Movies & Television

A Game of Numbers: The Costs and Profits of Game of Thrones

When you play the Game of Thrones, you win, or you die. After 8 seasons spanning 73 episodes and bringing together 566 characters, HBO have spent an estimated $1,460,600,000 to bring George R.R. Martin’s vision to the screen. But has this investment made them richer than the Iron Bank of Braavos or will they have to emulate the Lannister’s in always paying their debts?

Thinkmoney have played the ‘Game of Numbers’ to find out just how profitable the sprawling television epic has been to HBO.

Whilst critical reaction to the final season has been mixed, considering viewing figures, HBO subscription costs, production budgets and episode lengths, HBO have at least brought in enough money to hire their own personal Golden Company.

Whilst the production budgets on the show have steadily increased over the past eight years, the huge number of fans who tune in every week to see who will finally end up on the Iron Throne means that HBO only pay $2.37 for every viewer who has tuned into season eight.

When it comes to which character holds the largest share of ‘pulling power’, it seems Jon Snow does know something after all.

By looking at each character’s percentage on of time on screen across the show, the reluctant King in the North is responsible for $501 million of the total money made by HBO through subscriptions over the show’s history. However, when looking at which characters have earned the most for HBO per minute on screen, Grey Worm tops the list, earning $953,378 for every minute the unsullied hero appears on screen. Who would have thunk?

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