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Depiction of a silver stag of King Aegon I Targaryen, by Tom Maringer © 2007

Coins and money are a manner of currency used mostly by merchants, owners of establishments, and noble classes, while smallfolk might use either coins or barter.

Thusfar, no society in Westeros or Essos has been described as using paper currency (though the currency of every region hasn't been described in detail). Most societies use currency in the form of coins made from precious metals such as gold, silver, or copper (with a few notable exceptions, such as the iron coins used in Braavos). Contracts written on parchment or paper are also accepted, though these are not "currency" as such: for example, the Brotherhood without Banners during the War of the Five Kings would give commoners notes promising to pay them for supplies they took after the war ended.[1]. Similarly, Tyrion Lannister drew up contracts promising to pay the Second Sons with gold from Casterly Rock in return for their aid in restoring him to his lordship of it.[2]

George R. R. Martin has compared the Westerosi coinage to medieval coinage, saying that "Westerosi coinage is probably more complex than actual British medieval coinage", despite some similarities.[3]


Seven Kingdoms

Prior to Aegon's Conquest, each of the Seven Kingdoms had their own coinage minted by their respective kings.[3] The coins from the Kingdom of the Reach were golden. They were known as 'hands', and featured the hand-shaped sigil of House Gardener on one side and the face of a king on the other. These golden coins are roughly half the value of a golden dragon.[4][5]

Depiction of a silver stag of King Aerys II Targaryen, by Tom Maringer © 2007

The current currency was established shortly after the unification of the Seven Kingdoms following Aegon's Conquest and was used through the whole Targaryen rule and continued after Robert's Rebellion. In order from high to low value, respectively, these are golden dragons,[6] silver stags,[7] copper stars, pennies, half-pennies, and groats.[8][9][10] The semi-canon A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying includes another coin, silver moon.[11] Golden dragons are more frequently used by rich merchants and noble lords and ladies. Smallfolk, who do not have such riches, tend to exchange copper and silver coins, or turn to trade. The minting of the coins, exchange rates, and like matters are overseen by the master of coin.[12][13]

The king's coinage is one of the most visible manifestations of royal authority. Golden dragons bear the face of the king in whose time they were minted in, as well as his name.[14] On the other side, the golden dragon bear the three-headed Targaryen dragon. The silver stags are known for the stag they bear. However, they were not minted for the Baratheon dynasty, but had already been in use during the Targaryen reign.[14] Copper pennies usually bear the seven-pointed star associated with the Faith of the Seven.[citation needed]
Depiction of a copper star of King Robert I Baratheon, by Tom Maringer © 2007
Initially it was created as a copper penny, but the coin ended up being too large and heavy for a penny and George R. R. Martin changed it to star.[15]

King Viserys II Targaryen introduced a new royal mint during his reign.[16] During the First Blackfyre Rebellion, Daemon I Blackfyre had his own coins, depicting his own face on one side, and a three-headed dragon on the other.[17] The officers of three mints were appointed by the master of coin, Petyr Baelish.[12] White Harbor in the north contains the Old Mint.[18] During the War of the Five Kings, Lord Wyman Manderly suggests his seat of White Harbor as a location where King Robb Stark could mint his own coinage.[19]

Among the ironborn culture, while women are allowed to buy ornaments with coin, warriors only take items, be it jewelry or items as food and water, off of the corpses of the enemies he has slain. It is called paying "the iron price", whereas paying with coin is called paying "the gold price".[20][21]


Specific values of each of the coins have not yet been mentioned in any of the canon works of A Song of Ice and Fire. The semi-canon A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying game by Green Ronin has placed the value of the coins as represented in the table, which it states are to be used as a rule of thumb, as rates can change over time due to various economic fluctuations of inflation and deflation (e.g., war-time versus times of peace, failed harvests, etc.). For example, when House Tyrell had cut off the food supply to King's Landing from the Reach during the War of the Five Kings, food prices in the city rose steeply.[12] Another example is that in 209 AC, a time of peace and plenty, Duncan the Tall received more than three golden dragons for his palfrey, but during the War of the Five Kings, both Brienne of Tarth[22] and Tom of Sevenstreams[23] consider one gold dragon to be a fair price for a horse in the war-struck riverlands.

Golden coins Dragon
Silver coins Moon
Copper coins Star

The coins most commonly encountered are pennies, stars, stags and dragons.

Examples of currency rates

  • King Maegor I Targaryen, during his war against the Faith of the Seven, paid one golden dragon for the head of any unrepentant Warrior's Son, and a silver stag for the scalp of a Poor Fellow.[24]
  • At the time of The Hedge Knight (209 AC), a plain yet complete set of good steel armor with greaves, gorget, and greathelm could cost eight hundred stags,[14] which equals almost four golden dragons. Later, Dunk sold his palfrey Sweetfoot to Henly for 750 silver stags - but was paid in the form of three gold dragons, the rest in silvers. This does seem to broadly match the semi-canon figures from the RPG, which gave an exchange rate of 210 silver stags to one gold dragon.
  • At the beginning of A Game of Thrones, the Iron Throne is more than six million dragons in debt,[25] which represents a colossal sum. The biggest part of this debt, three million dragons, is owed to House Lannister, the rest to Mace Tyrell, the Iron Bank of Braavos, several Tyroshi trading cartels, and to the Faith of the Seven. By 300 AC the Crown’s debt to the Faith was established to be a total of 900,674 golden dragons.[26]
  • King Robert I Baratheon is a prodigious spender, and sets the rewards for the Hand's tourney in 298 AC at 40,000 golden dragons to the winner of the joust, 20,000 golden dragons to the runner-up, 20,000 dragons to the winner of the melee, and 10,000 dragons to the winner of the archery competition.[25] These prices are exceptionally high, due to Robert's generous nature.[27]
  • During the wedding tourney at Whitewalls in 211 AC, on the other hand, only 30 dragons were promised for whoever came in second.[17]
  • In 211 AC, a tent could be bought for 10 pennies.[17][N 1]
  • The Lysene pirate Salladhor Saan, who has two dozen ships under his command, demands thirty thousand gold dragons a month for his service as a sellsail to Stannis Baratheon.[28]
  • Edmure Tully promises one thousand gold dragons to whoever would capture Jaime Lannister, after Jaime escapes from captivity in Riverrun.[29]
  • Three hundred gold dragons represent a formidable ransom for a knight, even if he belongs to a large noble house,[30] while 100 gold dragons represent a reasonable ransom for a younger son of a noble family.[31]
  • During the War of the Five Kings, prices soar in the capital, King's Landing. Six coppers for a melon, a silver stag for a bushel of corn, and a gold dragon for a side of beef or six skinny piglets are all shockingly high prices.[32]
  • In 300 AC, the maidenhead of a serving girl, Rosey, priced of one dragon.[9]
  • Also in 300 AC, a baker who mixes sawdust into his flour might be fined fifty silver stags.[33]

Beyond the Wall

The lands north of The Wall are harsh lands, and the free folk inhabiting those lands usually barter for goods amongst themselves based upon the needs of the parties involved.[citation needed] The free folk have been known to trade with the brothers of the Night's Watch as well,[34] and smugglers, with whom they exchanging goods in the little coves on the eastern coast along the Shivering Sea. They take steel weapons and armor in return for furs, ivory, amber, and obsidian and have little use for coins.[35]



The Dothraki neither buy nor sell[36][37] and do not really comprehend it.[38] Buying and selling is considered to be unmanly.[39] Trade is allowed in the sacred city Vaes Dothrak, where, by the leave of the dosh khaleen, merchants and traders gather to exchange goods and gold,[39] though they mostly trade most with each other, and little with the Dothraki themselves.[40]

Despite the common saying that Dothraki do not sell,[41][42] the Dothraki do sell their captives on occasion to the Slaver Cities.[43] They call these slaves "gifts", and in return receive gifts from the slavers.[42] Giving and receiving gifts is the common way of Dothraki for doing trade.[41][42][37] However, giving a gift in return might not always occur immediately upon receiving a gift.[44]

Cities of Essos

Coins of the Free Cities
Top (left to right): Braavos, Pentos, Lys, Myr, Tyrosh
Bottom (left to right): Volantis (front and back), Norvos, Qohor, Lorath.
Depicted by Nutchapol Thitinunthakorn in The World of Ice and Fire

Each of the Nine Free Cities has its own bank, and some have more than one. The Iron Bank of Braavos is richer and more powerful than all the rest combined.[45]

For Astapor, Yunkai, and Meereen, the three Slaver Cities located in Slaver's Bay, slaves are their main trade as well. Slaves are bred and trained to perform all the work of daily life. As such, the economy of these cities is based on this slave labor. In many of the Free Cities, slave trade is also a large part of the economy. The Free City of Lys, for example, is well-known for training bed slaves for pillow houses. The major exception is Braavos, where slavery is forbidden.

Each of these cities use their own coinage. It is unknown how they relate to one another in value. Braavosi use square iron coins, [46][47], while Lyseni coins are oval in shape and have a naked woman stamped on them.[46] Volantis employs honors, which are little coins no larger than a penny. These coins have a crown on one side, and a skull on the other.[46][48] From the Slaver Cities, Meereenese coins include honors,[36] while the Yunkai'i use golden marks which are stamped with a stepped pyramid on one side and the harpy of Ghis on the other.[49] Astapor uses silver marks.[50]

Other coins, for which no region is specified, have ships, elephants, or goats[N 2] depicted on them.[46]

Examples of currency rates

  • Unsullied still in training are tasked to slay a slave infant in front of its mother's eyes to complete their training. They pay the child's owner with a silver mark to compensate for the loss of his slave.[50]
  • In Meereen, a price of a hundred golden marks is set for information regarding the Sons of the Harpy. This reward is eventually raised to a thousand golden marks.[36]


I am fond of coins. Is there any sound as sweet as the clink of gold on gold?[41]
Illyrio Mopatis to Tyrion Lannister

See also



  1. Duncan the Tall initially had 2 stags (which equal 112 pennies) until he bought the tent. He only had twenty two pennies, three stars and one stag after that, which together equal 102 pennies. This count assumes that currency rates have remained equal.
  2. Possibly Qohor


  1. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 39, Arya VII.
  2. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 66, Tyrion XII.
  3. 3.0 3.1 So Spake Martin: Blackwood-Bracken Feud and Coinage (August 13, 2003)
  4. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 7, Cersei II.
  5. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 16, Jaime II.
  6. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 27, Eddard VI.
  7. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 14, Catelyn III.
  8. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 69, Bran VII.
  9. 9.0 9.1 A Feast for Crows, Prologue.
  10. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 20, Brienne IV.
  11. A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 17, Tyrion IV.
  13. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 62, Jaime VII.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 The Hedge Knight.
  15. So Spake Martin: Blackwoods-Brackens Feud and Coinage (August 13, 2003)
  16. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Viserys II.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 The Mystery Knight.
  18. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 15, Davos II.
  19. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 16, Bran II.
  20. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 11, Theon I.
  21. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 56, The Iron Suitor.
  22. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 11, Jaime II.
  23. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 13, Arya II.
  24. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 33, Jaime V.
  25. 25.0 25.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 20, Eddard IV.
  26. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 28, Cersei VI.
  27. So Spake Martin: Summerhall (June 19, 1999)
  28. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 10, Davos I.
  29. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 37, Jaime V.
  30. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 44, Jaime VI.
  31. A Storm of Swords, Epilogue.
  32. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 32, Tyrion IV.
  33. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 14, Brienne III.
  34. A Dance with Dragons, Prologue.
  35. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 54, Davos V.
  36. 36.0 36.1 36.2 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 2, Daenerys I.
  37. 37.0 37.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 71, Daenerys X.
  38. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 56, Tyrion VII.
  39. 39.0 39.1 The World of Ice & Fire, Beyond the Free Cities: The Grasslands.
  40. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 54, Daenerys VI.
  41. 41.0 41.1 41.2 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 5, Tyrion II.
  42. 42.0 42.1 42.2 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 50, Daenerys VIII.
  43. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 12, Daenerys I.
  44. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 36, Daenerys VI.
  45. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 44, Jon IX.
  46. 46.0 46.1 46.2 46.3 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 45, The Blind Girl.
  47. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 64, The Ugly Little Girl.
  48. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 1, Tyrion I.
  49. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 42, Daenerys IV.
  50. 50.0 50.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 23, Daenerys II.

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