The worldwide television phenomenon, Game of Thrones, returned for the first episode of its final season yesterday, to the delight of its rabid fanbase. Game of Thrones’ US TV network HBO reported record viewing figures in excess of 30 million people watching it live, with hundreds of millions of people watching it around the world.
The value of the GOT brand is in excess of £1bn, and even though each episode of the new season will cost more than £15m each to make, the show is expected to smash all known records for viewing figures and post-show profits.
With theories flying around about who will end up on the Iron Throne, Business Leader looks into which GOT actor received the highest wage per episode.
Readers, be warned: Spoilers below
Jon Snow has become the central character in the Game of Thrones series, and as Sunday’s episode revealed – he is the rightful heir to the Iron Throne.
Harington’s character has been betrayed, stabbed in the heart, brought back to life, and has fought in many high profile battles in recent series. Jon Snow has become vital to the future of many characters in Westeros.
He is currently starring opposite Emilia Clarke’s character, Daenerys Targaryen, as the pair have united to battle the Night King and his White Walkers.
Harington reportedly nets around £537,000 per episode in season 8 – which means his series total will be more than £3.2m.
Daenerys Targaryen, the First of Her Name, Khaleesi, Mother of Dragons, Breaker of Chains, Protector of the Seven Kingdoms and Queen of the Andals, The Rhoynar and the First Men – or simply Dany – has grown from being used by her brother as a pawn in his plans in season one, to the dragon-riding, multiple-army leading Queen-to-be in the latest season.
Like her co-star Harington, Clarke takes home the tidy sum of £537,000 per episode, and has also established herself on the silver screen in recent years.
Dinklage plays Tyrion Lannister in the fantasy drama and has had quite the rollercoaster so far. Everyone’s favourite Lannister has had a rough ride, and has now been pitted against his family by becoming the ‘Hand’ to Queen Daenerys Targaryen.
Dinklage’s character offers advice to the often impetuous Daenerys about their strategy, and what is needed for her to end up on the Iron Throne.
Like the previous two co-stars, he nets around £537,000 per episode, and as the previous series have shown, he will have a major hand in who ends up on the throne. With his vast wealth from the show, Dinklage can live up to the Lannister moniker, “A Lannister always pays his debts.”
Jaime Lannister, the leader of the Lannister army has now abandoned his sister/love interest, Queen Cersei Lannister in King’s Landing to head north to fight with the Jon Snow, the Stark family, and Daenerys Targaryen against the Night King.
Jaime’s face at the end of the first episode of season eight has been a constant source of entertainment amongst Thrones fans, as he finally comes face-to-face with Brandon Stark – who he pushed out of a window in season one that paralysed him. Bran has now become the ‘Three-Eyed Raven’ and can use his powers of foresight and ability to see the past to help in the fight against the White Walkers.
Coster-Waldau has the highest personal wealth out of any of the Game of Thrones’ actors, with around £16m in the bank, and like the co-stars above, he is paid £537,000 per episode.
Queen Cersei is the villain Game of Thrones fans love to hate. Her evil, conniving and backstabbing ways led her to be the current Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, and Cersei now sits on the Iron Throne. With all her children dead, and Jaime leaving her to go and fight the Night King, Cersei’s future seems uncertain.
With an ongoing relationship with Euron Greyjoy, a new army, and with the Mountain by her side, Cersei is still a force to be reckoned with. (Shame about those elephants, though.)
Headey also takes £537,000 per episode.
Williams’ Game of Thrones character Arya Stark has become a trained Faceless Man, and can assume the identity of other people in order to assassinate her targets. Upon returning to Winterfell, Arya has had a rocky relationship with her sister Sansa, but was instrumental in taking down the chaotic Lord Petyr Baelish.
Starting out in season one as a 13-year-old, Maisie has grown with the show and now reportedly earns £158,000 an episode.
Arya Stark’s older sister Sansa is now the Lady of Winterfell, and after seasons of being forced into relationships with the enemy, she is now home and looking after her family’s land and allies.
Despite a frosty relationship with almost everyone, Sansa has been touted as the ‘smartest’ character playing the Game of Thrones. Will her relationship with Jon/Daenerys continue to deteriorate? Will the Lords of the North stand with her instead? With only a handful of episodes left, Sansa is set to be a crucial factor in the battle against the Night King, and the future of the Iron Throne.
Turner earns the same as her on-screen sister and takes home £158,000 per episode.