Those battles, CGI dragons and exotic locations add up

By Eliana Dockterman
March 31, 2016

Game of Thrones is one of the most expensive shows ever made on TV. And as the seasons go on—and those CGI baby dragons grow into fire-breathing, army-smiting pets—the price tag for each episode just keeps going up.

For season six, HBO forked over an average of $10 million per episode, according to a recent story in Entertainment Weekly. (That’s up from a reported $6 million a few years ago.) There will be 10 episodes of the fantasy show this season, which means HBO spent $100 million on this year’s show.

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A good deal of that money likely went towards what the producers are describing as the largest and most epic battle scene that any TV show has ever attempted: The highly tactical confrontation will involved hundreds of human (not CGI) soldiers on the battlefield. It will rival the “Blackwater” episode from season two, according to EW.

Though a $10 million price tag for a TV show may sound excessive, it’s not unprecedented: The final season of Friends reportedly cost $10 million per episode (including the $1 million paid every episode to each of the six cast members), and the closest Friends came to a battle scene were arguments between Ross and Rachel about whether they were on a break.

Game of Thrones returns April 24.

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