Game of Thrones Stars Reportedly Sign Massive New Contracts for the Final Two Seasons

Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) and Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) in the Red Keep / Photo: Helen Sloan/HBO

Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) and Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) in the Red Keep / Photo: Helen Sloan/HBO

The highest paid stars of Game of Thrones are about to set a record, according to an unconfirmed report in Express today. They have signed new contracts for the final two seasons, which could have implications for certain characters.

Express reveals that Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau will earn up to £2 million per episode (over $2.5 million in US dollars). This is more than the record setting $1 million per episode salaries for the casts of Friends and The Big Bang Theory combined. Bonus clauses will allow them to share percentages of syndication payments from broadcasts in over 170 countries. Considering Game of Thrones averaged 23 million viewers per episode last season, this is a lucrative benefit indeed.

We reported here last year that the five were in negotiations to be paid “north of $500,000 an episode” for seasons 7 and 8. If true, these new contracts will earn them more than five times that number. Thankfully, the show’s immense popularity helps offset the show’s ever increasing budget. These new salaries combined with skyrocketing production costs make Game of Thrones one of the most expensive shows on television.

Battle of Meereen Game of Thrones

According to media analyst Mike Raia, “Cable network HBO is breaking the bank to ensure its most successful scripted program ever goes out with the kind of flourish fans all over the world have come to expect.” A show insider adds, “Fans who thought last season’s giant battle scene was breathtaking should know they ain’t seen nothing yet.” It sounds like the next two seasons will be quite exciting to see!

HBO has not confirmed this yet, but these contracts would mean a very secure future for the actors. What do they mean for the futures of Tyrion, Jon, Cersei, Daenerys, and Jaime? It would seem – at the very least – all five will survive to season 8.

126 responses

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    1. Good for them! This show is extremely popular and profitable, in large part due to their talent. They deserve to get a bigger cut of that pie.

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    2. I would like to announce that I have signed a contract with HBO/DirecTV to watch the final two seasons of the hit series Game of Thrones. While I can’t disclose details, it is reported that I will be paid -$4.95 an episode. This is assuming I survive to Season 8.

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    3. VoldeMord,

      Pretty sure they’re second tier characters and don’t have as much to film as some of the first tier characters do. I doubt they’re starving though.

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    4. Not every character is in every episode though, so Kit may end up with 2m for the first 2-3 episodes if he is only in 1 of them.

      This isnt like Big Bang theory where all the actors get similar screen time. GOT tends have episodes centered around one location. IE Kings landing, North, Essos etc.

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    5. VoldeMord:
      Hmmm no mention of arya and Sansa…. either they’re considered second tier characters or….. kaput. Interesting.

      They are definitely 2nd tier but I bet they would get a hefty boost as well. I don’t think there are many who would fall into their category. I think most left would be third tier or beyond. Only true 2nd tier I could think of would be Alfie, Aiden, Conleth, John BW, and maybe Liam, Rory and Gwen.

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    6. Amazing news, my mom is going to go crazy when I tell her this XD
      The final two seasons of Game of Thrones is going to be breathtaking, I can’t even begin to imagine how Beautiful season 7 is going to look/be let alone season 8.
      The show always manages to outdo themselves each year in some capacity, i’m looking forward to see what everyone is bringing to the table for the last 2 seasons.
      Has there ever been a show that’s been a Ratings/Awards Juggernaut like Thrones ? It really is amazing.

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    7. But the direwolf CGI is too expensive. ?

      That’s great news for them, but as season 7 is long done filming, do they usually already do the work before they have a contract?

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    8. Crap, just when I post off topic in another thread on the subject I see the new thread. I guess I’ll move it here:

      I just hit my shortcut for Google “GoT news” and noticed today there are several articles about S7 actors pay. (Is it new contracts or) reports of expected earnings with clauses on previously negotiated contracts. Of course it only concerns the five “tier A” cast of Peter, Lena, Emilia, Kit and Nikolaj. I just wonder what some of the other full series cast members are getting. Specifically the only other supporting actress nominee in Maisie. Does she get a bonus or something for being nominated?

      There has also been some indication that Lena is involved less this season due to personal reasons. So she’s going to make nearly $2 million for season 7 while it’s possible that Maisie (and a couple others) have an even increased role? Yes, yes… who am I to care? I don’t really and I’m not saying those five shouldn’t make what they’ll make. I just wonder whether the up and coming stars on the show, one of which is Emmy nominated, shouldn’t be paid handsomely as well.

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    9. that is pretty amazing.. even if they are only in like 10 episodes.. with that syndication clause we are talking well over 20 million ..not a bad gig if you got the talent (and looks) to get it!! (well, lot of luck thrown in there too i guess lol)

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    10. Shawn,

      Thats how it used to be, but I think now with the shortened seasons and that four out of these five characters are imo main-main characters, I really don’t see them sitting out more than one episode, if that at all. It’s Jaime that I’m not sure really falls under this, right now I’d put him together with Arya, Bran and Sansa, but Nic is considered top-tier anyway.

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    11. Shawn,

      With the Whitewalker plot coming full force in the last seasons (and the reduced number of episodes and cast members following the kills in season 6), I expect Kit to be in every episode.

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    12. Shawn,

      With the exception of S2Ep9 and S4 Ep9, every episode on GOT has involved multiple locations and with just 7 episodes in the next season, I don’t think there will be any episode set in just one location. I expect all 5 actors to appear in a minimum of 6 episodes in S7.

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    13. They deserve it.. but they don’t appear in each episode so compared with Friends and BBT its not that much different, which have like over 20 episodes a season.

      If Lena is in every episode this season, that’s still less than what the Friends people made per episode, 15 years ago!!!! Crazy!

      I also don’t think this means they survive the season.

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    14. Clob:

      I just wonder whether the up and coming stars on the show, one of which is Emmy nominated, shouldn’t be paid handsomely as well.

      Is there any reason to assume that they are not being paid handsomely?

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    15. Clob:
      (Is it new contracts or) reports of expected earnings with clauses on previously negotiated contracts.

      I think it’s their bonuses on the previously reported 1.1 million per episode-contract.
      I hope if these five are getting such generous bonuses, the others gets some too, like if they’re nominated for an award like Maisie. And they should ALL have that syndication bonus, it’s only fair 😉 but I guess that depends on how strong an agent you’ve got?

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    16. Jack Bauer 24,

      OMFG,you again,James Hibberd who’s already known to be the most reliable source in terms of GOT news since he’s been the go to interviewer of the show since the beginning,has already said that season 7 and even season 8 won’t be affected by it,you’re annoying !

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    17. Can we please get a spin off with a budget of 3 mil an episode with just 2 main characters Dunk and Egg??? I dont want it to end!

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    18. Jack Bauer 24:
      http://winteriscoming.net/2017/04/25/will-potential-wga-writers-strike-affect-game-thrones/

      “David and Dan are in the WGA regardless of whether they’re serving as writers or executive producers, and there are a million jobs left for them to do on season 7 before its premiere in July. Just because it’s been shot does not mean the strike wouldn’t affect things this season.”

      Uh oh….

      Jack Bauer 24,

      You posted the same thing in the other thread. Stop going out of your way to try and freak people out. It’s not helpful or useful.

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    19. Good for them, I’m glad! I know Maisie is young and still under 21, but I’d like she had been paid like the “top five”.

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    20. Dee Stark,
      ghost of winterfell,

      If everyone of the main stars make an appearance in every episode, that $ 87.5 Million for Season Seven. If its six episodes, its $ 75 million. plus the season should have more than one battle scene. it means HBO really going all out.

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    21. Mr Derp,

      1. Damn! That was my first reaction too. What a ton of dough. ~ $2.5 million PER EPISODE! If they’re signed for two seasons, that means at least $17,500,000 for S7, up to $32,500,000 if they make it to the end of S8.

      2. Cersei Lannister, Tyrion Lannister, and Jaime Lannister cashing in big time. Whoever doubted that Tywin Lannister sh-its gold?
      With that kind of money, the actors can write checks to pay off all their mortgages and credit cards, preferably writing in the Memo portion: “A Lannister always pays his debts.”

      3. WHERE IS MAISIE’S CONTRACT EXTENSION ? For now, I’m going to assume that the story’s focus was on the higher-paid adult actors. Surely, Bran and Arya will be around for S8.
      (Even if the Stark kids’ contracts pay them at half the rate of the adults, they’ll be financially secure for life. ?)

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    22. Shy Lady Dragon,

      She is still young and has a long career in front of her.

      There is something almost obscene in the amount of money those actors are going to earn. I’m not saying they don’t deserve it… but still…

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    23. ghost of winterfell: Is there any reason to assume that they are not being paid handsomely?

      Well, no, not necessarily. Apparently not to the same level as these though. I’m just wondering about equality, especially for an actress that’s Emmy nominated for a character that’s every bit as major if not more so than Jaime at least, especially in the books. Maisie is about as high profile as one can get for the show as well while appearing at just about every event. Yes I admit it, I’m mainly just writing in support of Maisie who has carried her own storyline since season two yet wasn’t even single-billed in the opening until the season 6 finale. 😛

      Those five are a bit older to quite a bit older and they’re great. They deserve to get paid, but we’re also not talking about Hollywood A-listers that are paid simply for the name, like Jennifer Lawrence or something.

      I’m writing like my feathers are all ruffled but they’re really not. I am curious though how much less Maisie and Sophie are paid… and Davos… and others…

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    24. Flayed Potatoes,

      I’m not so sure Arya’s screen time hasn’t been commensurate with that of Jon, Jaime, et al.

      Wouldn’t inexperienced child actors start at a relatively modest salary in S1, so that even if they receive proportionate raises they’ll still be making considerably less than the Dink?

      I just hope Rory McCann gets a fair share of the pie. His portrayal of The Hound is in large part responsible for the success of the show. And those big jackpots don’t come along every day.

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    25. How the hell can HBO afford to pay $12M PER EPISODE to FIVE PEOPLE???

      And that’s probably only half the cost of each episode overall. Insane.

      Also, ridiculous that Big Bang “stars” get $1M per. That show is beyond awful.

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    26. Maisie is talented but she’s not a star, so she doesn’t get the star treatment (nor the star salary). Lena, Nikolaj, Peter and even Harington and Clarke are bigger names than she is.

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    27. Genghis Khan: OMFG,you again… you’re annoying !

      You know what’s TRULY annoying? Posts that personally attack other posters with whom one disagrees. Can’t you take issue with content without getting nasty and insulting people? We’re all here to have fun.

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    28. A Dornish Tyrell,

      Yes, I know what you mean and it’s the sensible thing to put it this way. But that’s how stars are paid – why football or soccer players can get that kind of money and not the actors? (I must admit, I have no idea how much Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo earn, but it’s not the point.) I like to imagine that the tremendous passion the fans have for their favourites is converted in the huge amounts of money the stars get.
      Nikolaj, for example, comes from a family with little money and started to be paid million pounds in his 40ies. I don’t think he will earn that much again after 2019. Many GOT actors will probably get mostly parts in independent movies or theater and earn significantly less.
      I don’t mean to contradict you… I’m just glad for their financial opportunity.

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    29. Congrats to those for hitting the lottery!

      I see why people compare this to Friends and BBT because of the cast sums/episode deal but the GoT actors do deserve more than those 30 minute sitcom studio actors. GoT has longer episodes in sometimes brutal weather (on location, although, also beautiful areas) and is much more physically demanding. Friends and BBT were shot in a studio to be cozy like an apartment, comic book store, or coffee house. Not equal but I’m biased, I enjoy GoT a hell of a lot more than either of those other 2

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    30. Firannion: You know what’s TRULY annoying? Posts that personally attack other posters with whom one disagrees.Can’t you take issue with content without getting nasty and insulting people?We’re all here to have fun.

      I’ve noticed that it appears to be his/her m.o., with the addition of a few ‘fuck this’ and ‘fuck that’s. Some people seem to get a little worked up. ☺

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    31. Game of thrones has now officially taken the title as the most Expensive show on television 🙂

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    32. Shy Lady Dragon: I like to imagine that the tremendous passion the fans have for their favourites is converted in the huge amounts of money the stars get.

      I like this image very much!! 🙂

      Shy Lady Dragon: Nikolaj, for example, comes from a family with little money and started to be paid million pounds in his 40ies. I don’t think he will earn that much again after 2019. Many GOT actors will probably get mostly parts in independent movies or theater and earn significantly less.
      I don’t mean to contradict you… I’m just glad for their financial opportunity.

      You are absolute right about many GoT actors probably never earning that amount of money again. And many of them have already paid their dues, so they totally deserve it. I’m sorry if I sounded like a Debbie Downer… 🙂

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    33. Pigeon,

      Yeah what does that mean? Is it old news and they signed those contracts before season 7?
      We never find out what the other actors did? I mean for season 8 that can’t be all the characters left.
      Actually now Arya, Sansa, Varys Theon,have been in every season seems they are ‘main’ cast now. There are other characters I expect to be in S8.

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    34. Supremely well deserved, one and all! If I were ever to cross paths with any member of this wonderful cast, I would happily buy them a drink to toast their remarkable success … although I’m quite sure they can all afford it, especially now. 😉

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    35. Clob,

      Yeah Maisie’s and Sophie’s screentime is comparable to the top 4, which is Tyrion, Jon, Dany and Cersei in that order. It’s just Jaime who has had lesser screentime than these two. But they started out as child actors and have always been on a lower pay grade, since the beginning. That wasn’t going to change now. Factors like seniority, reputation etc play a part in these negotiations too I guess.

      I have only ever read reports of what the top 5 are paid. I am not sure how Sophie and Maisie compare to them.
      I assume they will be paid handsomely, even if it’s not on the same level as the top 5.

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    36. Clob:
      There has also been some indication that Lena is involved less this season due to personal reasons.

      Really? Where did you find that information? It means we’re going to see less Cersei this season? This is disappointing since Cersei is now on the iron throne and more important than ever…

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    37. Boojam,

      Maybe they just wanted to do Season 7 despite a pending contract, otherwise they would have held out I would think? They also seem quite attached to their characters, so a ‘retroactive’ payday was an option.

      ramses,

      I know, Right?! Hopefully his mom approves! ?

      Shy Lady Dragon,

      Here can go buy that Sanyo again. ?

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    38. Ten Bears,

      Jaime, yes. Jon still has more screentime than her and Kit’s scenes usually take longer to film and are more physically demanding.

      According to imdb:

      Jon – 268:15 minutes
      Arya – 189:15 minutes
      Jaime – 162:30 minutes

      And yes I assume she gets paid less because the actress started out as a child actor, whereas NCW has seniority.

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    39. Lowi: Really? Where did you find that information?

      I don’t have a clue where to find it now. There were some things and discussions here during filming last Fall about it. It was said that she requested a lesser/shorter shooting schedule due to her custody battle requiring a lot of her attention.

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    40. 🙂 SOOOO unnecessary as well!

      If I can root for you after you push a Stark child from a tower, I will always be on your side 🙂

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    41. Pigeon: I’ve noticed that it appears to be his/her m.o., with the addition of a few ‘fuck this’ and ‘fuck that’s. Some people seem to get a little worked up.

      Pigeon,

      I’ve noticed that too. The pattern of posts is very similar to ‘Dragonball fan’s’ posts. They seem like the same person. Every post is angry and insulting just for the sake of it.

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    42. Adam:
      Maisie is talented but she’s not a star, so she doesn’t get the star treatment (nor the star salary). Lena, Nikolaj, Peter and even Harington and Clarke are bigger names than she is.

      Like I said, I’m not saying they don’t deserve what they’re getting. However, I really don’t think the gap is that large really between a few of them, in the US anyway. Peter and Lena I’ll admit are more widely knows simply because Peter is Peter and Lena has been IN a fairly wide range of films that have done well. Nikolaj on the other hand was probably widely unknown in the US prior to GoT. Emilia and Kit definitely unknown. Emilia has landed some starring roles in some wide release films due to GoT and Kit a bit less so. Still, I’d say they’re all best known now for GoT. Non-GoT watchers may not even be able to name Emilia and Kit by real name (or character) but through media may recognize them as main cast of Thrones. Probably equally recognized as Maisie and Sophie.

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    43. Flayed Potatoes:

      Holy balls!

      Get money Kittens!

      ???

      Considering the beating he takes every season, he deserves every penny!

      And a share in syndication profits as well…these guys have some pretty decent contract negotiators!

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    44. Adam,

      Maisie IS “a star.” She has been since the moment she fired the arrow into the bullseye and curtsied in S1e1.
      Everybody I know fell in love with her by E2 when Nymeria was helping her pack and Jon came in to give her Needle.

      PS Does anyone know if media research companies still do “Q Ratings” (?) – measuring actors’ recognizability and popularity?
      If so, I’d be curious how the GoT cast members fare.

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    45. Clob,

      Emilia is not unknown at all. She’s is the most known outside of her role along with Peter.

      Anyways, Maisie and Sophie were underage when they first joined. I am sure they got pay raise as well but is not as record breaking as the top tiers and thus, not worth mentioning.

      I’m interested in hearing how much lower 2nd tier like Gwen, Nathalie, davos and hound actor get paid.

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    46. Ten Bears,

      Maisie can leverage her popularity with the fanbase, but so far she can’t use other potential work as leverage. She hasn’t done much else.

      The whole point’s moot, though, since she still likely makes more money than her family knows what to do with. She might not be set for life, but she’s only 20 years old.

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    47. It’s a lot of money but at least Headey, Coster-Waldau and Dinklage are good actors.

      But Harington and Clarke? Are you kidding me? I hope they spend some of the money on acting classes ; )

      I really wish Charles Dance, Stephen Dillane or Natalie Dormer were still in the show cause they would deserve it.

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    48. VoldeMord,

      They are considered second tier along with Isaac and also probably considered too young to get that kind of money since their ages are 21, 20 and 18. While Kit/Emilia the youngest of the five are 30

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    49. Abbie: Emilia is not unknown at all. She’s is the most known outside of her role along with Peter.

      She’s BECOMING better know as GoT runs (like all of them) and yet she’s still probably more recognized so far in media images as Daenerys rather than Emilia. Her fame is growing as she gets parts and continues to get her face on magazines, and she has GoT to thank. As of yet she hasn’t been a part of a US domestic box office smash though. Terminator: Genisys bombed and Me Before You was a small niche movie. That may likely change with the Han Solo movie.

      It’s kind of a timing issue with Lena. She has 300 on her resume and that was a pretty buzzed about movie when it came out, earning over $200 mil domestic. Obviously people know who she is as she too continues to be nominated for an Emmy with several other nominations and wins for her career. Like I wrote though, none of them are what is considered A-listers yet, but we can hope they get there.

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    50. I read this first at Inquistr a few days ago It seemed a bit unbelievable that their original changed contract for S7 and S8 went from 1.1 million per episode to 2.5 million per episode. The article said that it was all from bonuses but getting 1.4 million from bonuses alone and is somehow more than their standard pay 1.1 million is kinda crazy so maybe they increased their pay too as well as gave them bonuses.

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    51. Clob,

      I remember Nikolaj from a show he did called “New Amsterdam” that was a take-off on the Flying Dutchman. Cut short by the writer’s strike. I liked that show, but if it had lived he might not have been available for GoT and I can’t imagine anyone else as Jaime.

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    52. Didn’t they already film season 7? If it’s for the last two seasons, these contracts have been in place for a while.

      Keep in mind Friends had over 20 episodes a year rather than 6 or 7, and 20+ years ago when the dollar was worth more.

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    53. J17:
      It’s a lot of money but at least Headey, Coster-Waldau and Dinklage are good actors.

      But Harington and Clarke? Are you kidding me? I hope they spend some of the money on acting classes ; )

      Irrelevant. If were considering other factors, Clarke and Harrington characters are bringing in more cash (via merch) than the others so in fact, they should be paid more than Lena, Peter and Nik.

      Clob,

      I’m not concerned with their resume. I’m just saying that Peter and Emilia are most known outside of the show verse. I think even Sophie has that over the others as well.

      At the end of the day, they, including Maisie and Sophie are all getting more than enough to live out the rest of their lives comfortably.

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    54. Pigeon,

      Right?
      After this news, I do NOT want to hear another “But the direwolves CGI was too expensive for our budget” excuse.

      And maybe we won’t: If there’s cash to throw around…

      That would be consistent with Maisie’s filming in Calgary, Canada with the direwolf wolves.

      And perhaps the showrunners have acknowledged that dragons are fun, but the audience – and the story – would be well-served by some direwolf action… especially after the brief reappear-to-get-killed-off cameos of Summer and Shaggydog. ?

      I mean, after that great direwolf pups scene in S1e1, they can’t really justify Doraning the direwolves, can they ?

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    55. Abbie,

      I think Maisie said in an interview about a month ago that she’s now financially secure, and can do whatever she’d like with her life after GoT.
      Plus, she strikes me as an extremely sensible and intelligent young woman – not the kind who’d snort away her money or piss it away on unnecessary extravagances.

      The way I look at it, if you’ve got a good upbringing and a good head on your shoulders, you realize that there’s not an appreciable difference between $4 million and $10 million. After a certain point, you don’t really “need” more to live a good life and make sure your loved ones (not an entourage) are comfortable.

      Anyway, Maisie is the “It Girl”; she’s a favorite of fashion designers and photographers, so she’s already branched out into other lucrative sidelines.

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    56. I’m pretty sure these five “tier-A” stars have had the highest-paying contracts on the show since Season 3, so Sophie and Maisie – despite becoming adults in real life (and on screen) – are still below them on the pay scale.

      It’s funny to think that now a big battle episode featuring only one or two of these actors could easily cost less than a regular episode with most of the cast (though all the merging storylines make this unlikely).

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    57. Genghis Khan,

      Oh Mr. Khan (or may I call you Genghis?)…

      You just wrote:

      “It’s not for no reason,i have simply no respect for dipshits and i don’t like to keep my mouth shut about it .”

      •. Even if you’re angered by someone’s comments, I implore you to consider everyone else who is reading your putdowns of the so-called “dipsh-its” you don’t respect.

      •. It may take a little more time and self-restraint, but surely you can find dignified language to express your disagreements, can’t you?

      •. If you simply cannot “keep your mouth shut”, consider how counterproductive it is to resort to personal insults and name-calling: As soon as someone sees that, any point you were trying to make is obscured. You may have intelligent, well thought out ideas – but when I see words like “dip—t”, I immediately dismiss whatever you wrote.

      • There are plenty of instances in the hundreds of comments each day when posters vehemently disagree with each other. But take a look: there are courteous ways to refute what someone else has written. The other option is to just ignore it.

      •. There’s an uncommonly high percentage of really smart, thoughtful people who frequent this site. It’s unlike many other fan sites with message boards that degenerate into back-and-forth bashing between two combatants. Here, the discourse is civil and friendly. The banter is witty and entertaining.
      Give it a try. Practice prefacing your responses with something like: “I read your comment with great interest, but for the following reasons I respectfully disagree…”
      It works better than “dips–t.”

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    58. Ten Bears,

      The things is though direwolf CGI etc has nothing to do with the amount of money the actors get paid, it’s two separate things. The network is in charge of the budget which D&D use however they wish as long as they don’t go over the amount and D&D have absolutely nothing to do with how much the Cast of actors get paid. The actors have to discuss their contracts and alter them with the network HBO not the show runners.
      The reason why there may be more money this season if they want to use direwolves is because like Kit said in a Interview, less episodes this season means they have more free range with the budget this season to spend more on CGI, it probably also helps that they have made their cast a little smaller and brought everyone closer together so that also means less money on locations. D&D have always struggled with the budget they’ve been given, which is probably why they wanted to do 7 EPs for S7 and 6 EPs for S8 so they have more to play around with, I imagine if HBO gave them bigger budgets we would of seen more direwolves in the past seasons.

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    59. Mel,

      I did not realize the showrunners have no input into actors’ compensation. I figured it’s six of one, half a dozen of the other: HBO’s bean counters calculate how much money can be justified in order to maintain profits, and then confer with the producers who apportion the total.
      If the showrunners have no say in the “acting” budget, and
      the CGI is part of the “after-salary” budget, then I can see how they have to make hard choices.

      I was kind of left with the impression that HBO recognizes that every dollar spent on GoT is worth exponentially more in terms of advertising and subscription revenue, not to mention Emmy recognition and worldwide “buzz.”

      (What’s that old saying about “penny wise and pound foolish”?)

      PS. As I’ve half-jokingly suggested in the past, I’d bet a “Save the Direwolves!” crowd-funding campaign would raise any additional money needed in a matter of days. I’m as stingy as they come, but I’d throw in 20 bucks to insure that the next time a character triumphantly proclaims that “he is the White Wolf!”, the camera flashes over to a regal-looking Ghost next to Jon Snow. And I’d probably mail in a blank check for Nymeria to reunite with Arya and accompany her wherever she goes…. and to gnaw on Littlefinger every episode.

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    60. They are worth EVERY penny of it! It is money well spent for great acting and clearly in HBO’s interest to do so.

        Quote  Reply

    61. Abbie: I’m not concerned with their resume.

      My initial post/point wasn’t suppose to be as much about resume, or how well known they are, but I got there when talking about “name pull” increasing a contract. That’s had a lot to do with initial contracts for movies & shows. As an example there was a recent dispute for Shameless. Anyone that’s watched the show would know that Emmy Rossum has been pretty much the lead character since it began, but she continued to be paid less than the older, more established William H. Macy. She got her new contract but she had to fight for it.

      Anyway, long into short, at least three of the A’s didn’t have a lot of gout behind their name for the contract. It apparently had more to do with who they’re playing AND that makes perfect sense. It just all makes me wonder as we move forward… Are the characters of Arya, Sansa and now even Davos any less major than Jaime? Are they more so?

        Quote  Reply

    62. Lowi,

      About Lena Headey’s “personal issues” possibly impacting her availability (screen time):

      • I have not heard anything suggesting that a custody dispute or anything else has affected her availability.

      • I admire her for her ability to keep her private life out of the headlines and out of the tabloids. (She’s been a great role model for Maisie Williams in this regard.) Neverthess, it’s my understanding that her ex was trying to squeeze her for money and was contesting (what he alleged) were her plans to move from LA to London, or something like that, since it would affect his visitation rights
      But none of this would impact her availability during filming of GoT: if anything, a judge would accommodate her filming schedule to avoid messing with her livelihood. (After all, nobody would benefit by clipping the wings of the golden goose.)

      • I’m just speculating here. I sure hope nothing like that has forced her to limit her screen time. (Long may she reign!)
      Does anyone know otherwise?

        Quote  Reply

    63. Ten Bears,

      Yes, it’s not always obvious but it’s always the network who works out contracts and pays the actors, the show runners concentrate on their creativity and the network is the business savy ones with their contracts and advertisement. Just like in Big Bang Theory, they made the deal with CBS not the showrunners so higher pay and a certain amount of years which means until their contract is up they are not allowed to leave the show for something else. ABC also has examples of these and if times the show finishes or gets cancelled if the actors are still under contract they are more likely to be first in line to be cast in another show on the same Network.

      I know what you mean, it seemed silly to call Jon a white wolf without Ghost being there but now that the showrunners have a little more leeway with their strict budget and as there are only two direwolves left it shouldn’t be as much as a problem. Obviously we won’t see them every episode, last season we saw the dragons 4/10 and the direwolves I think it was 3/10 episodes so as long as it’s at least a couple of episodes each season for the next two seasons I think people will be happy with that.

        Quote  Reply

    64. Clob,

      Talk about “shameless”! How could anyone justify not paying Emmy Rossum as the lead in “Shameless”, despite her age? (I admit I’ve only watched “Shameless” a few times; however, she always steals the show.)
      I saw Emmy Rossum in another movie – forget the name (“Beautiful Creatures”?). Though she had a supporting role, she outshone everyone else from the moment she appeared on screen.

      I wasn’t aware of her “Shameless” contract dispute.
      You’d think that actresses who carry a show, no matter their relative youth or credits on their “resume”, wouldn’t have to fight to be fairly compensated.

      It should be like in baseball: you get paid based on what you’re contributing now and how you can be expected to perform going forward – not what you did five or ten years ago.

      Emmy Rossum, like Maisie Williams, should be compensated for her contributions to the show, even if she’s eclipsed a “big name” veteran like William H. Macy. (Don’t get me wrong: Loved him in “The Cooler” w/ Maria Bello and Alec Baldwin.)

        Quote  Reply

    65. Clob,

      If you’re talking name pull in terms of hollywood rather than outside of it-fan recognition, then I agree. Their resume and connections within the industry would give them an edge when it comes to negotiations.

      Equally important is the importance of their characters on show.

      Also the fact that they got together to discuss contracts with HBO must have hepled.

      Ten Bears,
      Perfect! Maisie is doing just fine.

        Quote  Reply

    66. Ten Bears,

      No news has been reported in the last few months but she apparently put her son in a UK school as that is closest to where she films and she wants him to be in a British school and close to her as she wants to live there, Lena had to show a document proving from production that she was filming on a and off from October to February, the judge accepted it but said once she was finished she had to bring her son back to the US but Lena is fighting to change the custody agreement so they can stay in the UK. Her Ex-husband gets 10,000 from Lena every month for child support and his meant to see his son every ten days per month yet at the time of the article which was the end of last year Lena said he hasn’t made a effort to see their son in three months.
      All other info is speculation, so that’s all the concrete info I know at this stage.

        Quote  Reply

    67. J17,

      To say nothing of judging actors and their talent. It is silly to not recognize that Jon and Dany are the two main characters at this stage of the story. So of course the actors playing them are going to leverage that to be paid the highest.

        Quote  Reply

    68. Ryan,

      I wouldn’t say The Big Bang Theory is “awful.” What I would say is that it should really be called “The Sheldon Show” because Jim Parsons makes that show funny. Everyone else is along for the ride and lucked out in the salary department.

      Though Simon Helburg as Wolowitz and the actor who plays Raj have grown on me, everyone but Sheldon could be recast without BBT missing a beat.

      But you know what ? If all of his costars got a big payday – good for them!

        Quote  Reply

    69. Mel,

      Thanks for the details! Sounds to me like the typical absentee father trying to use the kid as a pawn to extort more money from his more successful ex-wife.

      I’m sure Lena was told she couldn’t just unilaterally enroll the kid in school in England if he’s been living in the US.

      From the details you reported, it doesn’t sound like the custody thing affected Lena’s filming at all: Nobody was arguing that she HAD to remain in the U.S. during GoT filming.

      The only downside to the mega payday report: her ex and the ex’s attorney will probably use it as a pretext to try to soak her for more money. ?

        Quote  Reply

    70. Ten Bears,

      Yeah, exactly. The only time Lena’s filming schedule came into question is when her Ex said to the court that Lena had already filmed 3 months so her filming should be over, so Lena had to get proof it was in fact not over from production of GOT stating she is contracted to be needed from end of September to end of February in case of reshooting, script changes etc she needs to be available for. So Lena would of had to take time from filming to prove that to the judge but she would of made that time up after.

        Quote  Reply

    71. VoldeMord,

      I remember in years past they were considered “second tier” because of the difficulty of working around the “child hours” requirements. No idea why they would be considered second tier now though.

        Quote  Reply

    72. Ain’t seen nothing yet? Color me excited!

      And good on them for the actors. Well deserved!

        Quote  Reply

    73. Emilia is definitely the most popular of all the actors, she has the biggest following on social media, which these days means a lot. lol. Im sure Kit would be even more but he doesn’t have social media .

        Quote  Reply

    74. Abbie: Irrelevant. If were considering other factors, Clarke and Harrington characters are bringing in more cash (via merch) than the others so in fact, they should be paid more than Lena, Peter and Nik.

      Good point, although it refers rather to the characters than the actors who portray them.

      Tyrion Pimpslap:

      To say nothing of judging actors and their talent. It is silly to not recognize that Jon and Dany are the two main characters at this stage of the story. So of course the actors playing them are going to leverage that to be paid the highest.

      I don’t disagree. It’s a common problem in the movie industry, unfortunately.
      Anyway, if they’re good, they should definitely be well paid. That said, $2.5m per episode seems insane.

      Casting is definitely one of the strenghts of the show – almost all actors (not sure yet about the SandSnakes) are good and many are just outstanding!

        Quote  Reply

    75. J17,

      It’s not about being good or bad. It’s because they are now famous and have lost their privacy because of that. Which makes their lives more expensive if they want to go somewhere without constantly being harassed by fans and press.

      Plus the fact that they are basically freelancers and are never sure about their next role(job). So cash in while you can. One or two wrong choices in movies and they are no longer in demand. But then they would still be public figures. Fame is very fickle.

        Quote  Reply

    76. Geez, this topic must have been on my mind more than I thought… I actually had a quick image in a dream last night of looking at the article on top and seeing “UPDATE: Maisie and Sophie too!” in bold letters. Dumb. I’d think my brain could come up with more entertaining dreams. 😛

        Quote  Reply

    77. T-Marie,

      Hard to think of Arya as “second tier”, especially since S4 when the finale ended with the long shot of Arya on board the ship sailing off to Braavos, with soaring music in the background.

      (That’s my criteria for “top tier”: who’s gotten a season’s final scene?)

        Quote  Reply

    78. Ten Bears:
      Dee Stark,

      I did not know that Emilia has the biggest following on social media.

      I would’ve bet the farm it was Maisie Williams.

      As a person that pretty much only reads social media I don’t really know how to verify all of the platforms. Maybe the more involved have a better idea.

      All I know is that Maisie has ~1.6 million Twitter followers while Emilia has ~600k on the “verified” accounts, BUT, neither of them are very active or active at all on those accounts. I’ve read about a more personal twitter of Maisie’s but don’t know what it is. Maisie’s Instagram has 4.9m followers while Emilia’s is 9.2m. *shrug*

        Quote  Reply

    79. jjddss:
      Clob,

      GoT watchers can’t name Emilia’s character.Hahaha.Always with the frickin’ Khaleesi rather than Daenerys.

      I reckon we can blame Jorah for most of that with his screaming it out eh.

        Quote  Reply

    80. The Wolves of Winter,

      Well, Emilia would not necessarily be “paid the most” under my half-baked standard. It would just mean that she’s in the “top tier” along with other actors/characters who’ve been featured in the closing scene of a season’s finale. (You don’t get bonus points or multiple dollars for appearing in more than one. You just get membership in the exclusive club.)

      Disclaimer: I’m approaching this from a fanboy perspective. I just assume the showrunners like to conclude a season highlighting a popular, significant character in a dramatic scene that sets up the next season.
      Arguably, I don’t know what I’m talking about. ?

        Quote  Reply

    81. Clob,

      You know what though? Both Emilia and Maisie are humble, self-deprecating, and wickedly funny in their Instagram and Twitter postings.

      Emilia is the Queen of hashtags; Maisie is the Princess of Quips. Long may they reign!

        Quote  Reply

    82. People think it’s easy to be nude on TV and have uncomfortable sex scenes? The show does not expect these of Maisie and Sophie but it does of the older actors like Emilia and Lena. Their job is that much harder for it. I don’t see anything wrong in them getting paid more than the younger actresses. Both Dany and Cersei are also popular characters on the TV show. Kit Harington puts in twice the work as the other actors for his battle scenes and Peter Dinklage is the best and most recognized actor/character they have got.

      The only actor that I feel does not belong to that group is Nikolaj who has been in less episodes and has not had much to do for the last couple of seasons.

        Quote  Reply

    83. Mel,

      How does this division of finances work? I’m always intrigued by behind-the-scenes stories of unqualified corporate “suits” interfering with the creative process of writers and directors. *

      You wrote:
      “Yes, it’s not always obvious but it’s the network who works out contracts and pays the actors, the show runners concentrate on their creativity and the network is the business savvy ones with their contracts and advertisements.”

      Hypothetically, I could envision a corporate clown telling Benioff and Weiss that their Season 8 scripts are awesome … but since HBO emptied its vaults to pay each principal actor a king’s ransom, there’s not enough money left to pay for all the planned action sequences and CGI. Or would the showrunners propose to prematurely kill off a main character to restore millions of dollars to the overall budget?

      *. PS By the way, GRRM had an amusing anecdote about network executives fouling up the creative process when he wrote scripts for The Twilight Zone. I’ll see if I can find it.
      ——-

      To be cont. Keyboard is falling asleep on me…

        Quote  Reply

    84. SerNoName,

      Interesting criteria. When I formulated mine, I hadn’t factored a Nudity Coefficient into the equation.

      (Lena hasn’t been in the buff though, has she? They used a body double for the Walk of Shame. Does that mean she forfeited a nudity bonus ?)

        Quote  Reply

    85. Dee Stark,

      You are correct in that Emilia has far more Instagram followers than anyone else, although her Twitter and Facebook accounts are pretty much never used. Her Instagram numbers alone are greater than anyone else’s combined, but I have no idea how that works out in terms of posts going viral, being shared, etc. In other words, if Emilia has by far the most followers on Insta but people are just looking at and “loving” her posts, whereas Maisie and Sophie are also active on both Twitter and FB and fans might be looking, “liking,” and re-tweeting and sharing, does that make a difference?

      I realize that’s probably going into waaayyy too much detail, but I assume that’s the sort of math the Q-Scorers do.

      Instagram
      Emilia: 9.2 million
      Maisie: 4.9 million
      Sophie: 4.7 million
      Lena: 953,000
      Isaac: 290,000
      Nikolaj: 233,000

      Twitter
      Emilia: 549,000 (inactive)
      Maisie: 1.59 million
      Sophie: 1.25 million
      Lena: 850,000
      Isaac: 266,000
      Nikolaj: 212,000

      Facebook
      Emilia: 1.97 million (inactive)
      Maisie: 2.18 million
      Sophie: 1.99 million
      Lena: (none)
      Isaac: (none)
      Nikolaj: (none)

        Quote  Reply

    86. Dee Stark,

      I don´t know how many followers Kit could have on Instagram because not only depends on who you are but also on how you use your account, it will be very interesting to know what kind of post Kit will made.

        Quote  Reply

    87. Karenchasez,

      I HOPE Kit doesn’t show up on Instagram. I like to imagine that his absence means he’s too busy spending time with his highborn Scottish lady from Lickleyhead Castle.

        Quote  Reply

    88. Karenchasez,

      Going by the very few pictures that he’s taken and been shared by other people, I’m going to guess it’d be full of black and white ~artistic~ pictures, maybe with some profound qoutes attached, lol.

      But seriously, he seems to be an avid photographer so I’d really like to see Kit with an Instagram… someone should tell him that there’s settings that makes for an easier experience, if he doesn’t want hundreds of comments for example.

        Quote  Reply

    89. Clob,

      Emilia does not use her twitter account
      And instagram is known to have more of a following than twitter, for all celebrities…

      Maisie and Sophie have a similar following on twitter and instagram.

      But all three, Maisie, Emilia, and Sophie, aren’t as active as “most celebrities” who are obsessed with their social media accounts. I would imagine they would have even MORE of a following if they were more active. Not that they care anyway lol

        Quote  Reply

    90. Wolfish,

      Mmm I don’t think reposts or retweets determine popularity…
      “Likes” and stuff like that are usually high relative to the person’s following.

      Like when Kim Kardasian posts a picture of her BUTT and she gets 3000,000 likes… well she has like 50 million followers.

      Emilia gets lets say over 600,000 likes but she has 9.2 million followers.

        Quote  Reply

    91. Ten Bears,

      Sorry to be the ol’ bubbleburster! Although, I think if you go with first scene of the season rather than the last then your theory may hold water 🙂 Oh wait…no, it doesn’t. Well damn, nevermind.

        Quote  Reply

    92. VoldeMord: Hmmm no mention of arya and Sansa…. either they’re considered second tier characters or….. kaput. Interesting.

      OH WOE that wouldn’t be interesting, that would be awful. BOTH Stark girls gone? No no no. To all you Sansa haters, pffffffttttt, I love Sansa and love how Sophie plays her. And losing Arya would suck totally. It’s good news for the main players, but I hope there is good news for the rest of the cast, too.
      The comments made about the exciting things to come in the next two seasons has me stoked though. I can’t wait.

        Quote  Reply

    93. Clob,

      Yes! All of her followers! Which makes sense I suppose since none are her equal really. Haha. Hopefully when she arrives in Westeros they’ll start calling her Queen and maybe the general public will catch on.

        Quote  Reply

    94. There are a lot of factors that go into actor’s salaries that have been mentioned already: screen time, nudity, physical scenes…

      But a big one is Actors’ unions. An actor’s classification within their respective union influences everything from the rates and bonuses they are paid for the aforementioned factors, to what order they get listed in opening credits, to who gets a bigger trailer, to negotiating power over the length of contracts they are obligated to sign (think unrestricted agents in sports). Even things like how much skin they have to show or their engagement in dangerous activity (hence nude body doubles and stunt persons) can be tied to where an actor sits in their union…. though an actor has the authority to waive any of this if they really want to show off their stuff.

      So yeah, unions. Older actors who have bigger resumes, lots of awards and nominations, and more experience are naturally higher up the scale. This is also why certain cameos in GoT are elevated higher than others – it’s not just because they want to promote nabbing a big name, but most likely they are obligated to give that actor a certain level of publicity and a credit that reflects their status alongside season regulars (e.g. Max Von Sydow).

      Anyway, thought I’d throw that out there.

      (p.s. another fun one is that some unions restrict the number of projects actors are allowed to work on per year, which can make shooting and writing interesting. I encountered this once when a project I worked on was trying to recruit a specific actor who was “overbooked”)

        Quote  Reply

    95. messy:
      Wait a sec, aren’t they almost done filming season seven? Why would they sign a contract NOW?

      I don’t know for certain but… At least one location I read of it mentioned they weren’t new contracts but a report of earnings now with clauses and/or escalators kicking in on the contracts we’d last heard about. shrug

        Quote  Reply

    96. VoldeMord,

      HBO has treated those five as the “main” actors of the show since like Season 4. Since Sophie and Maisie are still Young Adults they still fall behind them and sometimes even older actors like Carice or Liam. Just look at the opening credits. It seems unfair perhaps in Season 7 they’ll have more topper billing (had no idea how to properly word that haha)

        Quote  Reply

    97. The Big Bang Theory actors also just re-negotiated their contracts to extend their show two more seasons. They’ve often been touted as the highest paid cast. Well, the later two additions were still paid less than the original five, so the originals chipped in. Since the GoT cast are so unified and friendly, I think the high-paid five should do the same thing for Maisie and Sophie, who also started in the first season and presumably are held back mainly because of their age. Then we’d know that they are truly friendly and willing to put their money where their mouths are. Anyway, here’s the relevant part of that article:

      “Since Bialik and Rauch arrived on the show later, they have been making less than their co-stars, who all began with the show in the first season. They were reportedly holding out in an effort to gain salary parity with their co-stars. Deadline and The Hollywood Reporter report the five other main cast members agreed to forgo a portion of their salaries to beef up Bialik’s and Rauch’s deals.”

        Quote  Reply

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