In the list of things I never thought I’d find myself writing about, a severed President George W. Bush head winding up on HBO’s Game of Thrones was waaaaay at the top. But, this apparently happened and since everyone was just made aware of it, HBO felt they needed to make an official statement. And no, the statement did not consist of, “Off with their heads!”
The little-known fact was originally discovered by redditor SidIncognito and then io9.com grabbed a more closeup image where you can clearly see the profile is his. The head was used in the Season 1 scene in which King Joffrey forces Sansa to look at several heads lining the castle wall (one of which was her father’s). On the DVD commentary, producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss said, “The last head on the left is George Bush. George Bush’s head appears in a couple of beheading scenes. It’s not a choice, it’s not a political statement. We just had to use whatever head we had around.”
And here it is…
I think the most obvious question that springs to mind is not, “Why did they use a Bush head?” but “Why where there Bush body parts lying around at all?” Are they mass produced for some reason? I mean, I can understand Bush cardboard cutouts, Halloween masks but actually fully formed body parts? Just…weird.
Even though the creators said it wasn’t politically motivated, as you can imagine, people flipped out. So much so that both HBO and the creators released statements. The joint statement from Benioff and Weiss read:
What happened was this: we use a lot of prosthetic body parts on the show: heads, arms, etc. We can’t afford to have these all made from scratch, especially in scenes where we need a lot of them, so we rent them in bulk. After the scene was already shot, someone pointed out that one of the heads looked like George W. Bush.
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.
And HBO had this to say:
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. We are sorry this happened and will have it removed from any future DVD production.
So, do you think it was disrespectful to use a prop Bush head on Game of Thrones? The head is never shown face-forward and if the producers hadn’t mentioned the bizarre Easter Egg in the commentary, no one would have even known about it. Like I said, I’m more interested to know why they exist in the first place.
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