"Game of Thrones" has become one of the most iconic TV series that ever was — not to mention a veritable cash fountain for HBO — and now the "Game of Thrones" cast is setting records of their own.
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington, Peter Dinklage and Lena Headey are set to become the highest-paid actors in television history, with an approximate $2.5 million salary per episode in Season 7. That's a nice bump from their current $500,000 paychecks, according to Variety in 2016. The mega raise is due in part to syndication contracts — the series is now shown in 170 countries across the globe.
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"Friends" who? The cast of the NBC comedy set the previous record. Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow and Matt LeBlanc were enticed back for its final season with $1 million an episode plus a share of syndication profits. "The Big Bang Theory" cast reportedly makes slightly less for the next two seasons — Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki took a pay cut from their $1 million per episode salaries to compensate their lower-paid co-stars Mayim Bialik, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar and Melissa Rauch.
"GoT's" budget will also be raised to an eye-popping $10 million an episode, partly to enhance battle scenes (and, we expect, increase the fake-blood budget). The seven-episode Season 7 is set to begin on HBO on July 16, later than usual to compensate for a shooting schedule that had to be pushed back to the cold-weather season — winter, after all, has arrived.
But it looks like the cast's bank accounts won't feel a chill anytime soon.