HBO to Bud Light: “The Bud Knight had to die”


If you’re like me, you watched Super Bowl LIII for the commercials. I mean, we all knew the Patriots were going to win another championship, but the commercials…anything could happen with the commercials.

This year, Anheuser-Busch and HBO teamed for arguably the best ad of the night: a Game of Thrones parody directed by David Nutter himself, the guy behind the Red Wedding. Watch:

While fans doubtlessly enjoyed the commercial, Anheuser-Busch wasn’t at first keen to have their mascot, the Bud Knight, brutally killed by Gregor “the Mountain” Clegane (and yes, that really is Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson under that armor). “That is probably not the best thing to be showing,” vice president of marketing for Bud Light Andy Goeler told The Wall Street Journal.

Still, HBO Marketing Chief Chris Spadaccini made the network’s stance clear. “The Bud Knight had to die.” And so he did. Bud Light mourned him with a touching video tribute:

HBO had other inputs, and some of them came direct from showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss, who requested that someone in the crowd react to the Bud Knight’s death how Ellaria Sand reacted when the Mountain crushed Oberyn Martell’s head:

Benioff and Weiss also didn’t want anyone to interpret the commercial as teasing anything about the plot of season 8. Droga5, HBO’s marketing agency, came up with a bunch of ideas, some of which included resurrecting characters who had died on the show, but HBO shot those down since they could be mistaken as hints.

Bud Light wasn’t the only company HBO considered for this ad. Car makers and even the Coca-Cola Company were in play. HBO never approached the beverage giant, but it had a great idea for the iconic Coke polar bear to turn into the zombie bear from “Beyond the Wall”:

We so missed out.


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Colorado Rockies Nolan Arenado Game Of Thrones Iron Throne Bobblehead /

Colorado Rockies Nolan Arenado Game Of Thrones Iron Throne Bobblehead

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Naturally, the commercial caught the eye of the internet. The jokes runneth over:

"Dilly Dilly from freefolk"

"Monday after the Super Bowl from freefolk"

Even George R.R. Martin (who despises the Patriots, by the way) weighed in.

Speaking of Martin:

This was a great commercial. Let’s hope an official season 8 trailer is right around the corner.

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h/t Wall Street Journal