Considering it’s a show that’s managed to fit in a naval battle and a dragon attack this season, it’s strange to think of Game of Thrones as a show that cares for penny pinching. But despite a reported budget of $10 million per episode, the series has always had a knack for quietly balancing expensive blockbuster action scenes with dramatic (cheaper) quieter moments between two characters talking in a room.
Wondering why Daenerys’ dragons are only being talked about in one episode? Probably because they are saving the budget to show them off at a later date.
Too expensive to have a battle scene? Have Tyrion knocked out and told the result later.
Need to get loads of capes for the Night’s Watch members? Grab some rugs from IKEA, apparently.
As revealed by Game of Thrones costume designer Michele Clapton, the capes worn by many of the Northern characters in Game of Thrones are in fact, common rugs sold in IKEA.
Speaking at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, Michele revealed “These capes are actually IKEA rugs. It's a bit of a truth. We take anything we can. We cut, shave them, add strong leather straps and then breakdown, which is like a religion on Game of Thrones.”
Still, hats (capes?) off to the costume design team, who have now won three Emmys for their fantastic design work on Game of Thrones.
And as an added bonus here’s a fun fact: the Song of Fire and Ice books came about in part due to author George R R Martin’s frustrations with working in television. Annoyed at having some of his more expensive ideas shot down by TV executives, George started writing them as part of his fantasy series – with no budget on imagination, he could truly plan some barn busting set pieces.
Poor George, he never saw HBO coming…