How Brexit could affect Game of Thrones

Kit Harington plays Jon Snow in a scene from Game of Thrones. Photo / HBO
Kit Harington plays Jon Snow in a scene from Game of Thrones. Photo / HBO

The Brexit vote could have disastrous repercussions for HBO's fantasy epic Game of Thrones and other big budget productions.

While it might appear that the cult show has little to do with the EU referendum, the exit vote will make it harder and more expensive to make shows like GoT.

That's because when the UK leaves the EU, it will take Northern Ireland - one of the show's principal filming locations - with it.

The average Game of Thrones episode costs $US6 million to make. That's two to three times what a typical network or cable show costs per episode.

HBO gets a significant grant from the EU's European Regional Development Fund, which was created to spur economic growth across the European Union, to make the series.

Many Game of Thrones scenes are shot on location around Northern Ireland. Photo / HBO
Many Game of Thrones scenes are shot on location around Northern Ireland. Photo / HBO

When Britain leaves, filmmakers might not be eligible to draw from that fund. This means that some of the cash used to bring big-budget productions to Northern Ireland could disappear.

Peter Chase, a senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States' Brussels office told Foreign Policy filmmakers should be concerned.

"It might be up in the air for US studios who want to film in the UK," Mr Chase said.

"There are EU programs to help fund all of this. If the UK is no longer part of the EU, that has the potential to go away."

One of the locations in Northern Ireland where Game of Thrones is shot. Photo / Discover Northern Ireland
One of the locations in Northern Ireland where Game of Thrones is shot. Photo / Discover Northern Ireland

HBO has so far declined to comment on possibility of the Brexit impacting production of the show, which is or has been filmed in Spain, Croatia, and Malta, in addition to Northern Ireland.

The series has also been shot in Iceland, which is not an EU member state.

Northern Ireland Screen, the national film agency for Northern Ireland, also reserved comment.

- news.com.au

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