HBO Pulls GAME OF THRONES Episode Featuring Severed Head of Former President George Bush

     June 15, 2012


Ah, the power of the internets.  Something that occurred way back during the first season of HBO’s smash hit series Game of Thrones has now come to the attention of the media, and thus a shitstorm is currently ongoing.  During the tenth episode of the first season of Game of Thrones, a prop severed head of former President George W. Bush is briefly seen on a stake.  The “Easter egg” was pointed out during a commentary by the producers on the season one DVD set released in February, but a hubbub was made just recently of said former president’s inclusion and HBO has reacted strongly.  Hit the jump for more.

game-of-thrones-george-bush-head-imageHBO’s first reaction was to issue a strong apology and condemnation, and now the network is pulling all available versions of the episode until they can edit out the head, per Deadline:

“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 careless mistake. We condemn it in the strongest possible terms and have halted all future shipments of the DVDs, removed it from our digital platforms and will edit the scene for all future airings on any distribution domestic or international.”

game-of-thrones-season-2-jack-gleesonExecutive producers D.B. Weiss and David Benioff explained that the inclusion of President Bush’s head was simply a matter of convenience and not a political statement, as productions use whatever old props are around when necessary.  This is a staple of the industry, as it can be very expensive to make brand new body part props for every single production.  The heads or body parts of famous people turn up in films and TV shows all the time as a result, but it probably wasn’t a good idea to put a former President of the United States’ head on a spike.

Obviously someone knew what they were doing when the head was put there, but I really don’t think HBO needs to pull and censor every single available version of the episode.  They’ve taken it off of HBO Go and iTunes, and they’re apparently putting a halt to all DVD box sets of season one until they “rectify this issue.”  Current box sets of Game of Thrones season one on DVD or Blu-ray just became a collector’s item.  The annoying thing is that the tenth episode of season one also happens to be the season finale, so for those that are catching up on Game of Thrones, no closure for you!  Watch the video of the scene, featuring the producer commentary, below:


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  • Mark

    Much like the Streisand effect they’ve only made this worse for themselves. Few would’ve paid this any attention, even less would have remembered or cared weeks frmo now.

    Now it will be a Youtube clip sensation and Ebay listings will state “contains Bush’s severed head”

  • tarek

    All what we see is a head with a bin nose. He looks somehow familiar to the goofiest president of the USA, but nobody can swear that is was him.

    I think that it is just a buzz created by HBO to sell their DVD’s

    • LeviathanUS

      Ah the age of the internet….when every carbon life form competes for decency.

  • Mike

    This whole thing is fucking stupid. Who gives a flying shit if it’s GW’s head, as opposed to mine? Do some people actually think that it matters?

    All that matters is that Game of Thrones is a great show. If they put it up in a political joke (which I seriously doubt they did), then who cares?

    • RamItOn

      One only needs to change the President whos likeness was on a stake from GWB to Obama, and I bet the reaction would be a LOT different (racist! intolerant! etc). But because GWB was a Republican (not a conservative, but a member of a silly party), the gut reaction by most is to dismiss it. Yeah, it’s being dismissed, but only because it’s Bush’s likeness…

      • MisterED

        Here we go, let’s bring Obama into this. It’s like Yahoo News… Yahoo posts any type of story and SOMEONE will always drag Obama into the discussion and how if it was Obama this, Obama that it would’ve been different, worse, racist, whatever. It’s a boring and overused argument.

        Fact is, Obama and Bush are best pals and I’m pretty sure Obama would’ve called the guy that came up with the idea of using W’s head a jack@ss.

      • 13steve13

        Seriously? How is Obama not slammed as much as W unnecessarily or not? How have so many people swallowed that bullshit? Every goddamn day I read or hear about Obama in a negative light, I would say swallow that shit and get involved, vote, run for office.

      • Northern Star

        EVERYONE JUST RELAX! I’ll take HBO (despite their heavy anti-conservative bias) and the producers at their word that it was just an unplanned accident, and if it wasn’t, it’s certainly blown up in their faces, but I’ll tell you who it bothers the least… George W. Bush, according to his former Press Secretary Dana Perino, who says this stuff doesn’t bother Dubya one iota, he took on UBL, I don’t think a television show compares…

  • Bakes

    No…they say on the commentary it was him. Stupid to have said anything, but an even dumber thing to do in the first place. No matter who it is, it is bad taste.

  • Bulldog

    Complete over-reaction. It’s a prop. Sick of hyper-sensitive, morally over-bearing types who have to censor stuff for the most inane of reasons.

    Remember that movie that dealt with G. Bush getting assassinated? Did the world lose it’s head then? No

    completely disagree with this action.

    Flame on :)

    • LeviathanUS

      the world did react this way when that awful movie cam out. and it was just a way of creating publicity.

      are you ignorant of apathetic bulldog… probably don’t know and you probably don’t care.

    • dogg

      They world didn’t “lose it’s head then” because it was left wingers doing it, and the constant narrative we’re supposed to swallow is that left wingers aren’t violent (all evidence of the Occupy movement arrest record, and FBI terrorist watch list to the contrary). If a tea party group put Obama’s head on a spike they would instantly be classified as a terrorist organization, and it would be front page news until election day.

      • 13steve13

        Unfortunately for you, it’s still a free country and many of your countrymen have different ideas and attitudes about how it should be governed. Jumping from “left wing” to Occupy or anything to do with FBI watch lists or terrorists in the same breath is fucking ridiculous. I’ve seen some pretty racist, ignorant images and slogans on those tea party signs cousin, google a few.

  • Zetaorionis

    Have to agree w bulldog here. too many morally over-bearing types and too much political correctness make homer something something…

    • I am so sick of posts like mine

      Morally over-bearing people these days! Probably trying to ease their guilty consciences for having been morally under-bearing, when Dumbya handed the country over to corporations.

      OH NO I DI’INT!

  • Lance

    Putting the head in the shot was kind of stupid, the overreaction is even more stupid.

    Given HBO’s reaction, though, I’m guessing we won’t be seeing anything like this again, at least not from Game of Thrones. Pulling DVDs from the market? That’s money taken out of their pockets, so they have every reason to avoid similar mistakes in the future.

  • Jtx5

    Morally overbearing??? Have some respect and pride. The man was our president. What kind of fireworks would there be if it was obamas head? Its bad form. Nicely handled HBO

    • 13steve13

      Nobody said anything about Obama you twat. What about Kennedy, Lincoln, Reagan? Would people be outraged then? Probably some same as this.

      • Jtx5

        Twat huh. Computer tough guy. Well I knew once I brought Obama into it somebody would get all sensitive. I’m saying any president dickhead. I used Obama just cause I know some jackass would get worked up. By making fun of our nations leader no matter who it is makes us all seem like jerk offs. This situation is nothing to get all crazy about it’s just really sad that there is no respect

      • 13steve13

        “Well I knew once I brought Obama into it somebody would get all sensitive…” Exactly why you’re a twat, you twat. I’m not even a supporter, but I know a twat when I see one. You can have my address anytime you want teeth beat out of you. Uh, the fact that he didn’t win the election might have been a little embarrassing on the international level, or actually probably more typical when compared with most “democratic”elections worldwide. Not much to respect in Washington, and that’s all of our faults. Because some prop guy thought it was funny I seriously doubt HBO is going to eat the cost, watch the retail price jump.

      • LeviathanUS

        steve just has a chip on his shoulder. hes mumbling nonsense don’t pay attention.

      • Jtx5

        Wow. I think u may be the biggest douche bag I ever came are u been talking about. All I’m saying is I don’t think it’s right. I’m not gonna get all worked up over it. Your threatening people and arguing like any of this means anything. I bet in an open forum you would be stuttering and pissing your pants. U can’t even talk online without threatening. True pussy move. And your boy leviathan…. How do I have a chip. I don’t even like Obama but I wouldnt disrespect him cause he’s the fuckin president. Either you guys don’t get my point or are brain dead.

      • LeviatanUS

        I’m on your side jtx5. Its pretty obvious to a 5 year old, that putting a president’s head on a pike is morally bankrupt. Only a brainwashed 15 year old would ever think it a proper exercise of free speech. Its what happens when morons read……too much information to process they cant do it, its too hard.

    • Bill


      • Greg


  • Lizard King

    I would have been honored if it had been my head on a spike in the show. Even if they did it for political reasons (which they obviously didn’t), The Simpsons, Futurama, and all sorts of shows put Easter eggs in their episodes and nobody throws a stink because satire and fictionalization is legal and socially acceptable. George H.W. Bush was punched in the face by Homer Simpson, South Park has killed countless celebrities, Al Gore’s head is sitting in a jar in Futurama.

    • kernel thai


      The heads on those spikes belong to heroes like Ned Stark who died attempting to restore lawful rule to Westeros. George Bush show be honored to be there amongst them and if I were in the Obama camp I might mention that he’d be honored to have his head up there too.

  • Bill

    Seriously… Who cares. Get over yourselves. Other heads are used. We don’t see anyone complaining about them. What a joke.

    • Brian

      You took the words right out of my mouth. Is there anything left in the world that doesn’t offend someone? Unbelievable.

      • Sanette

        Lol, this is hilarious. The media is pathetic and HBO’s decision is just laughable. People in my country would pay to see a prop head resembling any of our politicians on a stake. Everyone would just laugh and move on. Christ, some people should really get a grip.

  • Masshuu il Thulcandra

    WOW! What a big to do over nothing. Glad I have my DVDs already. I never noticed and wouldn’t have if they had kept their collective mouths shut. I voted foe him twice and I’m not offended, he was a good guy if King Joffrey offed his head!

    • LeviatanUS

      funny… are right this is just a publicity stunt. like the church offended by dan brown or the grand theft auto thing……

      but this publicity stunt just goes to show just how low pop culture as stooped to. truly disgusting. I’m not offended by the tween reaction just worried that no one cares anymore. you might disagree with him but he is still a president.

      I like Stephen Colbert for example. hes a talented funny likeable guy but comparing president bush to hitler is going too far. theres a line that’s been collectively crossed and I fear its too late.

  • Strong Enough

    HBO area bunch of pussies

    like repubs watch GOT anyway. they can’t even read

  • will

    It was dumb to put the head in, but honestly, this reaction is dumber. Who really cares? Bush probably isn’t even aware of this whole fiasco.

  • Kevin

    Like Bush is even going to see the show! He probably doesn’t even know how to use a remote control.

  • Jtx5

    I think I just came across the biggest douch bag ever. Wtf are u talking about? Your threatening people online…? What kind of pussy are you. I said I dont think it’s right to disrespect the president. I don’t even like Obama and I wouldn’t do that. This situation is a joke. You get this worked up over a scenario that’s pretty much meaningless. You need to get laid man. …

  • Jtx5

    Leviathan I misread u sorry

  • Daniel

    Bush is probably super stoked to have his head in Game of Thrones lol, I know I would be!

    • SB

      hahaha, totally. I would be too. Don’t know why HBO is fanning the flames to turn this non-news into a controversy. ridiculous.

  • Dobby

    Lemme guess… fox news?

  • Sean Bean


    I’m Sean Bean from’t north

    That rotten little sod, Joffrey plonked my ‘ed on a spike and that was clearly for political reasons but you don’t see me crying in my Bovril on t’internets

    Man up HBO you daft buggers


  • Tj!

    I never heard anyone complain when William Shatner’s likness was used as a mask for a serial killer of TEENAGERS! That’s what happened with “Halloween”, they needed a wierd mask, found one of Kirk, spray painted it white and voila…Michael Myers. A good propmaster will make do with what they have. End of story.

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  • pinkundies

    censorship and free speech, but this is over-the-obscure-levels.

    I still can’t believe it… watching the epis doesn’t directly reveal old G.W’s but beheading a United States President in a pop culture series phenomena is just so.. so damn stupid. Really? Would any network allow this sort of dark joke of one of their president.. that’s the shocking news lads. A sport figure, an actor, music artist would create an on-going debate if it’s acceptable to depict in such-a popular show.

    Like sportsmen, artists, the president stands for.. and represent something higher then himself, his country … And what kind of message does it send to Russia, China, Iraqi if a an ex president of U.S. is decapitated in a series viewed by the entire world …

    It’s a really dark joke by the producers

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