REalyse’s CEO Gav turns Master of Coin in this Game of Thrones special: How many Gold Dragons will it take to rebuild King’s Landing?
Read Time: 3 minutes
First thing to note, this article is meant entirely as satire and various material and references have been used to that effect.
Whatever you thought of the ending of Game of Thrones (personally, I was darkly rooting for John and Daenerys to team up and go on a conquering spree) one thing is clear: there is a lot of rebuilding to do.
The rebuilding of King’s Landing seemed to go entirely overlooked in the first meeting of the Small Council, who were all surprisingly more interested in ships and very specific types of temporary accommodation for sex workers. What about the rebuilding of the regular houses ‘dracarys-ed’ by Drogon?
So let’s assess the damage and cleanup at King’s Landing.
First, a look at the city before the invasion, thankfully put together by the good people of MineCraft.
Image Source: MineCraft
Prior to being invaded and burnt, the city of King’s Landing and capital of the Seven Kingdoms had a population of half a million people.
Using estimates of family sizes in the Middle Ages (3.5 people per household) we can assume that there are roughly 143,000 dwellings in the city.
Looking at medieval equivalents from London, we can assume an average rent of 15 shillings per year (equivalent to 75p, or perhaps even three Copper Pennies) for a typical house. Were the feudal system to permit ownership, the average price of a house would be roughly £15. Both of these averages take into account the variation of houses (some smaller and cheaper, some larger and more expensive) and also the fact that this is the capital city of Westeros and not a backwater like the Iron Islands.
Danaerys and John’s army approached from the Outer Gate and, through the use of superior air power (well, the only use of air power), quite quickly dealt with the defenses both on the outer perimeter of the city and along the route towards the Red Keep. Many scenes showed large scale destruction of key access routes leading towards the Red Keep, while there seemed to be somewhat limited damage to fringe areas on the city.
Copyright: Game of Thrones, HBO
It would be safe to assume that roughly 20% of the city was completely destroyed during the invasion, with perhaps another 20% being damaged. All in all, similar to modern tragedies such as the destruction of Aleppo. The full rebuild cost for Aleppo in particular are as yet unknown but estimated to be in the tens of billions of pounds.
Image Source: Damage estimates for Aleppo from the UN. Heatmap of the city has been rotated to match aerial profile of King’s Landing.
We could also compare it to disasters such as the great fire of London, which destroyed around 14,000 homes in 1666 when the population of London was similarly around 500,000 people. The modern estimate of that reconstruction was about £54bn.
There is, of course, the damage sustained to the Red Keep. Has anyone else noticed the Red Keep’s striking resemblance to another central monument destroyed by fire: Notre Dame Cathedral? With costs for that reconstruction alone expected to reach over £1.8bn, if not more as work progresses.
An Uncanny Resemblance: Notre Dame and The Red Keep (plus Dragon).
So Ser Bronn, as the new Master of Coin, may need to make some other priorities rather than boats and brothels. Reconstruction could cost the equivalent of £40bn and take decades of work. With a large number of people dead, vast amounts of infrastructure destroyed, and the state already heavily indebted to the Iron Bank, anyone dealing with it might need a drink!
Image Source: Hypable
© Treex 2020