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If being Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington, and Emilia Clarke weren't already prestigious enough, the stars of #HBO's #GameofThrones have just signed record-breaking contracts that will see them earn $2.6 million per episode for the final two seasons.
The network reports that its five biggest stars — also including Lena Headey and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau — have all secured lucrative deals to take them through to Season 8 of the Ice and Fire saga. With more coin than the Iron Bank, it is no surprise that showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were keen to lock down their biggest stars ahead of the show's swansong.
A Crown For A King
Jennifer Aniston and co. landed around $1 million per episode for the final seasons of Friends, but as the giver of the largest salaries per episode ever, Game of Thrones manages to eclipse that previous record.
In November it was claimed that the GoT cast would be earning a mere $1.1 million per episode, but the latest claims are that "complex bonus clauses" will see them rake in $2.6 million. The rise is mainly thanks to international syndication, and with the tales of Westeros reaching 170 countries, that is quite the clause to be part of. The biggest lure is in the US, where Season 6 regularly enjoyed viewing figures of up to 23 million per episode.
Media analyst Mike Raia told the Daily Express:
"Cable network HBO is breaking the bank to ensure its most successful scripted program ever goes out with the kind of flourish fans all over the world have come to expect."
Bigger and Better
Sources have also hinted that it isn't only the cast who will see a bump in cash flow, and tease some epic dragon battles coming our way:
“Fans who thought last season’s giant battle scene was breathtaking should know they ain’t seen nothing yet.”
Season 6 increased the average cost of each episode to $10 million, but with that sum spent just on the "Battle of the Bastards" from the season finale, only the Old Gods and the New know the true extent of how much the show spends.
However, does the news also confirm that all five will be at least making it into the final season? It seems pretty solid that Jaime, Cersei, Tyrion, Jon, and Daenerys will sail through to the end, although whether that will be in alive form still remains to be seen — there are already hints that some of them could be getting the White Walker treatment.
But what about the rest of the strong ensemble cast? There is no mention of other leads like Aidan Gillen, Iain Glen, and Alfie Allen, but all have been tipped for a demise in the coming season. Could it also spell a grim end for the likes of Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams as Sansa and Arya Stark? Thankfully, the girls look to be in a much safer boat, and being a lot younger, it is unlikely they would be paid as much as the older members of the cast.
While there are tragic rumors that there are only 13 hours of Game of Thrones left, it still means that if any of the above who signed make it to the end, they could be sitting on a princely sum of nearly $34 million; not bad for waving your wang around and dropping a few f-bombs.
It certainly seems like the "Big Five" will be crapping some serious dollar into their solid gold chamber pots when the show returns this summer, while elsewhere, the likes of Charles Dance, Sean Bean, and Michelle Fairley must be cursing George R.R. Martin for killing them off so early!
Well, you know what Headey's Cersei would say, "When you play the Game of Thrones, you win or you die."