Game Of Throne is easily one of the most popular television shows right now. Even though the last season was derided by fans for not being true to the characters, it still attracted its fair share of viewings.
And with the success of every season, the budget for the show kept getting higher. While the budgets for individual episodes have not been disclosed by HBO, some episodes cost more than others as it’s pretty evident from the show itself.
In fact for the last season, reportedly $15 million was spent on each episode, making those the most expensive episodes of the bunch.
Do you remember all of them?
10 Season 5, Episode 10 – Mother’s Mercy
The fifth season finale wasn’t CGI-heavy but was still pretty expensive to make. The showrunners, Dan Weiss and David Benioff admitted as much at a SXSW panel in 2017.
In this episode, we see Arya Stark assassinate Meryn Trant, a pedophilic member of the King’s Guard. It demanded a lot of careful choreography, prosthetics, and special effects, to make it look realistic.
9 Season 2, Episode 9 – Blackwater
This was one of the better early episodes of the series, if not one of the best. Although later seasons had episodes that cost more, for its time, it was very expensive. The original budget had been around $8 million and the showrunners required another $2 million to properly make it. In fact, there was a high chance that all the fighting, including the whole spectacular scene with wildfire, might have happened off-screen.
This episode was also probably one of Tyrion’s best, as he single-handedly enthused his soldiers and took charge of the fighting, where they ultimately triumphed.
8 Season 5, Episode 8 – Hardhome
In this episode, we saw Jon Snow trying to protect the wildlings from the White Walkers, except those zombies got there first. Many of the wildlings thus perished and became wights that joined the ever-growing army of the Night King.
It was pretty CGI-heavy and took a toll on Kit Harrington. Apparently, he had to shoot each of the five fight sequences several times to get it right.
7 Season 6, Episode 9 – The Battle of the Bastards
This was another penultimate episode that the fans found especially satisfying. We finally got to see Jon Snow and Ramsay Bolton battle it out. And Ramsay’s death at the end of it was perhaps the best ending we could hope for.
While the budget for the other episodes were roughly $10 million apiece, this one probably required more, around $11 million. Yep, $11 million for a one-hour episode! It took over 25 days to shoot, and around 600 crew members, 500 extras and 70 horses were involved.
6 Season 8, Episode 1 – Winterfell
The last season was also the most expensive if we go by the per-episode budget. Made with a budget of $90 million, every episode cost close to $15 million. But even though it may have had a promising start, the last few episodes proved that the quality of the show had markedly fallen and no amount of fancy CGI and dragonfire could salvage it.
The first episode was rather sweet, as we saw the remaining Starks (Jon, Arya, Bran, and Sansa) finally reunite with each other after they were separated from each other in the first season.
5 Season 8, Episode 2 – A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms
The second episode of season eight was pretty slow-paced and dialogue-heavy, and that made sense as we all knew it was the calm before the storm. We saw a lot of familiar faces and character-bonding, especially with Tyrion and Jamie.
We also start to notice that Daenerys isn’t perhaps as strong as she appears, and she feels acutely threatened by Jon’s popularity in the North. Plus, the tension between her and Sansa did nothing to ease it.
4 Season 8, Episode 3 – The Long Night
This was possibly the most anticipated episode of the lot and ended up being pretty disappointing because well, it was just too dark. The long-drawn-out battle between the humans and the White Walkers that we’d been hinted at from the very first season was all over in a single episode.
And yes, we get that “the night is dark and full of terrors” but the episode was so dark, we could barely make out who was fighting whom and what exactly was going on. If only some of the budget was used to make it a bit brighter!
3 Season 8, Episode 4 – The Last of the Starks
This episode made us realize that the show’s focus was never about the battle with the White Walkers but the final showdown at King’s Landing between Cersei and Daenerys. And this episode seemed to level out the playing field. Cersei’s mercenary army from the Golden Company did not seem strong enough, but on the other hand, Daenerys had just lost her second dragon (after losing the first one to the Night King last season).
The episode ended with the killing of Daenerys’ friend and advisor, Missandei, which further enraged her. We also see Jamie finally get it on with Brienne only to leave her to return to Cersei.
2 Season 8, Episode 5 – The Bells
This was the battle we’d been promised and the overdose of CGI was pretty evident. With her single dragon, Daenerys managed to burn down all of King’s Landing and she did not relent even after The Red Keep fell and Cersei and Jamie died in each other’s arms, buried beneath a pile of rubble.
It was a pretty devastating episode, but one of the highlights was the fight between The Hound and The Mountain that was satisfying.
1 Season 8, Episode 6 – The Iron Throne
The final episode concluded with the burning down of the Iron Throne itself. In a series of twists that failed to do justice to the character’s arcs, we saw Daenerys lose it and finally take on the qualities of the Mad King and Jon, despite loving her, had to betray her trust by stabbing her for the greater good.
It seemed after all that the only people who emerged victorious were the two Starks, with Sansa becoming the Queen in the North and Bran, the lord and ruler of the remaining six kingdoms.
Not the best ending that we hoped for, but at least the show is over now!
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