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Game of Thrones hasn't officially been renewed for Season 8, yet, but it has been widely speculated that Season 8 will be the last for HBO's hit fantasy drama. As such, right now the cast and crew are renegotiating their contracts in order to keep Game of Thrones going through 2018. If the negotiations go through, it looks like all of the leads on the series will be getting some hefty raises for both the upcoming Season 7 and Season 8. And when I say hefty, I mean huge.
Reports this week indicate that series leads Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau will all earn around $500,000 per episode, according to Deadline. If the deals go through, the five stars will be locked in at that pay grade, but that doesn't necessarily mean their characters will survive on the series through Season 8. If they do survive, however, each of the five leads will make a hefty paycheck for each episode. In addition, reports indicate that other big names on the series, including Maisie Williams, Sophie Turner and more are ongoing and numbers have not been locked down, yet.
HBO isn't the type of network that just throws out the amounts of money that casts on various shows are making. However, when the Game of Thrones cast re-upped their contracts in 2014, news broke that the leads were making about $300,000 per episode. That number made them among the highest paid professionals on TV, although that pay grade doesn't hold a candle to what the cast of The Big Bang Theory is making.
Half a million per episode sounds like a lot on paper, but when you consider Seasons 7 and 8 may have less episodes than previous seasons, it's unclear how much more money each individual lead will be making as a whole. Three hundred thousand dollars for 10 episodes would equal a cool $3 million whereas $500,000 for 7 episodes would only be $3,500,000, netting the stars an extra half million for the later seasons--and that's if they don't get killed off. In fact, there are other ifs, as well, since we don't know exactly how many episodes Game of Thrones will produce during its final two seasons, although early guesstimates have indicated we may get seven episodes next year and six the year following. All in all, though, more money for less work sounds like a pretty good deal to me.
Game of Thrones currently still has one episode left to air during Season 6. You can catch it on HBO at 9 p.m. ET this Sunday. Alternatively, you can check out what we know about Season 7 here.