Some things are meant to go together, like peanut butter and jelly, hamburger and fries, and Game of Thrones and Bud Light, wait what? For reasons we will never understand, HBO aired a Game of Thrones Season 8 teaser slash Bud Lite ad during the Super Bowl LIII.
The commercial starts off like a Bud Lite ad “in the style of Game of Thrones.” Then, a character who is quite literally The Mountain comes out and snaps off the head of the “Bud Knight.” This is the point in the ad when audiences were like, “Are they allowed to rip off GoT like that?” Then, the actual theme song plays and one of Daenerys Targaryen’s dragons sets everything on fire as a title card floats up that says “Game of Thrones: The Final Season.”
Naturally, the internet was like, “WTF?”
But also, Twitter was very unhappy with HBO’s bait-and-switch. Many thought they would debut an actual Season 8 trailer and not this beer ad.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the spot was directed by Bud Light director Spencer Riviera and David Nutter (Nutter directed the “The Red Wedding” episode of GoT), which is a wild crossover in itself.
Apparently, the Bud Knight’s death was rather gruesome for a Super Bowl ad, and the Anheuser-Busch execs weren’t initially on board (“That is probably not the best thing to be showing,” said one executive), according to WSJ. But HBO really wanted the Bud Knight to die (“The Bud Knight had to die,” said HBO’s Marketing Chief).
In related news, the actual Game of Thrones returns on April 14th, 2019.