‘Game of Thrones’ Cast Gets Huge Pay Raise for Possible 7th Season
HBO has locked down its Game of Thrones cast for the future, giving major raises to its principal actors. While specific dollar amounts have not been revealed for the raises, they’re said to be huge. In fact, the raises are so substantial that the cast will now become one of the highest paid ensembles on cable TV.
Reportedly, the deal is the result of an extensive contract renegotiation that secured big raises for seasons 5 and 6, with an option for a possible seventh season. Since the initial contracts were only for six seasons, HBO had to shell out for major salary increases if they wanted to guarantee the principal actors for a seventh season, hence why the pay is increasing now rather than later. While a seventh season has not been confirmed, it’s unlikely HBO would be increasing pay for seasons 5 and 6 unless they had every intention of renewing the show for a seventh season. The show is a massive hit for the network, and a very huge part of the zeitgeist, so it’s very likely the show will last to Season 7, at the very least.
The raises will follow a tiered pay structure, with the stars in the “A” tier earning the highest pay, while “B” tier stars still earn a considerable amount but at a lower scale than their counterparts. The lower tiers of regular actors will still receive pay increases, but at a considerably smaller scale than the show’s more recognizable faces.
The “A” tier includes Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen), Kit Harington (Jon Snow), and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister). This group reportedly renegotiated their contracts collectively, as a group.
The “B” tier, meanwhile, includes Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell), Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark), Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) and other featured regulars who fall just outside of the “A” tier spotlight.
Ultimately, while these renegotiated contracts include an option for a seventh season, the new deal doesn’t necessarily guarantee that all of these characters will live to see a seventh season. Hell, knowing George R.R. Martin and what he’s told showrunners David Benoiff and D.B. Weiss about what’s in store for the characters, I’d actually count on some of these characters losing their lives long before that point. But when it comes to its biggest show, HBO appears to be in the “better safe than sorry” business. It’s a smart decision, considering how vital this cast is to the success of the series. It’s one thing to repeatedly recast The Mountain or Beric Dondarrion, but they’d never be able to replace someone like Peter Dinklage. And now, hopefully, they won’t ever have to.