Report: Brexit Might Seriously Impact ‘Game of Thrones’ Final Seasons
Most Game of Thrones viewers could explain the politics of Westeros with more familiarity than their own country, but this week’s historic and controversial Brexit vote might just bridge the gap in an alarming way. Pulling Northern Ireland out of the European Union might have a detrimental effect on the final two Game of Thrones seasons, one of many productions affected by the move.
Bear with us here, but the full ForeignPolicy report notes that costly Game of Thrones production requires HBO to seek out financial partners, some of which contribute through the European Regional Development Fund, itself created to spur economic growth for the European Union. The Brexit decision leaves production likely unable to call on that funding, which might seriously impact scenes shot in Northern Ireland (home base for production, Castle Black, interiors like Winterfell or Daenerys’ throne room, most temperate outdoor scenes, etc.)
For what it’s worth, HBO wouldn’t offer any comment on the Brexit vote’s potential impact on production, nor would Northern Ireland’s national film agency, Northern Ireland Screen. The series also films in Spain, Croatia, and Iceland, while HBO has yet to make a public announcement of episode numbers for the final two seasons. Given significant raises for the main cast prior to voting, it’s possible HBO ends up rethinking its budgetary requirements.
Then again, as Newsweek puts it, the full Brexit transition could take up to two years to finalize, by which time Game of Thrones Seasons 7 and 8 might already have filmed and wrapped with full ERDF funding.
UPDATE: According to EW, Game of Thrones hasn’t utilized money from the fund in several seasons, while HBO had this to say of Brexit’s potential impact:
We do not anticipate that the result of the EU Referendum will have any material effect on HBO producing Game of Thrones.
In the meantime, Sunday’s Season 6 finale should keep the chaos largely confined to fiction, but might Seasons 7 or 8 end up looking a little different, or perhaps changing locales?