Brexit would threaten Game of Thrones

Without an EU cash injection, its Northern Ireland base may not be so attractive

If political, commercial and economic considerations aren’t swaying you in the EU referendum debate, perhaps those surrounding your favourite TV show will. Listen up, this is clearly a matter of serious importance.

If the UK votes to leave the EU on Thursday it will take Northern Ireland with it - the main production base for HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Follow the latest live updates on the EU referendum

This is problematic for the series as, due to it being incredibly costly to produce, it relies in part on an injection of money from the EU’s European Regional Development Fund, which is designed to stimulate economic growth across the EU (Game of Thrones creates thousands of jobs in Northern Ireland, Spain and more every year).

With less budget to play with, it might be harder for the show to create scenes as gargantuan in scale as last week’s ‘Battle of the Bastards’, and there would be continuity considerations if the show had to film many of its Westeros scenes in another country.

Okay, Game of Thrones is a big enough beast that it would probably find a way around this issue, but the Brexit threat to foreign TV and film productions is very real.

Asked if the U.K. departing the EU would put financing for shows like Game of Thrones and others at risk, Peter Chase, a senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States’ Brussels office, told ForeignPolicy.com: “Absolutely.

“It might be up in the air for U.S. studios who want to film in the U.K. There are EU programs to help fund all of this. If the U.K. is no longer part of the EU, that has the potential to go away.”

In a case of life imitating art, the Blackfish of Riverrun chose not to respect the authority of King’s Landing earlier this season, but will UK citizens make a similar move at polling stations tomorrow?

Game of Thrones Season 6 - Episode #10 Preview

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments