The Economist recently published the article “Game of Loans,” which discusses the economics within HBO’s massive hit “Game of Thrones”.
For any accountants not familiar with Game of Thrones, one of the coolest parts of the series is how thoughtful the author George RR Martin was about finances within his fantasy world.
The key takeaway is that the seemingly powerful House of Lannister is actually severely in debt as a result of massive loans taken from the Iron Bank of Braavos. Loans were required to offset costs from a massive army and lavish social life, while production from gold mines greatly decreased.
Admittedly, the financial portion of Game of Thrones was always the most interesting to us here at FloQast. We thought – what if the Iron Bank called for an audit? Well, first we’d need some financial statements. What would the House of Lannister’s financials look like?
If they used FloQast, they’d know. We have a little experience closing the books here, so we entered into a Compilation Engagement with the Iron Bank and Lannisters. This might be the nerdiest thing ever posted to the internet.
Without further ado, I present the House of Lannister’s Season 4 Financial Statements.
Here’s a preview of the Balance Sheet:
Follow this link for the complete Financial Statements.
We wanted to present this in USD to get an understanding of the magnitude of the empire. We were able to calculate a USD-Dragon Coin conversion rate based on one line from the show where Lord Baelish notes “100 Gold Dragons could buy a dozen barrels of expensive Dornish wine”.
To understand what qualifies as “an expensive bottle of wine”, we consulted the world brain, Google, who believes $20 is an expensive bottle of wine. There are approx. 300 bottles in a barrel. If I’m buying 12 barrels of wine, I expect a discount – let’s say it’s $8 per bottle. This means I can buy a dozen barrels for about $29k. If 100 Gold Dragons can buy me 12 barrels of expensive wine we have an FX rate of $288 to 1 Gold Dragon. We’ll need this to calculate some intra-family lending in the financials.
For audit purposes, here are many of the facts we used from the show to drive our calculations. Check out the Game of Thrones wiki if you want to go to the next level.
- 100 Gold Dragons can buy 12 barrels of expensive wine
- The Lannisters maintain a 60,000 troop army
- Their gold mines once produced a ton of gold and are no longer producing
- The Lannisters control large portions of the Westernlands
- In Season 1 we learn the Lord Baratheon is 3M Gold Dragons in debt to the Lannisters
- Tyrion Lannister states they owe millions of Gold Dragons to the Iron Bank of Braavos
- The Iron Bank has called in 10% of the principal balance
- The Lannisters only have enough gold to cover half of the requested payment
- The Lannisters say “A Lannister always pays his debts” a lot…
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