Here’s What the Stars of 'Game of Thrones' Are Really Worth
Game of Thrones has one of the biggest and most accomplished casts on television. The dozens of cast members range from first-time actors to Tony and Emmy winners. So, when you’re on the biggest TV show in the world (which itself is a behemoth of pop culture history), what does that mean for your bottom line? From the lowborn but loyal Hodor to the ruthless Tywin Lannister, here’s what the stars of Game of Thrones are really worth.
British actress Nathalie Emmanuel enjoyed several successful years on the long-running Channel 4 soap opera Hollyoaks before being cast on Game of Thrones in 2013 as Missandei, a slave interpreter who becomes Daenerys Targaryen’s trusted advisor. Now, thanks to the show and roles in several big Hollywood franchises, she’s worth a reported $1 million.
When he made his stage debut in Hamlet back in 1994, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau couldn’t have predicted he’d one day be among the highest-paid actors on TV. Since signing on to play the complicated Jamie Lannister on the hit HBO series, Coster-Waldau, who also works as a producer and screenwriter, has watched his fortune grow to an estimated $16 million.
In 2010, Maisie Williams beat out 300 other actresses to win the role of pint-sized assassin Arya Stark on Game of Thrones – even though she had zero experience in front of the camera. Now, she’s an Emmy-nominated actress, a favorite of the show’s passionate fanbase and worth an estimated $6 million.
Coming into the final season of Game of Thrones, a common refrain was “Don’t let anything happen to Tormund,” which goes to show how beloved Kristofer Hivju’s portrayal of the charismatic Wildling Tormund Giantsbane has become since joining the show in 2013. Between his work on the HBO show and a memorable role in The Fate of the Furious, it’s estimated the Norwegian actor is worth close to $6 million.
When she landed the role of the coldly calculating Cersei Lannister, Lena Headey was best known for her roles in Zak Snyder’s historical epic 300 and the short-lived TV series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. But it’s safe to say it’s the conniving queen of Kings Landing that made the British actress a star worth a reported $9 million.
Few characters on Game of Thrones inspired as much devotion as Hodor, the gentle giant who protects Bran Stark after fleeing Winterfell. And though he’s a man of few words (literally – the only word he knows is Hodor), Irish actor Kristian Nairn boasts he developed more than 70 ways to say the simple yet powerful phrase.
Natalie Dormer has a thing for tragic queens. The British actress first gained notice in 2007 as Anne Boleyn on The Tudors; then came Margaery Tyrell on Game of Thrones, who tried (and failed) to navigate the machinations of Cersei Lannister. The upside of all that death? A thriving career worth an estimated $6 million.
When Game of Thrones premiered in 2011, Sean Bean was by far the biggest star on the show, which is why his death at the end of the first season was so shocking. But this isn’t his first rodeo. Besides, when you’ve got a reported $20 million in the bank, what’s there to be upset about?
Some actors get lucky right out of the gate. Even before she joined Game of Thrones as Ygritte, Rose Leslie had won a BAFTA and appeared in the first series of Downton Abbey. Add in her newest role on the CBS All-Access series The Good Fight, and Leslie is now worth an estimated $4 million.
The most shocking thing about Conleth Hill? He’s not actually bald. The Northern Irish actor who plays Daenerys’ sage advisor, Varys, was required to shave his head during filming. It’s a small price to pay for playing Varys, the cunning court spymaster known as Master of Whisperers, a role that helped make Hill worth a reported $2 million.
Though she wasn’t as well-known as co-stars Sean Bean and Peter Dinklage, Michelle Fairley, was among the most veteran actors in the original cast of Game of Thrones. The Northern Irish actress had over two decades worth of theater, TV and film credits behind her, all of which add up to a career worth a reported $3 million.
Like many of her co-stars, Sophie Turner had no idea what she was getting herself into when she joined the cast of Game of Thrones. The then-14-year-old Turner had appeared in local plays, but had never acted professionally before taking on the role of Sansa, the eldest of the Stark daughters. Now, thanks to the hit HBO show and other gigs, she’s worth an estimated $6 million.
It’s almost hard to believe that Jason Momoa was only on Game of Thrones for ten episodes, considering how his charismatic, intimidating Dothraki leader Khal Drogo still looms large almost six seasons later. But for the Hawaiian-born actor and model, it was just a stepping stone to becoming a certified superhero superstar worth a reported $14 million.
Even in the sprawling world of George R. R. Martin’s books, Brienne of Tarth stands out; she’s described as being unusually tall and plain-looking, a woman built for fighting in a world that views such a thing as abhorrent. Gwendoline Christie knew she was the perfect actress for the part and has parlayed her success into a career reportedly worth $3 million.
Imagine auditioning for the biggest job of your career just three months after graduating from drama school. That’s what happened to John Bradley who had just received his B.A. from the Manchester School of Theatre when he went out for the role of Samwell Tarly on Game of Thrones. Now eight seasons later, Bradley is recognized all over the world and worth a reported $4 million.
In 2006, British pop star Lily Allen wrote a song chiding her younger brother Alfie for being a carefree lay about. That sibling tough love must have worked because a few years later Alfie went from small parts in films like Atonement and The Other Boleyn Girl to the major role of Theon Greyjoy in Game of Thrones. And now he’s worth a reported $6 million.
Aidan Gillen is no stranger to being on a beloved HBO show. From 2004 to 2008 he portrayed Baltimore mayor Thomas Carcetti on The Wire. But it’s his six seasons as Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish, a character so conniving and manipulative he gives Cersei a run for her money, that most fans associate with the Irish actor, who is worth a reported $8 million.
Jon Snow does know one thing – how to get paid. Harington graduated from the prestigious Central School of Speech and Drama in 2008 and spent several years performing on stage in London before landing the role of the conflicted, but loyal, Jon Snow in 2010. Now, thanks to Game Of Thrones and several fashion endorsements, Harington is estimated to be worth $12 million.
There are Tony nominees and Emmy winners galore in the talented cast of Game of Thrones, but only one has a Silver Bear Best Actor Award. (That’s the highest honor for acting at the Berlin International Film Festival!) Iain Glen, who plays Daenerys’ loyal confidant Ser Jorah Mormont, is worth an estimated $6 million.
When Clarke signed up to play the fiery Daenerys Targaryen in 2010, the British actress was far from being a household name. She’d just graduated from the drama school at Central Saint Martins in London and her résumé consisted mainly of theater performances and random TV and movie roles. Now, she’s worth an estimated $13 million and one of the biggest stars in the world.
Veteran Irish actor Liam Cunningham joined Game of Thrones in its second season as Davos Seaworth, a smuggler with a heart of gold. Over the course of eight seasons, he’s become a fan favorite character. (It’s a far cry from his early years working as an electrician). After two decades, the award-winning actor is estimated to be worth around $4 million.
As Sandor “The Hound” Clegane, Scottish actor Rory McCann is one of Game of Thrones’ most cynical – and compelling – characters. After surviving a horrific climbing accident in the 1980s, McCann became famous in Scotland with a starring role in a breakfast ad campaign. Now he’s appeared in almost every season of Game of Thrones and is reported to be worth nearly $6 million.
Maybe you knew him as the cynical bit player in the 1995 cult indie hit Living in Oblivion, or from his breakout role as the railroad-obsessed Fin in The Station Agent. But the character that defines Peter Dinklage now is his Emmy-winning performance as Tyrion Lannister, which helped boost his estimated worth up to $15 million.
Carice Van Houten
Carice van Houten starred in the most successful Dutch film ever, Paul Verhoeven’s World War II drama Black Book, but it took appearing on Game of Thrones to make her a household name. Her role as Melisandre, an enigmatic priestess who serves the mysterious Lord of Light, helped make the award-winning Dutch actress worth a reported $5 million.
Isaac Hempstead Wright
Isaac Hempstead-Wright was just 11 years old and had only acted in a single commercial when he was cast on Game of Thrones as Bran Stark, whose injury at the hands of Jaime Lannister has repercussions that ripple down through the years. He’s one of the few main cast members to still be on the show, and it’s estimated Wright is worth around $4 million.
40 years after her heyday in the British spy series The Avengers and the classic 1969 Bond film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, actress Diana Rigg gained a new generation of fans with her role as the imperious and wily Lady Olenna Tyrell. It was a fitting third act for the critically-acclaimed actress, whose worth is estimated at $10 million.
Landing two-time Tony winner Jonathan Pryce as The High Sparrow was a major casting coup for Game of Thrones, and his portrayal of the cunning religious priest in Seasons 5 and 6 showcased the veteran actor’s versatile talents. It also didn’t hurt that it helped bump the British actor’s net worth up to an estimated $6 million.
Leaving a hit TV show can sometimes be bittersweet, but Richard Madden, who portrayed Robb Stark in the first three seasons of Game of Thrones, doesn’t have too much to complain about. In 2019, he won a Golden Globe for his role as a war veteran in the BBC crime thriller Bodyguard and he’s now worth a reported $6 million.
Most actors would be crushed at the thought of leaving a show like Game of Thrones midway through its hugely successful run, but for Dutch actor Michiel Huisman, his three-season stint on the series as Daenerys’ loyal commander Daario Naharis was just another role in an impressively varied career worth an estimated $3 million.
As the tyrannical Tywin Lannister, Charles Dance struck fear into the hearts of his children Jaime, Cersei and Tyrion, as well as audiences around the world. It’s a fitting role for the veteran British actor who made his TV debut back in 1974 and is now worth an estimated $5 million.