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.
(This story appears in the 19 September, 2014 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)