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In Game of Thrones S07E01, someone weighs a body part (not being specific to avoid spoilers)-- and finds that it weighs 147 (or something). It always bothers me when people specify unit-less measurements. 147 what? Stones? Kilograms? Pounds? Is there a special block of metal that sets this standard?

  • 1
    I'd have to rewatch, but it's possibly being weighed in ounces. 147 ounces would be a bit over 9 pounds, which in turn is about 4.1kg. I think they were weighing the person's liver, so it would be much heavier than normal (the average human liver apparently weighs around 1.5kg), but they did say that the deceased person liked to drink, so possibly there's a lot of liver damage that's increasing the weight. – Anthony Grist Jul 24 '17 at 9:52
  • I assumed it was ounces when I watched the episode. Of course, they do say that assume makes an ass out of u and me... – The Giant of Lannister Jul 24 '17 at 11:20
17

ETA: It appears the Archmaester Ebrose was documenting the weights as "penny" in the scene for the basis of the question.

Based on the evidence below, I am fairly certain this would refer to a pennyweight. Whether or not this actually makes sense though is another question.

screen cap of Ebrose writing the weight in his book

And now back to your regularly scheduled answer...


We do know George based his world on medieval Europe. We see throughout the books that both pounds and stones are used by many characters from various parts of the world (a small sample is given below). These are most likely the base units, however we do not see any smaller units of measure.

  • Ned uses stones:

    Since the night they had stood side by side in Greyjoy's fallen stronghold, where Robert had accepted the rebel lord's surrender and Ned had taken his son Theon as hostage and ward, the king had gained at least eight stone. - A Game of Thrones - Eddard I

  • Jon uses pounds and stones:

    By the look of him, he must have weighed twenty stone. - A Game of Thrones - Jon IV

    Rast had two years and forty pounds on him. A Game of Thrones - Jon IV

  • Tyrion makes reference to pounds and stones as well:

    He needed help to mount; he felt as though he weighed a thousand stone. - A Game of Thrones - Tyrion VIII

    The boy's clothes his host had dressed him in made him feel like ten pounds of sausage in a five-pound skin. - A Dance with Dragons - Tyrion II

  • Traders also seem to use pounds in the deals:

    Not to mention cloves and nutmeg, and a pound of saffron. - A Dance with Dragons - Davos I

  • Daenerys uses stones:

    The old man had the look of Westeros about him, and the brown-skinned one must weigh twenty stone. - A Clash of Kings - Daenerys V

  • Ounces are only used once, and a bit of a colloquial way:

    Balon Greyjoy had always been thin, but now he looked as though the gods had put him in a cauldron and boiled every spare ounce of flesh from his bones, until nothing remained but hair and skin. - A Clash of Kings - Theon I


George has been known to keep things vague so as fans have a harder time picking up on his mistake. I would suggest that the show is following suit... don't give units because first, we don't know, and second, we don't want to be "wrong".

  • I don't know if it's intentional, but your post reads a little as though you're saying that using both pounds and stones is in some way unusual or wrong. – Anthony Grist Jul 24 '17 at 15:19
  • @AnthonyGrist I see what you mean, gave it an edit to be more clear. – Skooba Jul 24 '17 at 15:26
  • A pound of saffron? Sounds expensive. – MissMonicaE Jul 25 '17 at 13:54
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There is no explanation as to what their weights and measures are based on in The Game of Thrones

throughout the show and books various weights are mentioned which includes pounds so the easiest answer would be to assume they meant 147 grams since grams are a sub unit of pounds and 147 of anything else would be way to much for any body part

Edit: Grains and pennyweights are actually the sub units of ounces and pounds and 147 of either could still work

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    FWIW, pounds and grams are not on the same scale (Imperial vs SI). I could be wrong about the value being 147, to be honest. – Jedi Jul 23 '17 at 5:26
  • @jedi yeah I got confused with the net weight listing on my packages but if the number was anywhere around 147 the answer would still stand. As an aside I do not remember if a coins weight was ever mentioned but it would stand to reason that if it was then the weight of a body part would be expressed in the same unit of measure. – Revenant Jul 23 '17 at 5:51
  • Grains and pennyweights are way too small to weigh a body part. If the system of units in GoT is similar to weights in the history of Western Europe (probable, since pounds are mentioned), it could be some variety of ounce. Grains are ~50 mg or ~65 mg depending on context. A pennyweight is ~1.6 g. – Dranon Jul 24 '17 at 14:27
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As George RR Martin quoted the planet of Game of Thrones is slightly larger than our earth. Units of mass would not be comparable.

But I must admit: Probably the show makers and GRRM have not thought about this.

  • 1
    Can you provide a source for the larger size? – Edlothiad Jul 25 '17 at 13:28
  • This could be edited into a good answer. – amflare Jul 25 '17 at 13:44
  • (1) You have no idea of the density of the planet, and therefore cannot say that the gravitational field is definitively different. Assuming a less dense core, a larger planet can have the exact same gravitational pull (2) The question is not about comparing the value of measurements in and out of universe. If everything is heavier in Westeros, that does not make their measurement system wrong, only different from ours. The question did not in any way assume that the used unit of weight in Westeros must inherently be equal to our real world unit of weight. – Flater Jul 25 '17 at 15:09
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    Anyway, mass does not depend on the gravitational pull of a planet. 5 kgs on Earth are 5 kgs on the Moon. – Federico Poloni Jul 26 '17 at 21:52
  • Of course a 5kg Object is always 5kg everywhere. But it does not mean anything. You cant compare someone who lifts 100kg on earth with someone who does it on the moon. – Guest_answer Jul 27 '17 at 11:24

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