Game of Thrones Recap Season 6 Episode 9

Report: Game of Thrones Stars Snag Massive Season 8 Payday

The windfall is coming.

Game of Thrones stars Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), Kit Harington (Jon Snow), Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister) have signed deals which would give them a hefty pay raise in future seasons, our sister site Deadline reports.

The actors will be paid north of $500,000 an episode for Season 7 and Season 8, which is not yet officially ordered, but likely to be the final one. They previously earned closer to $300,000 per episode.

While the new deals help secure the actors’ availability, they do not guarantee that all of their characters will survive to see the show’s final hours.

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31 Comments
  1. Brian says:

    Wow, what a raise.

    • Badpenny says:

      Yes and no. Taking into account that they only do 10 episodes a season it is costing HBO an extra $2 million per performer per season. That might seem like a lot but GoT is HBO’s most popular program. James Gandolfini was making $1 million an episode for the Sopranos over 10 years ago. HBO will probably be selling GoT box sets for the next 30 years just like they are for Dream On, Six Feet Under, Sopranos, and others.

      • Jim says:

        All true, and it’s certainly not an unreasonable salary comparatively and considering all factors, but we’re still talking about a 66% raise. I think a 66% raise qualifies as “wow, what a raise.”

      • I wonder if the workload is the same though. GoT often gives each main character an episode or two off, and they rarely appear for more than 20 minutes of screen-time in each episode they do feature in.

        • AT says:

          True, but how much longer does it take to film those scenes? They’ve been talking about how it took 20+ days to film the BOB scenes for last Sunday’s episode. These characters may have fewer episodes and less screen time, but I bet it takes more work to film what they do have.

          • DL says:

            To be fair, they were rehearsing “on and off” for that amount of time, according to an interview with the director, while they were shooting other things. It’s not as if they devoted almost a month 100% to that one sequence.

        • TrickyGreyArea says:

          I would imagine that the workload for the core characters (at least those who don’t get killed off early) will increase quite a bit down the stretch. The show has been trimming the fat this season, killing off whole houses to narrow the focus as they approach endgame.

    • well not a big raise because the 2 last season have only 7 and 6 episodes it’s a kind of compensation. And i’m pretty sure each episode will be longer in time or at least to film

  2. DarkDefender says:

    The actors were in the power position, for sure. But to think that Ellen Pompeo just signed for 300K per Grey’s episode and has a 22-23 episode season (versus GoT 10) now seems pretty low.

    • DarkDefender says:

      Which just shows the disparity from cable money v. Network money.

      • cmmorgan32 says:

        I think it’s more than just the fact that Game of Thrones is on premium cable vs. a network. You also have to consider the amount of money made on merchandise, DVD/Blu-Ray/Digital sales, games, etc. HBO has done a phenomenal job of capitalizing on the Game of Thrones brand and it certainly doesn’t hurt that there is a large enough market that’s willing to buy what HBO & partners have produced regardless of price. There are far more money making opportunities for a show like Game of Thrones compared to Grey’s Anatomy. That’s how HBO can justify the $500,000 per episode for those 5.

      • dude says:

        Well, the Modern Family stars get paid $1 million an episode and they’re on the same network so…

    • Badpenny says:

      Keep in mind that Network programs tend to go into syndication around the globe, making the actors residuals income for years after the show goes off the air – not to mention licensing to Hulu, Netflix, etc. So back-end residuals for the main characters can run into the millions for a popular program.

  3. Dennis says:

    They deserve it.
    Isn’t is the highest rated show on television? Or is Walking Dead “bigger?”

  4. jade says:

    how much do walking dead actors earn?

  5. Kevin K says:

    Talk about raising the stakes for these actors on GoT but how far they’ll go after the series should end in eight seasons.

  6. Victoria says:

    There is likely only 13 episodes left (not confirmed but mentioned by the shows creators) rather than 20, too so HBO isn’t paying out as much as they would if it was a full 2 seasons. Normally each character isn’t in every episode too so not every actor will be getting paid for all the remaining episodes. Though if they do 13 episodes I think they might be in more episodes, percentage wise, rather than if there were 20. Plus, as mentioned, this doesn’t mean each actor will make it to the series finale.

    • Hell paso says:

      Sorry but the rumoured 13 episodes was if they were going to end the show after season 7 by super sizing it and splitting it up over two years. If they’re calling it a two season renewal chances are it’ll be the standard 10 or maybe 8 episodes per season.

      • Victoria says:

        Sorry but that’s not true and they’re not calling it a 2 season renewal, only that season 8 is likely. The contracts cover 2 seasons but that is done all the time rather than having to renegotiate every season. Maybe you got information from another site and I’m wrong, I only read the tvline article (which is linked in this article from when it was originally renewed in April) on the 13 episode bit and that had it at 13 episodes over 2 seasons, “The renewal announcement did not include the number of episodes in Season 7, though the series’ executive producers recently discussed the possibility of doing only seven episodes — instead of the usual 10 — in Season 7, then doing a final season of only six episodes. HBO would not confirm the number of episodes order for Season 7 at this time.”
        Even if there are 20 episodes left (and I hope there are!) then I still stand by my point that the characters aren’t in every episode so they aren’t paying out as much as it seems at first.

  7. Lala says:

    That’s not enough. HBO is going to be milking this cash cow for many years to come with reruns..the main cast deserves 900K & above for an episode.

  8. George H. says:

    Not really all that much when you compare it to the 3 main characters of The Big Bang Theory (Kaley Cuoco, Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki) getting a million dollars per half-hour episode.

    • Nit says:

      The BBT has not more than 6 core characters and rest 10 characters rarely appear once or twice in a season. So the pay distribution is high. (Same in case of Friends) While Even though GOT is very big compared to BBT, the cast is very heavy. Apart from these 5 main characters, there are more than 20-30 secondary characters and another 30 characters playing currently important plot points. So I guess paying each of them decently(all are stars) will be a big dent in their pockets.

  9. Mark says:

    Small change incomparison to The Big Bang cast who also get profit share.

  10. Taylor says:

    Maisie (Arya) and Sophie (Sansa) should be included in this.

  11. Walkie says:

    As others have said, this isn’t really a raise. It’s making up for the fact that they are cutting three episodes a season.

  12. Nit says:

    The BBT has not more than 6 core characters and rest 10 characters rarely appear once or twice in a season. So the pay distribution is high. (Same in case of Friends) While Even though GOT is very big compared to BBT, the cast is very heavy. Apart from these 5 main characters, there are more than 20-30 secondary characters and another 30 characters playing currently important plot points. So I guess paying each of them decently(all are stars) will be a big dent in their pockets.

  13. Ned Stark says:

    Hey, where is Maisie Williams?!