Kaitlyn Ridel Kaitlyn Ridel
Former Senior Director, Digital Content


May 20, 2019


WARNING: This article contains spoilers for the series finale of “Game of Thrones.”

For loyal Game of Thrones viewers, our eight-year journey came to an end last night. Not surprisingly, the series finale left us with many unanswered questions: What will Arya find West of Westeros? Where did Drogon go? Will Sam ever pay late fees on those books he stole?

But there’s an even more burning question no one seems to be discussing.

How will Bran the Broken’s administration rebuild Westeros’s infrastructure after all that chaos?

From the Night King’s army destroying The Wall to Daenerys burning King’s Landing to the ground, many areas of Westeros have been left in shambles. Some improvements seem to have been made (awfully quickly) by the end of the finale, but no doubt there’s unprecedented work left to be done.

Even before the dragons, the Dothraki, and the dead wreaked havoc, infrastructure in the then-Seven Kingdoms was rated a D+ by the Westeros Council of Civil Engineers. Merchants on the north road were already losing 42 hours every year due to horse congestion on the aging highway, and travelers reported significant damage to wagons and carriages on debris-laden roads across the island, costing the citizens of Westeros more than $500 in gold on average every year.*

This has plagued the Westeros economy, too. In recent polling omitted from the show, 62% of mead makers and blacksmiths said they were unhappy with the local roads and bridges in Westeros – and again, that was before the dragons did their damage throughout the continent.*

All this because Iron Throne occupant after Iron Throne occupant ignored the island’s crumbling infrastructure for decades. After the recent wars, inaction is no longer an option.

Without infrastructure investment from King’s Landing to The Wall, the people and businesses of the Six Kingdoms and Winterfell will continue to suffer. We were encouraged to hear Tyrion Lannister call on the Bran administration’s small council to begin investing right away in rebuilding King’s Landing’s ports – a critical piece of the city’s infrastructure – but there’s much, much more work to be done.

It’s now up to King Bran’s administration to work together with the Lords and Ladies of Westeros to rebuild the continent’s infrastructure. To start, they will all need to work with newly appointed Master of Coin Bronn to figure out how to pay for it all (might we suggest a user fee, like a wagon tax).

It’s time to rebuild Westeros. It’s time for Infrastructure Now.

*Correction: These facts and figures are actually for the United States. Click here to learn more.

About the authors

Kaitlyn Ridel

Kaitlyn Ridel

Kaitlyn Ridel is the former Senior Director of Digital Content at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.