Elf on the Shelf gets dismembered for your viewing pleasure

Ho-ho-horrible. It's like a North Pole edition of "Game of Thrones" when the holiday tradition is sacrificed for science.

Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
CNET freelancer Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Gael Fashingbauer Cooper

Parents seem to either love the Elf on the Shelf Christmas tradition or find it disturbing.

The toy is supposed to be one of Santa Claus' "scout elves" from the North Pole, brought into homes to spy on children and see if they're being naughty or nice. Each night after their children go to bed, parents move the elf into a different spot, sometimes with elaborate props, to make it appear the elf is active. (There's also a Mensch on a Bench for Hanukkah.)

Creepy? Charming? Your call, but we can probably all agree that it's ho-ho-horrible to see an Elf on the Shelf dismembered as if he were a captured Stark bannerman in "Game of Thrones."

Dan Markham, host of the What's Inside YouTube channel, and his young son Lincoln seem very apologetic as they saw into the smiley little guy.

The Markhams are practiced at destroying cuteness in the name of science -- they just cut into a Furby Connect a few days ago, which we wrote about here. But there's something seasonally disturbing about the magical massacre of the elf, who turns out to have a strange unexpected filling inside.

Let's hope Santa doesn't take out his revenge by flying right over the Markham house this year.