Game of Thrones is the internet’s, if not the planet’s, most-loved drama and fantasy series. If you’ve ever tried to guess which of its actors earns the most from the show, you’re not alone. Every solid fan wants this answered, ergo this post.
In Season 6, the leading actors Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister), Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) and Kit Harrington (Jon Snow) all appeared eight times. But you already know that if you’re keeping track of their screen time. Maybe there are other variables at play in deciding their pay. Let's explore.
For instance, with the ‘Battle of the Bastards’ being the highest-rated episode to date, it seems Emilia Clarke and Kit Harrington deserve the highest paychecks. They have clearly drawn a huge worldwide audience during this unforgettably epic episode where Daenerys showed off her all-powerful fire-breathing dragons and Jon Snow led a heart-stopping battle against Ramsay Bolton’s massive army.
But that discounts the fact that the show isn’t worth watching without its vicious characters like Ramsay Bolton (played by Iwan Rheon), Cersei and Jaime. We’re not including Iwan Rheon on our list of potential highest-paid GoT actors as he is new and he has just died this season. Meanwhile, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Lena Headey have continued to play as great villains so it’s possible that they have received huge remuneration for their roles. As long as their characters, Cersei and Jaime, are alive, the duo will keep commanding high salaries.
Wait, aren’t we forgetting how amazing Peter Dinklage’s performance since the first season until of late? Though a halfman or imp won’t ever become the ruler of the seven kingdoms, Tyrion’s role is truly irreplaceable in this series. GoT won’t be a legend as it is without the mighty, witty dwarf. Huge fandom over Tyrion aside, is it fair for other big co-stars that the Hand of the Queen gets more than the queen (Daenerys) herself?
So who is the most paid of all Game of Thrones actors?
Not one of these actors but all five of them.
HBO has not released an official statement on the actors’ salaries. Yet rumor has it that each of these five main stars gets around $300,000 for every episode. Since Emilia Clarke, Kit Harrington, Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau appeared at the same number of times in this season, these actors earned around $3 million in Season 6. If they were paid based on the number of episodes where they’ve appeared, it’s $2.4 million each.
Yes, it’s a tie for these five fantastic actors. In the next season, the quintet might negotiate for higher salaries. Who will get the biggest paycheck in Season 7 remains to be seen.