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984 0 0 0 19 8c2. Several different types of currency are used in the world’s various economies. The Seven Kingdoms of Westeros have a uniform system of coinage based on the “Gold Dragon” coin. The different cities and nations across the Narrow Sea in Essos have their own various local currencies. The coinage used in the Seven Kingdoms is based on the Gold Dragon coin, which has two common smaller denominations: Silver Stag coins and Copper Penny coins.
Robert Baratheon ordered a Tournament to celebrate the appointment of Ned Stark as Hand of the King. 20,000 to the runner-up of the joust, and 20,000 to the best archer. Ned Stark considered the total prize money of 80,000 Gold Dragons to be an extravagance the crown could not afford, but Robert ordered it anyway. During the tournament, Lord Baelish wagered Renly Baratheon 100 Gold Dragons that Ser Gregor Clegane would win against Ser Loras Tyrell in the joust. When Arya Stark is hiding out in King’s Landing slum district of Flea Bottom after her father’s arrest, she asks a local baker for a loaf of bread, and he says that it costs three Coppers. When Ros is stressing to the prostitute Daisy that Petyr Baelish’s brothel in the capital city of King’s Landing is a very high-end establishment, she says that “this isn’t some five Copper bawdy house”.
When Littlefinger leaves for the Vale of Arryn and Tyrion Lannister is named the new Master of Coin, he jokes that Tyrion will do well if he just keeps a “low profile”. Littlefinger always publicly acted like a financial genius able to make money out of thin air, but he balanced the realm’s books every year by borrowing vast sums of money. Lord Selwyn Tarth offered a ransom of 300 Gold Dragons for the safe return of his daughter Brienne. This sum is considered a very formidable ransom for a nobleman, even one belonging to a major noble House. At King Joffrey’s wedding feast, he hires a troupe of five dwarf actors to hold a mock recreation of the War of the Five Kings, with each dwarf dressed up in costumes of one of the five kings at the beginning of the war. Joffrey finds their mock combat hilarious, though almost everyone else in the audience finds it in very poor taste or outright insulting.
Tywin asks Varys how large of a bounty they have to put on the head of Sandor Clegane in order to make common soldiers stupid enough to dare attack the formidable warrior. Varys suggests 10 Silver Stags, and Tywin responds to make it 100 Silver Stags. When Davos Seaworth sneaks Tyrion Lannister back in to King’s Landing for a secret parlay, they are stopped by two Gold Cloaks at their boat. Davos passes himself off as a simple smuggler, and offers them the usual bribe smugglers give to make customs officials look the other way. During the Night’s Watch mutineers’ hold on Craster’s Keep, Karl Tanner mentions that he had been a hitman while living in Gin Alley, and was paid a rate of 7 Silver Stags per murder. The Free Folk living north of The Wall have a hardscrabble, survival-based economy, with little settled agriculture.
There are many different systems of currency in the eastern continent, particularly in the merchant city-states known as the Nine Free Cities. Unlike Westeros, much of the economy of the cultures in Essos is based on slavery. As their name implies, the city-states of Slaver’s Bay are the heart of the international slave trade. While feudal serfdom is the social norm in Westeros, the laws of the Seven Kingdoms specifically outlaw slavery there.
Payment in slaves is frequently used as a form of barter in Essos. Qarth is a major trading hub located next to the Straits of Qarth, through which all east-west ocean traffic must pass. Gold Honors are round gold coins, used in Meereen. Different cities use different variants of the Honor coin, such as Volantis and Qarth: the Meereenese Honor and the Volantene Honor have different designs on them. The Volantene coin that Mero holds in “Second Sons” appears to be silver, not gold. It isn’t clear if this means that Volantene Honors are not made of gold, or that this is a sub-denomination of the Volantene Honor.