The final six Game of Thrones episodes are no time to skimp – whether on budget or story – and it seems HBO is going all-out. Reports estimate that Season 8 episodes might cost around $15 million (each!), if not more.

Variety put together a wide report on prestige TV costs these days, the HBO side of which naturally skews more expensive with lengthy productions for Thrones and Westworld. The final six are currently estimated to cost around $15 million apiece (Vanity Fair suggests the true cost might be much higher); a marked increase from other abnormally-expensive series with $10-12 million budgets.

A higher budget for the final season makes a great deal of sense, as effects and production for snowy battles between dragons, giants, wolves and undead armies will only increase with the story’s end. Not only that, but Season 7 didn’t exactly cull the ranks of the show’s expansive cast, who themselves grow more expensive over time.

Elsewhere of Game of Thrones Season 8, we know the final six episodes will begin production in October for either a late 2018, or potential 2019 premiere. Directors Miguel Sapochnik, David Nutter and showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss will split directorial duties, while the final episode is said to film multiple endings to avoid early leaks.

We’ll get a stronger sense of how HBO puts that $15 million budget to use over the next few months, but will Game of Thrones Season 8 spare any expense?

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