“Game of Thrones” is gearing up for production on its final season this October, which means tidbits about the six-episode Season 8 are finally rolling in. HBO has already revealed the directors list for the series’ remaining episodes, which includes Miguel Sapochnik (“Battle of the Bastards”) and David Nutter (“The Rains of Castamere”). Considering the final season needs to include massive battles between the living and the dead, it makes sense the show has called up two of its most epic directors. But what are the budgets these directors will be working with? The answer is a huge one.
Variety reports each episode of “Game of Thrones” Season 8 will cost at least $15 million, a price tag that could skyrocket even higher depending on re-shoots and additional VFX work. The number means HBO will spending $90 million or more on the final season.
Each episode is reportedly going to be feature-length, so while the episode count may be the shortest in the franchise’s history, we may end up getting just as much screen time. The longest “Thrones” episode (the Season 7 finale) ran just shy of 80 minutes, but each Season 8 entry is expected to run longer.
The $15 million budget for each episode is way above recent big TV spenders like Netflix’s “The Crown” and “The Get Down,” both of which had episodes hovering around the $10 million price tag. “Thrones” episodes in the past have also been estimated at around $10 million each. The expensive cost more or less means more dragons, more White Walker showdowns, and hopefully more direwolves. We’re a long way from the first two seasons, where Benioff and Weiss couldn’t show battles in full because they didn’t have a budget for them.
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“Game of Thrones” Season 8 is expected to premiere in 2018 or even early 2019.