The final season of Game of Thrones was pretty controversial on HBO. It also just happened to mark the highest-paying season for many of the actors who played main characters on the series. And now the season is up for numerous Emmys. Here’s a look at the actors’ pay per episode and how it has evolved over the years, including their net worth.
They Started Out Making $150,000 an Episode, Which Was Increased to $300,000 in 2013
The actors started out making about $150,000 an episode, The Hollywood Reporter shared. Then in 2014, some of the bigger names on the show were able to negotiate pay increased to $300,000 an episode, Deadline reported. This included Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. They didn’t negotiate as a group, Deadline said, but did the deals one by one in exchange for extending their contracts to a seventh season.
Their Salaries Increased to $500,000 an Episode for Season 7
According to statistics released by Variety in August 2017, those same actors made $500,000 per episode during Season 7. This included Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Peter Dinklage, and Lena Headey. The statistics were compared to actors from other shows. Interestingly, Mark Harmon of NCIS brought in more, making $525,000 an episode.
They’re Now Making More than $1 Million Per Episode, Plus Negotiated Bonuses
According to Daily Express, Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke, Lena Headey, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and Peter Dinklage had all signed contracts that could earn them up to £2million per episode thanks to bonuses. This extra money is due to clauses that give them bonuses based on syndication payments from 170 countries.
But their salary was even larger for the final season. In October 2018, The Hollywood Reporter estimated that Harington, Clarke, Dinklage, Headey, and Coster-Waldau were each making $1.2 million per episode in Season 8. They negotiated these raises during Season 7.
This means that in total, Clarke, Harington, Headey, Coster-Waldau, and Dinklage could each have earned $7.2 million for the final season, possibly more if you include bonuses for syndication.
Not Everyone’s Making This Much
It should be noted that these salaries are only relevant for the bigger name characters listed above. Not even Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark, is making this much. Sophie Turner has shared that Kit Harington makes more than her on the show, but it doesn’t bother her. She told Harper’s Bazaar that demanding equal pay is tricky. Harington, she said, has a bigger storyline than she does so it makes sense that he would make more. “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,” she said.
Some of the Actors Are Multimillionaires
Some of the actors who play the “bigger” characters on Game of Thrones are now multimillionaires.
Harington’s total net worth is estimated at $12 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. Harington and his wife, Rose Leslie, bought a £1.75 million house in the English countryside, according to Independent. It’s a 15th-century timber house in East Anglia with seven bedrooms. It’s on eight acres and has a barn, stables, a paddock, and a moat, Curbed shared.
Celebrity Net Worth estimates that Emilia Clarke’s total net worth is $13 million. She owns a $4.64 million home in Venice Beach, California. It has two bedrooms, three bathrooms, and a 30-foot swimming pool, Curbed shared. She purchased the house in 2016, which is about 2,800 square feet in size. The home also a beautifully landscaped outdoor area along the side of the house that you can reach through sliding glass doors in the living room and dining area.
Lena Headey’s net worth is estimated to be about $9 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. Her net worth is a little lower because of a costly divorce. In 2013 she shared that almost went bankrupt because of it and only had $5 in her bank account at the time. In 2017, she sold her Sherman Oaks home for $2.05 million, after originally buying it for $790,000 in 2014, Curbed shared. She said that she and her family planned to leave LA for England and live in a village near her hometown.
Peter Dinklage’s net worth is estimated at $15 million, Celebrity Net Worth shared. Dinklage, a father of two, has also made money from many other appearances, including Avengers: Infinity War, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, and more. Dinklage was reportedly the first actor cast on Game of Thrones, Express reported. He’s come a long way. HIs first apartment in New York City shook when trains passed overhead, there was no heat, and it had rats, Looper shared. Before making it big, he worked in data entry for seven years.
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau’s net worth is estimated at $16 million, Celebrity Net Worth shared. He grew up in a small town of Tybjerg with a population of just 40 in Denmark, Esquire shared. His first role was a 1994 Danish thriller called Nightwatch, and Ewan McGregor starred in the Hollywood remake in 1997. He then had a supporting role in Enigma, a movie with Kate Winslet, and a year later had his first major Hollywood role on Black Hawk Down. As of 2016 he was still living in Denmark with his wife of nearly 20 years. They have two daughters.