According to The Hollywood Reporter, which broke the news, the contracts were renewed in different tiers, which ranked cast members based on pay. The highest-paid actors included Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. Their contracts not only included a pay raise, but a clause outlining a potential Season 7, which has fans talking.
Many are assuming this means Tyrion, Jon, Cersei, Daenerys and Jaime, respectively, are all safe through Season 7. Unfortunately, that just isn't the case.
While it seems this information could lead to potential spoilers about what's to come in the series, we've got some bad news for those of you who are trying to glean information.
First of all, the series could very well extend past Season 7. For a show to negotiate a contract further ahead than three seasons would be almost unheard of, even for a show as popular as Game of Thrones. If you've been keeping up with the show, then you know it's already jumping around in the books. There's a very good chance HBO is planning a longer run, it just hasn't put the ink to the deal yet.
Second, just because the network has made Season 7 an option in the contracts doesn't mean HBO actually has to follow through on a Season 7. Nor does the show have to ensure a character survives through Season 7 just because the option (it's called "option" for a reason; it's optional) has been added to the new contracts.
The contract serves namely to negotiate pay. So what the Season 7 clause is saying is that if the show returns for that extended amount of time, which it most likely will, the actors are then guaranteed a certain amount per episode. It keeps everyone safe in the deal looking ahead. It benefits the actors because they have raises to look forward to and it benefits the show because it knows that if it needs to bring a character back, it won't have to recast.
It's a win-win for everyone to look ahead. Everyone, except for fans, unfortunately. Because it causes a big reaction for what is an, ultimately, uncertain payoff. Not a good option.
The point: Take these contract rumors with a grain of salt. Unfortunately, the only way to know what's to come in Game of Thrones is to pray George R.R. Martin learns to write a bit faster.
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