As I understand it, the current deal between Cersei and the Iron Bank in Game of Thrones season 7 goes like this: Cersei pays back the bank, and then the bank will support her. But I can only imagine that most of this support will come in the form of money/gold. So why would Cersei need to ship gold to the Iron Bank, just to have it shipped back to her?

  1. It's riskier for the gold (it could be captured on its long journey).

  2. Cersei is delayed from being able to use it, which hurts the war effort.

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    Any financial institution will be reluctant to extend credit to someone with massive, past-due debts, especially to that same institution. On the other hand, someone who shows they are able to pay off a huge loan is considered a reliable candidate for more credit. A semantic game, perhaps, but if she pays off all but 20% of that outstanding loan, then she still has an outstanding loan she has not been able to pay off, vs paying it off and having a much smaller, new debt to manage. Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 15:50
  • 6
    *Channels inner Rihanna* Bish better have my money
    – Möoz
    Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 22:06

3 Answers 3


So why would Cersei need to ship gold to the Iron Bank, just to have it shipped back to her?

It's not a case of shipping the gold to the Iron Bank...it's matter of being able to do so when requested. Previously, Cersei didn't have the gold..so she took steps to obtain it.

Having done so and "repaid" the Iron Bank from the Tyrell gold it can 'safely' sit in Kings Landing available to be re-lent as the Iron Bank wishes. Banks don't sit on huge deposits of cash...it's sent out again to be lent out once again.

There's no reason to ship the gold back and forth; it's not secure and increases risk of loss in transit.

The point is that having proved that she can repay the bank, she's now a good credit risk, especially as she is (or at least was) in control of the richest regions of Westeros.

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    Ah so you think the gold will not be physically shipped to the Iron Bank, but just kept under the Bank representative's supervision in King's Landing?
    – Ovi
    Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 15:31
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    That's how the Bank of England works (or used to). It kept individual countries gold reserves separated and just moved them about internally. There's no reason to ship the gold back and forth. it's not secure and increases risk. Of course now it's all done electronically.
    – Paulie_D
    Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 15:33
  • @Ovi - I think a large portion will go back to the Iron Bank, but whatever they re-loan to Cersi will be handed back without making the round trip, I'd think..... or maybe whatever they think they need to fund the Queen of Dragons, if they are sufficiently impressed by that side. Do they have a Westeros branch office? Commented Aug 11, 2017 at 15:26
  • This. Loans make sense when the interest earned offsets the risk implied by the borrower's creditworthiness (or the odds they WON'T default). The ability to produce capital - especially on short demand - implies financial stability that makes you more creditworthy.
    – Jaydles
    Commented Aug 16, 2017 at 19:40
  • @Paulie_D I wondered what those brick-shaped lumps were going over the internet lines outside my house.
    – cbmeeks
    Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 21:23

It seems to me that they were particularly anxious to collect from Cersei soon in consideration of the apparent imminent risk of wartime events making the prospects of repayment much less likely.

  • I think you misunderstood the question; The OP was asking why the gold physically needs to be shipped to the bank, when it will just be shipped back to Cersei in the form of more loans.
    – Paulie_D
    Commented Aug 11, 2017 at 10:01
  • @Paulie_D That was the thinking in the OP's description, but the OP's question is "Why does Cersei need to repay the Iron Bank right now?" and I don't think the main answer to that is about shipping the gold back and forth, as you already discussed in your answer. It seems to me that the main answer to the question asked (i.e. the main reason why the Iron Bank wants it paid right now) doesn't have to do with transport logistics so much as the risk of the loss of anyone able to pay it if the Lannisters are defeated and possibly eradicated or impoverished.
    – Dronz
    Commented Aug 11, 2017 at 19:47
  • So I answered the actual question not the title. It's the content of the question here that requires an answer. It's clear what the OP is actually asking.
    – Paulie_D
    Commented Aug 11, 2017 at 19:57
  • @Paulie_D Mhmm. One answer is about what the OP was thinking (which as you pointed out, isn't really the situation), and the other answer is about what (I think) the characters were thinking.
    – Dronz
    Commented Aug 11, 2017 at 21:13

Something other answers haven't talked about is that not only does Cersei need the money (after all she already has the gold from the Tullys), she needs that her enemies don't have the money. If she doesn't repay the Lannister's debts, the Iron Bank could support Daenerys.

Of course Daenerys is very risky to lend to, but the Iron Bank could work something if forced.

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