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.
HBO’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.”
Executive 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: