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Game of Thrones has returned its final season. Though we’re halfway through the last six episodes, we have no idea who will sit on the Iron Throne in the end. HBO has delivered epic battles and tons of devastation. However, the Game of Thrones budget per episode for Season 8 is legendary in and of itself. In this final season, we’ve seen all of our favorite players–Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, Sansa Stark, Tyrion Lannister, and Arya Stark among others descend upon Winterfell to defend the living against the Army of the Dead.
During the third episode of Season 8, “The Long Night” GoT fans watched in horror as our favorites defended Winterfell from the Night King, his White Walkers, and The Army of the Dead. With such a massive battle that included the Dothraki, the Unsullied, three dragons, a castle full of people, and some blazing fire–we knew that the budget for Season 8 of GoT was beyond massive. The breakdown of the money spent per episode was even more astounding.
Though HBO doesn’t typically release information on specific budgets per episode–we do know that Game of Thrones creators/showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were given $90 million for the final season of the series. This means that if they split everything evenly–they would have had $15 million per episode.
However, since some episodes of GoT are juicier than others, we don’t quite think it worked out that way. The first episode of Season 8 was relatively tame and involved each one of our favorite characters meeting up at Winterfell. Aside from a few horses and some fancy weapon–this was pretty low-budget as far as #demthrones is concerned. Therefore, we’re going to estimate that about $10 million was spent on this episode.
“A Knight Of the Seven Kingdoms”–58 mins
“A Knight Of the Seven Kingdoms,” the second episode of the season was also rather tame. As all of our favorites prepared for battle–they spent time in Winterfell drinking to what they believed was their impending doom. Since there weren’t too many bells and whistles here–we’re going to take a wild guess and say that HBO spent about $10 million for the episode.
“The Long Night”–82 mins
So far, Season 8, Episode 3 has been the Big Kahuna in terms of Game of Thrones episodes. At 82 mins long, it’s the longest episode of the entire season and featured one of the biggest and most gruesome battles ever to be witnessed on TV–The Battle of Winterfell. In addition to the usual GoT frills, the episode included hundreds of extras, some CGI magic, and massive sets. The episode was shot for 55 consecutive nights over the course of 11 weeks in below freezing temperatures.
According to Entertainment Weekly, 750 crew members were used to put the entire mini-movie together. Since the Season 6, Episode 9 episode, “Battle of the Bastards” cost more than $10 million to produce and “The Battle of Winterfell” was on a much larger scale we’d estimate that it cost the GoT producers about $20 million to bring the episode to life.
“Episode 4”–78 mins
Since the war against the Night King and the dead has been won. Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen are about to shift their focus toward Cersei Lannister and King’s Landing. From the previews–we can tell that ships and dragons will be involved as the troops from Winterfell head south–so we’re going to estimate the Season 8, Episode 4 budget at $15 million.
“Episode 5”–79 mins
In typical Game of Thrones fashion, the penultimate episode of each season tends to be the most chaotic. However, since these are the final episodes of Game of Thrones–we’re going to assume that episodes five and six are going to leave us distraught. They have to be comparable to “The Long Night” so we’re going to expect the budget will sit around $20 million for episode 5.
“Episode 6”–79 mins
The final episode of Game of Thrones will finally reveal to us who will be sitting on the Iron Throne, and we’re not ready. No matter how this plays out–it’s going to be an epic display that’s worth at least $15 million. We wonder if the series will also show us a sneak peek of the forthcoming Game of Thrones prequel which is set to debut in 2020.
We can dream, right?