In just under a month, HBO will welcome viewers back to Game of Thrones for its sixth season as the show finally goes beyond the currently published books in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. The sixth season may also be the year that Game of Thrones became the most expensive show on television.
According to the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly, “[Game of Thrones] easily costs north of $10 million per episode at this point — not that you’ll hear HBO complain.” And why won’t HBO complain? Because Game of Thrones is easily the most popular show currently on the network, and possibly the most popular series that HBO has ever had. Game of Thrones also won the Emmy award for best drama last year. That’s not something that the network takes lightly, even if it means that the network will be paying $100 million to produce ten episodes this season.
Previously, the budget for Game of Thrones was believed to be around $6 million per episode, and showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss infamously had to go to HBO to ask for more money to produce the “Blackwater” episode in the second season.
So, what accounts for the greatly increased budget? The remaining performers on Game of Thrones reportedly signed new deals that go through the end of the seventh season. But that’s only part of the picture. Game of Thrones is filmed on location around the world, and that’s not cheap! The scale of the series has continued to increase every season, and it shows up on screen. Whatever it costs, though, it’s worth it.
The sixth season is also said to have a massive battle sequence that may surpass anything else in the show’s history. That was probably a major reason for the increase as well.
Game of Thrones will return to HBO on Sunday, April 24.
Image Credit: HBO