Lannisters always repay their debts, but what if that leads to the downfall of the house itself? That’s the gist of the latest fan theory to come out of Reddit.
One redditor argues that Cersei often “makes a short term play that costs her in the long run.” In this case, it has everything to do with her ambitious promise to pay back her debts in full to the Iron Bank rather than let part of her debt linger.
The redditor points out several important things said by Mark Gatiss’ Tycho Nestoris, the Iron Bank’s friendly debt collector, in the latest episode. As they put it:
“One was that the Bank does not bet on winners and losers, it instead invests in the chosen victor. He also says the bank will support the Iron Throne once their debt is paid, not necessarily the current Queen, but whoever is on the throne. Second he appears to be flattering her by saying Tywin never paid his debt in full and she is really outshining her father by doing so.
Tycho Nestoris flatters Queen Cersei by saying she’s “redefining” the terms “effective and efficient” in ways her father never did. When they speak about the Lannister debts being repaid in one installment, Nestoris says, “Some at the Iron Bank will be disappointed. They’ve grown rather fond of their interest payments.” The moment is a bit tense, but Nestoris rebounds by urging Cersei to borrow once again from the Iron Bank.
The key difference between Tywin’s and Cersei’s strategies, according to this theory anyway, is that Tywin “knew that while the Lannisters were in debt to the Bank, the Bank had a vested interest in their success.” But by paying back the debt in full, it grants Tycho the option to “wash his hands of the Lannisters altogether.”
Fans likely remember the time Tycho met with Stannis Baratheon and Davos in Season 4, when the Iron Bank made it clear that they side with the safer investments and not necessarily who has the stronger claim to the throne.
Especially in light of the horrific loot train attack by the Dothraki and Danaerys with just one of her three dragons, the Lannisters probably no longer look like the best side to bet on.
The Reddit theorist wraps up by reminding us that in addition to dragons, starvation is a huge concern for Team Cersei moving forward:
“After what we saw on the battlefield we have a good idea whose position is strongest and who the Bank would like to back. This clearly contributes to the dire situation in Kings Landing with no grain and limited supplies. She will not Abdicate, instead force the dragons to destroy the city at which point the Kingslayer will be the Valonqar most assume he will be. The irony of this theory is in this case the Lannisters are undone by paying their debt.”
Jaime reminded Bronn of the House Lannister motto during a fitting episode. As the gold taken from Highgarden safely made its way into King’s Landing, Cersei might have sealed her own fate by totally shredding her credit score.