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What did W. ever do to Joffrey?

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Apparently something:

As you well know, I’m opposed to violent rhetoric on principle and should be offended, but honestly? A second-long Easter egg that no one notices until the producers point it out in the DVD commentary doesn’t really qualify as a pointed rhetorical statement. Not that it won’t be spun into one as soon as someone emails that link to Jonah Goldberg or Jeff Goldstein—both of whom will point out that it’d be considered both violent and racist if it were Obama’s head—but it’s still an Easter egg, which by definition limits its appeal to the Bush-hating, Martin-loving, DVD-commentary-watching crowd, which likely numbers in the tens.

That said, I don’t buy the producers’ claim that it wasn’t “a choice [or] a political statement. We just had to use whatever head we had around.” The scenes in King’s Landing were filmed in Malta, so I find it difficult to believe they happened to have a plastic replica of W.’s head just lying around. Unless there’s a booming Maltese trade in eerily life-like effigies of which I’m unaware, that Easter egg was planted there purposely.

Rhetoric aside, there’s all sorts of fun to be had with this, including (but not limited to) questions such as “What’s the sigil of House Bush?” I contend it’d be this:

A root-rotten shrub surrounded by all the weapons of mass destruction W. found in Iraq. Feel free to offer your own suggestions in the comments.

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  • efgoldman

    There’s gotta’ be a website somewhere that you can send a photo and get back a “shrunken head”, don’t you think?

  • The scenes in King’s Landing were filmed in Malta, so I find it difficult to believe they happened to have a plastic replica of W.’s head just lying around.

    It’s pretty easy to believe they could find a mask and something to stuff it with.

  • joe from Lowell

    Two black oil derricks, combatant, on a field of red.

    • GFW

      Damn, I came here to say pretty much that.

  • bexley

    Something like this.

    Replace the words “Squadron 617 Royal Air Force” with “New Orleans”

  • Warren Terra

    Alfred E Neuman in the foreground, with the background quartered:
    1) A hanging chad
    2) The Abu Ghraib silhouette
    3) A Nast plutocrat caricature with a fistful of money in one hand and an oil derrick in the oher
    4) Something iconic about Katrina: a guitar over a drowning city, perhaps?

    • Warren Terra

      (Oh, and Neuman) needs to be wearing the Mission Accomplished jumpsuit)

  • rea

    Do I have to point out the historical reasons why using Bush’s head isn’t nearly as offensive as using a black man’s head would be?

    (Not to mention–there don’t seem to be any blacks in Westeros)

    • Malaclypse

      You say that like you can just ignore the fact that the white male is the jew of liberal westeros.

      • rea

        I met Martin, decades ago, incidently.

        Absolutely could not stand him.

        Can’t remember why.

    • joe from Lowell

      There are Summer Islanders.

      They dress flashy and have loose sexual morals.

      • Heron

        I don’t think you can call them “loose sexual morals”. If anything, I’d say Martin’s judgement of the Summer Islanders’ sexuality is that it is more moral -and healthier- than the abusive, repressive tack taken by the Westerosi.

        • You’re assuming that “loose” is a bad thing, when it may just be the opposite of “repressive.”

          • Mayur

            Yeah, it’s actually made quite clear w/r/t the Golden Company mercenaries in Book 5. They’re also more gender-equal.

    • cpinva

      there don’t really seem to be a lot of darkly hued people on the entire planet, unless i missed the “House of Jackson” in one episode.

      • witless chum

        In the books, Dothraki are supposed to physically look like roughly Native Americans and Qarth is supposed to be China.

        Also, the Dornish from the south of Westeros are supposed to be dark skinned. At least Spanish-looking, if not further south.

        • ajay

          The Dothraki in the TV series are pretty much all white (exception: Drogo, who’s played by a part-Islander, and one of Dany’s servants, who is black.) But almost all the rest of them are European-looking people with slight tans.

          See here for example:
          http://images.wikia.com/gameofthrones/images/b/b7/Flatlands.jpg

          • SeanH

            Dany’s servants are, I think, captured slaves, and not Dothraki.

      • Murc

        Most of Game of Thrones takes place in Westeros, which is much smaller than the other two continents and is also the white people continent. (And even there, a significant part of it is filled with olive-skinned people.)

        Most of the planet, much like ours, is populated by non-white people. We just don’t spend a lot of time there.

    • IM

      There is one: Jalabhar Xho

      • John

        But why would Joffrey put Jalabhar Xho’s head on a spike? Perhaps Dubya was Vayon Poole.

        • Murc

          They didn’t actually cast Jeyne and Vayon in Season 1, which might bite them in the ass considering Jeyne will be kind of important in a few years.

          • John

            But Dubya’s head may have played the role of Vayon Poole’s head. It’ll be interesting to see how they bring Jeyne in. I wonder why they didn’t include her – even before Dance came out, it was fairly obvious Jeyne was the fake Arya, and would be playing a significant role in the fifth book.

            • Murc

              Actually, now that I’ve thought about it a bit, the TV series can probably just throw out a Lannister-created Fake Arya and be done with it without giving her any backstory. You lose some of the emotional punch of having it be one of Sansa and Arya’s childhood companions, but since most of that storyline will just be Theon and Ramsay anyway…

      • IM

        As far as I remember he has survived so far. See: Black dude doesn’t always die first.

        • John

          He’s alive, but currently imprisoned for supposedly having sex with Margaery.

  • I imagine you can buy a mask of whoever the current (or previous) U.S. president is in pretty much any reasonable-sized city in the First World.

    • firefall

      which would exclude Malta

  • jsmdlawyer

    Based on that seriously bad ’80s hair, I think the sigil for House Bush should be crossed blow dryers on a field of gold spandex, sprinkled with glitter.

    • timb

      this

  • wjts

    Per Richards: Or, pes argent in os gules.

    Their words: “Mission Accomplished.”

  • Morbo

    How on this blog of all places can no one have suggested the badge of HMS Turbulent?

    • Warren Terra

      Geez, did they lose a bet?

      • rea

        I think it has to do with a previous Turbulent, sunk at Jutland, which had been HMS Ogre, but for some reason was renamed.

    • rea

      Wouldn’t be appropriate at all–HMS Turbulent has seen combat

  • owlbear1

    An infant being wrung like a washcloth with money falling out. Underneath it:

    ALL YOUR FUTURES BELONG TO US!

  • Tipper

    A second-long Easter egg that no one notices until the producers point it out in the DVD commentary doesn’t really qualify as a pointed rhetorical statement.

    Sure. If they used any likeness to Obama in any derogatory way I am sure you’d be just as MEH.

    Do you sell cars too?

    • owlbear1

      How many millions of Dead and Wounded will it take to stop the Dubya worship?

      Or is that the attraction?

      • timb

        you miss the point, owlbear, he’s not upset because he worships Bush; he’s upset because of fake moral equivalency. False moral equivalencies and pretending to be victims are the only arrows in their quiver.

        And, he has such a huge point, since we all remember the multiple LGM threads about the preacher in Florida burning Obama in effigy right? I mean, we were all so outraged.

    • Warren Terra

      I’m pretty sure that anyone’s being a victim of Joffrey is not intended to be a slur on their character; without giving too many spoilers (and I’ve only read the first book), at least one character consistently shown as the very ideal of noble intent and action is beheaded by Joffrey’s order.

      As a fan of Dubya you may have had trouble perceiving this, but Joffrey is not meant to be a model of wise leadership.

    • SEK

      Tipper: The irony of your name amuses me. Also, when I say that an unnoticeable Easter egg wouldn’t offend me, it’s probably because I WOULDN’T HAVE NOTICED IT. You missed the part where I talked about efficacy, didn’t you?

      • SEK

        (Also, what Warren said.)

    • rea

      Like I said above, “Do I have to point out the historical reasons why using Bush’s head isn’t nearly as offensive as using a black man’s head would be?

      • Furious Jorge

        Evidently yes.

  • c u n d gulag

    There are SOOOOOOOO many jokes here!

    But I’ll just move along, so as not to offend too many people.

    • DrDick

      I have to admit that image brings a smile to my face every time i see it.

  • Brian

    Hey idiot, It’s not an Easter egg when the guys who did it release a DVD and on the commentary say: Look everyone, we put President Bush’s head on a pike.

    • SEK

      You don’t know what words mean, do you?

    • Cody

      So what you’re saying if someone finds something, it’s not an easter egg anymore? I guess that’s a reasonable interpretation, but I suppose we have differing definitions of “Easter Egg”.

  • njorl

    Crossed spoons argent on sable.

    • Warren Terra

      Nice touch. I do wonder if sporks would be more appropriate. Or maybe slotted spoons?

  • B

    From other site – apparently, they ordered a bunch of heads (‘male, caucasian’) from a prop company.

  • When I read this in the morning, I nearly had an erection.

    Until I realized I was getting a boner over a dude. Which would be OK, mind you, except, you know, it was W. Dead W, yes, but W nonetheless.

  • rea

    The odd thing is, while you can see it’s Dubya, it also looks rather like Neil Young

    • njorl

      Have you ever seen them together? Could be the same person.

      • Malaclypse

        That would lend quite the poignancy to this.

  • The scenes in King’s Landing were filmed in Malta, so I find it difficult to believe they happened to have a plastic replica of W.’s head just lying around.

    I doubt very much that the heads were sourced from Malta. There are prop houses that specialize in providing all manner of random crap for movies and TV shows. I’m sure they just ordered a crate of random heads from whatever warehouse in California specializes in providing that kind of thing.

    • timb

      I wonder if the job of ordering crates of heads is cool. It sounds like fun in the abstract to place an order for “1 crate — human heads”

      Somehow, though, I bet I’m wrong

      • jafd

        The story is told of an employee in the Philadelphia coroner’s office, a few decades back, who was making some money on the side by sending parts of unclaimed bodies to a firm out West that prepared them for the biology labs…

        Until, one hot Midwest summer day, workers in a Post Office sorting facility noticed a box, smelling awful. And dripping. So the Postal Inspectors opened it and found a half-dozen heads of the recently deceased.

        The moonlighter, convicted of ‘abuse of corpses’ and other malfeasances, was being led off to penitentiary when the baliff said “You’d have saved everybody a lot of trouble if you’d just used Federal Express.”

        “Yeah”, the convict replied, “but they charge an arm and a leg.”

  • JREinATL

    A second-long Easter egg that no one notices until the producers point it out in the DVD commentary doesn’t really qualify as a pointed rhetorical statement.

    Not to mention that the DVD has been out since March and people are just now noticing at that. Which I guess tells you how many people listen to the commentaries.

    Also, like SEK, I have a hard time believing that a GWB head was just lying around in some prop room — what other production would have needed a Bush head? Which leads me to believe that Benioff and Weiss are bullshitting about a prop head that happened to bear a superficial resemblance to Bush

    • rea

      what other production would have needed a Bush head?

      Teaparty campaign commericals.

    • witless chum

      Presumably, fake plastic heads of celebrities are made for other purposes than having them around for Game of Thrones to put on pikes, so it doesn’t seem crazy that some prop house would have had a Bush head lying around in 2010.

  • Halloween Jack

    I’m going for the “mask of W stuffed with something, because it was handy” theory. There’s nothing particularly sinister about the fact that the white mask used in the Halloween movies was a painted-over William Shatner mask; they needed a cheap mask and found one of Captain Kirk for $1.98.

  • witless chum

    I guess I don’t disapprove of violent rhetoric on principle. I wish it was real. The man killed (or caused the deaths of) what, 600,000 at least, people for no goddamn good reason? I’d prefer prison, but if he went the way of Saddam Hussein or Muammar Quadaffi, it’d be just as much justice as their deaths were.

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