The contenders for this year’s best Drama Series Emmy were built around some of television’s dirtiest deals and biggest fortunes. Our best estimates of the real-world value of these fictional empires, adjusted into 2014 US dollars
GAME OF THRONES
The Iron Bank: $1.8 Trillion (Assets)
Despite repeated boasts that the Lannisters always pay their debts, the family’s kingdom is deeply in hock to Braavos’s biggest financial institution.
HOUSE OF CARDS
Xander Feng: $50 Billion; Raymond Tusk: $38 Billion (Net Worths)
Feng’s billions were earned in telecom while Tusk is a nuclear energy magnate, but both tycoons excel at the underhanded, leaving roiling trade disputes and regional blackouts in their wakes.
Majority Stake in Sterling Cooper & Partners: $215.3 Million
The best things in life may be free, but a surprise offer from rival McCann Erickson boosts spirits—and bank accounts— among Madison Avenue’s creative masterminds.
Downton Abbey: $54.5 Million (Lisy Price)
From the iron-clad entail to the challenges of post-World War I estate management, the fiscal trials and tribulations of the inhabitants of the verdant Yorkshire country estate have sustained the transatlantic hit for four seasons.
Walt’s Stash: $9.7 Million
At its peak, the profits from Walter White’s chemical empire amounted to $80 million in cash, but the inheritance the late meth kingpin left for Walt Jr was much diminished by theft from rival dealers.
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(This story appears in the 19 September, 2014 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)