To help put this in some perspective, the combined net worth of the 15 actors on this list from Game of Thrones is $109 million. It can be difficult to believe that just 15 people could be worth so much money collectively that are not involved in dealing cocaine. Nope, this money came straight from everyday Joes who decided to purchase merchandise, costumes, and tune in to the show whenever it airs.
Game of Thrones has become so popular and such a cultural icon that people are legitimately willing to steal it in order to find out what happens next. This is evidenced by the fact that it is no secret that Game of Thrones has become the most pirated television show in history. Let that sink in for a minute. With all of the options available to people and the super easy way to find television shows for free, Game of Thrones is the one that people want the most. Nobody is stealing Breaking Bad or The Wire like that. People are not willing to risk fines and jail time for Boardwalk Empire or The Flash. Instead, just like crack cocaine, people have become so addicted to it that getting their fix is better than anything else.
In the end, this has made millionaires out of relatively unknown actors and introduced the world to a genre with an interesting spin on it. It has turned a funny looking author, George R.R. Martin, from a good writer to one of the most recognizable pen jockeys in entire world. Ultimately, there are few shows, and will be few shows, that are anything like it. Enjoy the 15 highest net worths of the Game of Thrones actors.
15. Gwendoline Christie – $500,000
Gender stereotypes are all the rage in Hollywood. Ever since the beginning stages of the movie and television business, people have managed to marginalize all kinds of different minority groups; blacks, Asians, gays and lesbians, and especially women have had to endure the awful stereotyping that takes places in the executive boardroom of movie studios or in the writers’ room. In the end, everyone knows deep down that relying on movies to learn about a group of people is a really stupid idea.
This is what makes GoT so interesting. The writers there are casting away as many stereotypes as they can and they have done a great job with Gwendoline Christie’s character, Brienne of Tarth in making those stereotypes a thing of the past. Finding Christie, who is 6’3”, taller than NBA point guards, was a huge find because she absolutely does not fit the stereotype of women often portrayed in entertainment. The character’s taste for the martial arts are something that most female characters would never consider and it has made the show so incredibly good. Because Christie has played this role so fabulously, she has managed to amass a small, but respectable fortune in the meantime.
14. Lena Heady – $1.5 Million
Face it, acting is a tough gig. For those who have never worked in the entertainment industry, those legends that abound about struggling actors who are down to their last penny, desperate for work, will take on anything that will let them pay the rent are totally true. This is not only the case for actors, but it is also true for writers, directors, and crew members. It is a feast or famine industry and it will suck the marrow out of the bones of even the most talented and dedicated people.
To make ends meet, actors have to sometimes take on some kind of crazy roles. For the ultra-desperate, they will just have sex on camera because that is always a winner. For some, even if they are not doing something as risky as adult entertainment, they have to take on some roles that may make it difficult to talk about work at cocktail parties. Lena Heady, who plays Cersei Lannister on GoT, is one of those people who reportedly was dead broke before she landed the role of the conniving, evil, incestuous character. Now, she is having money fights with the other crew members in their champagne bubble baths.
13. Alfie Allen – $2 Million
Alfie Allen has a lot to smile about beyond his big net worth. One of the reasons he has to smile is that he is worth this kind of money and he is not even 30 years old yet. For most 30 year olds, they are probably counting the pennies in their couch, begging American Express to let them skip a payment, or deciding whether they should just steal the baby formula from the grocery store. For Allen, he is probably diving into his money, Scrooge McDuck style, after each scene he finishes as GoT’s Theron Greyjoy.
The other interesting thing about Allen is that he comes from a family of entertainers. Both Allen’s mom and dad are both entertainment industry veterans. The guy even has a cousin, Sam Smith, who is a very accomplished singer, having performed most notably at Lollapalooza in 2015. Hopefully, Allen can ride this wave and know that he has made his mark in the family business.
12. Rory McCann – $2 Million
Americans are a little ethnocentric. For those who do not have time to get a dictionary or Google what “ethnocentric” means, just understand that it basically means that Americans tend to only care about Americans. In general, if something does not happen in America, then it probably just does not happen. Suffering in Syria? Change the channel. Starving in Africa? Time to click on a different website. LeBron James signs with the Cleveland Cavaliers? Tweet about it directly to James and say how awesome he is.
The worst part is that Americans are not alone. At least in the United States there is a strong belief that it is a country of immigrants who are focused on democracy and freedom. However, Americans are still human beings and like what they understand. In the world of entertainment, this ethnocentricity is no different.
Because of this, it is important to understand who Rory McCann is as an actor. Rory McCann, who plays The Hound on GoT, is one of the most accomplished actors in Europe, having one what is called the BAFTA Scotland award for his acting in some earlier acting roles. Because it does not happen in America, it is important to explain what BAFTA is. BAFTA, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts is basically the British version of the group that hands out the Academic Awards here. In the United Kingdom, where theatre is legendary, a BAFTA award holds a lot of weight. GoT producers were aware of this and have conversely given McCann a lot of weight in his bank account too for his excellent portrayal of The Hound.
11. Iain Glen – $3 Million
If there is any actor on the list who could never hide the fact he was British, it has to be Iain Glen. A quick search of his acting resume will reflect that this is not a guy who has had to fake an American accent just to get noticed like so many actors do. He has had the luxury of not having to worry about pretending as if he cares about motorcycles, guns, and hot dogs in order to get an acting gig. With his skills, he has managed to not only maintain his integrity, but also make a fortune of $3 million in the process.
In addition to Game of Thrones, some of Glen’s acting credits include playing in the highly popular British show Downton Abbey and countless roles for the British Broadcasting Company since the late 1980’s. Although the show does not look at things from his point of view, his support to the main cast has helped the show reach levels that its creators could have only imagined. As such, he has been rewarded handsomely.
10. Emilia Clarke – $3 Million
Emilia Clarke is essentially a unicorn by the entertainment industry’s standard. For many actors, they struggle, often for decades, to get the kind of big break that they have always longed for. These actors will wait tables, tend a bar, or drive a cab just to make sure that their schedule is free enough to attend auditions and be able to work. This life can be gruelling and will dishearten even the toughest aspiring stars.
The other kind of actor is the one that grows up as a child star. These actors will star in some big hit movie or television show as a young child and make millions before they turn 18. The only problem is that many child stars do things like fill a swimming pool full of cocaine or steal a cop car for fun and ruin their lives in the process.
Emilia Clarke is neither of these kinds of actors. Attending school in the United Kingdom to help work on her dramatic acting, Clarke did not really start seriously acting until her teenage years. Then, GoT came calling and the whole game changed for her. Because she did not have to struggle for years and because she did not experience immediate success as a child, Emilia has managed to parlay the luck that came from GoT until a net worth of millions of dollars and a swimming pool free of coke.
9. Jason Momoa – $4 Million
As everyone knows, GoT is not just a television show, but rather a television show based on a series of books. Much like the Harry Potter franchise, these books were so wildly popular among people that the most natural transition was to give all of these characters a voice and a face and create something that turned into television magic. HBO, always on the forefront of what people want to watch, scooped it up and have smartly marketed it and promoted it. The show has become so popular that there is now officially several lists on the internet about how rich the actors themselves have become on the show.
The most interesting part for Jason Momoa, who played Drogo on GoT, is that this will likely be the second most popular thing that he will star in. For those who are unaware, Momoa is slated to play the lead character in the movie Aquaman and its relevant Justice League movie companions.
8. Kit Harington – $4 Million
Ever wonder how it was possible that someone like Arnold Schwarzenegger could play a soldier in several movies, a kindergarten teacher in another one, a robot in another one, and a martian in another one? How is it possible that one guy can be cast for so many different roles even though the audience just knows that it is Arnold whose accent is as thick as his biceps? The main reason is because acting can be so difficult to break into that if a person can stick it out long enough, they can be rewarded with roles time and again. It is kind of like a snowball effect that allows actors who get a big break to keep working.
For now, Kit Harington is starting to experience that thrill of going from nobody to somebody in show business. Despite his wealth playing Jon Snow on GoT, Kit has a relatively small resume. Unlike some of his co-stars on the show, Kit is still learning the business, but he is managing to get as much of it as he can out of it in the meantime.
7. Sophie Turner – $5 Million
One of the beautiful things about television is that fans of certain shows can watch their favorite actors grow up right before their eyes. It is almost as if the fans get to know the actors and see them go through similar changes that they are. If the fans are lucky, the writers of the show will help build in some drama or comedy that accompany those changes physically and mentally the actors are going through. Watching these actors grow up kind of builds this unusual emotional bond between the fan and the star and it is part of what makes GoT so appealing to so many.
Sophie Turner is definitely one of those stars that many people are growing up right alongside. Starting out at 15 on the show, Sophie, now 20, has gone from girl to woman in what seems to have just been overnight.
6. Nicolaj Coster – $5 Million
So many people believe that what makes a show great is what goes on in front of the camera. People get very caught up in the acting that it is easy to forget that putting on any kind of show is a gigantic production. In essence, what goes on behind the scenes can really make or break whether a show is a success or whether it tanks.
Another show to have a massive fan following, Breaking Bad, was excellent not only because of its acting, but because the writers, directors, and producers all had enough sense to find out what people would actually watch and tailored the show to fit it. With GoT, the same kind of sense has applied.
This is where the casting of Nicolaj Coster comes in. Chances are there were hundreds of actors who auditioned for the role, but Nicolaj is the one that was chosen. Casting one of the few non-British actors for this decidedly British show was a smart move that has allowed Jaime Lannister to become one of the show’s most popular characters.
5. Carice van Houten – $5 Million
The best part about Carice is that she starred in an episode of The Simpsons as one of Milhouse’s cousins. Her character, Annika, became a love interest of Bart during the show. She was also Milhouse’s love interest even though she was his cousin. Apparently, blue eyebrows really go a long way in cartoon land.
On GoT, Carice’s character, Melisandre, is a powerful Red Priestess whom nobody should ever mess with. For a former slave, her character has grown tremendously to the point where human sacrifices are kinda just a normal thing.
In real life, van Houten is a very accomplished actress who adds to the diversity of the GoT cast of characters. Originally from the Netherlands, she is adding a bit of multi ethnic flair to a show that is overwhelmingly English. Speaking German, French, English, and Dutch, this World Wildlife Federal ambassador is in a class of her own.
4. Richard Madden – $6 Million
There is so much appeal to GoT for so many reasons. The storyline is probably one of the most important reasons. The show follows this very complicated yet understandable plot so it is easy for all kinds of people to enjoy. The other reason is that there is so much drama that it keeps people tuned in to find out what is going to happen next. The other reason is because it appeals to the inner-nerd in every single person that watches it.
One of the other reasons is because of the impeccable casting of young stars on the show. Many shows find actors that are in the same age range because the show is appealing to a certain demographic. For instance, the show Friends had a primary cast of people all born within five years of each other. On GoT, there are young people and older actors alike bringing together people of several generations.
By casting Richard Madden, one of show business’ up and coming stars, GoT put its eggs in the basket of a largely unknown stage actor. But because the producers are smart, they found someone who could fill the role of Robb Stark with ease and put a face to Eddard Stark’s eldest son.
3. Jack Gleeson – $8 Million
Among British actors, their road to fame is often very different than that of Americans. Just look at Rosario Dawson. Granted, Dawson, a co-star in the hit Netflix drama Daredevil and several other flicks, is in a league of her own. She is beautiful, funny, and talented. Combined with a strong work ethic, she has turned a relatively easy job into millions. The odd thing is that the story goes that she was discovered on her front porch. The rest is history.
For British actors, there are hardly stories of them being discovered on their front porch. In true British fashion, there is formalized training and education for everything, even if it means that they are educating students on how to wear tights and sing.
For Jack Gleeson, whose net worth has ballooned to $8 million, he has been taking drama classes since he was a little kid. Although it is paying off, the road to riches was not easy.
2. Peter Dinklage – $10 Million
It should be a crying shame that the richest actor on a show like Game of Thrones is not from York, London, Scotland, or Canterbury. Peter Dinklage did not study at some school that was named after William Shakespeare, appear in plays throughout the West End in London, or anything like his co-stars. The richest person on the entire television show is a guy from New Jersey with dwarfism.
This is what makes Dinklage’s story so amazing. Among all of these amazing and accomplished actors, the shortest, oddest looking guy in the entire bunch managed to eek out the highest riches of them all. Keep in mind that roles for people like Dinklage are rare. Their height is often just a punchline for all of the other actors, often forcing guys like Dinklage to typecast themselves to a ton of competition and a lot of disappointment. For Dinklage however, his menacing looks, deep voice, and commitment to his craft have made him easily the most popular character on the show.
1. George R.R. Martin – $50 Million
No, technically George R.R. Martin is not an actor on the show. However, his net worth is so high that he could decide to fire everyone else on the show, play every single character, and he would probably still get rich. At a net worth of $50 million, Martin can always put his money where his mouth is.
The reason that it is easy to determine that Martin is so rich is because he is the worst dressed member of the Game of Thrones team. He wears silly hats, baggy clothes, and hardly shaves. For most people, they are either so poor they do not have to care how they dress or they are so rich that they don’t have to care how they dress. It is clear that Martin falls into the latter camp.
Regardless of his appearance, Martin has created something and sold it in a way that has hardly been replicated. Hence, he tops the list.
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