House Of The Dragon plans on filming through the writers’ strike

As the Writers Guild of America calls for pens down, House Of The Dragon is keeping cameras rolling

House Of The Dragon plans on filming through the writers’ strike
Matt Smith in House Of The Dragon Photo: HBO

The Writers Guild of America has called for a work stoppage amongst its union members, but what about the shows where the scripts are already finished? Well, in that case, the show must go on—quite literally, as the Directors Guild and Screen Actors’ Guild contracts have no-strike clauses that require them to show up to work (at least until those contracts expire in June). As such, certain shows will continue production, including House Of The Dragon, per Variety.

HBO’s Game of Thrones spin-off reportedly began filming on April 11. A production source told Variety that the full season’s scripts were already wrapped up, so filming will continue as usual. But that isn’t to say that filming will be completely unaffected by the strike, because writers’ jobs typically extend beyond the writers’ room. “[Who’s] the writer producer on set? [Who’s] showrunning? Hmmm? Scripts are done. Okay. But rewrites literally happen,” Caroline Renard, a WGA captain, responded to the HOTD news on Twitter. “Line changes. Alt line changes. [Who’s] gonna watch dailies and cuts? Approval on costumes. Tone meeting. Once again proving you guys have no idea what we do!”

Justin Halpern, writer and executive producer of Harley Quinn and Abbott Elementary, was even more blunt in his reaction to the news: “If you are working on a production and see someone is changing lines, that is writing and therefore scabbing. Please report it to the guild,” he tweeted.

House Of The Dragon is unlikely to be the only production in position to move forward with filming in the wake of the strike. Many miniseries and shorter-episode seasons now favor the model in which scripts are completed ahead of time, sometimes before the series has even been greenlit by a studio. This crafty loophole means that some streamers have “been stockpiling scripts in order to prepare for a massive work stoppage,” as The Bear writer Alex O’Keefe recently told The A.V. Club.

That means the average audience member might need to pay even more attention to notice the effects of the strike, because it won’t always be as obvious as 30 Rock ending abruptly mid-season. But if you notice a decline in quality in House Of The Dragon when the second season eventually airs, that’s a sign that writers are vital to every part of the television-making process.

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