As perhaps the one piece of contemporary popular culture that appeals equally to red and blue America, Game of Thrones has long been a political Rorschach test. Is it a metaphor for humanity ignoring an impending climate disaster, or is it a stirring endorsement of nihilistic power politics? The answer, often, is both, which may explain why on Friday afternoon, the president of the United States did his best impression of a college freshman in 2012 and tweeted out a “Winter Is Coming”-style meme promoting unilateral sanctions against Iran. With the resources of the federal government behind him, he was able to eschew the typical Imgflip and Impact font aesthetic for a fully Photoshopped image of himself in the Ned Stark role (not the Trump-Game of Thrones character comparison most people would make) and the show’s official font. Which inspired HBO to inch towards the countless musicians who have refused to let the president use their songs and release a statement politely asking him not to do that:
We were not aware of this messaging and would prefer our trademark not be misappropriated for political purposes.
On Twitter, the network got a little sassier, as did a few Game of Thrones cast members:
Medieval feudalism had its flaws, but I don’t know if it was ever as bizarre as what’s going on now.