Millions of Game Of Thrones fans around the world are eagerly awaiting the finale of Season 6, but what they don’t know is this week’s Brexit vote could spell the end of HBO’s hugely popular show.
A British referendum vote this week will decide whether the country stays in the European Union (EU) and if the UK decides to leave, it’s taking Northern Island with it.
The problem for Game of Thrones fans is Northern Island is the main production base for the show and the huge subsidies HBO receives from the EU help pay for the huge fantastic scenes that have made it so popular.
Game of Thrones is hugely expensive to produce, but HBO has gotten a financial boost from the EU’s European Regional Development Fund which was designed to stimulate economic growth and provide jobs. The fund has given some $32 million in the last seven years to help finance film and television projects that in turn have funded thousands of local jobs.
The HBO show Game of Thrones creates thousands of jobs every year, and a Brexit vote would not only endanger its existence but that of other shows as well, Peter Chase, senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States told the Independent.
“It might be up in the air for U.S. studios who want to film in the U.K. There are EU programs to help fund all of this. If the U.K. is no longer part of the EU, that has the potential to go away.”
Without the added cash infusion, it would be much more difficult for HBO to create the huge fantastic scenes in Game of Thrones like the one in last week’s “Battle of the Bastards,” with its enormous battle scenes.
There’s also the worry that scenes shot elsewhere wouldn’t be continuous with scenes shot earlier in Northern Ireland. The show has also been filmed in Spain, Croatia, Malta, and Iceland, which is not an EU member state, along with Northern Ireland, its main production base.
Game of Thrones is a hugely popular HBO show and it’s likely a Brexit vote to Leave wouldn’t mean its cancellation, but it would make it more difficult for the studio to pay the actors the huge sums of money they’ve recently been promised.
The main characters: Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), Kit Harington (Jon Snow), Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen), and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister) have all been promised more than $500,000 for each Season 7 episode.
The high salaries guarantee the actors will be around to reprise their roles, but doesn’t mean the characters will survive into a much anticipated Season 7 or a widely expected Season 8.
The margin on the Brexit vote is razor thin and current polls show the Leave side with 45 percent of the vote compared to the Remain side with 44 percent. Most of the arguments have so far focused on immigration, open borders, jobs, the economy, and the public status of the UK, but now the Remain camp wants Britons to know their favorite show could be in jeopardy too.
Some 278 UK actors, musicians, writers, dancers, and artists have gone public with an open letter encouraging Britons to vote Remain because the creative industries are stronger as part of the EU and weaker away from it, reports ForeignPolicy.
“Leaving Europe would be a leap into the unknown for millions of people across the U.K. who work in the creative industries, and for the millions more at home and abroad who benefit from the growth and vibrancy of Britain’s cultural sector.”
[Photo: Youtube screenshot Game of Thrones]