Game of Thrones made host of stars multi-millionaires… we reveal the rich list
WINTER is coming – but this wealthy lot won’t have any problems keeping warm.
Game Of Thrones stars have racked up fortunes thanks to the success of the Sky Atlantic fantasy series, which first launched in the UK ten years ago this month. The hit show ran for eight seasons from 2011 to 2019.
But finance expert Gemma Godfrey reckons there is more to Hollywood money-making than talent alone.
She said: “You can see that some people have cashed in on their talent and success and have continued to build their wealth by pursuing more films.
“Others have taken the money that they’ve earned and invested it, hoping that it will make more money.
“The people who set up production companies or invested early have seen their net worth increase the most.”
KATY DOCHERTY looks at the top ten Game Of Thrones actors by estimated wealth, while Gemma reveals how they did it.
10. Gwendoline Christie, 42 – £3.8million
THE actress joined the cast for the second season as warrior woman Brienne of Tarth.
Before that she had a successful theatre career, starring opposite Tom Hiddleston in Shakespeare’s Cymbeline in 2007. She was cast as Captain Phasma in Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015 and The Last Jedi two years later.
In 2018 she appeared as the bounty hunter Lady Jane in The Darkest Minds and has been cast in upcoming TV series The Sandman, an adaptation of a DC Comic.
As of 2020, her company Christie Ventures Ltd had net assets of £1.5million and £1.6million in the bank. Gemma said: “She’s had huge success on the show and she’s leveraging that by going to films in the same genre.
“She’s going for the films which have bigger and bigger budgets. She’s set herself up as a corporate en
9. Maisie Williams, 24 – £4.4million
JUST 12 when she was cast as Arya Stark, Maisie was a breakout star of the series.
Since its finale she has appeared in X-Men spin-off The New Mutants and Amazon Prime series Two Weeks To Live, both in 2020. Last month she was spotted filming Danny Boyle’s Sex Pistols biopic as model Pamela Rooke.
Maisie has chosen to invest her fortune in a social media app for creatives called Daisie, which hit 100,000 members just 11 days after launching.
The entrepreneur also has entertainment company Wobbly Carrot with mum Hilary. Last year the business had net assets of nearly £2million.
Gemma said: “Maisie is fascinating because she’s branched out into tech. We’ve seen this with Ashton Kutcher investing in Uber. You see people who have built their wealth in one industry and used it to invest. It means you earn money while you sleep.”
9. Natalie Dormer, 39 – £4.4million
NATALIE played ambitious Margaery Tyrell in seasons two to six. But she first made her name on telly playing Anne Boleyn in BBC historical drama The Tudors from 2007.
She has appeared in two instalments of The Hunger Games franchise and had a recurring role in the US drama series Elementary. She co-wrote, produced and starred in the 2018 thriller In Darkness, about a blind musician.
Natalie has struck deals with Crocs shoes and Nespresso, she has also invested in bricks and mortar and is a director of property firm 42 Montague Road Management.
Gemma said: “Natalie’s an entrepreneurial one. She’s set up different production companies and has also been doing some brand deals to diversify her earnings.”
8. Sophie Turner, 25 – £5.8m
BY season eight of Game Of Thrones Sophie was earning more than £100,000 per episode as Sansa Stark – but that was still less than a third of that earned by some co-stars, such as Kit Harington.
She said of Kit: “He had a bigger storyline. And for the last series he had something crazy like 70 night shoots, and I didn’t have that many. I was like, ‘You know what, you keep that money’.”
Sophie was cast as Jean Grey in X-Men films Apocalypse in 2016 and Dark Phoenix in 2019. This year she will be voicing Princess Charlotte in animated Royal Family parody The Prince.
Married to US pop star Joe Jonas, worth a reported £18million, she owns Sophie Bee Enterprises, which had net assets of £4million at the end of 2019.
Gemma said: “She’s gone into bigger and bigger films. Going into the X-Men franchise has really helped increase her earnings.”
8. Alfie Allen, 34 – £5.8million
ORIGINALLY auditioning for the role of Jon Snow, Alfie earned around £72,000 per episode playing troubled Theon Greyjoy in the first series.
He started acting at 12 with a role in Channel 4 comedy film You Are Here, written by Little Britain’s Matt Lucas and David Walliams. That same year he appeared in historical biopic Elizabeth, which was produced by his mum Alison Owen and also featured his pop star sister Lily.
Alfie, whose dad is comedian Keith Allen, had small parts in romantic war movie Atonement and the BBC’s historical medical drama Casualty 1907.
He has had roles in sci-fi sequel The Predator in 2018 and Taika Waititi’s Oscar-nominated dark comedy Jojo Rabbit in 2019.
His production company Kubi Kid had net assets of £1,848,333 and £1,632,952 in the bank in 2019. Gemma said: “He is from a theatrical family. He may have had good advice from them.”
7. Lena Headey, 47 – £6.5million
BRITISH actress Lena had already hit Hollywood by the time Game Of Thrones was cast.
After making her start on TV in military drama series Soldier Soldier in 1993, she had starred in more than 30 films, including 2005’s The Brothers Grimm, alongside Gerard Butler in swords and sandals drama 300 in 2006 and in St Trinians in 2007.
In Game Of Thrones as Cersei Lannister – a conniving and malicious woman – Lena reportedly earned a staggering £938,200 per episode. In 2019 she told Virgin Radio DJ Chris Evans she only worked 15 days a year on the show.
Since Game Of Thrones she has branched out into producing and has set up a company, Peephole Productions.
Last November it signed a first-look deal with LA-based Boat Rocker Studios and Lena was tipped to play the female lead in an upcoming adaptation of best-selling novel Beacon 23, by Hugh Howey, while acting as executive producer on the show.
Gemma said: “What Lena is doing is going all in on herself. What this latest deal shows is that she is going to be the female lead in a series but she’s also going to executive-produce, which is a very smart thing to do.
“Where she’s going to make her money is by making sure these projects are a success and she can actually get a cut.”
6. Kit Harington, 34 – £8.7million
STARRING as Night’s Watch hero Jon Snow in all eight seasons, Kit was one of the big names to negotiate a salary hike for the final two series, taking him to a reported £360,000 per episode.
His fame has led to roles in Netflix series Criminal, Amazon show Modern Love, with Anna Paquin, and 2019 animated film How To Train your Dragon: The Hidden World.
In 2017 he wrote, produced and starred in BBC series Gunpowder, about Guy Fawkes’ co-conspirator Robert Catesby, who is one of his ancestors. It was produced by Kit’s co-owned film company Thriker Films, which has £29,407 in current assets.
He has lucrative brand deals including being the face of Dolce & Gabbana perfume The One alongside GoT co-star Emilia Clarke in 2018.
With wife Rose Leslie, who he met when she played his love interest Ygritte on Game Of Thrones, Kit bought a £1.75million, 15th-century Tudor farmhouse in East Anglia.
His company Kit Harington Ltd currently has £3million net assets – up £592,519 from the previous year – and £3.3million in the bank.
Gemma said: “He’s taken his success from starring in a show to then writing his own show and launching companies. He’s been very savvy. He’s capitalised on his success and he’s used that to branch out into different areas where he can make money.”
5. Emilia Clarke, 34 – £9.4m
BEFORE Game Of Thrones Emilia had roles in TV soap Doctors and adverts for The Samaritans.
Then in 2011 she was cast as Thrones’ Daenerys Targaryen and began making £145,000 an episode.
In 2014 she and several co-stars negotiated a £225,000 pay rise per episode for series five and six. Emilia has starred in 2015’s Terminator Genisys, romantic drama Me Before You, Star Wars film Solo and romcom Last Christmas.
She landed deals with Dior jewellery in 2015 and Dolce & Gabbana’s The One perfume in 2018, and last year became a global ambassador for Clinique cosmetics.
Her company Scenic Root has net assets of £6,963,256 and £386,273 in the bank, and she has a production company, Magical Thinking Pictures.
Gemma said: “She’s a breakout star because of her acting but she is now going to try to monetise it in different industries – in fashion, in beauty and jewellery.”
4. Jason Momoa, 41 – £10.2million
AFTER appearing in Baywatch spin-offs, Jason was a relative unknown when he was cast as warlord Khal Drogo in 2011, and he says he was left in debt after being killed off in the first series.
Jason, married to actress Lisa Bonet, adds: “We were starving after Game Of Thrones. I couldn’t get work. It’s very challenging when you have babies and you’re completely in debt.”
He directed and wrote 2014 film Road To Paloma, and he was cast as Aquaman in the 2016 Batman V Superman film and played the lead in 2018’s Aquaman.
He was paid a reported £10.1million for the project and this is likely to be matched for the 2022 sequel. Jason will also star in sci-fi film Dune, which is set for release in October.
Gemma said: “Jason backed himself in certain projects and it’s paying off. If you’ve seen the bottom and survived it, it gives you confidence to take more risk with your career.”
3. Peter Dinklage, 51 – £10.9million
PETER started acting in 1995, refusing to take parts as elves or leprechauns offered because of his dwarfism. But the 4ft 5in actor accepted the role as Game Of Thrones’ Tyrion Lannister after producers assured him the character was multi-dimensional.
By that point, Peter had already starred in several Hollywood movies. His CV now includes Avengers: Infinity War and X-Men: Days Of Future Past.
In 2016 Peter and his manager David Ginsberg founded production company Estuary Films. He produced and starred in the 2018 post-apocalyptic drama I Think We’re Alone Now, about two survivors of a global pandemic.
Gemma said: “Peter’s been doing this for absolutely years. He’s been very strategic and has had a fantastic career. He’s doing adverts as well.
“He’s been very savvy. Peter understands the industry after working in it for a long time.”
2. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, 50 – £11.6m
ACTOR and producer Nikolaj played Jaime Lannister in all eight series of the show.
After a career in his home country of Denmark, he found fame as Gary Gordon in 2001 Ridley Scott film Black Hawk Down. The duo teamed up again in 2005 for movie Kingdom Of Heaven. After GoT launched he landed a part in 2013 horror Mama with Jessica Chastain, a US box office No1.
He can also count Tom Cruise as a co-star after they appeared in 2013 sci-fi movie Oblivion.
Nikolaj has writing credits too, thanks to 1998 movie Wildside, which he also starred in. In 2019 he set up production company Ill Kippers.
Gemma said: “He wrote a film so that shows other strings to his bow. He’s had an entire career in Denmark, which meant he had a foundation he could leverage when he did Game Of Thrones. Launching his own production company shows he’s savvy.”
1. Sean Benn, 62 – £19.6million
DESPITE being killed off at the end of the first series, Sean is the richest Game Of Thrones star.
When the show began in 2011, he had amassed earnings from movie roles including Boromir in the Lord Of The Rings, an MI5 double crosser in Bond film GoldenEye and Odysseus in Brad Pitt’s Troy.
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Sean produced and starred in US crime mystery Legends, as well as BBC drama Broken and The Frankenstein Chronicles on Netflix. He is currently producing prison drama Time for the Beeb, while starring in Netflix’s sci-fi epic The Snowpiercer.
Gemma said of the star, who played Ned Stark in Game Of Thrones: “Sean is the steady patriarch here, reflecting his character in the show. He has been working hard in the industry for more than 30 years, building up his net worth with some great roles.
“Sean has also been producing films, putting his earnings to good use and magnifying his wealth.”