The universe of HBO’s larger-than-life blockbuster hit series Game of Thrones and its multiple realms, dozens of characters, constant plot twists — and dragons have blown our worlds for a while now. And, unsurprisingly, it turns out it is as expensive as it is spectacular.

David Benioff has been previously said to “plead” with HBO to give their budget a boost for a long time – to invest in impressive scenes like The Battle of the Blackwater and The Battle of Hardhome. And it seems to have paid of as the show’s previously reported per episode expense of $6 million has increased.

And here’s why each and every penny being put into GoT is worth its weight in gold.

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HBO is a subscription-based channel and promises its viewers ad-free awesomeness. But as we’ve all heard several times now, Game of Thrones is so popular it’s easily the most pirated show in the world. It has the world’s fifth largest Twitter following with fans tweeting wildly about each new character death and revelation. And it’s only been growing in popularity since the seven kingdoms came into our lives.

And that’s the reason there are an estimated 138 million subscribers to HBO who pay about $10 per month through average monthly cable packages.

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So. Multiply $138 million with 10 to understand just why spending about $100 million on one season is no biggie for the network.

If that wasn’t enough to convince you, don’t forget that the Game of Thrones DVDs are selling worldwide at an average $80 per season. And the GoT publishing industry and the merchandise game are doing pretty gosh darn well too, to say the very least.
So I think it’s safe to say that while every episode drains HBO of a staggering amount of money, it seems like a more-than-fair trade for the absolute gold mine that Game of Thrones is. Wouldn’t you agree?