4:35pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Game of Thrones' Stars Score Hefty Pay Raises for Season 8
HBO is sharing the Game of Thrones wealth with the cast.
The stars of the Emmy-winning drama are in line to receive hefty salary raises for the likely eighth and potentially final season of the fantasy drama based on the books by George R.R. Martin, sources confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter.
Due to score sizable pay bumps are leads Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), Kit Harington (Jon Snow), Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister). They'll each earn upward of $500,000 per episode of season seven, which has already been announced, and in the likely eighth season (which is all but a formality). The raises for season seven come as part of an option HBO had with the cast as part of their last deal, signed in October 2014, that saw the five stars each become among the highest-paid actors on cable TV. The premium cable network had the option on season seven, and that has now been exercised and packaged with season eight. While the five stars are locked in, it does not guarantee that their characters will survive through what is expected to be the end of the series. HBO declined comment on the salary bumps.
Season eight has not yet been announced but is wildly expected as the drama, from showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss is, in their words, "approaching the finish line." The duo told THR ahead of the current sixth season — which wraps Sunday — that they are "writing the final act" and are "looking at somewhere between 70 and 75 hours before the credits roll for the last time."
Also unclear are just how many episodes seasons seven and eight will consist of. When season six wraps this weekend, Thrones will have aired 60 episodes, meaning the remaining two seasons could be short-orders to match the 75 hours producers have envisioned.
The contracts of the remaining stars, including Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark), Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) and others, has not yet been completed. Their last deal, in October 2014, also saw them net hefty raises with an option for season seven.
Game of Thrones ranks as HBO's most-watched series ever and is the premium outlet's longest-running show currently on the air.
For full coverage, bookmark THR.com/GameOfThrones.