There has been some discussion recently of television budgets, what with Netflix losing subscribers and a rumour going around that Stranger Things’ season 4 cost $30 million per episode. Upcoming series such as The Rings of Power, The Last of Us, and Avatar: The Last Airbender also sound as though they will be breaking the bank. So, how does Game of Thrones spin-off House of the Dragon compare to the budget of the original series?
Game of Thrones’ budget started off at a reasonable $6 million per episode in the first season, but this rose to $15 million by its final season. Sources have told Variety that House of the Dragon’s budget is under $20 million per episode, which is potentially higher than the final season of Game of Thrones.
This is still probably considered a reasonable budget for a high-fantasy, CGI-heavy series being produced in 2022. House of the Dragon has used ‘The Volume,’ a new technology invented by ILM for The Mandalorian which involves using huge LED screens as backdrops instead of adding them in during post-production.
While the technology is expensive, it cuts down on shooting and editing time, and presumably has a knock-on effect to the show’s budget in the long-run. It was also used in Thor: Love and Thunder and could be seen on display in the recent teaser.
For comparison to House of the Dragon, the Lord of the Rings spin-off series The Rings of Power reportedly has a budget of over $450 million for its eight-episode first season, but this included start-up costs. Buying the rights to Lord of the Rings cost $250 million alone.
Check out our guide to the best Game of Thrones characters, ranked to see if you agree with our choices.