What the Game of Thrones' wall would cost to build in real life

HBO's Game of Thrones (GoT) is a world record-breaking TV fiction series, and while the series has recently come to an end, we wondered how much its iconic structures, such as The Wall or Castle Black, would cost to construct in real life.

According to Construction Week, GoT's iconic ice structure is a lot more expensive than some might think: at 482km in length, the 700x300ft wall would need $606,000 just to build each section of its core structure.

The Great Wall of China’s replica in Nanchang, at 4km, is the closest real-life example of GoT’s wall. Based on the Chinese replica’s dimensions, the GoT wall would need 105,000 sections, and at the cost/section listed above, its total structural value rises to $31.8bn – and we haven’t even gotten to the ice, its elevator, or the critical Castle Black yet.

So, how much would The Wall’s ice in GoT cost if it were a real-world structure? The answer is $110.8bn. The wall would require 184.8 million blocks of ice to be fully wrapped in, and each three-foot block would come at a labour cost of $600. Relatively inexpensive are The Wall’s elevators, which have a construction hoist value of $30,000.

Including that and the 700ft-high customised timber framing worth $189,000, The Wall’s lift system would come with a price tag of $219,000. In a similar, under $300,000-range are The Wall’s Scorpions – using the Ballista catapults as real-life models, which cost $26,800 per unit, the Scorpions’ total cost for 10 would come to $286,000.

Still, the two most impressive features of The Wall are its battlements and Castle Black. The former would cost a whopping $23.7bn – the top of the wall spans 475.2 million ft2, and the moat defense would be charged at $50 per square foot. Still, some GoT fans might consider this a small price to keep the White Walkers out.

Finally comes Castle Black, which according to New York publication The Real Deal would cost $2.74m. It is one of the three fictional castles located on The Wall, along with Eastwatch-by-the-Sea and The Shadow Tower, around halfway along The Wall’s length on its south.

In this video, Construction Week's editor, Neha Bhatia, rounds up the real-life construction costs of key Game of Thrones structures, based on estimates by Big Rentz.