Game of Thrones' Severed George W. Bush Head Brings Dishonor to House HBO: What Say You?

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HBO is falling on its sword after a severed head prop used in Game of Thrones was noticed as looking a lot like President George W. Bush.

In a DVD commentary accompanying the Season 1 finale of the fantasy hit, creator David Benioff and executive producer D.B. Weiss mention that a spiked noggin — shown briefly when King Joffrey forces Sansa to look at her decapitated father’s face — does indeed resemble the 43rd president. But the pair maintains that the appearance had no ill will behind it.

“George Bush’s head appears in a couple of beheading scenes,” they say in the commentary. “It’s not a choice, it’s not a political statement. We just had to use whatever heads we had around.”

HBO then issued its own statement, which threw the showrunners under the horse-drawn cart: “We were deeply dismayed to see this and find it unacceptable, disrespectful and in very bad taste. We made this clear to the executive producers of the series, who apologized immediately for this inadvertent, careless mistake.”

Much like Sansa after one of King Joff’s arbitrary beat-downs, the apologies continue. Benioff and Weiss added their own mea culpa late Wednesday, citing budgetary reasons for use of the familiar face and saying that they didn’t even notice while filming.

“After the scene was already shot, someone pointed out that one of the heads looked like George W. Bush,” they said in the statement. “In the DVD commentary, we mentioned this, though we should not have. We meant no disrespect to the former president and apologize if anything we said or did suggested otherwise.”

According to HBO’s statement, the premium cable channel will remove the Bush-alike head – which sports a decidedly unpresidential mop of ratty brown hair – from future editions of the DVDs.

Thrones fans, did you notice W’s face right up there with Ned Stark’s? And what do you think of all of the apologies galloping around the Interwebs like Stark bannermen? Sound off in the comments!

Comments (115)

  • It must be the real thing (head), there is no brain in it!

    Comment by Walt – June 14, 2012 01:01 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I wish it had never been mentioned. That way I wouldn’t have to read all the little “rah rahs” from the same people who would be throwing an absolute conniption if it had been an Obama head — which we also wouldn’t have been able to tell without someone saying it was. If the prop department wanted their childish little “we’re so clever” in-joke all they had to do was STFU about it, and no one would know what total a-holes they are for showing disrespect to the Office of the President — ANY President. But since they were stupid enough to bring it up, HBO is right to give out the mea culpas.

    Comment by gallowaycreations – June 14, 2012 01:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Since HBO has seen fit to weasel, I won’t be watching anymore. I thought this was great and spoke a truth

    Comment by tvaddict – June 14, 2012 01:33 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Spoke what truth? That if you disagree with a President he should have his head cut off and mounted on a pike? That’s the kind of stuff the savages in the middle east do, not decent Americans. If a show did this and replaced the head with an Obama head there would be all this public outrage and cries of racism and God knows what else. It’s sad that liberals go around preaching “tolerance” but are the most intolerant people one can encounter. For people who love patting themselves on the back for “being smarter than everyone else” they do some very moronic things.

      Comment by AJ – June 14, 2012 02:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Obviously someone does not have a sense of humor. Bush should have been honored to become a part of pop culture history.

    Comment by tvdiva – June 14, 2012 02:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Right?! If they wanted to put my severed head on a spike on the show, I’d even sit for a mold. (Though I don’t know that Bush actually said anything about it. The Bush supporters appear to be the ones with no sense of humor.)

      Comment by MA – June 14, 2012 03:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Well they are still lying about it even in their apology. It wasn’t pointed out to them that there was a resemblance. The say in the commentary “the head on the left is George Bush.” Done purposely, and disrespectful.

    Comment by AJ – June 14, 2012 02:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • a prop head that just happens to look like former president GW bigot and people are raising hell an accual effigy made to look like a sitting president is linched on the lawn of a church and republicans cheered diuble standard hypocracy

    Comment by john – June 14, 2012 04:23 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What a bunch of whiners. If you don’t like what they did, then stop watching HBO. I bet half the posters here don’t even watch the show. Get down from your political horse and go back to watching FOX news. It is television show for entertainment.

    Comment by Harley – June 14, 2012 04:39 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The whole thing is a tempest in a teapot. Pure silliness.

    That said, I guess my copy of the season one DVD just became a collectible…

    Comment by Sheldon W. – June 14, 2012 06:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • thank God someone called attention to this. now everyone can get their panties in a twist about nothing. nobody noticed this, why say anything? either way, it’s not really a big deal. it’s not like the stuck the head in the camera’s face. it was just a prop shown for a few seconds. Bush, Clinton, whoever. no big deal.

    Comment by kate – June 14, 2012 06:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I noticed it when I first watched it and thought that it was funny. I didn’t think that it was a political comment at all. It is not disrespectful.

    Comment by Stuart C. Hellinger – June 14, 2012 07:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I do not like the fact that HBO threw their own men out in the open like that. They overacted over something that is nothing.

    Comment by lillylifestyle – June 14, 2012 07:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • They couldn’t have used Obama’s head. Everyone knows there are no black people in Winterfell, geez!

    Comment by Matt – June 14, 2012 08:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • HBO chucked them under the bus, which idiot Bush deserved anyway as he started this rocky road on the economy.

    Comment by Jack – June 14, 2012 09:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I certainly did not see a head that looked George W.

    Then I was concentrating on all the living characters.

    Comment by Padraig O'Sullivan – June 15, 2012 02:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • having the former President’s head on a stick is about as classless as posting a target on Obama’s “I’ve got your back” posters. Regardless of our political affiliations, hopefully we are more evolved than to support beheading or assasination of our leaders. Those who are scrambling to get a copy of the DVD before this is digitally corrected are pathetic.

    Comment by KC – June 15, 2012 04:43 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • So this was finally discovered in the Season 1 DVD? Someone out there had nothing better to do than single-frame through the scene and point it out? Does that mean if the controversy doesn’t die down, HBO will cancel the series?

    Comment by Bob – June 15, 2012 07:41 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • hbo, this is the dumbest/silliest thing I’ve ever heard. D&D clearly said in their DVD commentary that they didn’t mean anything political by it, but let’s waste our time and analyze this some more. So stupid. If anything, the people who Joffery killed were the “good guys,” so as a liberal, should I be offended that W gets to be on the side of the honorable Ned Stark? Hey, i don’t want that! >_>

    Comment by jess – June 15, 2012 08:45 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Just cancelled HBO. Our decision was not based soley on this incident. The highly (left-leaning) programming has made me question what I am paying to support. Putting the likeness of ANY president is in extremely poor taste. It demonstrates a lack of integrity and intelligence!

    Comment by k. oliver – June 15, 2012 09:52 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Personally I’d kill to have my head put on a stake if it meant I’d be on the show in some way.

    Comment by kavyn – June 15, 2012 11:18 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This is so stupid!!!!! It hardly looks like him and wasn’t a model of his head or anything it just looked like him! I heard this but the picture didn’t load watched the scene 5 times looking for bush and never noticed! If it were a political statement why did they hide it?… Also quit talking about a “double standard” unless it was actually Obama and someone made a big deal about it being racist (even though the only black characters on the show so far are rapists or liars who got killed and nobody’s making any deal about that). South park made fun of bush and Obama and its not like bush was funny but then Obama was racist, CIA you can’t make fun of a black president… Why do people assume its different with GoT!?!?

    Comment by Eric – June 15, 2012 02:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • If it was really for budgeting then who cares?

    Comment by Ryan – June 15, 2012 11:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • You Americans are astonishing. Nobody noticed and now you’re going into a spiral of butthurt and complaining.
    It was a prop, get over it. All your theories about what might have happened if President X, Y, Z had been used (please prove that it was GWB’s head and that it was used intentionally first) is useless, baseless mental masturbation.
    TV shows, especially ones such as this one, have no connection to the real world. If you can’t watch these shows without losing your real-world political baggage, please at least don’t bore us with your opinions in these comments.

    Comment by Stormcrow – June 16, 2012 06:03 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Come on people, knock it off. It isn’t even a big deal. It is a prop. People reuse props all the time. They change them, put makeup on them, hair, etc. Whether intentional or unintentional, we are all just jumping to conclusions. Assuming it was done as a statement, saying ‘what if it was another president’, blah blah blah. It is a show, it is entertainment, not real life, and NOT real heads! It should be treated as such. If it offends you (after reading it has his likeness), then shut your mouth and don’t watch it. We have so many more pressing issues in this world, why cause more problem. They obviously altered the appearance of the head (maybe to intentionally detract from the likeness). Whatever the case…. Get a life! It is an entertaining show, that’s it. It isn’t truth!!! Besides, if this WAS real life, and any president was around at the time, Joffrey likely WOULD have put his head on a pike (or had someone do it for him… weak boy!).

    Comment by aurora – June 19, 2012 12:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Oh for pete’s sake…the producers said they just used ANY head laying around and didn’t mean to offend anyone. Plus, the head was FLASHED only for a few seconds and I think the only part that looks like Bush is the NOSE…the rest of the head is ratty & long hair. Just enjoy the awesome series and special effects & STOP looking for things that are not there !

    Comment by Karen Hayes – June 23, 2012 11:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I didn’t notice it and I believe the producer’s mea culpa. No worries.

    Comment by Lundy – July 29, 2012 07:52 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I don’t remember the President ever having long hair. Get a grip people, it’s only a prosthetic, not a bust made of marble with the presidential seal carved in.

    Comment by lame – August 22, 2012 12:41 AM PDT  Reply To This Post

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