"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.
"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.