“Aragorn became king, then ruled wisely and well” said Tolkien. “What does that even mean? What were Aragorn’s tax policies?”, says Martin. George R.R. Martin set out to make the world of Westeros grounded in gritty realism, which frequently means economic realism – the realpolitik of dealing with the realm’s debt crisis and haggling with foreign banks. How does currency work in Westeros? How do economic cycles in a world with decade-long seasons reflect patterns that real Medieval Europe went through across centuries? And why it is absurd for the TV-Lannisters to be broke “because our gold mines ran dry”.