Some ideas in Game of Thrones appear because they are established in author George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire. Sometimes, those ideas are just setups as the payoffs await readers in the final two novels of the series — should they ever materialize. In adapting those ideas, the producers of Game of Thrones often throw the dice assuming they can tie up the idea without the benefit of Martin’s intended payoff. This occurred in the most recent season with Samwell Tarly’s (John Bradley) brief tutelage at the Citadel — a far more complex idea about Sam’s stay there is teased at the end of A Feast for Crows — and it occurred in the fifth season with the arrival of Mark Gatiss as Tycho Nestoris, a representative of the Iron Bank of Bravos.
The character has an analogue in the novel series; a nameless Iron Bank employee who attempts to get Cersei Lannister to pay her debts and later ends up tagging along with Stannis Baratheon as he laid siege to Winterfell. On Game of Thrones, Tycho serves a similar role — at least initially. He attempts to call in the Lannister debts, and loans Stannis (Stephen Dillane) some coin to hire ships, but declines to supervise the Baratheon invasion of Westeros. Instead, Cersei (Lena Headly) pays off the debts by sacking Highgarden and ending the Lannister debt storyline.
Gatiss even confirmed the survival of Tycho. Though, as he puts it, the character’s survival seems more of win by omission. “I’m not in it, so I guess I survive,” he told Shortlist. “Although they might just mention offhand that I’ve had my head bitten off by a dragon off-screen or something.”
Back in the Ice and Fire series, his counterpart is presumably still alive despite Ramsey’s boast in the “Come and See” letter that he violently ended the Baratheon siege. So it is still possible Cersei’s reticence to pay off the Lannister debt to the Iron Bank will contribute to her undoing. And unless the whole world is buried under ice, the Iron Bank will endure even if its representative is slain.
In fact, PopCulture.tv pointed out Gatiss previously joked about the Bank’s survival while appearing on a UK chat show. “I should be the last person alive in the show because obviously if anyone survives it is the banks,” he said.
Game of Thrones returns in 2019.