Why Brexit could mean big trouble for Game of Thrones

The EU helps fund production for your favourite TV show.

Game Of Thrones Battle Of The Bastards
Sansa and Jon Sophie Turner on Game of Thrones Image Picture HBO

The social, economic and political ramifications of Brexit have been analysed six ways from Sunday, but has anyone stopped to think about Game of Thrones?

It might seem a spurious question, however it’s worth noting that everyone’s favourite TV show is tied to the European Union and exit could spell bit trouble for the Starks, Lannisters et al.

As reported by Foreign Policy, if Britain exits the European Union it’ll take Northern Ireland with it, one of the major filming locations for the HBO shot. That epic battle for Winterfell on last Sunday’s Battle of the Bastards episode? It was filmed in Northern Ireland.

It’s also filmed in Croatia, Spain and Malta – all member states of the EU.

Funding for the HBO show partly comes from the EU’s European Regional Development Fund, which was set up to aid economic growth in the European Union.

Some of this cash could end up evaporating with Northern Ireland leaving the EU, meaning HBO may have to scramble around to find extra funding and potentially go elsewhere to film.

At worst, there could be delays to the show or even bigger question marks over the show’s future.

Asked if Brexit puts financing for Thrones at risk, Peter Chase from the German Marshall Fund of the United States’ Brussels office said: “Absolutely. It might be up in the air for US studios who want to film in the U.K.

“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.”

So there you have it. The referendum isn’t just about removing Britain from the EU, Westeros could go with it as well.

Game of Thrones will air its final episode this Sunday on HBO and Sky Atlantic.

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Loaded digital media manager Simon Reynolds has written about film and entertainment for various leading websites since 2008. Follow Simon at @simonreyn

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