Game of Thrones is a very popular show, with a large group of characters. In fact, it's hard to tell who the main characters are as the show focuses on most of the characters pretty equally. Yet behind the scenes there are some characters and actors who get paid more than others. So clearly the show does acknowledge certain characters and actors as more important than others. At least when it comes to a paycheck. Now, this is not to say that those who are paid a bit less are not appreciated as much as those who are paid more. We are sure that all the talented actors on Game of Thrones are appreciated equally. Yet it's still interesting to see which actors get paid more and which characters are considered more prominent behind the scenes.
Though it was not possible to find salary information for all of the actors on this list, it was interesting to compare the salaries we could find. Some of the highest paid actors might surprise you, as will some of the lower paid actors. Don't get us wrong. All of the actors on Game of Thrones get a nice salary, we're sure. Some of the highest paid actors make around $500,000 per episode. Some lower salaries include $175,000 per episode and $100,000 per episode. All of the actors get good salaries, though all salaries are not equal. Those with more prominent roles get paid more.
Welcome to: The 20 Highest Paid Actors On The Show (And Their Roles).
20 John Bradley, Samwell Tarly, $100,000 Per Episode
That's right. The actor who plays Jon's best friend has the lowest salary on this list. It does make sense, though. While Sam is a beloved and well known character, he is not the most important one. Though his intelligence is often useful to Jon and to other characters, he is not as prominent a character as say Daenerys or Tyrion. Therefore the actor who plays him, John Bradley, does not get as high a salary as other actors on the show. Though we'd like to point out that this is only an estimate, and his salary may in fact be higher. Regardless, his salary is not as high as for example Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen)'s or Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister)'s are.
19 Rose Leslie, Ygritte, Net Worth Of $4,000,000
Jon Snow's love— and Kit Harington's— is also on the lower end of this list. Though her Game of Thrones salary is unknown, she has a pretty impressive net worth of $4 million. However, since her character was, like Sam, very beloved and well known but still not super prominent we're guessing that her salary was on the lower end of the scale. Keep in mind, though, that we're not sure of her salary and that it could have been higher than we think it was. However, we're pretty sure that it was not at the higher end of the scale due to Ygritte not being a main character. She was introduced in season two and was relatively well known until she was eliminated in season four, however she was not as prominent a character as say Daenerys or Tyrion.
18 Natalia Tena, Osha, Net Worth Of $5,000,000
Natalia Tena's Game of Thrones salary is unknown. Yet she has a rather impressive net worth of $5 million. Still she is at the lower end of this list. Most likely because her character is not extremely important, her salary is likely at the lower end of the scale. Though we are sure it is still a good salary and has added to her net worth. Osha was one of the original characters from season one. She became a protector for Bran and Rickon and protected Rickon until she was eliminated by Ramsay during season six. Although she was introduced early, she was not in every season of the show. She appeared in seasons one, two, and three but not four and five. She returned briefly during season six before perishing.
17 Richard Madden, Robb Stark, Net Worth Of $6,000,000
That's right. Robb Stark himself is on the lower end of this list. At least, we think so. Though he has a rather impressive net worth of $6 million, which most likely was added to from his time on Game of Thrones, according to the actor himself, his salary on the show was not as high as people would think. Hence why he is at the lower end of the list. Madden states that "when [he] signed up for [Game of Thrones he] was 22," which means he wasn't an experienced actor. Because of that, he wasn't paid very much.
Which is somewhat sad given the fact that he was a main character. If Robb hadn't been eliminated during season three's infamous Red Wedding episode, perhaps Madden would have been able to negotiate a higher salary, similar to Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke who were also unknown actors before Game of Thrones.
16 Conleth Hill, Varys, $100,000 Per Episode
Varys is another character who has been around since season one. He is more prominent a character than Osha, so perhaps that's why he's a bit higher on the list. He is not, however, as important as characters like Daenerys and Tyrion, which is why he is not as high as they are on this list. The actor who portrays Varys, Conleth Hill, still does make a good salary, though. Game of Thrones appreciates all of its talented actors and most likely makes sure that they feel that appreciation through their salaries. It is important to note, though, that this figure is just an estimate of his salary. His actual salary could be higher, we don't know. However, we're fairly certain he does not make as much money as the actors portraying main characters like Emilia Clarke and Peter Dinklage.
15 Aidan Gillen, Petyr Baelish, $100,000 Per Episode
That's right. Everyone's favorite schemer, known as "Littlefinger" for many fans of Game of Thrones, is on the lower end of this list. Again, this salary is an estimate. We are not sure if it is his actual salary. His actual salary might be higher. But we are certain it isn't higher than others on this list, which is why he is at the lower end of the list. Petyr Baelish is another character who has been prominent since season one. Although he is no longer in the show, having been eliminated at the end of season seven, his character was interesting until the end. Before being taken down by the Stark sisters, he was the architect behind a lot of different schemes on the show.
14 Gwendoline Christie, Brienne Of Tarth, $100,000 Per Episode
First introduced as a member of Renly Baratheon's Kingsguard, Brienne of Tarth is one of the most honorable characters in Game of Thrones. That's rare in a world full of morally grey characters like Westeros. The actress who portrays her, Gwendoline Christie, is very talented and makes a good salary. Again, this is an estimate of her salary. Her actual salary might be higher. We are pretty confident, though, that it is not higher than the salaries of more prominent characters. Hence why she is at the lower end of the list. Her salary is most likely not higher than the salaries of, for example, Emilia Clarke and Peter Dinklage. Or even the salaries of Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams as Brienna is typically in the background of the grand narrative. Therefore, we feel fairly confident about her placement in the list.
13 Nathalie Emmanuel, Missandei, $100,000 Per Episode
Missandei started out as a slave. Now she is a translator, friend, and trusted advisor to Daenerys Targaryen. That's quite a change. The actress who portrays her, Nathalie Emmanuel, also is doing very well for herself. She makes a good salary of $100,000 per episode. Though this is only an estimate of her salary. Her actual salary may even be higher. Though we are fairly confident it is not higher than the salaries of, for example, Emilia Clarke and Peter Dinklage. Or even the salaries of Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams. Though Emmanuel's character, Missandei, is beloved by fans and has been quite prominent since her introduction during season three, she does not portray a main character and therefore does not earn as high a salary as other actors on Game of Thrones.
12 Rory McCann, Sandor Clegane, $100,000 Per Episode
Since season one, Sandor Clegane, known as the Hound by Game of Thrones fans, has been a prominent character. He is a very morally grey character but is loved by many fans. Sandor Clegane started out as Joffrey Baratheon's bodyguard but eventually went out on his own. Currently, in season eight, he is at Winterfell and fought in the battle of Winterfell, fighting against the White Walkers. The actor who portrays him, Rory McCann, makes a good salary of $100,000 per episode. Again, we are not sure if this salary is his actual salary. His actual salary may even be higher. We are fairly confident, though, that his salary is not higher than, for example, Emilia Clarke's or Peter Dinklage's salary. Or even Sophie Turner's or Maisie Williams' salaries.
11 Iain Glen, Jorah Mormont, $100,000 Per Episode
Jorah Mormont is another character that has been prominent since season one. A disgraced former knight, he was exiled from Westeros because he sold people into slavery. He fled Westeros to avoid being eliminated by Ned Stark. While in exile, he met Daenerys Targaryen. At first, he was spying on her for Varys and Robert Baratheon, hoping to earn the right to go home to Westeros. Eventually, he developed feelings for Daenerys and began to genuinely serve her. He developed greyscale, which was eventually cured by Samwell Tarly, and then he returned to Daenerys' service.
The actor who portrays him, Iain Glen, earns a good salary of $100,000 per episode. This salary is only an estimate. But we are fairly confident about his placement in the list since he would not have a higher salary than Daenerys herself, Emilia Clarke, or other more important characters like Arya (Maisie Williams) and Sansa (Sophie Turner) Stark.
10 Natalie Dormer, Margaery Tyrell, $100,000 Per Episode
Margaery was a secondary character in the show, but that didn't stop her from becoming a fan favorite, most likely due to Natalie Dormer's incredible acting. Margaery was introduced during season two and remained a prominent character until her demise during season six. First introduced as the wife of Renly Baratheon and the sister of well-known knight Loras Tyrell, she later became Joffrey's wife— briefly— and then Tommen's. She was also Sansa's friend for a while and we believe Sansa learned a bit from her.
The Tyrells are a very rich and powerful family in Game of Thrones, and Natalie Dormer herself most likely isn't too far behind them. She made a good salary of $100,000 per episode. Again, this is an estimate of her salary. Her actual salary could have been a lot higher. Though we are fairly confident that she didn't make more than the actors for main characters like Sophie Turner and Emilia Clarke.
9 Alfie Allen, Theon Greyjoy, $100,000 Per Episode
Theon Greyjoy is a prominent character, who has been around since season one. Once a ward of the Starks, he then betrayed them and was eventually captured by Ramsay Bolton. Ramsay treated him terribly. Theon, however, was eventually able to redeem himself by helping Sansa Stark escape from Ramsay. He, along with his sister Yara, offered their ships to Daenerys Targaryen and offered her their help in claiming the Iron Throne. It remains to be seen how successful or unsuccessful they will be. The actor who portrays Theon, Alfie Allen, makes a good salary of $100,000 per episode. This is, again, an estimate of his salary. He may actually make more money than this. We are, however, confident that he does not make more money than, for example, Peter Dinklage or Emilia Clarke. Or even Sophie Turner or Maisie Williams.
8 Isaac Hempstead Wright, Bran Stark, $175,000 Per Episode
Bran is a very important character. He's been in the show since season one and is part of one of the families at the center of it all, the Starks. He, like most of the characters on the show, has been through a lot. Pushed out of a window and almost eliminated during season one, Bran has definitely suffered. He also trained to be the Three Eyed Raven, and was therefore crucial in the fight against the Night King and his army of White Walkers. It makes sense, then, that the actor who portrays Bran, Isaac Hempstead Wright, makes a good salary of $175,000 per episode. While he does not make as much money as the expected leads of the show, his salary is still pretty good and shows that his character is important to the story to this day.
7 Sophie Turner, Sansa Stark, $175,000 Per Episode
Sansa is another important character who has been around since season one. Like her brother Bran, she too has been through a lot. From Joffrey to Cersei to Ramsay, she has definitely suffered at the hands of those who had power over her. It's made her a bit jaded and less trusting than she was initially. Poor Sansa. She deserved better. Fortunately, she is now home in Winterfell and is doing quite well for herself. She has learned from all the people she's been around, from Cersei to Margaery to Littlefinger. The actress who portrays Sansa, Sophie Turner, makes a good salary of $175,000 per episode. While she does not make as much money as, for example, Kit Harrington or Lena Heady, she still makes a solid salary. Her salary also reflects the fact that her character is somewhat important, especially in later seasons.
6 Maisie Williams, Arya Stark, $175,000 Per Episode
Arya, like her siblings, has been around since season one. She is part of House Stark and is a fan favorite character. She too has suffered. She's been on the run since the end of season one and has only been able to survive due to her training in sword-fighting and her intelligence. She has traveled to Essos and has learned how to be a kind of assassin from the best. She is now back home in Winterfell and is doing quite well for herself, having eliminated some of the people on her list. The actress who portrays Arya, Maisie Williams, makes a good salary of $175,000 per episode. While she does not make as much money as, for example, Emilia Clarke or Peter Dinklage, she still makes a good salary. Her salary also reflects the fact that her character is somewhat important.
5 Lena Headey, Cersei Lannister, $500,000 Per Episode
Cersei is yet another character who has been around since season one. Many fans are likely surprised, though, at how prominent her character is behind the scenes. Cersei is quite the morally ambiguous character, and may even be one of the few villains on the show. Her exact role is uncertain since a lot of what her role is depends on what happens during season eight, which is still airing. She is an interesting character, though. Since season one, her goal has been to hold on to power for herself and her family. Her family, in her mind, consists of her, her brother/lover Jaime, and her children. Her children, unfortunately, have all passed away before season seven of the show. The actress who portrays Cersei, Lena Headey, makes a good salary of $500,000 per episode. Her salary reflects the importance of her character, which some fans might be surprised by.
4 Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Jaime Lannister, $500,000 Per Episode
Jaime is another character that has been around since season one. Although some fans may be surprised at his importance behind the scenes, Jaime has always been a prominent character. He is Cersei's brother and was her love until recently. Jaime started out as a very arrogant and selfish character. While he is still morally ambiguous, throughout the show he has redeemed himself from his past actions. He has become the kind of character that fans love instead of the kind of character that fans love to hate. Jaime has gone from the kind of person that no one trusts to the kind of person that cannot go back on his word. The actor who portrays Jaime, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, makes a good salary of $500,000 per episode. His salary reflects the importance of his character, which some fans might be surprised by.
3 Peter Dinklage, Tyrion Lannister, $500,000 Per Episode
Tyrion's importance to the story will come as a surprise to no one. Not only is Tyrion a prominent character since season one, he is also a fan favorite. His sense of humor and his intelligence make him a popular character with fans. Like many characters on Game of Thrones, he is morally grey. Yet that doesn't stop anyone from loving him. He started out as a character who seemed simple, yet had hidden depths. As the show went on he went from a womanizer with a heart of gold, to someone who had suffered and slowly picked himself back up again. He went from believing in nothing to becoming Hand of the Queen to Daenerys Targaryen. It makes sense, then, that the actor who portrays Tyrion, Peter Dinklage, makes a good salary of $500,000 per episode. His salary reflects the importance of his character.
2 Kit Harington, Jon Snow, $500,000 Per Episode
Jon Snow's importance to the story will probably surprise some fans but not many. Jon has been a prominent character since season one. He is probably one of the most noble characters in Game of Thrones. He does not care about power and just wants to help people to the best of his ability. Jon was raised as the illegitimate child of Ned Stark, though he now knows his true parents. Because of how he was raised, though, he is often an outsider with the other Starks. Due to his upbringing, he grew up feeling a bit left out though he was loved by his siblings, especially Robb and Arya, and his adoptive father, Ned Stark. He joined the Night's Watch during season one and was part of that group until his demise during season five. He was brought back by Melisandre during season six and is currently still surviving. Such an important character, then, deserves a high salary. So it makes sense that Kit Harington gets a salary of $500,000 per episode.
1 Emilia Clarke, Daenerys Targaryen, $500,000 Per Episode
Daenerys' importance to the story should come as a surprise to no one. She has been a prominent character since season one and is also a fan favorite. Her idealistic nature mixed with her ruthlessness when necessary make her popular with fans. She started out as a meek and timid character who slowly grew stronger and stronger. Each season, she seemed to grow stronger. And now she is at the height of her strength. It remains to be seen if she will take the Iron Throne or not, but she is certainly an iconic character that will be remembered long after the show is over. It makes sense, then, that the actress who portrays Daenerys, Emilia Clarke, has a high salary of $500,000 per episode.
Do you know any other highly paid Game of Thrones actors? Who had the most surprising pay check for you? Let us know in the comments!