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Most expensive 'Game of Thrones' episode, 'Watchers on the Wall'

By Elise Gabriele,

Sunday night’s episode of HBO’s hit series, Game of Thrones, was the most expensive to produce in all four seasons of the show.


Image courtesy of INFphoto.com

Season 4 of Game of Thrones delves into the action-packed ending of George R.R. Martin’s third novel of the A Song of Ice and Fire series. Use of CGI, period costumes and battle sequences necessitating that the entire cast and crew be moved to shoot in locations like Ireland, Iceland and Croatia has led to an average Game of Thrones episode costing approximately $6 million to make.

According to PolicyMic, $6 million is two to three times the amount a network or cable show usually costs per episode. Comparatively, Breaking Bad cost about $3 million per episode.

Kit Harrington, who plays Jon Snow in Game of Thrones, told Access Hollywood that Sunday night's episode, “The Watchers on the Wall,” in which he plays a major role, is the most expensive episode of the show thus far.

“I think it’s as big as Thrones has gone at the moment... a lot of that is due to the CGI,” Harrington said.

The episode is entirely focused on the battle between the Night’s Watch and the Wildlings. Harrington said of the episode that his character finally gets to prove himself to his commander, Alliser Thorne and everyone else who didn’t believe what he told them about the Wildlings, giants and life North of the Wall. In episode 9, Jon’s premonitions are finally proven true.

“And so I hope it doesn’t disappoint, really, because it’s meant to have been leading up to this,” Harrington told Access Hollywood.

Like many of the actors and actresses that have worked on such a popular, grand-scale show, Harrington stated about his part in the show and episode 9 in particular, “I feel hugely privileged.”

This ninth episode of season 4, shot in Belfast, Northern Ireland, is the most large scale episode since season 2’s episode “Battle of Blackwater Bay” which cost the show-runners $8 million to produce, PolicyMic stated.

“I wouldn’t say it’s wall-to-wall action - because it doesn’t start right away - but once it gets going about 15 minutes into the episode it doesn’t stop,” David Benioff, co-creator of the show, said of Sunday night’s episode, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.

The show's new production designer, Deborah Riley, created a larger scale set for the scenes on top of The Wall. According to Benioff, Riley’s creation is considerably larger than what the cast had previously used.

Benioff added, “You can do walk-and-talks, you can have action sequences. It’s completely surrounded by green screen, which apparently is the biggest green screen in Europe.”

 
 

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