Determining Jaime's 'GoT' Fate Using Nikolaj Coster-Waldau's Contract

Macall B. Polay/courtesy of HBO

Knowing that Daenerys was safe next to Drogon, there was no need to be worried for Daenerys during "The Spoils Of War" when Jaime Lannister charged at her. Instead, Tyrion was correct when he called his brother an "idiot" for trying to kill the Mother of Dragons when she was standing right next to one of her children. Jaime only avoided being burnt to bits during the fourth episode of Season 7 because of Bronn coming to save the day and a very conveniently placed body of water. But while that water saved his flesh from fire, it could also lead to Jaime drowning on Game Of Thrones. As fans are in an utter state of panic that Jaime is going to die after that cliffhanger finale, any evidence to prove that it can't be true is welcome. So I did some digging into Nikolaj Coster-Waldau's Game Of Thrones contract to see if it proves that Jaime will still be alive for the rest of Season 7 — and unfortunately, the results of this investigation are far from conclusive.

In June 2016, Deadline's Nellie Andreeva reported that the five main stars of Game Of Thrones — Peter Dinklage (Tyrion), Kit Harington (Jon Snow), Emilia Clarke (Daenerys), Lena Headey (Cersei), and Coster-Waldau (Jaime) — received salary increases of over $500,000 an episode for Seasons 7 and 8. At the time of this salary news, Season 8 had not been officially announced, but most outlets presumed that this pay raise would pertain to the rumored final season. About a month later, Entertainment Weekly wrote that HBO's programming president Casey Bloys confirmed Season 8 to be the last and so it was assumed that those five actors would earn that level of pay for the next two seasons.

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Yet, this salary news did not mean safety for Cersei, Daenerys, Jon, Tyrion, or Jaime as Vanity Fair revealed in an article that smartly questioned whether the pay raise ensured that their characters would live until the conclusion of Game Of Thrones. HBO was no help in the matter since Deadline wrote that the network "doesn't discuss contract negotiations." But Andreeva, who broke the salary news, wrote, "I hear it does not guarantee that all five characters will survive 'til the end as the show's last episodes are yet to be written."

Since then, the rumors about how much Jaime actor Coster-Waldau and his fellow main stars are earning has increased dramatically. In November 2016, The Hollywood Reporter reported tha the five "A-tier" actors had allegedly "banded together and recently concluded a renegotiation that will pay them each $1.1 million per episode for seven episodes of Season 7 and six episodes of Season 8." Then their salaries were allegedly bumped up again in April 2017 with the UK publication Express reporting that the five actors "have all signed golden contracts for the show's seventh and final eighth season" for £2 million (that's around $2.6 million at the time of this article being published).

Helen Sloan/courtesy of HBO

The wording used by both The Hollywood Reporter and Express makes it seem that Clarke, Dinklage, Harington, Headey, and — yes — Coster-Waldau would appear in all of the remaining episodes left in Game Of Thrones. Yet, going back to what Deadline cautioned, that's not what fans should be assuming. As previously mentioned, HBO doesn't comment on these negotiations or make them public and even if these contract numbers are true, it bears repeating that it doesn't necessarily mean every character will be alive for all of the remaining episodes. Because do you really think that the HBO powers-that-be aren't sly enough to keep their business affairs from leading to a potential spoiler?

Of course, HBO just suffered a major hack, so perhaps people outside of the network have gotten their hands on Coster-Waldau's contract. But as it was illegally obtained, no one should be looking at it if it ever does see the light of day. So while you may have thought your biggest concern during "The Spoils Of War" would be whether or not Jon would unknowingly enter into an incestuous tryst with his Aunt Daenerys, it actually became whether or not Jaime would drown to death due to his heavy armor and his golden right hand. And kind of like the faith you had that Jon would be resurrected after his Season 5 death, you must now spend the time leading up to the fifth episode of Season 7 believing that Jaime Lannister will live to see another day since looking up Coster-Waldau's contract won't help you much.