The video: The DVD of Game of Thrones' first season has been on sale for three months, but a brief and macabre presidential cameo in the season finale is just now gaining notice. A Reddit user recently highlighted the episode's DVD commentary, in which co-creators D.B Weiss and David Benoiff reveal that one of the decapitated heads impaled on a pike in a pivotal scene is actually a model of the head of George W. Bush. (Watch the video below, and pause at 1:07.) "It's not a political statement," they said. "We just had to use whatever head we had around." That revelation has sparked a backlash, with Brooklyn Republican Party Chairman Craig Eaton calling the scene "despicable," and urging viewers to boycott the show. HBO has apologized, and promises that the image of Bush's head will be removed from all future DVDs.
The reaction: Game of Thrones' "not a political statement" excuse is pretty far-fetched, says Rick Moran at American Thinker. The season one budget was $50 million to $60 million. Are we really to believe that the show's creators had to use some random head they "had around"? I'd personally be flattered to have "my own noggin on a spike for posterity in Game of Thrones," says James Poniewozik at TIME, but I'm not a political figure at risk for assassination attempts. This is "rightfully a sore subject." In any case, says Louisa Mellor at Den of Geek, anyone who owns this DVD should guard it carefully. "One day you may have a rarity on your hands." See for yourself:
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