5. The Iron Bank Of Braavos
In the Season 4 trailer Secrets, we were teased with an image of the free city of Braavos, and for a while now, various characters have been alluding to the introduction of the aforementioned citys famous Iron Bank. We first learned of the crowns debt to the Iron Bank when Tyrion became Master of Coin in Season 3. As he explains to Bronn, the crown owes them tens of millions. Before Joffreys infamous wedding, Lord Tywin brushes off the subject with Lady Olenna, who sees right through his feigned disregard for the matter. Later, he changes his tune in the presence of family, admitting to Cersei that the crown does indeed owe a tremendous amount to the foreign bank. With all this foreshadowing coupled with the trailer tease and the casting announcement of Mark Gatiss as banker Tycho Nestoris it was only a matter of time before the grand bank made an appearance, and it certainly is grand.
The set theyve constructed for the bank hall is truly impressive; it is exactly how we imagined a medieval corporation would look like. Our impression begins with the visual of the city itself, as Stannis ship passes beneath the Titan of Braavos: a giant statue of a warrior that is testament to the citys wealth and power. We then enter the banks interior, ordained with marble floors, powerful stone walls, and very large doors and windows. The halls centerpiece is its majestic table, which is more like a solid stone altar and is complete with luscious, throne-like chairs for the bankers, and what amounts to expensive park benches for the guests. The Iron Bank has a distinctly auspicious stonemason vibe going on. Enter the bankers themselves, and we finally meet Gatiss Tycho Nestoris, who is exactly whom we imagined when we heard the casting news. It seems Gatiss has a gift for playing unhelpful figures of authority, and no matter who sits on the Iron Throne, its becoming all too clear who really controls the future of Westeros.