‘Game of Thrones’ Salaries That Might Surprise You
Published on June 2, 2019
The hit series Game of Thrones has sadly come to an end. There’s some disagreement among fans about the fate of their favorite characters. But one thing to agree on: When it comes to cinematography, GoT never disappoints. It’s reported season 8 cost at least $15 million to make per episode.
But how much were the actors making?
Kit Harington (Jon Snow)
Earning a reported $1.2 million an episode, Harrington is one of the highest paid actors in the show. This is quite incredible when you consider his lack of fame before scoring the role of Jon Snow in 2011. Of course, this wasn’t always his per-episode fee. Things started to change around 2014, ahead of seasons 5 and 6, when his contract upped to $300,000 per episode. For the final two seasons, Harington negotiated a new per-episode fee of $500,000. So while Jon Snow may be walking away from the series without the crown, Kit Harington is walking away with a comfortable $12.5 million.
Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen)
Like Harington, Clarke belongs to the ‘Tier A’ categories of GoT cast members. Apparently, Clarke made sure that she would be paid the same as the show’s other four main characters, regardless of gender. In fact, in a pretty epic line she had in a Vanity interview, Clarke stated, “I get paid the same as my guy friends. We made sure of that.” Good for her, since that insistence earned her a boost from $300,000 per episode in 2014 to $500,000 an episode in the last two seasons, bringing her up to a takehome of about $13 million.
Lena Heady, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Peter Dinklage (The Lannisters)
For the last two seasons, they agreed the five main cast members would all earn the same amount. Included in that list was Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister) and Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister). But while the Lannisters each earned the same per episode, it didn’t mean the end pay was the same for the season. For example, according to some reports, although Headey made as much per episode, she was only in three episodes this season. To break that down, she likely made as much as $144,000 per minute, putting her total pay for season eight closer to $3.5 million than the $12.5 of Harington and Clarke. Still, not a bad deal at all.
Maisie Williams (Arya Stark)
Originally, Williams’ per-episode salary was a reported $150,000. That seems shockingly low compared to her cast members, right? Well, it’s important to remember that Williams was only 13-years-old when she was cast on Game of Thrones. She may have killed the Night King and become a fan favorite, but she and on-screen sister Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) fell into the Tier B category. But don’t worry, it’s also reported that her per-episode pay later increased to $210,000. Plus, her net-worth is now rumored to be six million dollars.
Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark)
As with Williams, there isn’t too much information available on her income. But, it’s reported that she made $210,000 per episode. In a previous interview with Harper’s Bazaar, Turner made it clear there were no hard feelings about the gap in pay between her and her GoT brother Kit Harington. “Kit got more money than me, but he had a bigger storyline,” she explained. “And for the last series, he had something crazy like 70 night shoots and I didn’t have that many. I was like, ‘You know what… you keep that money.’”
If you think Game of Thrones has been a wild ride and emotional investment for its fans, you can only imagine what it must have been like for its actors. It’s good to know they will be able to enjoy some of what they undoubtedly earned.