Why 'House of the Dragon' Can Continue Filming Amid Hollywood Strikes

While production is shutting down on most scripted programming, the 'Game of Thrones' prequel is expected to continue as scheduled.

As Hollywood essentially shuts down amid the actors' and writers' strikes, one high-profile production will be able to continue filming. 

According to Variety, HBO's House of the Dragon -- which is currently filming its second season in the United Kingdom -- will not be directly impacted by the current SAG-AFTRA strike in the United States, with sources telling the outlet that production is planned to continue as scheduled. 

Starring Emma D'Arcy, Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke and more, the House of the Dragon cast is largely comprised of actors who work under contracts governed by the local U.K. union, Equity, Variety notes. 

In a statement issued on Thursday via its website, Equity said it "stands full square behind our sister union" and that "SAG-AFTRA has our total solidarity in this fight." However, the statement explained, U.K. law prevents its members from joining the picket lines in physical solidarity and, in fact, Equity members could be "dismissed or sued" for "breach of contract" should they refuse to continue their work. 

"We have been advised by SAG-AFTRA that its strike is lawful according to United States law but we have been advised by our U.K. lawyers that it is not lawful under United Kingdom law," the statement reads. "Consequently, a performer joining the strike (or refusing to cross a picket line) in the U.K. will have no protection against being dismissed or sued for breach of contract by the producer or the engager. Likewise, if Equity encourages anyone to join the strike or not cross a picket line, Equity itself will be acting unlawfully and hence liable for damages or an injunction."

Elsewhere in the statement, Equity laments the legal restriction with a strongly-worded call for change.

"Industrial relations legislation in the United Kingdom is draconian, and often viewed as the most restrictive in the Western world. The convoluted and pernicious hurdles faced by all unions in the United Kingdom are a national disgrace and need urgent reform. The regrettable consequence of this framework is that what artists working in the United Kingdom -- whether SAG-AFTRA and/or Equity members (or both) – can do, may be different from their comrades in the United States and other parts of the world."

The Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) national board met Thursday to formally approve a strike after negotiations fell apart between the actors' union and major Hollywood studios and streamers, who are represented by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). The deadline to reach a new agreement expired Wednesday, July 12 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific time. The strike officially began Friday at midnight Pacific time. 

The actors now join the writers on the picket line, marking the first time since 1960 two major guilds are striking at the same time. The Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike began May 2 and is in its 10th week.

House of the Dragon was not previously impacted by the writers' strike, as scripts for the series' second season were already completed at that time. The highly anticipated drama is expected to return in 2024. 

Based on George R.R. Martin’s novel, Fire & Blood, which is a history book recounting notable events in Westeros in the 200 years before the original series, House of the Dragon will continue to explore the in-fighting and intrigue surrounding House Targaryen in its upcoming season.

With season 1 ending in a dramatic fashion, with everyone in Westeros seemingly taking sides in the newfound battle between the Black Council and Green Council, here's what we know about what's to come in season 2, from new cast members to episode count and everything else in between.