TV Show Salaries & Earnings: Game of Thrones

Does This Take the Throne of Most Money Ever Made By a Series?

By 2021, you MUST know what Game of Thrones is and how popular it still is despite ending in 2019, even if you haven’t watched it yet (what are you waiting for?).

But more than the show’s plot and what it is all about, have you ever wondered how much producers, actors, and everyone involved earned with it? You might not realize this, but earnings were something else for this show.

This is why we will focus on one thing: the money involved and earned in the end.

Production & Distribution Behind the Series

Movies require a lot of time, personnel, staff, and budget to be filmed and completed.

However, if you consider that they are a one-time situation, you can say they are not as expensive as series, especially those that run for many years.

Game of Thrones was created by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss for HBO. The series is an entire adaptation of George R. R. Martin’s fantasy novels known as A Song of Ice and Fire.

But where does the name Game of Thrones come from? From the first novel of the series.

The novels are a masterpiece in every possible way, and you should give yourself some time to read them.

Did the series meet the expectations? More than that (with a few exceptions).

Not everything is perfect in a book, series, movie, or anything you can think about, so you might keep your mind open when it comes to providing critics for it.

Many debuted in the series or reached their peak when it comes to actors and actresses, which are now known in Hollywood and globally due to their fantastic performances and characters.

The cast starred Sean Bean, Michelle Fairley, Richard Madden, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke, Peter, Dinklage, and Lena Headey.

And we could continue for a while since the show is known for having the largest cast on television.

So far, we can include over 30 people involved (mainly), and the list of producers, camera people, and more could take us an entire format.

However, all these people were required to make this fantastic TV series, which HBO Entertainment and Warner Bros. are very proud of (mainly because of the revenue that came from it).

It required a whole lot of work, but the payoff in terms of ratings was well worth everything as this series became one of the most-watched TV shows on air at any given moment.

Is Game of Thrones (GOT) Worth Watching?

If you are one of the people who have not taken the time to watch it yet, we would recommend doing it.

However, it is crucial to know the premise and plot of the series if you are not into specific genres or are a bit selective about what to watch.

Since Game of Thrones follows the fantasy novels by George R. R. Martin, it is a little different from other fantasy series you might have seen before.

It includes plenty of brutality and violence that are not for the faint-hearted (although they do add more spice to it), and viewers do not always welcome sex scenes.

The series is set in the Seven Kingdoms from Westeros (of course, fictional as the rest of the story) and the continent of Essos.

Overall, you will find yourself facing simultaneous plotlines that reduce to one by the final season of the series. In other words, you will follow the story of different characters, and although they are connected, each season has a central plot.

Therefore, we have to go over each season’s plot to get a hold of what the show is about but what we can tell you, for now, is: magic and dragons are what catch many people’s attention the first time.

During the first season, the plot focuses on two lines, Eddard “Ned” Stark in the Seven Kingdoms, while in Essos, we follow the story of the Targaryen family with Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke).

Keep in mind that the following seasons will continue with the different plot lines and introduce other main characters, including Jon Snow (Kit Harington), the entire Stark family with Sansa (Sophie Turner), and her siblings.

All the characters have one focus: winning over the Iron Throne. Thus, you ought to keep this main plot in mind, which is the connection for the simultaneous ones.

Based on this, what can we tell you about watching it? If you like fantasy, battles, politics, medieval history, popular fiction, drama, and tragedy, you are suitable for the ride.

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Earnings That Leave You Speechless

There is a question that always goes around: if the series was so popular, does that mean everyone involved earned a LOT of money? You are right!

Game of Thrones was an ambitious project because it is never easy to adapt a novel’s or book’s story to the screen, but it was worth the effort and time invested in it.

Spoilers ahead: it cost a horrible (in a good way) amount of money.

First, let’s mention that Game of Thrones has a total of 73 episodes, and the money figures we will include are based on per episode or the total for each season.

HBO was cautious about the expenses and production of the series, but expending a lot of money was inevitable when needing to film in many different locations, prepare every scenography from zero, and make sure that every detail was more than perfect.

Season 1 alone cost around $50 million, which means they spent $5 million per episode.

Due to how well-received the series was and the demand for new seasons, it was unavoidable for the budget to increase.

However, it remained quite the same during the first five seasons, excluding one episode in season 2 that cost $8 million.

Now, is there a big difference in season 6 after five regular seasons? A massive one.

Game of Thrones started to cost $10 million per episode, leading to $100 million for the entire season.

Season 7 was less expensive but still required more budget than the first five and marks at $70 million.

For its final season, HBO spent $15 million per episode, and although it did not meet the viewers’ expectations (including us), it did not lose money in the process when it comes to revenue.

After all this money invested (around $1.5 billion), HBO earned around $3.1 billion from the series. If that is not profitable, then we don’t know what that word means anymore.

But what about the actors and actresses? Were they adequately paid? You bet!

As with every series when starting, you can expect the salaries to be a bit lower than usual.

During the first seasons, salaries didn’t range over $100.000, and you can expect half of it for many of the actors involved, including those with significant roles in the show.

But do we care about every season? More like we want to know about the final result.

During season 7, the main characters like Kit Harington (Jon Snow) and Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) made $500.000 PER episode. That’s crazy!

This is why seasons 7 and 8 were the most expensive ones for HBO, considering the increase in everyone’s salaries, not only theirs.

Also, these main characters and others with similar time on screen and relevance were paid between $1-1.2 million for the final season.

Other casts like Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) and Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) were paid $175.000 per episode in season 7. Still, there are reports of their salaries increasing incredibly for the final season as well.

What does this mean? Thanks to the show alone, everyone made their money and have most (or all) of their net worth.

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Fun Facts About GOT

  • Kit Harington (Jon Snow) showed up to the audition with a black eye! That definitely left a lasting impression.
  • Sean Bean (Eddard Stark) had fun—SPOILER alert—with his own decapitated head.
  • The infamous (more like famous) Starbucks cup of coffee in one of the episodes.
  • George R. R. Martin was in the original episode! A cameo you have to look out for.
  • David Benioff (creator) pranked Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister): “The show is canceled.”

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Written by Dame Cash

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