Game of Thrones has no pay gap; main cast Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage receive same salary
The wage gap between men and women remains a serious issue even in the 21st century. This disparity manifests itself across various industries and sectors, and is especially evident in the entertainment industry, since salaries and cheque sizes are discussed so often.
In the universe that is Game of Thrones, strong women characters do exist, but the society at large is entrenched in patriarchy and gender inequality is a reality. However, the scenario is very different outside this fictional world. A recent Variety report revealed that the main female and male leads are paid the same amount, which comes as a welcome change.
The main star cast, consisting of Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister), Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), Kit Harington (Jon Snow) and Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), all get paid $500,000 per episode. The actors who play pivotal roles but who do not get paid the same amount are Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) and Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark), but it can be argued that this is because they are significantly younger than their co-stars; they are 20 and 21-years-old respectively.
This means that a 13-episode long season earns these five Game of Thrones actors more than $6 million.
The documents which were released after the infamous HBO hack this year also revealed one-time payouts clauses in the contracts of Kit Harington and Lena Headey, which implies that if they are individually nominated or win a Golden Globe or Emmy Award, or are nominated for a Screen Actors' Guild award, or if the show is nominated for or wins an Emmy or Golden Globe for Best Drama, their salaries do not remain limited to this $500,000 figure.
It has not yet been revealed if this clause is part of Clarke, Coster-Waldau and Dinklage's contracts.