In the following years, she would visit Egypt more than once. During Tomb Raider 1 and Anniversary, she finds the Ankh in Khamoon.

Later, during the events of the Last Revelation, she finds the Ankh-shaped amulet.

The Anubis Bust

This statuette is found in the manor's basement, hidden behind rubble and crates.

Lara comments that her father had hidden it there for her birthday expedition years ago. Later, during her visits to Egypt, she would come across several depictions of Anubis, like this statue here in Anniversary.

The Tibetan Scroll

This relic is found in Lord Croft's hidden vault.

In Tomb Raider 2, Lara herself visited Tibet, following her father's footsteps. We don't know if she brought any souvenir back home, though.

Lara's Tiger Drawing

In the Library, Lara finds the little space that she owned behind her father's desk, where she would sit and draw for hours, "dreaming of her own adventures". Among her drawings is this one depicting a tiger.

Later on, during her actual adventures, she would come across real tigers several times, like in the Great Wall mission from Tomb Raider 2:

Winston's Tray

One of the documents that Lara finds in the manor is a note written by Winston where he states that he had prepared a tray for her, after an argument with her father that led her to leave the dinner table.

Additionally, if you look around the main hall downstairs, there is a tea tray sitting on the coffee table in front of the fireplace.

Both of them have to be a nod to Winston following Lara around the Manor with a tray in his hands, in Tomb Raider 2 and Tomb Raider 3:

The Butler In The Freezer

In the note to Lord Croft entitled 'Little Angel', Winston mentions the trap little Lara set on him, to lock him up in the walk-in freezer.

Lara could lock Winston in the freezer of her manor in Tomb Raiders 2 and 3 as well, when she was not that little. I guess old habits can't die that easily.

Roth's Pistols

Lara finds Roth's pistols in her father's study.

Roth was her mentor, whom we met in Tomb Raider Reborn. No doubt these are the legendary dual pistols that Lara would always carry with her later.

The Golden Rose

In the secret crypt where her mother is buried, Lara also finds the Golden Rose.

She mentions that her grandmother Rose was "nicknamed the Golden Rose, for her perfect reputation".

In Tomb Raider Chronicles, the secrets that she finds are Golden Roses!

The T-Rex Plushy

In the "workspace" that Lara had as a little girl behind her father's desk in the Library, there is also a green T-Rex plushy sitting at a corner.

In her adult life as an adventurer, Lara would several times come across a T-Rex, like this one in the Lost Valley in Peru, from Anniversary:

Sir Lancelot's Suit of Armor

In the corridor outside Lord Croft's study, there is the suit of armor of Sir Lancelot. When you press Action to interact with it, Lara says that "I won't be borrowing your sword this time".

Which brings us to Tomb Raider Legend, where she discovered the tomb of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, and took the Excalibur part from King Arthur's statue.

The Bear Head Trophy

In one of the corridors, there is a bear head trophy hanging above a fireplace.

Quite possibly, a trophy of Lord Croft. Nonetheless, Lara helself had her share of bear-chasing, like in Peru, shown in Tomb Raider 1 and Anniversary:

The Family Piano

In Amelia Croft's atelier, located in the "forbidden" West Wing of the manor, there is a grand piano at the back.

So it becomes clear now that the piano that is always present in the Manor belonged to Lara's mother, as Lara clearly isn't very good at it:

The Yamatai Sword

Lara finds the broken Yamatai sword in the study.

Nothing more and nothing less than a souvenir from her tumultuous adventure with the Endurance team and Father Matthias that took place in Tomb Raider Reborn.

The Jade Water Buffalo

In Lord Croft's study and in the Library, there's a buffalo paperweight.

It looks like Lara had a special liking for the relic that she found in Yamatai, so she had two replicas made of it, to use as paperweights. This is the original relic, from Tomb Raider Reborn:

Newspaper Clipping

In the study, there is a newspaper clipping with an article about the Endurance crew and how they were rescued.

Which naturally refers to Lara's team from Tomb Raider Reborn and how they managed to survive (at least, some of them).

Endurance Crew Photo

In the same room, in a box, there is also a photo showing all the members of the Endurance crew posing together.

If you take a close look, you will notice that Dr Whitman's head is cut off (he is the one standing on the far left). I guess that Lara ripped the photo in rage, since it was revealed that he had betrayed the team by leading Sam to Matthias.

Stacks of Coins

At the back of the Library, there is a stack of coins on a desk.

This stack is identical to those that Lara would find in several areas througout the main game. It looks like she didn't spend all of them to upgrage her gear, she also kept some for herself. Or maybe her father had brought them from similar expeditions. We will never know.


The Atlas is the major artifact found in the game.

It is the relic for which everything happens and everyone battles.

Atlas is also the name of Lara's uncle, whom she can't stand, as he tries to grab the Manor from her. Could there possibly be any hidden reason behind this "co-incidence"? Given that Lara even had nightmares about him releasing an army of zombies in the house, I wouldn't be surprised if Atlas de Mornay was revealed to be the one moving the strings behind everyone else, aiming at Lara's destruction.

Bust of Richard Croft

Lara finds her father's bust in the Master Bedroom.

"I suppose it's a family tradition", she comments when she finds it, "but I can't imagine one of these made of mine!"

Ironically enough, there is a huge statue made of her when she is presumed dead after the tragic events in The Last Revelation, and which we have a chance to see in Tomb Raider Chronicles:

The Toy Chopper

In the same place with Lara's drawings and the T-Rex plushy, there is also a toy chopper among the papers and the pencils, which obviously she had as a child.

Again there's irony for Lara here, since in the end of the main game, she had to fight against Konstantin's chopper:

Venice Violins

In the Library, there is an old gramophone. When you turn it on, a familiar music starts to play.

It's the lovely Venice Violins theme, from Tomb Raider 2. Check out this video, which includes both versions:

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