In the DVD commentary for the “Game of Thrones” season one finale, “Fire and Blood,” showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss explain that they needed a head for a King’s Landing pike, so they chose one that looks an awful lot like a former United States president.
“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.” (Via)
I’m afraid to say anything either for (“HOPE THEY DO KARL ROVE NEXT HARFHARFHARF) or against (“I BET THEY WOULDN’T DO THIS FOR THAT OBAMER GUY”) who the head resembles, so I’ll make a totally neutral statement, instead: how many times in his life do you think Ser Ilyn Payne, after beheading some ex-president, has heard, “Man, talk about a PAYNE in the neck”? Anyway, HBO was none too pleased:
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.
And Benioff and Weiss issued a statement about HBO’s statement:
What happened was this: we use a lot of prosthetic body parts on the show: heads, arms, etc. We can’t afford to have these all made from scratch, especially in scenes where we need a lot of them, so we rent them in bulk. After the scene was already shot, someone pointed out that one of the heads looked like George W. Bush.
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.
Like my grandmother always says: when you need a head for a pike, just choose Rutherford B. Hayes’s.