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CW In Focus | The real-life building cost of Game of Thrones' wall

As the final episode of HBO's hit fiction series GoT readies to air, check out how much The Wall would cost in reality

HBO's Game of Thrones is a world record-breaking TV fiction series, but as the Season 8 finale (and the show's last-ever episode) draws closer, have you thought about how much its iconic structures, such as The Wall or Castle Black, would cost in real life?

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 ft2. 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.

Construction Week In Focus is a twice-weekly bulletin of the Middle East's top news from the real estate development and contracting sectors. The series is hosted on Construction Week's YouTube channel, alongside weekly series published by its sister titles. The latter includes MEP Engineered by MEP Middle EastFM Live by facilities management Middle East, and Heavy Metal by PMV Middle East.

Subscribe to the Construction Week YouTube channel for the latest from the region's construction sector.

Construction Week In Focus episodes are published each Sunday and Wednesday. Heavy Metal episodes are published on Mondays, and FM Live updates are presented on Tuesdays. MEP Engineered rounds off the week each Thursday. All videos are published at 4.30pm Dubai time. 

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Construction Week - Issue 749
Sep 15, 2019