Throughout the production of a series, a lot goes on behind the scenes in regards to planning and design, which often go through multiple stages before resulting in the final version that is seen on screen. Some concepts and ideas can have an effect on the show and characters, and unexpected occurrences during production can also lead to changes and additions to the plans for the show.
Pyrrha Nikos alludes to Achilles, which follows JNPR's theme of people who dressed themselves as the opposite gender. Achilles once had to go into hiding by disguising himself as a red-haired woman named Pyrrha. This allusion has had the following influences on the character and the show:
- Pyrrha's given name comes from the name that Achilles took on while in disguise.
- Pyrrha's nickname is "The Invincible Girl". Achilles was an invincible warrior who was impervious everywhere but his heel.
- Shortly before Pyrrha is killed, an arrow strikes her ankle, thus preventing her from fleeing. Similarly, Achilles was killed by an arrow striking his heel.
Pyrrha's emblem is a spear laid across a shield. This emblem appears on two of her possessions:
- Battle outfit - on the metal disc attached to her sash.
- Weapon - on a circular piece on Miló.
The earliest piece of concept art that has been released is an old sketch that Monty Oum made and shared a photo of. This design is similar to Pyrrha's final appearance with the following differences:
- Her hair is down.
- Her bangs part on the far right and sweep to the left.
- Everything that is brown in the final design is gray in this concept art.
- The gorget around her neck is gray.
- Instead of a red fabric sash, she has a golden belt around her waist. It widens as it goes around to the end that clips over the rest, and on that end is an engraving of her emblem. The belt has a large piece of red fabric hanging from it.
- Her stockings reach above her leg armor.
- Her leg armor straps onto the front of her legs instead of wrapping completely around.
- The bracer on her left arm is gray and rectangular, and it straps onto the outer side of her arm rather than wrapping completely around.
- She is not wearing her headdress.
In an early piece of concept art by Einlee, Pyrrha is shown wearing the same outfit as she does in her final design, minus the headdress. Her hair is down instead of being in a pony tail, and her eyes are yellow instead of green.
In Vol. 5: Shine, Ein Lee comments on her various contributions to the series. There, she mentions when working with Monty Oum and the design process for Pyrrha. Ein Lee comments that Pyrrha was designed with Greco-Roman influences in mind, combining the ideas of a "sexy pinup girl and badass warrior." Her design is simultaneously high-drama – featuring golds, reds, and opera – whilst also staying true to her paragon personality.
Another piece of concept art by Einlee shows her final design and includes a concept for her headdress.
- In the original Volume 1 Opening storyboard, Pyrrha appears at Jaune Arc's side, placing her hand on his shoulder and giving him a comforting look. She then stands proudly with him and Lie Ren, before Nora Valkyrie leaps onto Jaune's back.