'The Rings of Power' Is the Most Expensive Television Show Ever Made

High-budget television series are becoming the norm. What is the budget of ‘The Rings of Power’ and how does it compare to other shows?

Jamie Lerner - Author

Sep. 1 2022, Published 1:30 p.m. ET

'The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power' scene
Source: Prime Video

This is the summer of bringing fantasy back. After House of the Dragon premiered to high approval ratings on HBO, another long-awaited prequel is finally here: The Rings of Power. Unlike many other high-profile fantasy series, The Rings of Power lives on Prime Video.

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The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is an eight-episode series and is the most expensive television series ever made. Yes, even more expensive than Game of Thrones. It follows new characters thousands of years before the events of The Hobbit at a time during which peace was about to be disrupted. So what is its budget per episode and how does it compare to other series?

Sophia Nomvete (Princess Disa) in 'The Rings of Power'
Source: Prime Video
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‘The Rings of Power's’ budget per episode is about $58.1 million.

The Rings of Power surpassed Stranger Things to become the most expensive television series ever made at a budget of $58.1 million per episode, according to the Wall Street Journal.

And if we add in the $250 million it cost Amazon to buy the rights to Lord of the Rings, it’s actually $89.4 million per episode. That’s over three times as much as the current most expensive series, Stranger Things Season 4, which cost $30 million per episode.

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Benjamin Walker (High King Gil-galad), Morfydd Clark (Galadriel), Robert Aramayo (Elrond) in 'Rings of Power'
Source: Prime Video

Luckily, Amazon has the second richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos, behind it. With a total of $715 million spent on The Rings of Power’s first season, that’s only .46 percent of Jeff’s net worth of over $153 billion. So for a big Lord of the Rings fan like Jeff, making The Rings of Power is barely a drop in the bucket.

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And if it brings in 5.1 million more Amazon Prime subscribers, it will just break even on its first season, so it seems that The Rings of Power is more of an investment and passion project than it is a moneymaker for Amazon.

‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘House of the Dragon’ cost much less than ‘The Rings of Power.’

In comparison to The Rings of Power, Game of Thrones and its spinoff prequel House of the Dragon are low-budget series. Despite its high-quality CGI, prestigious score, and giant cast of actors, Game of Thrones was able to maintain a budget of just $6 million per episode throughout its first five seasons.

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Matt Smith (Daemon) and Milly Alcock (Rhaenyra) in 'House of the Dragon'
Source: HBO

By Season 6, its budget went up to $10 million, even though many fans will say that that’s when Game of Thrones began its decline in quality. Its final season, which was critically panned, cost $15 million per episode.

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While fans are enjoying House of the Dragon so far, its budget is still far less than that of The Rings of Power. At $20 million per episode, it is HBO’s most expensive series to date, matching the budget of its other big budget series, The Pacific.

Morfydd Clark (Galadriel), Lloyd Owen (Elendil) in 'Rings of Power'
Source: Prime Video

The only other series that have comparable budgets are the Disney Plus MCU series, all of which fall at about $25 million per episode. However, with those at normally only six episodes, their total budgets are far less than the HBO and Amazon shows. Let’s just hope that The Rings of Power lives up to its wallet.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power premieres on Prime Video at 9 p.m. EST on Sept. 1.

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