Spoilers ahead for anyone not caught up to Season 6 of Game of Thrones

In season 4 of the TV show, Stannis travels to Braavos to take a loan from the Iron Bank to get the forces he needs to conquer Westeros. In this conversation the Iron Bankers, initially dismissive of Stannis, are convinced by Davos that Stannis is the only one who will pay back the debts that the Iron Throne owes to the bank.

Here in an except from the Game of Thrones Wiki relating to Season 4:

After being granted an audience with the Iron Bank of Braavos, Stannis and Davos travel to Braavos where they meet with Tycho Nestoris. Although at first dismissive of Stannis' claim due to his inferior army and his lack of resources to repay any debts to Bank, Davos defends Stannis as the only one able to repay the debts, both that he takes and those of the Iron Throne. Davos' plea insists that Stannis always pays up and that the Lannisters will be faced with a power vacuum when Tywin Lannister (who is 67 years old) dies and that, if such a moment occurred, the Bank wasn't likely to see a return on its investment in Westeros. The bankers decide to grant Stannis his loan and their support, allowing Davos to once again hire Salladhor Saan into their service.

Now at the end of Season 5:

Stannis was defeated by the Boltons and executed by Brienne of Tarth.

So now that the above has happened, what happens to the debt that Stannis owes the Iron Bank? Does it shift to another Baratheon house or do the bankers consider their investment a loss?

  • 2
    Well since Stannis has no close relatives remaining, I guess they would seize some of his former property, as it works in real-world? May 18, 2016 at 14:11
  • 1
    In the books, it was stated that the "house" motto was "The Iron Bank will have its due". So somebody will have to pay.
    – Gert
    May 18, 2016 at 14:12
  • 1
    @Transcendental wow cool idea. Wonder what Dragonstone would fetch in an estate sale.
    – Cody Brown
    May 18, 2016 at 14:13
  • 1
    Only Martin knows.
    – Schullz
    May 18, 2016 at 14:18
  • How much was the loan? May 18, 2016 at 14:25

1 Answer 1


It would seem that the Iron Bank will finance many competitors to ultimately receive a return on investment. The slogan most associated with them is "The Iron Bank will have its due.".

The Crown is highly in debt to the bank. We see this in two instances 1) when Ned Stark takes over as Hand, and 2) when Tyrion takes over for Littlefinger as Master of Coin and in going through the accounting finds this. In fact, the Crown owes three million to the Lannisters, one million to the Faith, and two million to the Tyrells, Iron Bank and several Tyroshi trading cartels combined.

The Lannisters are not going to be calling on their debt seeing as their (extended) family is on the Throne. Cersei abates the debt to Faith by appointing the High Sparrow as the High Septon and allowing the rearming of the Faith Militant. The Tyrells are in the same position as the Lannisters....

This leaves the Iron Bank as the only powerful group unpaid, and it seems the the Crown can not or will not make the payments.

IIRC, the Iron Bank has been known to hire the Second Sons and Faceless Men to collect from those who do not pay their loans back. However, the Seven Kingdoms are too large for those groups to directly challenge.

This leaves Stannis as he really does have the strongest claim to the throne, if one believes Robert's children were not his. Also, he would be fresh blood on the throne and the Bank would have a direct recourse to collect ALL of the Crown's debt. In the books, a member of the Bank follows Stannis to the wall to constantly remind him of the loan.

Now that Stannis has failed, There is no one to collect his debt from. Stannis left no wife, no children, his line is extinguished. The bank made a bad investment but will probably look to another claiming the Throne. This may end up being a few different claimants...

  • Daenerys Targaryen has a strong claim being a Targaryen and dragons

  • (Book Readers Only) Young Griff aka Aegon Targaryen has a strong claim being a Targaryen and technically first over Dany being a son not a sister.

  • Jon Snow aka Jon Snow Stark Targaryen... the most speculation is here because we do not know if Jon even plans on making a claim or if he can...

  • 2
    You've provided a lot of relevant background information, but you don't actually answer the question.
    – T.J.L.
    May 18, 2016 at 15:13
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    @T.J.L. Yes, I did realize that... corrected.
    – Skooba
    May 18, 2016 at 15:27
  • Why would the Iron Bank ask Dany (or any other claimant) to pay Stannis' debt? That doesn't make any sense at all. May 18, 2016 at 17:54
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    @Azor-Ahai they wont ask her, but she could take a loan for say new ships and the bank would fund her if she ensures that they would also get money/castle or lands from her after her victory to compensate for the debt of Stannis
    – Vahx
    May 18, 2016 at 18:12
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    @user170231 That lineage is not 100% confirmed, however many people who both read the books and watch the show would say it's at least 90% confirmed. The Tower of Joy would have been an easy scene to cut from the show if it weren't important. May 18, 2016 at 18:49

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