Characters on Game of Thrones don’t seem to be doing too well for themselves lately (Season 8 episode 3 right now). It got me to thinking. If all the people in Westeros retired from their job of trying to take over the seven kingdoms I think they would be much happier. But what paths would the different characters achieve early retirement? Well I worked it out below and created a Game of Thrones fanfiction crossover with the FIRE community.
Yes…this is how I spend my free time. Don’t laugh you’re just jealous.
First some ground rules. To make this Game of Thrones fanfiction reasonable we have to eliminate some of the loop holes these characters could jump through to retire early.
- Every character in Game of Thrones is literally royalty. They obviously have enough money to retire but the goal of FIRE is to live the lifestyle you want in retirement. So they need to maintain their current lifestyle.
- Being turned into the undead and living on nothing forever doesn’t count as retirement.
- Some characters have the ability to create literal fire through magic powers or pets. That doesn’t count.
- I’m going by the TV show. I don’t know if the final books will ever get released and EVERYONE watches the show.
What a way to start this Game of Thrones fanfiction. Cersei would be the definition of fatFIRE or maybe morbidly-obeseFIRE.
She lives large in a lot of ways, which I am a fun of although she goes way too far. She maintains two gigantic pieces of real estate which must cost a fortune to maintain. There is so much maintenance going on there that Tyrion (who is royalty himself) revealed he had a stint in the sewer division of their property management operation. There must be a lot of other people to employ there too to keep everything operational and they likely some high wages to put up with all the sh*t (zing!) they have to deal with.
Her income is incredibly high by taking an executive role in most of Westeros’s biggest entities, but she still carries a lot of debt. Cersei and the crown were 6,000,000 gold dragons in debt to the iron bank and since starting the new war the debt rose astronomically. Making her retirement quite difficult due to excessive spending and excessive debt.
So how will Cersei get to early retirement? She already showed her debt paydown strategy which is to earn even MORE money. She took on more debt in the war but conquered house Tyrell to increase her income even further and aggressively start paying her debt down.
It’s a difficult path to early retirement due to the huge amount of passive income she would need to build up to live this lifestyle but if anyone is motivated enough to achieve an ultra-lavish early retirement it’s Cersei.
Jon is also spending quite a bit of money right now feeding thousands of wildlings and protecting his friends and family from harm. I feel as though he doesn’t want to live an expensive lifestyle. He gave up everything and wandered off to live his days out in the Night’s Watch where he had almost nothing. He was happy living with little heating in the winter and eating stale bread.
You might think that Jon would be a shoe-in for a leanFIRE life by living some sort of extreme frugality but he has two weaknesses. He’s not great with money, as shown by the fact that he’s always having trouble keeping everyone fed.
But more importantly, he’s an out of control philanthropist. He keeps spending money to help other people and I don’t think he’s going to stop any time soon. His only path to freedom is to keep a side job he really likes. Luckily for him, he seems to find work and gets promotions no matter what he wants.
He doesn’t have the money skills that Cersi has so that’s why Jon’s path will have to be to an early semi retirement. I’m sure he can find a pretty good job by getting himself a cushy reduced hours management position.
Yes this Game of Thrones fanfiction is a FIRE crossover but some real people just cant handle full early retirement so I’m happy I found an equivalent in the story universe.
I know what you are thinking. Who cares about Sam? I do. I think he’s great and a good stand-in for a lot of FIRE wannabes out there. The reason is that Sam is scared and won’t do anything too hasty. He is your stereotypical risk-averse investor. He is scared. Being craven is his calling card but he’s smart, and like Jon doesn’t need a lot to live on.
Sam is smart and likes to do his research, so he’s going to invest in Westerosi index funds. He knows managed funds aren’t good and trying to beat the market isn’t going to pan out since read the research. Also since he’s risk averse, he loves index funds since he doesn’t want all of his eggs in one basket. He’ll be an under-the-radar early retiree happily reading and writing for all his days.
Arya is everyone’s favourite character and there is an obvious reason why. She skipped retirement planning to jumped into the lifestyle and worked while travelling. At least that’s why I like her.
She travels on a budget and takes on interesting jobs in various countries. Now she knows how to be “no one” and blend in wherever she goes. With her valuable skills and frugal travel habits she can keep this up indefinitely. She’ll never retire early but she’ll be living the life she wants and that’s just fine by me.
Everyone in the Eyrei (e.g. the Arynns):
The Arynns have already shown they are perfectly happy to live in the middle of nowhere with no outside interaction. Yeah their castle is expensive but it’s built and they like it just the way it is.
This group will obviously be homesteaders, living far away on a self-sufficient home without the costs and needs of city life. If they can figure out how to grow some food where they live they will just live off the land and ditch the rest of society with its jobs and stresses.
In Westeros they are basically already retired and just relaxing on their lands. They have the moon gate entertainment channel and Robert certainly seems to be endlessly entertained by it. Why bother with anything else?
SHE’S GOING TO DIE IN THE FINALE!
That’s right I said it. She’s going to die so I’m not going to analyze her.
Her pets are too expensive and she’s too philanthropic anyways. She’d never make it. She lived a frugal life but obviously didn’t like it. If she does manage to live she’ll be a workaholic micromanager queen. Not FIRE material.
The Night King:
This guy doesn’t seem to need anything to live and I guess he’s not undead??? The night king has big aspirations but if things don’t pan out he seems pretty chill (bazinga!). He’ll just live a nice frugal life up in the north. I can’t imagine what else would happen.
Almost anyone can achieve FIRE
You see even in this Game of Thrones fanfiction everyone (except Danny) can achieve early retirement somehow and that is the take home message. Everyone can do it so you can too. Some people would need a lot of money and show us how fatFIRE is done. Others can just go relax somewhere to a frugal life.
If I was to peg my FIRE style to one of the Westerosi characters it would be Lord Mormont (the old bear who was the late lord commander of the Night’s Watch). I like to think I’m just off minding my own business, living a simple life and trying to teach some people who can learn from me. Ideally I wont be murdered though. Oh well.
- I wrote a Game of Thrones fanfiction crossover about out beloved characters’ abilities to achieve early retirement
- Everyone in Game of Thrones has a path to FIRE (except one person)
Which Game of Thrones character would you epitomize when you pursue your FIRE journey. Write it in the comments below.
Did I miss anyone that mattered?