Jun 14, 2012 / 10:35 am
Many a lying, scheming head has been lopped off in the television series, "Game of Thrones." But the story behind one decapitated noggin in the Season 1 finale has left HBO's executives red-faced with embarrassment.
Remarkably, the spiked head bore an uncanny likeness to former U.S. President George W. Bush.
"Haha Hilarious," was the reaction of Twitter user @ToonBird101.
"George Bush's decapitated head ended up on a spike in Game of Thrones. Even Joffrey hated him it seems," tweeted another bemused onlooker at @s2rt.
No doubt, those familiar with the show will see an impaled head as no big deal. "Game of Thrones" is full of such violence.
For those who don't know it, the lushly-shot TV show is an adaptation of "A Song of Ice and Fire," George R. R. Martin's epic series of medieval fantasy novels.
True to Martin's book, the television series follows multiple characters in a web-like tale played out on the strange, medieval continent of Westeros.
There, in this barren world filled with violence, villains and heroes plot and scheme to win the Iron Throne and dominion over Westeros' Seven Kingdoms.
That menacing violence was on full display in the Season 1 finale, as the cruel teen King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) paraded his captive fiancé past a row of traitor's heads placed on spikes.
The last head on the left resembled George W. Bush.
In the DVD commentary for Season 1, show creators D.B. Weiss and David Benioff revealed the prop's true identity.
"People may not have noticed this but back up…the last head on the left is George Bush," the pair said.
"George Bush's head appears in a couple of beheading scenes," they added.
The decision to use the scraggly-haired prop was not intended as a political statement, according to Benioff and Weiss.
"We had to use what heads we had lying around," they explained in the DVD.
That explanation has not sat well with some critics, including Brooklyn Republican Party chairman Craig Eaton.
"Whether you like him or dislike him, whether you're of the same political persuasion or not, we still have to respect the office of the presidency and all of those who hold that presidency," Eaton said in a statement.
Eaton also called for a boycott of the show and the head's removal for the scene.
"It doesn't matter what their intent is. They didn't intend it to be political, but now that it is, they should remove it," Eaton said.
HBO executives have issued an apology for the use of this prop and its unfortunate likeness to America's former commander-in-chief.
"We were deeply dismayed to see this and find it unacceptable, disrespectful and in very bad taste," HBO said in a statement.
"We made this clear to the executive producers of the series who apologized immediately for this inadvertent careless mistake," HBO officials added.
HBO also promised to remove the scene from any future DVD productions.
Not surprisingly, Benioff and Weiss have also showed their contrition over this incident.
The pair said the props were rented in bulk to meet budget costs. They only became aware of the prop's likeness to Bush after the scene was shot and a crew member pointed out the resemblance to them.
The "Game of Thrones" creators also apologized for mentioning this bit of quirky show trivia in the DVD.
"We meant no disrespect to the former President and apologize if anything we said or did suggested otherwise," Weiss and Benioff said.
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