Let the game of one-upmanship with Amazon's 'The Rings of Power' begin.
Remember that time when 'Game of Thrones' was the biggest show on TV in terms of production costs? Well, it's not anymore, not even close. Amazon made a point to let everyone know how their highly-anticipated show, 'The Rings of Power', some sort of predecessor to 'The Lord of the Rings', is going to cost approximately bazillion dollars to make. Or, if we're being more specific, just over one billion dollars, with the first season alone racking up a staggering $462 million cost (that's just above 57 million per each of 8 episodes) according to Vanity Fair. It seems obvious that HBO will have to try even harder to somehow outdo that. Will they, though?
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the 'GoT' sequel will be centered on Jon Snow. We can safely assume that this project, being essentially a solo spin-off about just one character, not the whole epic ensemble, will be somewhat a downscale compared to the 'Game of Thrones'. It means no more dozens of different story locations (and, therefore shooting locations) – Jon's no Arya, you can't just send him on an adventure exploring new and exciting places all around the world. It means smaller production costs.
In theory, that is.
Even without the whole shebang of the original, and even if we leave 'The Rings of Power' out of the equation, Jon Snow-centered 'GoT' sequel still will have to meet at least some fans expectations in terms of quality. And quality doesn't come cheap these days. For example, 'Stranger Things' Season 4 required a significant rise in production budget to outdo previous seasons. It did succeed, but at the cost of $30 million per episode. And then we have 'Obi-Wan Kenobi', that wasn't so successful in terms of production quality (despite having managed to secure at least $25 million budget per episode).
Some industry insiders think that 'Jon Snow' sequel budget will be on par with another 'GoT' project, 'House of the Dragon', that will premiere on HBO in a matter of weeks – on August 21. According to Variety, each 'House of the Dragon' episode will cost HBO under $20 million. And some fans are (somewhat depressingly) sure that the Jon Snow-centered spin-off won't be anywhere near to full-scaled 'Game of Thrones' sequel or even 'House of the Dragon' prequel – more of a swing-and-a-miss project that can be cancelled without much fuss.
There is too little interest in GoT after the poor seasons 5-8 (and 8 especially), not even close to as many people will watch a spinoff. That means much lower budget, alternatively it could mean they cancel the show mid-way when numbers aren't holding up. – /Heerrnn.