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Many have speculated that the reduced number of episodes for the final season of Game of Thrones was actually an attempt by show creators and producers to maximize their budget.

Whereas the first season of the sprawling fantasy epic cost $6 million USD per episode, it has now been confirmed by Variety that the final episodes will cost a whopping $15 million USD per installment – surely setting aside all that cash for countless epic battles to provide a fitting conclusion.

For context, last year’s breakout hit, Stranger Things, cost $6 million an episode for season 1, and will rise to $8 million USD in season 2.

In addition to the announced price tag, it has also been confirmed that the remaining six episodes will be handled by three directors/duos; Miguel Sapochnik (who helmed key battle episodes like “Hardhome” and “Battle of the Bastards”), David Nutter (who has directed six episodes over the series including “The Rains of Castamere” which featured the Red Wedding), and finally co-creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, who will handle the finale.

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