The stars of "Game of Thrones" aren't quite "Friends," but mad money will be there for them in Season 7 and Season 8.
HBO has yet to officially announce the plan for the final seasons of the show, but Season 7 is casting right now, with an expected episode count shortened from 10 to seven; Season 8 is also expected to be shorter than the usual 10 episodes, and it's also being looked at as the probable final season.
Deadline just issued a report that five of the main GoT stars negotiated for more pay in Season 7 and Season 8. They said Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), Kit Harington (Jon Snow), Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister) "will all be paid north of $500,000 an episode for Season 7, which has been officially picked up, and Season 8, which is widely expected."
However, Deadline added, that shouldn't be taken to mean those five characters will definitely make it to the end; as Nellie Andreeva wrote, "I hear it does not guarantee that all five characters will survive til the end as the show's last episodes are yet to be written. I hear the contracts of the other regulars who landed raises alongside the Big 5 in fall 2014, have not been redone yet."
So if you're worried that Stark queens Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) and Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) are missing out on raises, it's possible they are negotiating power moves right now.
In terms of the five mentioned above, they were rumored to be getting about $300K an episode during the last contract talks in 2014. Half a million dollars is a quality raise from that amount, but it's for episodes that run a full hour, no commercials, and there will probably only be 13 episodes total across two seasons. Contrast that with the $1 million an episode for the "Friends" cast, for a half-hour sitcom that ran across 22 episodes. That show made tons of ad money for the network, so the stars cashed in. Other stars, like on "The Big Bang Theory" and "Modern Family," are still doing that today.
GoT is a very expensive show to produce, and you can see the results on screen. Entertainment Weekly said, in Season 6, it cost up to $10 million to shoot each episode. Meanwhile, we hear the three dragons want $3 million each for the final seasons, so we'll have to see what a threat of "Dracarys" can net them.
GoT's Season 6 finale, "The Winds of Winter," airs this Sunday, June 26 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.
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