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Remember that infamous beheading scene in the first season of Game of Thrones? Well, it turns out that Sean Bean's decapitated head shouldn't have been the only one we were paying attention to on the ramparts of King's Landing. Because if we had looked a little closer, we might have noticed the head of one of our former presidents up there with him.
However, no one noticed that Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss had stuck a likeness of George W. Bush's head on a spike until they revealed it themselves on the season 1 DVD commentary (via io9). Watch the clip, courtesy of Perez Hilton, below.
Needless to say, the higher-ups at HBO were not too pleased. "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. We are sorry this happened and will have it removed from any future DVD production."
For their part, Benioff and Weiss say the whole thing was a careless mistake. They had rented a bunch of prosthetic parts for the scene in the season 1 finale where vile King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) takes his betrothed, Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner), to look at the decapitated head of her father. It was only after the fact that the showrunners noticed that one of the head's uncannily resembled Dubya.
"After the scene was already shot, someone pointed out that one of the heads looked like George W. Bush," the creators of the hit fantasy show said in their own statement. "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."
Even the exec producers' DVD commentary, in which they called attention to the head emphasizes, that they weren't trying to make a statement about our divisive former president. In fact, viewers might want to keep an eye out for other George W. head cameos in the series.
"George Bush's head appears in a couple of beheading scenes," Benioff and Weiss admit in the DVD commentary that ignited the controversy. "It's not a choice, it's not a political statement. We just had to use whatever heads we had lying around."
So, yes, on the Game of Thrones set they just have Bush heads "lying around."