George W. Bush’s decapitated head appeared on Game of Thrones; HBO apologizes

Pause at 1:08 and you’ll see the profile of George W. Bush’s head:

This from IO9:

If you keep your eyes peeled when King Joffrey takes Sansa Stark to gaze upon the spiked head of her dead father [at the 1:08 mark], you’ll notice that one of the heads looks slightly familiar. Show creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss explained in their DVD commentary (from Season 1, episode 10) that the decapitated head is actually George Bush:

“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.”

Not a political statement? How in the heck does George W. Bush’s head just happen to find its way on a pike and it not be a political statement? That’s absurd.

HBO, to their credit, quickly responded:

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.

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  • Linky1

    At least HBO and the producers did the right thing and removed it. Now, if they could do something about Bill Maher…………..

    • sDee

      naw – they’d get in real hot water if they beheaded a leftist

    • Nukeman60

      Actually, the did not remove it. They promised to not use it in any future production. Kind of like saying, “Oops, did I break that? I promise to never break it again.”

      • Linky1

        Now all they have to do is deal with Bill Maher……

        • Nukeman60

          Sadly, money is all that talks to the likes of them. When he stops making cash for them, they will discard him like the garbage he truly is.

      • d00mie

        It said any future DVD production. That implies to me that they are editing it out of the episodes on DVD.

      • Psyphurr Lock

        More specifically “…and will have it removed from any future DVD production.” DVD being the key word here. They will likely strip that small piece of filming from any new DVD reproductions of episodes where it was on display. That’s my take anyway.

  • Well, at least HBO had the decency to apologize. But in some ways that’s not good enough. Did you know that it’s a Federal offence to threaten the president of the United States? I’d say seeing someone want to cut off the head of a president, any living president, is about as close to a threat there is. Could you imagine if it was Carter’s or Clinton’s head? The show would be off the air. Let’s hope this doesn’t give any ideas to some sick Muslim terrorist out there.

    • rich wojcik

      Carter or Clinton” ????????????????? Didn’t you miss s-O.mething? :p

  • just “any head”? Can you imagine, if it was a head of FuBar Ack?
    SWAT teams would drop on every theater in 1000 mile radius………shooting to kkkkkill 😉

  • Constance

    Not a political statement. Right. This was absolutely unacceptable, regardless of political beliefs. This borders on threatening the life of a former president, and I can’t imagine anyone, even HBO, being so stupid. Do they ever wonder whether or not people who like George Bush watch their programming? Honestly? What, everybody hates Bush who watches HBO? That’s ridiculous. The lengths people will go to in order to slam Bush, and for what? I personally disagreed with Bush’s big spending, but I genuinely liked him. I thought he meant well, even if he was too moderate for me. I know I am not alone.

  • LdyDesign

    Gee I wonder if the Secret Service or FBI will be calling up Benioff, Weiss, or HBO. I’m sure Ted Nugent might have something to say about this!

    • sDee

      The (in)tolerance and indignation of America’s Leftist Elite is a ratchet. It only turns in one direction.

  • Amy

    This is why I don’t go see movies, don’t subscribe to any of the movie channels and don’t have a Netflix account. I can’t remember the last time I watched a current movie/TV show that didn’t contain some sort of underhanded political statement. Our culture is way too obsessed with the Hollywood crap.

  • M_J_S

    Cool. So then someone can do the same for Obama, right?

    • E. Lee Zimmerman

      Yes. But his head would be on the end of a putter instead of a pike.

  • jondos

    The problem is HBO does this stuff over and over again. HBO is a propaganda outlet. Everything they produce has a left leaning message and they will firghten, deceive and manipulate to get that message out. I don’t believe for a second that they are “deeply dismayed” for doing it, maybe for having been found out. But they will continue on in the same manner, and when necessary throw out an apology just for PR purposes.

  • steprock

    We know full well that TV shows are obliged to reuse and re-purpose their limited supply of props, but I find it hard to believe that this show, in particular, didn’t have more fake heads lying around.

    More than likely, they thought it was funny. You figure they make posters where a man sits on a throne made of people, they regularly film brutality and debauchery. This is what passes for a harmless joke with them.

  • RosiesSeeingRed

    I’ll believe it’s not a political statement when I see O’s decapitated head being used in a future episode. Until then, sorry. This gets added to the thousands of other anti-republican messages Hollywood thinks we’re not noticing.

    To Hollywood: Thanks to silly bloggers who aren’t really journalists, you’re not getting away with your brainwashing any more. 😉

    • E. Lee Zimmerman

      I’ll believe it’s not a political statement when I see both Showbama AND Bush’s head on pikes in the act of kissing one another. Only then will I believe that it legitimately is NOT a political statement.

    • poljunkie

      True. If they werent making a political statement use them both in the same episode

      – ALTHOUGH, as much as I dislike Obama and his policies, I dont think I would condone using his head either.


  • “Whatever head we had around” Really expect us to believe that do you? So if you just happen to have a model of O’s head around… You’d have used that too? Suuuure you would… I *believe* you! (eyes the floor and moves quickly away towards the exit)

  • c4pfan

    They actually admitted it and then think it’s no big deal?!

  • This “controversy” is just silly. The author of the novels actually WANTED his own severed head on a spike.

    “I also had investigated the idea of being a head on a spike, and [David and Dan] were going to put my severed head on a spike at one point, but then they got the quote for what that would cost. Those severed heads are expensive, and our budget is tight! So unless I provide my own, I don’t get to be a severed head!”

    I know I’m going to lose Conservative points for ever using logic to defend HBO, but I’m rather inclined to believe their story of grabbing every available head they had for the scene. The show is filmed in Northern Ireland, so it’s not like they have a giant studio prop dept down the block.

    As to them “bragging” about it on the DVD commentary. It was an anecdote about the behind-the-scenes of filming the show. That’s what DVD commentaries are. If they had used the head of the Crypt Keeper on a pike, you can be assured that he is famous enough around HBO that would have mentioned that too.

    In the actual context of the scene, the petty and cruel man-child king has just had the star beheaded and he was tormenting the man’s daughter with the gruesome sight of her father’s head on a pike as well as the head of her hand maiden and all of the other “good guys” that Goffrey had killed once he assumed the throne. It would be a rather impotent political attack to hang Bush’s severed head alongside the good guys, without more or less implying he was on the same level of noble heroics as Ned Stark, the now-beheaded former lead character of the show.

    Next someone will notice that Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” was a thinly veiled allegory to the War on Terror and start crying that the less-than-subtle Batman=Bush allegory in the movie’s plot was offensive because Bush would never wear a cape.

    Hollywood has done enough things that are ACTUALLY outrageous and offensive that getting worked up over pretend offenses like this just makes our side look as thin-skinned at our own petty and cruel man-child king.

    • If it is filmed in Northern Ireland then why is an American president the only severed head available?

      Are you accepting the excuse that in a North Ireland film studio that there are no Irish severed heads available to use?

      • there were dozens of heads in the scene. They were not all Bush, only one in the background, in a wig and with it’s head turned away so you couldn’t tell who it was unless someone pointed it out to you.

        • steprock

          Sure, it was in bad taste, but they themselves admitted it, and this really is what passes for humor in their bizarre little world.

          Let us not over-react. And, no, they probably would NOT put the head of their own favorite Prez up ther…but can we assume they are all a bunch of evil Libs? No.

          They have a weird sense of logic in TV land, and this is nothing more than an “easter egg” as far as they are concerned. They might also hate GW Bush, but you really can’t say.

        • Nukeman60

          So if there were dozens of heads in the scene, they could have used ‘dozens minus one’ in order to not be disrespectful of a US President. And a profile of President Bush is distinctive. Don’t pee on my back and tell me it’s raining.

          • Stop acting like everything Hollywood does is a personal insult. You’re a conservative, stop acting like Jesse Jackson, always ready to be insulted like a professional victim

            • Nukeman60

              I would suggest that you stop acting like everything Hollywood does is a-ok. We pay their salaries and we have the right to say what they do at times is wrong. It’s a naive thought process that believes they put Bush’s head on a pike simply because there were no others around. Almost everything Hollywood does these days is political. Get real.

            • poljunkie

              Then they SHOULDN’T have used a PRESIDENT.

              Michael, I take it as an insult.

              There’s no argument to use it in my opinion.

              This is an immature stunt.

              It is divisive. Yes the liberals can all high five each other. Woo hoo.

    • sDee

      I call BS on his diversion. An after-school high school drama class could have easily disguised that to be unrecognizable as Bush with a dab of clay and make up.

    • Nukeman60

      Wow. Your reasoning just astounds me. You wouldn’t happen to be a Principal in Washington State as well, would you?

      • I apparently missed a story about a Washington principle.

      • E. Lee Zimmerman

        Spit-take! I’m still laughing …

        • I’m glad someone got the insult/joke. Frankly, he’s a bit of a wank and i don’t care enough to look up whatever he’s blathering on about.

    • poljunkie

      Sorry, I disagree. Its offensive.
      Whether they like President Bush, Heck whether they even respect him- you dont do that sort of stunt to a President.

    • Linky1

      I am a fan of the series and the books but using a President’s head goes beyond the pale. Severed heads yes, but depicting the head of a US President?

      If it was the case that Martin wanted his own head used and money was tight, why didn’t Martin commission his own “severed head” for the scene?

    • E. Lee Zimmerman

      With respect, you’re only using half your brain (or logic) on your far-too-easy excuse of Hollywood’s not-so-hidden Fascism.

      Hollywood has been using contemporary politics and historical revision since filmmaking began in the purposes of establishing allegorical comparisons (think the original STAR TREK for actually respectful examples of it), but, logically, you expect all of us to believe:
      (a) there’s a limited supply of prosthetic heads available;
      (b) the producers just conveniently had the prosthetic head of George Bush lying around on an external shoot in Ireland; and
      (c) these producers established affiliation with a network with a long-established anti-Republican slant didn’t intend any slight against Republicans.

      So — based on those facts alone — either the use was allegorical OR intentional. In the commentary track accompanying these scenes, the creative folks stated specifically the use WASN’T allegorical. In fact, they went on record saying how much they dislike allegorical uses in film and TV. So, dude, all that’s left is intentional, which they’re now trying to misdirect with a veiled apology-of-sorts.

      Allegory ONLY EXTENDS so far. Apology ONLY WORKS when it’s tried.

      Rush apologized. The Left told me that wasn’t good enough.

      ‘Nuff said.

      • steprock

        This may all be true, but what the heck kind of a good political statement is it if they themselves have to point it out?

        It’s probably true that they really do loathe GW Bush, but you can’t even tell it’s him. It’s more a sick, lame joke than a statement. Bad taste, sure, but what else do you expect from this network?

        • E. Lee Zimmerman

          They fact that they pointed it out alone underscores the reality that they WANTED it seen and seen widely. Otherwise … why mention it at all?

    • Krig_the_Viking

      I completely agree. There’s all sorts of weird things lying around in the back rooms of prop departments. It’s entirely possible that some *other* movie had a scene with a decapitated George Bush, and then the head lay around in the props department for years until some gofer from the Game of Thrones production got the order to “scrounge up every decapitated head you can find”.

      Conspiracy theorists see intentionality behind everything, even when it’s quite obvious there is none. It’s depressing to see people I agree with on most things fall prey to that same symptom.

      • E. Lee Zimmerman

        Dumbest thing I’ve read today.

        • Krig_the_Viking

          What a charming and insightful response.

  • Sober_Thinking

    How “careless” of them. I’m sure it was an honest mistake. Just like having Bill Maher on their network. All entertainment I guess. Nothing to see here…

    Put Obama’s head there and see what happens.

  • Joe


    I think the Secret Service would be justified and pay them a visit

    Bush is still under protection

    • poljunkie

      My hubby was willing to stop by and say hello.

      ( I keed I keed)

      • Joe

        When is he going?

        ( I not keed )

  • Nukeman60

    We just had to use whatever head we had around.

    Yep, just the other day, I found a spare decapitated head and one hand of Obama laying out in my back yard. I hate it when those things just crop up out of nowhere. I must have been using the rest of him to fertilyze the garden and forgot it was still there.

    To a liberal, if Obama’s head would be put on a spike, it would be called racist, but then Bush’s head is just plain common sense, right?

    …inadvertent careless mistake…‘ – HBO

    “We meant to use Bill Clinton’s head, but that sly old fox was always one step ahead of the executioner’s axe.”

  • E. Lee Zimmerman

    Wonder why they didn’t use Showbama’s head?

    • There are no black people in the show (at that point), so that would actually stand out more.

      • He’s only half black… So use half a head… I mean, Obama’s only using half a brain anyway…

        • 12grace


      • E. Lee Zimmerman

        So only have Showbama’s white half.

    • 12grace


  • poljunkie

    I saw the article about this in the DailyMail yesterday and hesitated to post the link here. It really upset me alll evening. I found it so distasteful

    Politicians are calling for a boycott of HBO’s fantasy series Game of Thrones after the creator’s ‘despicable’ decision to include former President George W. Bush’s severed head in several scenes.…

    When questioned they said something like, they weren’t trying to make a political statement, it was just a prop they had laying around. What BS. Like Nukeman said, everyone just happens to have a decapitated prop head of President Bush in their garage?

    When will liberal Hollywood stop this insanity? This kind of stunt, in my view just fuels the fire that further separates our already divided Country.

  • Smith Smith

    Ya crazy for them to say it was lying around….I would ask a simple question to HBO and the director – If it was lying around, what was the purpose of having it made in the 1st place? What show was it on or you had plans for it to be on?

    • kong1967

      It’s just a prop. Just because it’s bodyless doesn’t mean it was made to represent a beheading.

      • Smith Smith

        That made no senese, you might watch that part of the show again and read what you just wrote.

        • kong1967

          No, it makes perfect sense. The head was not something they made for this show. It was a head they had in the studio and they used it, but it’s original purpose was for something else. Hollywood has heads of people that aren’t used in movie scenes for beheadings or sticking on poles. A low budget show will not make it’s own props, but rather use what is already there from other shows.

          That being said, this very well could have been intentional, but I don’t see it because it was in the background and the head was turned so far you couldn’t even see the profile of the face but just barely. I think they would have made it obvious if they wanted to make a statement. The fact they had it turned so far from the camera tells me that they didn’t want it to be noticed that it was Bush’s head.

          They shouldn’t have done it even if they just needed a head….any head.

  • They could have used that particular head on any of the poles that were not so prominently displayed. It was most certainly intentional.

    However, here is a very interesting article that offers a conservative take on the use of Bush’s likeness in this way.

    • this WASN’T prominently displayed tho. It was so far in the background that no one saw it when it aired a year ago in HD. You had to be told that it was in the background to know to be offended.

      • kong1967

        I think this more than likely wasn’t intentional. If they wanted to make a statement they would have made it more obvious instead of in a way that no one would notice. The head is turned the other way and I never would have realized it was Bush even if I stared directly at it for hours.

        I think a low budget series probably has to use whatever props they have at their disposal, and they did exactly what they said they did. They used whatever heads they had.

      • 12grace

        I wonder how you would feel if barry’s head was in this production?

        Even if this was not pronounced, it is recognizable on a Subliminal level.

        Do we even have to resort to this kind of subliminal brutality?

  • Thanks for the heads up on this story Scoop! 🙂

    • 12grace


  • I am so disappointing in so many people today.

    I don’t know what is worse: the outrage that people throw stupid things in the background on the sets of TV shows or movies as a conspiracy to mock Conservatives…or the comments on the Alex Jones site that say this is a conspiracy about preparing us all to be tortured by the NWO.

    This is bad enough when the left do it. I expect it from them. I expect wild conspiracies from the Alex Jones crowd. We’re supposed to be better than this, and yet people on right boards are acting like the people on the DU and Kos sites after whatever insult they had of the day. Over nothing.


    Call me when people stop being silly.

    • sDee

      This is what the uber leftist film industry does. Bush’s head on a stick is left wing porn. They put stuff like this in just like they’d put in a quick shot of a naked breast in a otherwise loser G rated film, to drag more teen aged boys in to the theater.

      Conservatives would not rush out to see a film and get all giggly about Obama’s head on a stick – but the left will get a thrill up their leg from just a quick glance at Bush’s head on a stick- the more subtle the better.

      It is not conspiracy – it is business as usual for the film industry.

    • LdyDesign

      Micheal, we’ve been listening to the “insults” the propaganda, and lies from the liberal s for years. It is the ho-hum, no big deal, I’m bigger than that attitude that has put our country in this mess. Thank goodness we have great sites like Right Scoop. I now know I’m not the only frog who has jumped out of the simmering pot!

    • 12grace

      What specifically do you find offensive?

  • And this is precisely reason #5643 why HBO doesn’t get my money…EVER.

  • kong1967

    How did anyone notice that?

    I’ve never heard of this show before but if it’s a regular show on HBO (series) I can see how it would happen. It’s not a high budget movie where they create whatever they want. I can see them needing heads and grabbing whatever was lying around the studio. They did turn it somewhat and I’m not even sure how anyone noticed. If they had intended to make a statement I’m sure they would have turned the head so we could see it.

    Intentional? Maybe. Careless? Of course.

  • tvlgds

    If anyone did this with a likeness of O’crapola, they’d be arrested and imprisoned. Shooting ranges aren’t even allowed to use likenesses of OBL anymore because it’s considered Islamophobic. Our country is completely turned upside down.

    • When I was in CA, you couldn’t even use images that might even look human as paper targets at our range. Just the standard round targets were allowed.

      • tvlgds

        Same here–we could, however, use the silhouette targets. Fortunately, I had moved back to La. before 9/11 and I still have several bin Laden targets with the middle blown out! The range also had a raffle for chances to blow a Rosie O’Fatass doll to shreds! LOL!

      • sDee

        I just gotta laugh picturing a bunch of left wing control freaks sipping their lattes and thinking they have someone changed anything by making you empty your magazine into the center of a round target instead of an irregular shaped one.

        Do they make you do deep breathing and yoga poses before leaving the range too?

  • wodiej

    I don’t like GW but this was not a mistake and not only in poor taste but hateful and disrespectful.

  • ernst1776

    Hollywood is not only morally broken…. it’s artistically and intellectually void.

  • SurfinCowboy

    I understand that they use “recycled” pre-made body parts in scenes. Now, when you are designing the scene and you notice one of your heads is a public-figure (even more, a former President) don’t you think the wise thing to do would be to fully obscure the face, or use it in another way that did not show the features?

    Of course you do.

    Which means, that when it was seen that the head was of Bush, a conscious decision was made to use it in a way that features would be visible on camera.

    If you used it differently, HBO, you would be in the clear. Instead you deserve the steely-eyed gazes that are fixated on you now. Bad mistake, bad decision, bad excuse – bad move HBO.

    Now that I have said that – GOT is one amazing series! 🙂

  • bartman44

    Yet another reason to not get HBO and subsidize their tripe. If this were the head of Obama, the MSM would be having collective on-air, mouth-foaming seizures. In the spirit of this topic, heads should roll at HBO for this.

  • GiantM

    Another case of throwing “a thought/idea/insinuation” on the wall to see if it sticks. Then apologize profusely and politely to look good in the end, but snicker with your cronies about the whole thing when no one is looking.

    These people are plain sick in the head! [pun intended!]

  • Susitna

    I kindly ask The Right Scoop to remove the picture. It deeply hurts me and I cannot stand it. Many thanks!

  • DebbyX

    I don’t know folks, but I don’t see him. I paused at 1:08 and looked really hard but, nope I don’t see him. I’ll look again.

    Either way, HBO is useless.

    Oh, I see it now. How silly of me.

  • PFFV

    HollyWood is so disgustingly liberal I can’t watch TV anymore or go to the movies. Nearly every actor is a damn socialist idiot. I have no respect for stupid people especially the so called elite. They definately have way more money than brains that’s for sure. TV is dead to me and so are the movies. They aren’t getting my money, they can keep collecting it from the braindead liberal drones. Remember in November!

  • 12grace

    Wonder why they didn’t find barry’s head on this site as he is the current president.

  • hbnolikeee

    hey HBO if you’re not full of crap (as we know you are) you need to fire the execute producers that “inadvertently” put Bush’s head on a pike.

  • Heads should roll at HBO


  • waelse1

    Well guess I’ll never catch Game Of Thrones (or any other HBO series) on DVD again. F them.