As promised, HBO has removed an image of former President George W. Bush’s severed head on a stake from copies of its award-winning fantasy series “Game of Thrones.”
As outrage over the image began to spread online earlier this month, the network quickly apologized. HBO called the use of the prop “unacceptable, disrespectful and in very bad taste” and immediately pulled shipments of the DVD. The episode was also yanked from streaming outlets such as iTunes and HBO GO.
Digital artists have since altered the chin and nose of the prop, and the network has cleared the edited episode for release. For collectors, though, the revision brings with it some confusion:
So there are now Game of Thrones season one box sets with George Bush's severed head in and box sets without George Bush's severed head in?
— Stefan Kaday (@StefKaday) June 25, 2012
Yes, indeed. There’s no official word yet on how to tell exactly whose severed head you’re getting with your purchase (a tasteful sticker, perhaps?), but for now, what was a political hot potato has quickly turned into a quaint collectable, a digital version of a misstruck Lincoln penny.
Anyone got the original Game of Thrones series 1 for sale? One with Bush's head still in it? Be worth a few bob someday.
— Dan McCulloch (@danmcculloch) June 25, 2012
Hey, my copy of Game of Thrones could be a collector's item! It's the one with the Bush head…
— Henry Harrison (@WhiteWino) June 26, 2012
I'm totally going to invest in the Game Of Thrones: Severed Bush Head Edition Season One DVD. http://t.co/gh5do4UD
— Christopher Olson (@TremendousTales) June 26, 2012
Can it be that bashing Bush isn’t the game it used to be? Many missed the image the first time around, and the controversy cooled off quickly over the two weeks it took to alter the episode.
I know I'm a little late, but is it true that Pres. G.W. Bush's head was on a pike in Game of Thrones? #IAlreadyDontCare
— Nearly Gnarly (@NearlyGnarly) June 25, 2012
Do you care? Do you buy that Bush’s cameo was an honest mistake, or was it a cheap shot? Will a revised “Games of Thrones” find its way onto your DVD shelf?