Saturday 22 October 2016

Revealed: What do Game of Thrones's biggest stars earn?

Alice Vincent

Published 05/10/2016 | 19:43

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (left), Maisie Williams, Emilia Clarke, Sophie Turner and Kit Harrington of HBO's
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (left), Maisie Williams, Emilia Clarke, Sophie Turner and Kit Harrington of HBO's "Game of Thrones" pose backstage with their award for Oustanding Drama Series at the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. Reuters/Mike Blake

The Lannisters may always pay their debts, but it transpires that all of the top stars of Game of Thrones get a similarly luxuriant salary – regardless of what House their characters are aligned with.

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Variety have undertaken an extensive survey of actors, executives, agents and managers to try and estimate the earnings of the most highly paid stars of television, including a handful of Game of Thrones's top brass.

Their findings show that The Hollywood Reporter were rather accurate with their estimations of the most highly paid Thrones stars' salaries earlier in the year, where all the actors from the series listed by Variety estimated to earn $500,000 (€568,000) per episode.

On-screen siblings (and, in two cases, lovers) Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister) and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister) all earn an estimated $500,000 per episode, as do Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) and Kit Harrington (Jon Snow).

These are the only Game of Thrones actors mentioned in Variety's list, which is split into drama, comedy and reality/hosting categories. Either the publisher was unable to glean the income of Game of Thrones's other stars – such as Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy), Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) and Maisie Williams (Ayra Stark) – on the list, or they earn less than the lowest-earning actors included, the stars of Fox's Empire, who earn $20,000 per episode, which is unlikely.

But the Game of Thrones cast weren't the highest paid in drama, according to Variety. While Kevin Spacey matched their earnings for House of Cards and Mark Harmon received $25,000 more per episode of crime series NCIS, it was the stars of the Gilmore Girls who were the unlikely highest earners. Lauren Graham, who plays Lorelai Gilmore, and Alexis Bledel, who plays Rory Gilmore, both earn $750,000 per feature-length episode of their Netflix-produced four-parter.

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