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In Season 03 Episode 03, Daenery's is bargaining for the Unsullied.

Kraznys mo Nakloz: Her ship will buy her 100 Unsullied

Kraznys mo Nakloz: The gold you have left is worth 10, but I will give her 20 if it stops her wimpering.

Kraznys mo Nakloz: The Dothraki smell of pig shit, but maybe useful as pig feed, I will give her 3 (Unsullied) for those.

So for a ship and an unknown amount of gold she will be able to buy 110 Unsullied, or the generous amount of 123 that Kraznys mo Nakloz said he would allow her to have.

In the end she pays for all 8,000 with one dragon.

Is there anything in the books that would allow you to work out how much one Unsullied is worth and therefore know how much she bought the full 8,000 with her single dragon at that time of the dragons development? . Mostly, I want to know how much the Unsullied are worth in common currency on the show.


*The title is worded that way for tag hits.

  • 2
    I mean...in terms of what, gold pieces? Bread loaves? Also remember that it is fairly clear that dragon eggs, young dragons, and fully grown Dragons are all worth different values. – Broklynite Jan 31 '17 at 12:21
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    @Broklynite, in common currency on the show. I will add that to the question. – KyloRen Jan 31 '17 at 12:22
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    In the books it says that the 3 ships would be worth 2000 unsullied, and the trade goods on them another 1000. Her crown would be worth 100 (she's not selling it). So, adding the dragon she gets all 8000 plus... some other 1000, let's say 9000. All in all the worth of the dragon would be 9000-3000=6000 unsullied, roughly the value of 12 ships. Seems fair. – Gorchestopher H Jan 31 '17 at 12:40
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    The tongue in cheek answer... they are worth what someone is willing to pay for them. – Skooba Jan 31 '17 at 12:59
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    @Skooba I don't think that's just the "tongue in cheek" answer. "What you're willing to pay" seems to be the going rate for everything in the ASOIAF world, the entire economy is based on subjective valuations and bartering. – Anthony Grist Jan 31 '17 at 13:24
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She buys a lot of Unsullied, in the books.

“Of thousands, there are eight. Is this what she means by all? There are also six centuries, who shall be part of a ninth thousand when complete. Would she have them too?”

“I would,” said Dany when the question was put to her. “The eight thousands, the six centuries... and the ones still in training as well. The ones who have not earned the spikes.”

She has enough gold and merchandise to buy a thousand, and her crown is worth 100:

“Your men have gone through my ships and tallied every bead of amber and jar of saffron. How much do I have?”

“Sufficient to be buying one of thousands,” the Good Master said, with a contemptuous smile.

“Yet you are paying double, you are saying. Five centuries, then, is all you buy.”

“Your pretty crown might buy another century,” said the fat one in Valyrian.

And this is what she ends up paying:

“All your goods, save your crown and your queenly raiment, which we will allow you to keep. The three ships. And Drogon.”

Her goods are worth 500, assuming she's paying double. Three ships are worth 2000:

“Three good ships should be worth more than a few paltry eunuchs.”

The fat Grazdan turned to the others. They conferred in low voices once again. “Two of the thousands,” the one with the spiked beard said when he turned back. “It is too much, but the Good Masters are being generous and your need is being great.”

The dragon is therefore worth a lot. Since she buys about 9000 Unsullied plus some more slaves in training, for whom she pays the same amount. So I'll say the dragon is worth 9500-2500=7000 Unsullied, which is the value of (3*(7000/2000))=10 and a half ships. One Unsullied is 3/2000 the price of a ship.

So how much is a ship?

In the words of Salladhor Saan in Clash of Kings,

In the Red Keep we shall feast, while the dwarf sings us a jolly tune. When you speak to King Stannis, mention if you would that he will owe me another thirty thousand dragons come the black of the moon.

Saan has 30 ships. One sellsail in a month costs 1000 dragons. But we still don't know the cost of a ship for buying. This is the closest I can find to evidence.

The economy in Westeros is interesting. It isn't as much based on money as on value. Prices aren't set, they're bargained. In Essos, for example, a slave is a perfectly good unit of value, like a coin. And an Unsullied is a more valuable slave in the same way that a gold coin's value changes based on its weight. In the transaction that took place with the Unsullied, no gold traded hands, only goods. So I would say that it's unfair to judge the price of an Unsullied in gold. One robot-slave-eunech-soldier thing is worth whatever one is willing to pay for a robot-slave-eunech-soldier thing. One dragon is worth however much you're willing to pay for it, especially since dragons have never been sold before, and so don't have a price.

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    One dragon is worth however much you're willing to pay for it, especially since dragons have never been sold before, and so don't have a price. - at one point in the books (can't remember where), it is said that a dragon is invaluable. So yeah it "doesn't have a price", i.e. it's worth whatever its owner wants to let it go for. – Mathieu Guindon Jan 31 '17 at 18:18
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    The economy in Westeros is interesting. It isn't as much based on money as on value ... One robot-slave-eunech-soldier thing is worth whatever one is willing to pay for a robot-slave-eunech-soldier thing <- How do you think people/companies determine how much money something is worth in our world, then? – errantlinguist Feb 1 '17 at 10:48
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    @errantlinguist They determine how much they think people are willing to pay, then set that as the price for everybody, which is the difference between (parts of) our world (today) and the ASOIAF world. If two people go into the same store at the same time and purchase the same item, they'll pay the same price. They won't individually decide how much they're willing to pay and then negotiate with the person at the checkout to determine a price both parties are okay with. – Anthony Grist Feb 1 '17 at 11:43
  • @AnthonyGrist True in general but not always. For example negotiating for services you can often haggle. House prices you argue over. When buying a car, (especially second hand), etc. – Tim B Feb 1 '17 at 12:39
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    @AnthonyGrist and if the price is too high, people walk out. When that happens enough, the price magically lowers. Sounds suspiciously like bartering, except that it takes a few months and requires tons of people as opposed to a few minutes and only two. Ergo: Westeros/Essos have a market economy, and we do too... or is my reasoning flawed somehow? – errantlinguist Feb 1 '17 at 14:11
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I am providing context from the books as you said those were acceptable. The transaction is a bit different there (as is most things). The Good Masters do not sell Unsullied in groups of less than a 100 but prefer to sell in groups of 1,000. So from the beginning it difficult to determine the value of a single Unsullied.

Daenerys' interaction with the Good Masters is not a good example or fair trade. Daenerys wants all the Unsullied. The bulk of ther interaction comes from A Storm of Swords, Chapter 26.

"All," growled Kraznys mo Nakloz, who smelled of peaches today. The slave girl repeated the word in the Common Tongue of Westeros. "Of thousands, there are eight. Is this what she means by all? There are also six centuries, who shall be part of a ninth thousand when complete. Would she have them too?"

"I would," said Dany when the question was put to her. "The eight thousands, the six centuries . . . and the ones still in training as well. The ones who have not earned the spikes."

The Good Masters are greedy and read the situation that Dany is desperate:

"We will tell him that he must wait," said the fat man. "Gold in my purse is better than gold in my future."

The slavers disagree on if they should sell all of their stock and when they challenge Dany she further shows her devotion to buy them all. Some of the Good Master see this am opportunity to earn even more gold.

Dany frowned in annoyance. "Very well. Tell them I will pay double, so long as I get them all."

"Double?" The fat one in the gold fringe all but drooled.

"This little whore is a fool, truly," said Khaznys mo Nakloz. "Ask her for triple, I say. She is desperate enough to pay. Ask for ten times the price of every slave, yes."


When the deal comes down to brass tacks we find that:

  • The goods in her ships are worth 1,000 Unsullied.
  • The ships themselves are worth 2,000 Unsullied
  • Daenerys' crown is worth 100 Unsullied.

"You know the answer to that better than I, Good Master," Dany replied. "Your men have gone through my ships and tallied every bead of amber and jar of saffron. How much do I have?"

"Sufficient to be buying one of thousands," the Good Master said, with a contemptuous smile. "Yet you are paying double, you are saying. Five centuries, then, is all you buy."

"Your pretty crown might buy another century," said the fat one in Valyrian. "Your crown of the three dragons."

"Three good ships should be worth more than a few paltry eunuchs."

The fat Grazdan turned to the others. They conferred in low voices once again. "Two of the thousands," the one with the spiked beard said when he turned back. "It is too much, but the Good Masters are being generous and your need is being great."

This is when Daenerys offers one of the dragons. She knows it is the only way she can get all off them.

Two thousand would never serve for what she meant to do. I must have them all. Dany knew what she must do now, though the taste of it was so bitter that even the persimmon wine could not cleanse it from her month. She had considered long and hard and found no other way. It is my only choice. "Give me all," she said, "and you may have a dragon."

There was the sound of indrawn breath from Jhiqui beside her. Kraznys smiled at his fellows. "Did I not tell you? Anything, she would give us."

And by all Daenerys did mean ALL, and she was given ALL for the dragon:

Her stomach roiling, Dany wheeled her silver about and trotted toward the center of the plaza, and the army she had bought so dear. Rank on rank on rank they stood, her stone halfmen with their hearts of brick; eight thousand and six hundred in the spiked bronze caps of fully trained Unsullied, and five thousand odd behind them, bareheaded, yet armed with spears and shortswords. The ones farthest to the back were only boys, she saw, but they stood as straight and still as all the rest.

So we the total number of Unsullied she purchased was at least 13,600.


The only other example I have found of someone buying another person comes from The World of Ice and Fire where Aegons buys a woman for 7 seven gold pieces.

While riding near Fairmarket in 155, Aegon's horse threw a shoe, and when he sought out the local smith, he came to notice the man's young wife. He went on to buy her for seven gold dragons.

  • The dragon and the ships and the goods buy all the Unsullied, paying double with the goods, as seen in my answer. – CHEESE Jan 31 '17 at 14:10
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One dragon buys all the Unsullied. The ships and the merchandise on them - the crown, the clothes - are just fluff, to make the offer more appetizing, more likely to be accepted. If Daenerys came to them right away and said: "I'll give you one dragon, you give me all your armies." they would have been very suspicious. Instead, she had made herself look desperate enough even to sell one of her dragons just to buy all their armies!

What you do not take into account is that Astaporean slave traders are not acting completely rational in that exchange. It is because of the history between Valyria, Astapor and the Ancient Ghiscari empire. Astaporeans are descendants of the Ghiscary, which had empire for a few thousand years called Old Ghis. Then, one day, Valyria started to expand and ate the Ghiscari empire for breakfast.

How and why? Vayrians had dragons, Ghis never had one. Their armies burned and lost. Astapor is one of divided remains of Old Ghis and they are very proud of that, thinking of Valyria as newcomers, "Ghis was old while the Valyria was swaddling child" sort of thing.

The moment Daenerys offered one of the dragons, their ancestral pride was awakened. It felt like karma to them. "Our empire had fallen to Valyria because our soldiers were beaten by dragons. Now a Valyrian comes to us and is ready to trade her dragon for soldiers. Karma can be nasty, right? Let's milk her for all she's worth!" In their mind, they can always make more soldiers. But they can't make more dragons! There's opportunity to own one dragon right now, an opportunity which their ancestors at the top of their influence didn't have. What proud slave trader could possibly let it pass by?

In their mind, one dragon is worth more than all the armies in the world because, once, long time ago, it really was. And they were not ready to make the same mistake twice, the mistake their ancestors had made and lost everything. Dany used that to her advantage, making them make a different mistake: selling their shield and sword for a wild dragon. In a way, your question doesn't make any sense: the worth of a dragon is what the other side is ready to pay to own it. In this case, they paid with their lives.

  • I agree with the latter part of the answer, but Dany really was trying to see what she could get before she brought the dragons into the deal. She was also acting emotionally because she hated to see people enslaved. – Skooba Feb 1 '17 at 13:34
  • I agree. She tried to see what she could get before trying her trick. Once she learned that 2000 were all she could get (which was not enough. It would have left 6000 trained Unsullied for slavers to defend themselves with, against her 2000), dragons were the only thing left to trade. – jo1storm Feb 2 '17 at 18:06
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In a barter economy there are no fixed prices

You seem to be imagining there is a "list price" for an unsullied. But there is no indication that such a thing exists. The masters will ask more or less depending on who they are selling to, how desperate they think they are, what other buyers they have and so forth. The concept of how much an unsullied is worth is therefore meaningless in the abstract.

This is not a maths problem

There are no sums to be done here: divide this many unsullied by this price and multiply up to get the value of a dragon just doesn't work. Drogon is valuable because he is one of only three dragons in the entire world. He is literally priceless. The masters are willing to trade for him because they believe they do not need the steady income of selling unsullied for the next few years and are willing to trade this for the status of being the only ones around with a dragon. Something that hasn't been seen for ages.

  • 2
    You are correct, but that doesn't mean we can't try to make it one :P – Skooba Feb 1 '17 at 13:35

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