George R.R. Martin “shocked” House of the Dragon still filming through actors strike

House of the Dragon Episode 10
House of the Dragon Episode 10 /

The second season of House of the Dragon is currently filming, despite the fact that both writers from the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and actors from the Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA) are on strike. The scripts for House of the Dragon season 2 were finished before the writers walked, so it’s understandable how the show could continue even without them (even if it’s not advisable). But how do they continue filming without actors?

Well, they don’t have to; the actors on House of the Dragon have to keep working even as their colleagues go on strike. How does that work? Fire & Blood author George R.R. Martin broke in down on his Not a Blog. “The actors are members of the British union, Equity, not SAG-AFTRA, and though Equity strongly supports their American cousins (they have a big rally planned to show that support), British law forbids them from staging a sympathy strike.   If they walk, they have no protection against being fired for breach of contract, or even sued.”

Basically, under British law, actors can’t strike, or at least, if they do, they’ll be exposed to severe legal penalties. They seems antithetical to the whole purpose of unions, but it’s how British labor law works. “Honestly, I was shocked to hear that,” Martin wrote, echoing the sentiments of many. “One of the two major UK political parties, Labour, has its roots in the trade union movement. How in the world could they have allowed such anti-labor regulations to be enacted? Seems to me that Labour Party really needs to do a better job of protecting the right to strike.”

George R.R. Martin’s development deal with HBO has been suspended

Martin has been a member of the WGA for decades. He’s in full support of both strikes and stands behind the remarks made by SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher above. “The studios did not move an inch from their previous positions, and still refuse to address some of the most important issues on the table, including AI and payments and residuals from streaming,” he wrote. “They gave the actors no choice but to walk.”

"As for the writers… well, the studios are not even TALKING to us.   All negotiations between AMPTP and the WGA shut down back in May when the strike started.  It is hard to reach any agreement when  the other side won’t even come to the table."

Martin thinks that this strike “is the most important of my lifetime.” He’s happy to see the guilds united in this fight, but predicts a long road ahead. “No one can be certain where we go from here, but I have a bad feeling that this strike will be long and bitter.”

Martin himself has a development deal with HBO to help with shows like House of the Dragon and A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, another Game of Thrones spinoff. But at the moment, that deal is off. “As for me personally, my overall deal with HBO was suspended on June 1.”

The second season of House of the Dragon is “half done” filming

Back to House of the Dragon, Martin says that, according to what he’s been told, filming is around “half done,” which tracks with what we’ve seen on set.

House of the Dragon is in a tricky position at the moment. We support the actor who aren’t allowed to strike lest they be fired or sued, but also support the actors and writers who are striking under the protection of more labor-friendly laws in the United States. “I hope we will have your support,” Martin wrote. “HONK if you see us picketing… and NEVER cross a picket line… and maybe we will be able to get this settled quickly.”

Next. House of the Dragon scenes become “meatier” in season 2. dark

To stay up to date on everything fantasy, science fiction, and WiC, follow our all-encompassing Facebook page and sign up for our exclusive newsletter.

Get HBO, Starz, Showtime and MORE for FREE with a no-risk, 7-day free trial of Amazon Channels