Fans of Game of Thrones know that a Lannister always pays his debts. The Lannisters should have no problem in that department after stars Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau all got massive pay-raises. In fact, all the leads are getting pay-hikes to appear in season seven (they were already signed up for season six; season five is currently in production), making the show’s actors among the highest-paid in television. We think so anyway: while sources are tight-lipped about how much money everyone is set to make, the show is such a global money-maker that it seems likely the actors were in a strong negotiating position to stay. As The Hollywood Reporter notes, “Renegotiations are common on hit shows, and Thrones is the biggest show on HBO, with its fourth-season finale drawing 7.1 million total viewers. Last season, Thrones topped The Sopranos as HBO’s most watched series of all-time in terms of average gross viewership. The series draws a massive 18.6 million viewers across multiple platforms and views. Its viewership overseas is similarly strong.” It’s safe to assume nobody in Westeros is going to go hungry.
In this, the Golden Age of Television, star salaries have been steadily climbing. Dinklage, for instance, was earning $150,000 per episode before contract negotiations, which is a lot, but chicken-feed in comparison with what CBS pays the likes of Ashton Kutcher and Jim Parsons. While the exact figures of the Game of Thrones pay-hikes are unknown, we do know that not everybody is being paid equally. Dinklage, Headey, and Coster-Waldau, along with Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke, will be paid the most. Maisie Williams, Sophie Turner and Natalie Dormer will also get pay-bumps (just not as much).