When George RR Martin first published his book, A Game of Thrones - the first book in the series “A Song of Ice and Fire” - there’s no telling whether he know what a colossal hit he was writing. After it became clear that the book series had taken hold of the public imagination in a big way, HBO turned it into a television show called, “Game of Thrones”, and the franchise's popularity is growing exponentially.
When the show premiered in April of 2011, it quickly became one of the most successful shows to have ever premiered on HBO. The fan base is known for ostentatious displays of dedication, like cosplaying at conventions, and the fans' passion for the show is evident on across social media - where it's almost impossible to browse a news feed without stumbling across a GoT reference. Some fans have even gone so far as to name their children after the characters, to spend their life's savings on themed GoT clothing, and to get tattoos of their favorite parts scenes on the television show.
From scandal, sex, and blood, Game of Thrones has everything - not forgetting the ever-present and always popular themes of love, marriage, and betrayal. It's no surprise that the budget for the show has grown along with its popularity. With all of the complex relationships and high tension in the series, there are celebrations, wars, funerals and of course... Weddings. Since the show’s creation, a few weddings to grace the series have been fit for royalty. We're endlessly fascinated with the ancient wealth that pervades the most powerful houses in the GoT universe, and many of the weddings have been overt displays of this lavish wealth. Could you afford a wedding fit for royalty on Game of Thrones? Of course, if you're familiar with the series, there are some aspects of their weddings that you probably want to avoid at all costs...
Using wedding planning experts, our source for this article - The Daily Dot - has come up with educated estimates on the cost of each wedding in the series. They compared it with real life royal weddings - including Wills and Kate, whose nuptials came in at around $34 million. A few of the GoT weddings hold up pretty well in comparison; these are the estimated costs of 5 GoT weddings from the very least expensive to the most incredibly lavish. Fair warning; expect spoilers below.
5 Robb Stark and Talisa Magyar - $503.67
Some rare couples out there who don’t want the big fancy ceremony, the elaborate dinner, and the expensive dress. But instead, they're content going to the courthouse and tying the knot in the presence of just a few people, keeping the cost low. If you fall into this category, then you have something in common with the couple at the number five spot. The only cost for Robb and Talisa's wedding was the cost of the officiant to marry the couple. There was nothing fancy about this wedding. No feast, no musicians, no fancy clothing, nada. Granted, this would be the wedding that led Robb to lose his life during the Red Wedding because he broke his marriage pact between House Stark and House Frey, and it would also cost the life of his mother as well as his wife Talisa who was pregnant with their unborn child. In the GoT world, a simple wedding can spark a turn of events that would turn into an elaborate massacre. So, be careful who you spurn or choose... Or better yet, avoid an arranged marriage all together.
4 Tyrion Lannister and Sansa Stark - $128,279.71
Even though Tyrion Lannister is not well liked, and the pairing with his wife is not the ideal match made in heaven, they sure had an elaborate and expensive wedding. So where did the money go? The venue, the Great Sept of Baelor plus the castle hall for the feast would cost about $20,000 plus the workers for the ceremony was another $21,000. The entertainment cost about $7,000, plus the insurance and any of the extra costs bring the price tag up to over $100,000. So if you’re striving for a Tyrion style wedding - perhaps without the short statured groom - you'll probably need to have old family money comparable to the Lannisters.
3 Edmure Tully and Roslin Frey - $7,071,396.36
Get ready to get not only your wallet in check, but your emotions - fans are still recovering from the episode in which this event took place. This wedding would be known to Game of Thrones fans as more than just a wedding but the infamous Red Wedding that shook fans to their core, especially those who hadn't read Martin’s books before watching the episode. The guest list for this wedding was massive, from the nobility to the soldiers. There were so many people that dual feasts were being held for the 3,500 guests and cost about $340,000. While the couple used the castle for free, the cost to facilitate the soldiers cost around $75,000. Then the band cost about $13,000. And, ironically, the 'security' team cost about $37,000 - for which Robb Stark probably deserved a refund. Trying to marry an uncle off to a Frey girl in hopes of fulfilling the marriage pact didn't work out and cost about 3,500 lives as well as over $7 million.
2 Daenerys Targaryen and Khal Drogo - $8,652,832.34
When Daenerys’ creepy brother Viserys traded his sister for an army, it turned into a rather expensive celebration. Daenerys’ wedding to the tribal chief Khal Drogo cost over $8 million dollars. Much of that money went towards food to help feed not only Drogo’s 1,000 warriors, but also to feed the 39,000 people in attendance. So, just in food and drink alone they were looking at over $1 million plus the kitchen costs, bringing it all together to about $2 million. Now factor in the insurance, which cost over $300,00, and then coordinating everything with the production costs at over $1.5 million... Where's all this money coming from? Well, there was a wedding dowry at over $710 million for Viserys - an estimate based on the cost of UK soldiers today. While Daenerys and Drogo’s marriage started rough, there were good times before Daenerys ended up becoming a widow, but it led to her becoming the mother of dragons.
1 Joffrey Baratheon and Margaery Tyrell - $10,308,179.05
Okay, so we have another wedding that ends with a loss of life, but let’s explore this expensive celebration/murder staging. It was the wedding fit for a king - even a demanding one like Joffrey, and his bride Margaery of the House Tyrell. Joffrey’s attire alone was over $30,000 and Margaery’s attire was over $58,000. The breakfast on the menu would have cost an average of $251 per guest, and then the multi-course dinner itself cost about $1,800 a head, and for all 1000 guests, about $1.8 million dollars was spent just on the banquet. And that's not even including the alcohol at over $755,000. Then we get into entertainment. From dueling dwarves, exotic dancers, fireworks, and even a dancing bear costing about another round of $1.8 million. Flowers for the celebration cost over $560,000. Now, that’s all the stuff that is needed for the ceremony, and we haven’t even discussed production costs and coordination costs which total nearly $1.4 million. Now, the poison that killed Joffrey would today cost about $20 online. Ironic, right?