House Lannister may be the economic powerhouse of the Seven Kingdoms, but which Game of Thrones stars receive the highest pay? It turns out there are five stars who receive the most pay per episode and yes, three of them are Lannisters.
According to Cosmopolitan, the Lannister siblings of Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister) and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister) each receive $500,000 per episode of Game of Thrones. Kit Harrington (Jon Snow) and Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) also receive the same pay.
According to Business Insider, there is a second tier of actors who receive less than those top five but more than anyone else on the show. Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) and her on-screen sister/real-life bestie Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) are each paid $175,000 per episode. That’s a considerable difference in pay, but Turner has said before that she understands why there’s such a difference.
“Kit got more money than me, but he had a bigger storyline,” Turner explained to Harper’s Bazaar. “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.'"
Even making less than their co-stars, Turner and Williams are estimated to be worth $6 million each. And even the higher-paid stars’ salaries are half of what the highest-paid stars on television receive per episode. Nicole Kidman receives $1 million per episode for appearing on Big Little Lies, another HBO show. Norman Reedus (The Walking Dead), Jim Parson (The Big Bang Theory), and Elizabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale) also receive $1 million per episode.
Game of Thrones returned to HBO last week to record-setting ratings. The second episode of the show’s final season airs tonight. With most of the major players converging on Winterfell for the battle against the White Walkers, more of those high-paid actors are sharing scenes than ever before. But even with only five episodes left, we wonder whether all of these top tier stars will live long enough to see the finale and find out who finale sits on the Iron Throne. After all, like Cersei, herself said, “When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.”
Are you excited about the final season of Game of Thrones? Let us know in the comments! Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on HBO.
(h/t Cheat Sheet)
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