How much an episode of Game of Thrones costs: You'd be surprised which shows rival its budget

25 May 2016 / 5 months 1 day ago

Game Of Thrones, the TV series that has episodes that each feel more like mini-movies.

With spectacular sets, amazing CGI and grand costumes, the show has fans mesmerised with its grandeur, reports UniLad.

But how much does all this actually cost?

Actors, costumes, and exotic locations take a back seat when it comes to budget.

It is special effects that takes the front seat – with a whopping budget of SGD$9.4 million per episode (£6.8 million) for this years’ sixth season.

According to finance website Money Inc, this is where all the money goes:

The CGI industry acts as an assembly line with a team of 10-12 who processes shots through several stages: Modeling, Tracking, Animation, Dust Busting, BgPrep, FX, Compositing, Lighting, etc.

The average time for this process within the team is at least four weeks if not more.

This equates to around 1,600 man hour at a minimum without overtime.

At SGD$70 per hour, per person, that equates to a minimum of $110K per shot.

If a Game of Thrones episode has 10-minutes of CGI, which equates to SGD$1,105,586.

There are other additional factors that drive up the cost including computer storage space per episode, accounting, human resources, overhead and the multiple other departments that contribute to the successful launch of a show.

In 2011, the cost per episode of GOT was estimated at SGD$8.28 million (or £4.1 million – that’s already two to three times a typical cable show).

However, viewer demand for more magnificent battle scenes and believable dragons pushed that cost to SGD$13.8 million for Season six.

In Season two, the famous Blackwater battle scene cost SGD$2.76 million alone, bringing that single episode’s budget to SGD$11 million.

Considering each season has ten episodes, a whole season (given the episode budget of SGD$13.8 million) would amount to $138 million.

But when you consider what the HBO team is packing in for that money, it’s a bit of a marvel.

Rivaling with the most expensive shows of all time, GOT matches Friends when it comes to budget.

But unlike the American sitcom, GOT packs international filming, costume design, 10 times the cast and CGI.

For the same amount of money. Maybe it’s time fans stopped pirating GOT and pay to watch it once in a while.

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