Emilia Clarke has 'always' had equal pay with her Game of Thrones stars

Well, at least Westeros has that going for it.

emilia clarke equal pay
(Image credit: David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock)

Well, at least Westeros has that going for it.

The world of Game of Thrones may be a cut throat one, at least there’s no gender pay gap according to one of its leading ladies. Emilia Clarke, who plays the badass Daenerys Targaryen on the show, revealed that she had ‘always’ had gender parity with her male co-stars and we collectively breathed a loud sigh of relief.

At a screening of her new film Solo: A Star Wars Story, she revealed, ‘On Game of Thrones, I have always been paid the same amount as my male co-stars. It was my first job and I was not discriminated against because I was a woman, in my paycheck.’

Game of Thrones is notoriously one of the most expensive shows to film, with individual episodes of the latest seasons costing an eye-watering £7.7 million each and some of the cast salaries being bumped up to £2 million per episode.

It’s interesting because the Game of Thrones cast salaries are reportedly decided in a considered way, as actors are divided into different earning tiers according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Emilia Clarke is said to be one of the show’s highest earners in Tier A, alongside the likes of Kit Harington, Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. It makes total sense, given that they have a lot of screen time. Lower down on the B tier are Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams, who are apparently renegotiating their contracts for a bigger payday.

emilia clarke equal pay

Rob Latour/REX/Shutterstock
(Image credit: Rob Latour/REX/Shutterstock)

Although Emilia’s been lucky with HBO, she did speak out about the current state of female pay in Hollywood. When asked about The Crown’s gender pay gap and the recent back payment they issued to its star Claire Foy, she called it ‘shocking, actually shocking’.

She said, ‘You start to dig deep and see where [the gender pay gap] is rife in the industry.’

Game of Thrones hasn’t been Emilia’s only gig and she’s had to work hard at negotiating contracts for her other projects, which include Me Before You and more recently her role as Han Solo’s childhood friend in Solo: A Star Wars Story. She had some advice for any women currently in the midst of negotiating their salaries.

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She said, ‘I think it’s mainly in the beginning, just be aware of [gender parity] and going, ‘Can you just check?’ You just start to fight harder for that stuff. It's really difficult because this is a problem that has been around forever so changing it overnight is impossible.’

The women of Hollywood might not be able to change things overnight, but a change is absolutely coming. With the recent surge of Time’s Up and fiercely feminist Cannes protests, the female film and television industry is making its wrath known and demanding to be heard.

Here’s hoping it trickles through to other industries and we see a wave of women finally being paid what they deserve.

And if that protest is led by a woman on dragonback, we’d be here for it.

Megan C. Hills

Megan is a freelance journalist who covers entertainment and all things lifestyle, with a particular passion for fashion, beauty, travel and Keanu Reeves stories. She has previously worked on staff for titles including Marie Claire UK, CNN Style and The Evening Standard and has written for titles such as Bustle UK, Wallpaper*, Forbes and Hong Kong Tatler. She splits her time between London and her hometown Hong Kong, where she currently lives with the love of her life - an elderly dog named Poppy - and her husband.