"The game of thrones in general is a game of cronyism because it's all about forming political alliances, especially with people who can make you better off economically speaking," says Auburn University Economics Instructor Matthew McCaffrey.

McCaffrey has recently written about the economics involved in the popular Game of Thrones novels by George R.R. Martin as well as the HBO series based on the books. He sat down with ReasonTV's Tracy Oppenheimer to discuss the various economic concepts that develop alongside the character-driven plot line, such as sin taxes, coin clipping, and the ever-present cost of borrowing.

According to McCaffrey, Martin extensively researches historical economic systems to make "the Realm" as plausible as possible.

"As part of his process he ends up uncovering a lot of historical details that usually get lost in a fantasy book of this kind," says McCaffrey, "just practical difficulties of running a kingdom, how public finance works, how the game of thrones corrupts the people who play it and how it ends disastrously for the people who don't play it well."

About 5 minutes.

Produced by Tracy Oppenheimer. Camera by Alex Manning.

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