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Kierria

The Pentoshi Syndicate

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The Magisters of Pentos are part of a large syndicate who wants to plunder the resources of Westeros.  Slaves and Weirwood lumber are valuable resources which have great value in the Free Cities and beyond.  The syndicate would gather the Freefolk and sell them to the slave markets.  Weirwood is rare, and therefore commands a high price in Essos.  

Viserys is not stupid but he is a fool who would promise anything to get his army.  He will agree to allow the slave catchers to pick up the Freefolk and take them to market.  He won't have a problem with harvesting weirwood lumber.  Aegon is easy to play and he can be made to agree to those terms.  Willem Darry and the Sealord of Bravos would not support this plan but they are out of the picture.  Varys is not aware of the Magister's true motives.  

 

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Ummm, how much of the story have you read? Viserys died several thousand pages ago.

As for the rest of your theory, Yes, it's possible that Illyrio's real motive is financial. But we've read a number of hints about his late wife and the boy who may be his son.  So it seems likely that he has some other motive, although he may be hoping for profit too.

Varys is a master spy, and he lived in the Free Cities before he came to Westeros.  I doubt that Illyrio has been able to conceal anything important from him. He probably has at least one agent in Illyrio's household.

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Why don't these pentoshi grow weirwoods? Weirwood seeds exist (according to those COTF who fed Bran the paste, at least)

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1 hour ago, Falcon2909 said:

Why don't these pentoshi grow weirwoods? Weirwood seeds exist (according to those COTF who fed Bran the paste, at least)

Reason why the Children called Dorne as Empty Land was that Weirwoods did not grow in there so it is possible that those trees can only grow in Westeros and north of Red Mountains. So it would be impossible to grow any ww in Essos.

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9 hours ago, Loose Bolt said:

Reason why the Children called Dorne as Empty Land was that Weirwoods did not grow in there so it is possible that those trees can only grow in Westeros and north of Red Mountains. So it would be impossible to grow any ww in Essos.

i thought they didnt grow in dorne was because it was a desert with no fertile soil. pentos isnt in a desert

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On 8/3/2021 at 1:01 AM, Kierria said:

The Magisters of Pentos are part of a large syndicate who wants to plunder the resources of Westeros.  Slaves and Weirwood lumber are valuable resources which have great value in the Free Cities and beyond.  The syndicate would gather the Freefolk and sell them to the slave markets.  Weirwood is rare, and therefore commands a high price in Essos.  

Viserys is not stupid but he is a fool who would promise anything to get his army.  He will agree to allow the slave catchers to pick up the Freefolk and take them to market.  He won't have a problem with harvesting weirwood lumber.  Aegon is easy to play and he can be made to agree to those terms.  Willem Darry and the Sealord of Bravos would not support this plan but they are out of the picture.  Varys is not aware of the Magister's true motives.  

 

I don't think they care about Westeros at all. There are plenty of slaves and wood in Essos.

The real aim here is to bring down the Iron Bank, with Littlefinger acting as their agent provocateur. With the bank gone, the Braavosi economy collapses and it can no longer enforce the treaty that has made Pentos their client state for the last 100 years ago.

Once that is done, Littlefinger can do what he likes with Westeros.

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12 hours ago, Falcon2909 said:

Why don't these pentoshi grow weirwoods? Weirwood seeds exist (according to those COTF who fed Bran the paste, at least)

Weirwoods can only grow in Westeros, I think.

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I don't recall hearing about any of these interests on the part of the Pentoshi.  The Freefolk mostly live inland in inaccessible territory and are fierce fighters.  They are probably more trouble than they are worth, unless you can get them in large numbers, such as at Hardhome.  And I see no interest in Weirwoods, although I could be wrong.  We know wood is valuable in Braavos; not sure about elsewhere in Essos.

7 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

I don't think they care about Westeros at all. There are plenty of slaves and wood in Essos.

The real aim here is to bring down the Iron Bank, with Littlefinger acting as their agent provocateur. With the bank gone, the Braavosi economy collapses and it can no longer enforce the treaty that has made Pentos their client state for the last 100 years ago.

Once that is done, Littlefinger can do what he likes with Westeros.

I fail to see how this is supposed to work.  Braavos is a major port, and center of commerce and trade, so I don't see how the collapse of the Iron Bank would ruin its economy, even if its collapse could be brought about deliberately, which I doubt.  Littlefinger might be able to withdraw enough money to cause trouble, assuming that is how the bank is financed, but we don't know.  It could be financed by investors, in which case he would have trouble.  The fact that we don't know anything about banking in the region, other than the Iron Bank's interest in getting WEsteros to pay its debts, I doubt it will play a role in the story.

Given the Iron Bank's likely connections to other banks in the region, its collapse would likely bring down other banks, including in Pentos.  I hardly see how this benefits Littlefinger, much less his supposed conspirator, Illyrio.

Come to think on it, neither Baelish nor Illyrio, or for that matter, Braavos or Pentos, is a major figure in the story.   They are all secondary people and places, there to support and advance the stories of the main characters.   I doubt GRRM is going to waste our time on such a convoluted plot in an already tangential story.

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On 8/3/2021 at 12:01 AM, Kierria said:

The Magisters of Pentos are part of a large syndicate who wants to plunder the resources of Westeros.  Slaves and Weirwood lumber are valuable resources which have great value in the Free Cities and beyond.  The syndicate would gather the Freefolk and sell them to the slave markets.  Weirwood is rare, and therefore commands a high price in Essos.  

Viserys is not stupid but he is a fool who would promise anything to get his army.  He will agree to allow the slave catchers to pick up the Freefolk and take them to market.  He won't have a problem with harvesting weirwood lumber.  Aegon is easy to play and he can be made to agree to those terms.  Willem Darry and the Sealord of Bravos would not support this plan but they are out of the picture.  Varys is not aware of the Magister's true motives.  

 

Slave trading north of the Wall was never going to be some big profitable business. Sparsely populated, widely scattered, difficult terrain, and most people living far from the coast. There are plenty of reasons why slavers regularly traffic in other more profitable regions. No one is going through some long difficult scheme to put a new king on the throne where the big anticipated payoff is open slave hunting north of the Wall. That's not even going to make the top 10 list of benefits of having a new compliant king.

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On 8/2/2021 at 10:01 PM, Kierria said:

The Magisters of Pentos are part of a large syndicate who wants to plunder the resources of Westeros.  Slaves and Weirwood lumber are valuable resources which have great value in the Free Cities and beyond.  The syndicate would gather the Freefolk and sell them to the slave markets.  Weirwood is rare, and therefore commands a high price in Essos.  

Viserys is not stupid but he is a fool who would promise anything to get his army.  He will agree to allow the slave catchers to pick up the Freefolk and take them to market.  He won't have a problem with harvesting weirwood lumber.  Aegon is easy to play and he can be made to agree to those terms.  Willem Darry and the Sealord of Bravos would not support this plan but they are out of the picture.  Varys is not aware of the Magister's true motives.  

 

Gold, timber, weirwood, and fur.  Slaves are plentiful in Essos.  The wildlings are bad to use for slaves. 

 

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20 hours ago, Falcon2909 said:

Why don't these pentoshi grow weirwoods? Weirwood seeds exist (according to those COTF who fed Bran the paste, at least)

Weirwood trees need a deep topsoil. Shallow soil and those where the bedrock is shallow will not support the roots of these weird trees.  But there must be places in Essos where the soil is deep.  The lack of weirwoods can only mean overharvesting. 

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A rot-resistant species of wood is useful for building in damp areas. I could see the interest coming from Braavos. 

Wildlings would not make ideal household slaves but they would suffice for mining and other work. 

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On 8/4/2021 at 7:05 AM, Falcon2909 said:

i thought they didnt grow in dorne was because it was a desert with no fertile soil. pentos isnt in a desert

Pentos, appears to be on an equivalent latitude with the Vale and the Riverlands. Making an assumption that they would have somewhat similar climates I don't see why it would be a problem growing them in Pentos or the region around it. As previously stated over harvesting could be the main problem as to why there is no Weirwood trees in and around Pentos. But the Isle of Faces had Weirwood trees and the Blackwoods still have a giant one at their castle.

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On 8/4/2021 at 6:15 PM, Bowen 747 said:

Weirwood trees need a deep topsoil. Shallow soil and those where the bedrock is shallow will not support the roots of these weird trees.  But there must be places in Essos where the soil is deep.  The lack of weirwoods can only mean overharvesting. 

Not necessarily. Here on real-life Earth, there are many species of plants and animals that evolved on one continent, and never spread to the others, at least not until some people transported them. If the weirwood trees evolved in Northern Westeros, they could have spread South naturally. But the dry climate of Dorne would have stopped them; so they couldn't reach Essos, even before the Arm was broken.

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I could agree to a Pentoshi syndicate, but not in this way necessarily. Pentos itself is not a slave city, so I’m pretty sure a magistrate would still be frowned upon if he included many others in something that would strictly have to do with slaving. 
 

with illyrio this definitely seems a little person, and quite frankly it’s pretty low scale considering that while it seems they have a lot of resources and “birds”, Illyrio and Varys are the two heads that are doing this whole operation.  I really don’t agree with the theories that has Littlefinger as someone who is working for them, but that being said I do think they have many agents in various levels of power all over the realm. 
 

 

if illlyrio had Pentos more in hand, I don’t think he would have done things like put Young Griff away from him, he probably could have done much more and better for Daenerys, and Viserys. 

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On 8/4/2021 at 6:43 PM, Nevets said:

I don't recall hearing about any of these interests on the part of the Pentoshi.  The Freefolk mostly live inland in inaccessible territory and are fierce fighters.  They are probably more trouble than they are worth, unless you can get them in large numbers, such as at Hardhome.  And I see no interest in Weirwoods, although I could be wrong.  We know wood is valuable in Braavos; not sure about elsewhere in Essos.

I fail to see how this is supposed to work.  Braavos is a major port, and center of commerce and trade, so I don't see how the collapse of the Iron Bank would ruin its economy, even if its collapse could be brought about deliberately, which I doubt.  Littlefinger might be able to withdraw enough money to cause trouble, assuming that is how the bank is financed, but we don't know.  It could be financed by investors, in which case he would have trouble.  The fact that we don't know anything about banking in the region, other than the Iron Bank's interest in getting WEsteros to pay its debts, I doubt it will play a role in the story.

Given the Iron Bank's likely connections to other banks in the region, its collapse would likely bring down other banks, including in Pentos.  I hardly see how this benefits Littlefinger, much less his supposed conspirator, Illyrio.

Come to think on it, neither Baelish nor Illyrio, or for that matter, Braavos or Pentos, is a major figure in the story.   They are all secondary people and places, there to support and advance the stories of the main characters.   I doubt GRRM is going to waste our time on such a convoluted plot in an already tangential story.

The Braavosi currency is the iron coin. This is a proxy currency, like the U.S. dollar, backed by the gold of the institution that issues it: the Iron Bank. It's true value is merely the iron it is made of, which is virtually worthless. But it's face value is the gold it represents held by the Iron Bank. If trust in the bank falls (ie, if the bank is discovered to have little or no gold) then the coin is worthless and the Braavosi economy collapses.

LF and Ilyrio withdrawing their deposits is only part of the scheme. First, they would have this money divvied up in hundreds if not thousands of proxy accounts. So first, Stannis dies, which means the money spent on him is gone. Aegon refutes the crown's loan, and even if they send an FM to kill him the next king or regent will do the same thing, so that money (a million dragons, we are told) is gone too and is unlikely to be recovered any time soon. Now depositors across the board are getting nervous. So imagine what happens if even a hundred of these proxy depositors storm the IB and demand their money back. Even if the bank does not close its windows, this will spur others to do the same -- because no one wants to lose their life savings. And quick as you please, the IB collapses, the iron coin doesn't buy the iron it's made of, the Braavosi economy is in tatters and they have no way to enforce the treaty anymore. In general, banks have only 3-5 percent cash on hand on any given day. They don't make money from gold siting in a vault.

If this takes down other banks in the region (and it's doubtful that the IB has ties to them, since they would all be the banks of slavers), so what? That means Illyrio and his cronies can move in and start their own banks. Remember, Illyrio knows this is about to go down, so he'll have all his gold stashed in his manse.

It's a mistake to think that just because our POVs are singularly focused on the Iron Throne that the entire world is. Illyrio has his own fish to fry. Getting rid of the IB is the surest way for Pentos to get its autonomy back and allow him to run his affairs as he wants, not some money changer in Braavos. After that is accomplished, LF can have Westeros.

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4 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

The Braavosi currency is the iron coin. This is a proxy currency, like the U.S. dollar, backed by the gold of the institution that issues it: the Iron Bank. It's true value is merely the iron it is made of, which is virtually worthless. But it's face value is the gold it represents held by the Iron Bank. If trust in the bank falls (ie, if the bank is discovered to have little or no gold) then the coin is worthless and the Braavosi economy collapses.

LF and Ilyrio withdrawing their deposits is only part of the scheme. First, they would have this money divvied up in hundreds if not thousands of proxy accounts. So first, Stannis dies, which means the money spent on him is gone. Aegon refutes the crown's loan, and even if they send an FM to kill him the next king or regent will do the same thing, so that money (a million dragons, we are told) is gone too and is unlikely to be recovered any time soon. Now depositors across the board are getting nervous. So imagine what happens if even a hundred of these proxy depositors storm the IB and demand their money back. Even if the bank does not close its windows, this will spur others to do the same -- because no one wants to lose their life savings. And quick as you please, the IB collapses, the iron coin doesn't buy the iron it's made of, the Braavosi economy is in tatters and they have no way to enforce the treaty anymore. In general, banks have only 3-5 percent cash on hand on any given day. They don't make money from gold siting in a vault.

If this takes down other banks in the region (and it's doubtful that the IB has ties to them, since they would all be the banks of slavers), so what? That means Illyrio and his cronies can move in and start their own banks. Remember, Illyrio knows this is about to go down, so he'll have all his gold stashed in his manse.

It's a mistake to think that just because our POVs are singularly focused on the Iron Throne that the entire world is. Illyrio has his own fish to fry. Getting rid of the IB is the surest way for Pentos to get its autonomy back and allow him to run his affairs as he wants, not some money changer in Braavos. After that is accomplished, LF can have Westeros.

But the premise of this implies that LF and Varys are at least loosely working together as both would then be working with Illyrio. not the its impossible, and it would be one hell of a twist, but at the very least the two seem to be pursuing divergent interests concerning stability in Westeros, with LF trying to push the realm into war by convincing joff to behead Ned Stark, and Varys trying to pursue peace a while longer. then again that could have just been out of personal ambition/revenge on LF's part.

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12 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

The Braavosi currency is the iron coin. This is a proxy currency, like the U.S. dollar, backed by the gold of the institution that issues it: the Iron Bank. It's true value is merely the iron it is made of, which is virtually worthless. But it's face value is the gold it represents held by the Iron Bank. If trust in the bank falls (ie, if the bank is discovered to have little or no gold) then the coin is worthless and the Braavosi economy collapses.

LF and Ilyrio withdrawing their deposits is only part of the scheme. First, they would have this money divvied up in hundreds if not thousands of proxy accounts. So first, Stannis dies, which means the money spent on him is gone. Aegon refutes the crown's loan, and even if they send an FM to kill him the next king or regent will do the same thing, so that money (a million dragons, we are told) is gone too and is unlikely to be recovered any time soon. Now depositors across the board are getting nervous. So imagine what happens if even a hundred of these proxy depositors storm the IB and demand their money back. Even if the bank does not close its windows, this will spur others to do the same -- because no one wants to lose their life savings. And quick as you please, the IB collapses, the iron coin doesn't buy the iron it's made of, the Braavosi economy is in tatters and they have no way to enforce the treaty anymore. In general, banks have only 3-5 percent cash on hand on any given day. They don't make money from gold siting in a vault.

If this takes down other banks in the region (and it's doubtful that the IB has ties to them, since they would all be the banks of slavers), so what? That means Illyrio and his cronies can move in and start their own banks. Remember, Illyrio knows this is about to go down, so he'll have all his gold stashed in his manse.

It's a mistake to think that just because our POVs are singularly focused on the Iron Throne that the entire world is. Illyrio has his own fish to fry. Getting rid of the IB is the surest way for Pentos to get its autonomy back and allow him to run his affairs as he wants, not some money changer in Braavos. After that is accomplished, LF can have Westeros.

I think the iron coin has the same purpose in Braavos that copper coins have in Westeros and elsewhere.  Low-denomination coins used for everyday purchases and making change.  You can probably exchange them for silver, or even gold if you get enough of them, but I doubt that they are a huge part of the money supply.  The real money is going to be gold and silver, just like everywhere else.

I doubt that the Iron Bank's existence is going to be threatened by Stannis or even the Crown's non-payment.  They are giving Stannis a line of credit, not actual cash in hand, so if he dies or falls flat on his face, they can simply stop paying.  In any event, I seriously doubt it is enough to seriously inconvenience htem.  As to the Crown's debt, it sounds large, but I doubt that the Iron Bank would be killed by its non-payment.  The Faith wrote off at least as much without blinking an eye.  If the Crown did renege, as opposed to simply delaying payment, as they are doing now, it would mean that they would likely find it difficult or impossible to get any new loans.  From anybody.

Other events are indeed happening in Planetos.  However, ASOIAF (the story we are reading) is about Westeros and its people.  Even then, only a few are really main characters.  Littlefinger is not one of them.  He is a secondary character,, there to support other characters and help move their stories along.  The books are not about him.

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On 8/6/2021 at 3:40 PM, Targaryeninkingslanding said:

But the premise of this implies that LF and Varys are at least loosely working together as both would then be working with Illyrio. not the its impossible, and it would be one hell of a twist, but at the very least the two seem to be pursuing divergent interests concerning stability in Westeros, with LF trying to push the realm into war by convincing joff to behead Ned Stark, and Varys trying to pursue peace a while longer. then again that could have just been out of personal ambition/revenge on LF's part.

Who said anything about Varys? LF is working with Illyrio to bring down the bank while Varys is working with Illyrio to put Aegon on the throne. I can imagine that LF knows about Illyrio and Varys, but there's no reason why Varys should need to know about Illyrio and LF.

And if we look at the conversation in the dragon room, this is the only scenario that makes sense. Here is Varys, who has his spies all over the kingdom, knows the secrets of all the realm's high and mighty, knows about the attempt on Bran, knows about Ned and the book, knows about the Margaery plot . . .  And yet when it comes the Petyr, "the gods only know what game Littlefinger is playing." And this is after they both recognize that he is the one mucking with the finances of the realm they hope to usurp and that he is directly responsible for events happening too quickly for Illyrio's liking. And yet Illyrio does not bat an eye over any of this, and there was no urgency after that to correct this serious blind spot in their intelligence-gathering. So maybe Illyrio already knows exactly what game Littlefinger is playing?

If Petyr did prompt Joff to execute Ned (which is what I think happened, but it is not certain), he didn't do it to propel war but to cover his own hide. He has to remove Ned before he starts talking about their little conversation just before Ned tried to seize the throne, the one where LF advised him to support Joffrey for now and then depose him later at a more suitable time. Before this, if you'll recall, it was LF who talked the small council out of sending a Faceless Man after Dany, correctly predicting that whoever did try to kill her will likely get caught, putting the Dothraki on their guard. It actually went one better than that and prompted Drogo to invade Westeros now rather than later, exactly like Illyrio wanted.

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