HBO is pulling out all the stops for Game of Thrones‘ final season, which is expected to begin shooting at the end of this year.
While Season 8 will only be comprised of six episodes, they will each be about the length of a feature film, and they will have the budget to match. Variety is reporting each episode will have a budget of $15 million, the highest in the show’s history.
To put that into perspective, Elle reports Season 2 was rumored to have cost $6 million an episode. Season 6 was at $10 million an episode and Season 7 was around $14 million an episode.
The upped budget makes sense not only for the fact that the episodes will be so much longer, but also because the special effects will no doubt need to be epic.
At $15 million we better see the return of Ghost, that’s all I’m sayin’.
There are also reports the show plans to film multiple endings in order to throw off hackers, which plagued Season 7. Can you imagine if the Season 8 finale was hacked and leaked online? That would be the biggest tragedy in television history. Of course HBO is keen on preventing this any way possible and, while multiple endings does seem like a good scheme, it also means more money.
HBO president of programming Casey Bloys commented to Deadline about the plans to shoot multiple endings, “You have to do that on a long show… Because when you’re shooting something, people know. So they’re going to shoot multiple versions so that there’s no definitive answer until the end.”
Critically acclaimed shows like The Sopranos and Breaking Bad also used the strategy of multiple ending to throw snoops off the trail.
Not gonna lie, as a die-hard fan of the series, I almost wish the budget for the episodes would have been a bit higher. I know, greedy. But consider the fact that most sci-fi movies have budgets of about $100 million for just one film and suddenly $15 million seems like a tight sum when you factor in the dragons and White Walkers we need to see in every other upcoming scene.