HBO’s Game of Thrones is one of the most popular shows on television, and so it makes sense that the show’s actors are some of the industry’s highest paid. So how much money does each Game of Thrones actor make per episode?
This is not information that HBO officially releases, but earlier this year, The Express reported that the show’s five biggest actors now make £2 million ($2.58 million) per episode. Those five actors are Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen), Kit Harington (Jon Snow), Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister).
The seventh season of Game of Thrones consists of seven episodes, meaning that for their work this season, each of these actors will take home £14 million ($18 million). This contract is reportedly also for the eighth season, and considering that season will consist of six episodes, they will take home £12 million ($15.4 million) for next season.
The Hollywood Reporter reported in November 2016 that these five actors will actually earn $1.1 million per episode for seasons seven and eight. But The Express’ report is that “complex bonus clauses” in the contract will see them taking home closer to $2.5 million.
If these numbers are true, the Game of Thrones‘ cast recent pay raise was quite massive, as Variety reported in October 2016 that these actors were being paid $500,000 per episode.
Whether these Game of Thrones actors are being paid $1.1 million or $2.5 million per year, they’re now the highest paid actors on television, and potentially the highest paid TV actors of all time depending on which figure is true. For comparison, according to E! Online, the actor who previously held the record for highest paycheck per episode was Charlie Sheen, who was paid $1.8 million for each episode of Two and a Half Men. Kelsey Grammer also earned $1.6 million for each episode of Fraiser; that’s about $2.1 million in today’s dollars.
It is not known how much money the other members of the Game of Thrones cast make per episode.