Game of Thrones, one of the biggest, most popular television shows of all time, returns to HBO this spring, and it's pulling out all the stops! Each episode of this final season will cost around $15 million to produce, which means the six-episode season will end up costing around $90 million total. But even as the budget goes up, showrunners D. B. Weiss and David Benioff still have to find creative ways to save money. One of their shortcuts was in Bravos' Hall of Faces.
In an article for HBO, Weiss revealed that, to save money, the faces Arya encounters in the Hall of Faces, which houses skinned faces of the dead, may seem endless, but are actually just the crew's faces put into place countless times:
"You need enough faces that you don't sense the repeats, but you obviously can't face cast thousands and thousands of people because that's prohibitively expensive. We used all the face molds we have ever used before. Both [series co-creator] David [Benioff] and myself appeared many, many times in the Hall of Faces… there is at least 20 or 30 of me in there, which is, I suppose, my cameo for the show."
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The editors did too good a job for most people to recognize any of the faces twice, but Weiss assures us there are quite a few doubles hidden among the countless masks.
Even with a massive budget, the Game of Thrones team needs to save money where they can so they can create massive battles worthy of the series' end. The Battle of the Bastards, the show's largest battle to date, reportedly cost $10 million and took multiple weeks to film.
Fans don't seem to care how much the show costs, as long as it comes back soon!
The cost of premium TV continues to rise as fans demand an increasingly cinematic experience. Fansided reports that "companies like Netflix are paying $10 million an episode to make The Crown and $8 million per episode for the second season of Stranger Things." Considering its global fan base, HBO doesn't mind shelling out some extra cash to make sure GoT lives up to the hype. Considering Season 8's reportedly longer run times, higher prices are to be expected.
"I imagine they'll be longer but … I'm not sure [how long]. Two hours per episode seems like it would be excessive, but it's a great show, so who knows?"
The show's final season is set to premiere on HBO in April, and we can only hope the world is ready for what's coming. Fans certainly are.
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