As swords clash, betrayals rage and struggles for power ensue across the Seven Kingdoms, you may have many questions. And while we can’t give you a sure-fire answer about who is going to be sitting on the Iron Throne at the end of the season or who will meet their (literal) icy end, we have trawled far and wide to bring you some important financial tidbits about one of the world’s leading franchises. Here are the answers our ravens brought back in response to some of the most commonly asked questions online about the television phenomenon.
How much does an episode of Game of Thrones cost to make?
While it hasn’t been officially disclosed (a HBO spokesperson reported the company does not confirm budget figures), Variety has estimated the final six episodes could cost around US$15 million (nearly A$21 million) each, or more. This price tag is to cover its four-continent, CGI-heavy epic production (here’s hoping some of that is going towards a dragon-on-dragon battle!).
This amount has grown each season, with the episodes in season six costing around US$10 million each (A$14.2 million), which was up from US$6 million (A$8.5 million) per episode in the seasons prior, as reported by E! News.
Designer Barrie Gower gets into the time-consuming but incredible use of prosthetics on #GameofThrones.
The Final Season begins April 14. pic.twitter.com/aLTytXnYxp
— Game of Thrones (@GameOfThrones) March 11, 2019
How much money do the Game of Thrones actors make each episode?
Reports vary depending on where you are looking, but the general consensus, and as reported by Maxim, is that actors are commanding up to US$500k (A$702k) per instalment, depending on the actor. Who’s on the biggest bucks? Well, GoT has become legendary for paying equal salaries to its lead male and female actors who play the largest parts in the storyline, meaning Kit Harrington, Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau are all estimated to be on equal footing on the top rung of the show’s pay ladder.
And while it hasn’t been officially reported what the remaining actors earn, two ladies who have grown up right in front of our eyes, Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner, reportedly each made a cool US$150k (A$210k) per episode, prior to the negotiations for seasons seven and eight.
— Game of Thrones (@GameOfThrones) 17 April 2019
How much is George RR Martin worth?
The American writer, television producer and father of the entire franchise is said to have a net worth of US$65 million (A$91.24 million), according to celebritynetworth.com. Not only is he the author of the “A Song of Ice and Fire” saga that was adapted into the television series, he is also executive producer of the show. It is estimated he earns US$15 million (A$21 million) each year.
Does Northern Ireland pay for Game of Thrones to be filmed there?
The variety of landscapes in Westeros and beyond has necessitated a variety of filming locations, but Northern Ireland served as the backdrop for much of the action, particularly in and around Winterfell. Northern Ireland’s national film and TV agency, Northern Ireland Screen, reportedly paid £13.75 million (over A$25 million) to the Game of Thrones franchise for the first six seasons to support filming in the country, according to the BBC.
In return, NI Screen said the first six seasons alone brought in over £146 million (A$270 million) in jobs and services, plus additional revenue from the undeniable boost to the tourism industry.
You can now see every Game of Thrones filming location across Northern Ireland on Google Maps – https://t.co/3s1VOreJ13
— Tourism Ireland GB (@media_IrelandGB) 25 April 2019
How much would it have cost to ship Daenerys Targaryen’s army to Westeros?
At the end of season six, the Khaleesi strategically relocated her army to Westeros in her bid to claim the Iron Throne. And if you think about how much shipping fees for international purchases can be, you can only imagine the headache the mother of dragons must have faced. One group of GoT fans calculated the total cost of shipping her Unsullied and Dothraki forces, along with weapons, horses, food and the would-be queen’s Royal Council, to be over £174.5 million (A$318 million).
How much does it cost to eat like The Mountain?
Being the world’s strongest man is not a cheap endeavour, and the six-foot-nine, 195kg Hafþór Björnsson (AKA “The Mountain”) reportedly eats 10,000 calories per day to bulk for competition, including the Arnold Strongman Classic and the World’s Strongest Man. According to CNBC, the daily grocery bill for Björnsson works out to more than A$85, or around A$600 a week.
To put this into perspective, according to the Australian Government’s dietary guidelines, the average recommended daily intake of a 30-year-old male varies between 2,400 to 3,000 calories, depending on their activity level – less than one third of what is devoured by the Icelandic strongman. According to MoneySmart, the average adult aged under 35 in Australia spends $122 a week on food and drinks – that’s $478 less than the world’s strongest man.
While the thought of being able to eat pretty much all day may sound pretty good to some, Björnsson has told Men’s Health he needs to force feed himself, saying “I’m constantly fighting to stay the weight I am”. And ploughing through seven meals consisting of 1.5kg of ribeye steak with 1.2kg of rice a day (along with six eggs, six rashers of bacon and some vegetables) takes a lot of dedication. Predominantly from the digestive system.
Who is leading the odds to rule Westeros at the end of Season 8?
With Jon Snow and the two Stark sisters featuring heavily in the teaser and early episodes of the eighth season, plus his true family heritage being revealed to him in episode one, it is no surprise the King in the North is a frontrunner. MyBookie then lists Bran Stark, Daenerys Targaryen, Arya Stark and the Night King to round out its top five picks. There is, however, speculation around the order of this list.
How do I stream Game of Thrones and what does it cost?
Foxtel holds exclusive rights to GoT (all eight seasons) in Australia, with the show available to watch on its Showcase channel or through its on-demand service. The cheapest way to watch it at the time of writing is through the Foxtel Now app at $25 per month for the Essentials pack. Alternatively, Foxtel’s Drama and Entertainment package is $49 per month, the Sport HD + Entertainment pack is $58 per month or the Platinum HD pack is $99 a month.
You will also likely be able to purchase the episodes from iTunes or Google Play, but not until the season has finished airing on Foxtel. Season seven was $27.99 when it first came out through this service (in standard definition).
In Australia, streaming is not available through HBO or Amazon Prime.
Find out more about your viewing options at Canstar Blue.
What currency do they use in Game of Thrones?
According to the Game of Thrones Wiki, the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros have a uniform system of currency based on the ‘Gold Dragon’ coin and featuring smaller Silver Stag and Copper Penny denominations. The people living north of The Wall have more practical and immediate needs, meaning they are more interested in bartering for everyday goods such as weapons, furs and wine.
In Essos, the Nine Free Cities use a variety of currencies, unique to each city. For example, Meereen trades using Gold Honors. The Dothraki are said to not ‘believe in money’, instead opting for an exchange of gifts, or, well, you know, raiding.
How much can Game of Thrones merchandise cost?
As you would expect with a franchise followed so vehemently, there are many opportunities for fans to buy mementos. But what are some of the more abstract items? Remember that boss sterling silver dragon necklace Daenerys was wearing when she was saved from an ambush by her beloved dragon in the fifth season? You too can get your own version made by the same designer for US$2,000 (A$2,800).
A Dubai bakery also reportedly baked a 30-plus kilogram, four-foot tall cake of Tyrion Lannister sitting on the Iron Throne, worth nearly A$38,500.
And it doesn’t end there. Fans can buy themselves whiskey, make up, scented candles, tarot cards and much more, all in the theme of their favourite characters from the show.
Cover image: New Vision (Shutterstock)