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Why House Of The Dragon Can Continue Filming During The SAG-AFTRA Strike

HBO's "House of the Dragon" pulled in eight Emmy nominations for its inaugural season, including one for outstanding dramatic series. But while the SAG-AFTRA strike that began on July 13 has halted the filming of new television and movie productions in the United States, "House of the Dragon" films in the United Kingdom using actors who work under the auspices of a different union known as Equity.

According to Variety, Equity members are actually legally forbidden to strike in solidarity with their SAG-AFTRA brethren. Equity, which boasts a membership of 47,000, issued a statement to its members warning them that they could be subject to dismissal or even a lawsuit for breach of contract if they engage in any picketing or refuse to cross a picket line to work on a contracted production. 

Filming on "House of the Dragon" Season 2 has been underway since April 11. Since scripts for the 2nd season had already been finished, the Writer's Guild of America strike, which began on May 4, did not present any delays. The fact that "House of the Dragon" has managed to avoid being affected by either strike means it could be one of the only television shows with episodes available to air if the twin strikes carry on.  

House of the Dragon Season 2 should be released next summer

"House of the Dragon" serves as a prequel to the megahit series "Game of Thrones" and tells the story of the bloody war of succession amongst members of the Targaryen clan that took place about 200 years before the HBO original. Season 2 is still without an official premiere date, but is reportedly targeted for a Summer 2024 release. With the twin strikes thinning out any potential competition, however, perhaps pressure from corporate overlords at Warner Bros. Discovery will put pressure on showrunner Ryan Condal to speed up production on Season 2. 

"House of the Dragon" is expected to be extended into Season 3 and perhaps even Season 4. If the show is extended, the writer's labor action clearly presents the more immediate crisis for HBO and its parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery, as scripts will need to be in place before filming for Season 3 can begin. However, that's a problem for another day. For now, it appears that "House of the Dragon" fans can count on Season 2 to be delivered on schedule. 

This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. To learn more about why writers and actors are currently on strike, click here for an up-to-date explainer from our Looper team.