The debt. The crown’s debt to the Iron Bank. I’m gonna try to replicate the journey I went
on. So I was watching season seven, and there’s
this really short scene where Randyll Tarly rides back to Jaime Lannister and says we
got the gold to King’s Landing safely. It’s through the gate. [-All the gold’s safely through the gates
of King’s Landing. -Good.] -Later, we get this scene transition where
you can hear somebody talking before you can see them. Scene transitions like this are a great place
to hide details that you don’t want the viewer to think about too hard. There’s about five seconds where you’re not
really paying attention because you’re still thinking about the last scene. But pay attention to the delivery of this
line. [-I must say I don’t think the Iron Bank has
ever had a debt of this magnitude] [repaid in a single installment.] [I always considered your father a very effective
and efficient man, ] [but you appear to be redefining those terms entirely.] [-You’re too kind, my lord.] -Now, for those who don’t speak sarcasm, that
was venom. Here it is again. [-I must say I don’t think the Iron Bank has
ever had a debt of this magnitude] [repaid in a single installment.] [I always considered your father a very effective
and efficient man, ] [but you appear to be redefining those terms entirely.] -If you’re not convinced, humor me. Supposing that this is sarcasm, the thing
that makes it sarcasm is that Cersei is redefining the terms effective and efficient in a bad
way rather than a good way. And if she’s redefining them in a bad way,
then his comparison of Cersei and Tywin takes on a new meaning, which is, you’re not nearly
as good at this game as your father. Which paints Cersei’s flattery in a funny
light because she missed the sarcasm. [-You’re too kind, my lord.] So what is so ineffective and inefficient
about Cersei paying back the crown’s debt in full to the Iron Bank? We’ve been told all along, and by Tywin Lannister
himself, that the Iron Bank is a serious threat. [-The crown owes the Iron Bank of Braavos
a tremendous amount of money.] [-How much?] [-A tremendous amount.] [That’s what the Iron Bank is, a temple.] [We all live in its shadow and almost none
of us know it.] [You can’t run from them, you can’t cheat them,
you can’t sway them with excuses.] [If you owe them money you don’t want to crumble
yourself.] [You pay it back.] Tywin makes the Iron Bank out to be this big
scary entity that you can’t escape, you can’t reason with, you can’t sway, and that’s just
wrong. Because we see in the very next episode that
Ser Davos can sway the Iron Bank to support Stannis. But it sounds like Tywin intends to pay back
the debt. And I believe that he does. Just not all of it at once. [-People who spend their money on this sort
of nonsense tend not to have it for long.] [-You ought to try enjoying something before
you die.] [You might find it suits you.] [Your heartfelt thank you is its own reward.] [I would imagine I’ll be hearing it again before
long.] [Wars are rather expensive. The Iron Bank will have its due.] [How they love to remind everyone!] [Almost as much as you Lannisters with your
debts.] [-I’m not worried about the Iron Bank.] [-We both know you’re smarter than that.] -Wait, what? He isn’t worried about the Iron Bank? But he gives the pay-em-back speech three
episodes after this. There’s something fishy. Maybe Tywin is just trying to act like a tough
guy in front of Olenna, but that doesn’t make a lot of sense. I’ve never seen Tywin try to act like a tough
guy and I’m not sure that he’s the bluffing type either. And what purpose would this bluff serve anyway? So let’s entertain the idea that he’s telling
the truth. Maybe he isn’t worried about the Iron Bank.
Why not? [-Can the treasury bear such expense?] [-I’ll have to borrow it. The Lannisters will accommodate, I expect.] [We already owe Lord Tywin three million gold. What’s another eighty thousand?] [-Are you telling me the crown is three million
in debt?] [-I’m telling you the crown is six million
in debt.] [-How could you let this happen?] [-The Master of Coin finds the money. The King and the Hand spend it.] -In season one, Ned finds out about the crown’s
enormous debt. Six million in total. Three million to Tywin Lannister. [-The royal wedding may end up being the most
expensive event in living memory.] [Summer has ended, hard days lie ahead.] -Tyrion is concerned about the cost of the
wedding, and Cersei is just annoyed every time somebody brings up money. She doesn’t think money is a big deal. She has always had an unlimited supply of
it. And so she doesn’t consider being in charge
of the money to be an important job. [-Not a good time to leave the crown’s finances
unattended.] [-Fully agreed.] -Eye roll. [-Which is why I’m naming you new Master of
Coin.] -Laugh. [-Master of Coin?] [-It would appear to be a position that best
suits your talents.] [-I’m quite good at spending money but a lifetime
of outrageous wealth ] [hasn’t taught me much about managing it.] [-I have no doubt you will prove equal to this
challenge.] -Sarcasm. This is a family of sarcasm. Tyrion is going through the finances that
Littlefinger had before him, and he’s shocked. [-He stealing it?] [-Worse, he’s borrowing it.] [-What’s wrong with that?] [-We can’t afford to pay it back, that’s what’s
wrong with it.] [The crown owes millions to my father.] [-Seeing as it’s his grandson’s ass on the
throne, I imagine he’ll forgive that debt.] [-Forgive a debt? My father?] [For a man of the world you’re strangely naive.] -Tyrion alludes to the Lannister words A Lannister
Always Pays His Debts. And he sort of makes fun of Bronn. But Bronn’s actually right. This is why I love Bronn, he points out the
obvious. Since House Lannister has the crown, Tywin
Lannister lending money to the crown is a lot like Tywin Lannister lending money to
Tywin Lannister. He’s invested in keeping the crown for his
family, but there are no consequences for not paying himself back. As long as his family has the crown, his family
will continue to inherit the crown because of divine right. So even if he has to invest all of his personal
money into keeping the crown, it’s worth it. Because if his family were to lose the crown,
whoever they lost it to would have to annihilate his bloodline in order to establish a new
claim. [-I’ve never borrowed money before.] [I’m not clear on the rules.] [-Well… the basic principle is…] [I lend you money, and after an agreed upon
period of time, you return it.] [With interest.] [-And what if I don’t?] [-Well you have to.] [-But what if I don’t?] [-This is why I don’t lend you money.] [Anyway, it’s not my father I’m worried about.] [It’s the Iron Bank of Braavos. We owe them tens of millions.] [If we fail to repay these loans, the bank
will fund our enemies.] [One way or another, they always get their
gold back.] -There’s an old saying that goes something
like this. If I owe the bank one hundred dollars, I have
a problem. If I owe the bank one hundred million dollars,
the bank has a problem. The meaning being that the bank will never
get that much money back from me because I’ll never have that much money. And they probably shouldn’t have lent it to
me in the first place. They have a lending problem. Especially if I haven’t paid back what I already
owe them. It creates a situation where the bank has
to protect the borrower because the borrower owes them too much money for the bank to let
them fail. So the bank is thinking, he’s asking for another
loan. But I have to loan it to him because I can’t
afford to let him fail. He owes me too much money, and if he fails
I’ll never get that money back. Because whoever defeats him isn’t going to
inherit his debt. Unless! I think this is the point Davos made that
ultimately convinced the bank to support Stannis. [-He’s an honest man and he’s your best chance
to get back the money you’ve sunk into Westeros,] [which is a lot, I imagine.] -Because if Stannis wins, not only do they
get to replace an unreliable borrower in Tywin, but they get to replace him with a Baratheon. Someone who’s going to inherit the debt that’s
already owed. [-When Tywin’s gone, who do you back?] [-That is a problem for another time.] [-Begging your pardon, I think it’s a problem
for now.] [And he doesn’t just talk about paying people
back, he does it!] -So that’s why I think Tywin did intend to
eventually pay back the debt. [-If you owe them money, you don’t want to
crumble yourself.] [You pay it back.] -Because he knows there’s gonna come a point
where the bank says okay this motherfucker clearly has no intention of paying us back. Let’s cut our losses. Let’s replace him by funding his enemies. So Tyrion was right about that too. [-If we fail to repay these loans, the bank
will fund our enemies.] -Tywin is racing the threat of his lenders
funding his enemies. And the fact that the bank decided to support
Stannis shows me that they already want to cut their losses and they’re looking for enemies
to fund. [-Daenerys Targaryen has three full grown
dragons.] [How well do wooden ships fare against fire-breathing
dragons?] -The bank wants to switch sides to Daenerys
because three dragons are likely to win, but they’re conflicted because they want to protect
the debt they have tied up in Cersei and the Baratheon-Lannister line. If Daenerys wins, the debt will disappear
because Daenerys isn’t a Baratheon and she won’t inherit the debt. The bank will never see that money again. [-The slave trade has entered a downturn,
it’s true.] [-From what I gather she considers herself
more of a revolutionary than a monarch.] [In your experience, how do bankers usually
fare with revolutionaries?] [The Lannisters owe the Iron Bank quite a lot
of money but Lannisters always pay their debts.] [Do former slaves? Or Dothraki or dragons?] [-Your father’s daughter indeed.] -Imagine this scene. Daenerys has just won the war. She’s sitting up on her throne and the banker
comes in and he says ‘Excuse me miss dragon Queen. Do you see that big pile of gold over there? That’s supposed to be mine.’ And Daenerys is gonna say ‘You mean you’ve
been funding my enemies with all of this gold while I was in exile? Dracarys!’ So I don’t think the banker is that stupid
or suicidal. That scene will never happen. He’ll have to take the ten million gold loss
in silence. And I think maybe Tywin knew that. [-Give me a fortnight. Stay in King’s Landing as my honored guest] [and when you return to Braavos I swear to you, my debt will be paid in full.] -So rather than paying back the debt in full,
maybe what Tywin would have done was to tell the banker ‘Look you see this big pile of
gold over here? That’s all gonna be yours paid back in full,
right after you help me win the war.’ I think that’s why the banker keeps mockingly
comparing Cersei to Tywin. [-The Iron Bank wants its gold back.] [-Your father never minced words either.] [Your father’s daughter indeed.] -Because he knows that Tywin never would have
made this mistake. And Cersei eats it right up. [-Give me a fortnight. Stay in King’s Landing as my honored guest.] -Because she has always wanted to be like
Tywin. [-Did it ever occur to you that I might be
the one who deserves your confidence ] [and your trust? Not your sons?] [-I don’t distrust you because you’re a woman.] [I distrust you because you’re not as smart
as you think you are.] -Look how happy the banker is now that he
knows he’s getting his money back and he’ll be free to switch to the side that has dragons. [-Its well-being is a matter of arithmetic
not sentiment.] [And the current arithmetic is outstanding!] [Yes, perhaps we could be of assistance in
some current venture.] -Now he’s doing spy work. He’s digging to find out Cersei’s plans so
that he can help Daenerys beat her. And Cersei spills them. [-My Hand, Qyburn, has made overtures to the
Golden Company in Essos.] [-I know them well.] [They’ve helped us recover significant sums
from parties who had fallen into deeper ears.] [-That’s good to hear.] -Oh that’s your plan! The Golden Company. Biggest, most powerful mercenary group in
the world. I’ve heard of them! I’ve done some deals with them once or twice. [-I, too, would like them to recover some
things that belong to me.] [-Rest assured, Your Grace, you can count on
the Iron Bank’s support.] [Uh, as soon as the gold arrives.] -Thanks for the cash, Tywin. Oh, sorry. Slip of the tongue!