‘Game of Thrones’ season 8 has a $90 million budget — here’s what to expect from its 6 episodes

The final season will premiere on April 14.

caption
The final season will premiere on April 14.
source
HBO

INSIDER Senior Reporter and resident “Game of Thrones” expert Kim Renfro is the author of the upcoming unofficial guide to the series. Renfro broke down what to expect from the last and most expensive season of “Game of Thrones.”

With the biggest budget for the series yet, what does that mean for the show?

They’re spending an average of $15 million per episode, which is just astronomical. We’re going to get bigger everything: bigger battles, bigger dragons direwolves this season. It should be really exciting.

Has the storytelling ever been affected by the budget in past seasons?

Yeah, if you go all the way back to the very first season of the show when HBO didn’t know how big it was going to get, they were only spending an average of $6 million per episode.

There was actually supposed to be a big battle scene that happens in the books where Tyrion Lannister charges into battle with the forces. Instead of doing that, because they ran out of money, they just had him knocked out with an ax or something on his way to the battle and then he wakes up in the battles all over.

They just had to kind of skip that entirely.

Now we’ve gone from $6 million an episode back in that first season to almost more than double that with $50 million for these final six episodes.

And what were some of the most expensive episodes in the past?

The first really major milestone that they hit was in season two with Blackwater. They went to HBO, the showrunners, David Benioff and Dan Weiss, and they pretty much begged them for an extra $2 million, so that they spent $8m total on that episode.

It was this big naval battle, they had this giant wildfire explosion with CGI. That was really the starting point for everything kind of ramping up from there.

What does $50 million per episode look like? What do you expect for season eight?

Definitely, dragons are going to be a big part of where that budget is going, but also direwolves. They had to skip the direwolves again for storytelling in all of season seven. We didn’t see a single direwolf because they’re a little more expensive to make.

We’re definitely going to get, we know, at least one scene with the direwolf.

That’s exciting. And do we know anything else about the episodes?

They’re going to be longer than ever. It’s only six for this final season, but even though it feels like a shorter season, they’re going to be over an hour long each.

Some of them [will be] up to feature length, is what we’ve been told. Maybe an hour, 20 minutes, hour and a half, so basically mini-movies.

What are you most excited about for this season?

I love Jon Snow. He’s my favorite character and so I really want to see him reunite with Aria, who he thinks is his half-sister, really his cousin, but we don’t have to get into that.

He might ride a dragon, which could be really cool. We’ve heard that he did some script, some green screen shoots after everything else had wrapped on production. We know that Emilia Clarke does that when she’s having to ride her dragon, and so hopefully – fingers crossed.

To see the full interview, watch the full episode of Business Insider Today.