Four more months until “Game of Thrones” fans will see the series return for its final season. But until then, you can entertain yourself with President Donald Trump having a bit of fun with the series.
According to USA Today, a poster referencing the reimposition of sanctions on Iran featured heavily at a Wednesday news conference in the Cabinet Room at the White House.
The poster, showing a minatory picture of the president, merely said, “Sanctions are Coming,” a take on the “Winter is Coming” tagline for the popular HBO fantasy series.
Asked about the “Sanctions are Coming” poster of Pres Trump on the conference table at the Cabinet meeting yesterday, Conway couldn’t explain why it was on display. pic.twitter.com/uIGhh3r7mb
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) January 3, 2019
The image was originally tweeted by the president’s account back in November: “Trump’s missive was aimed at drawing attention to his administration’s plans to snap back more than 700 sanctions on Iranian individuals and entities – including its national oil company – aimed at strangling Iran’s economy and forcing the regime into new negotiations over its ballistic missile program and its support for terrorist groups,” USA Today reported at the time.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 2, 2018
“How do you say trademark misuse in Dothraki?” HBO tweeted in response to the poster.
Interestingly, it’s the same phrase as “fair use,” which has led to a lot of confusion in Dothraki courts over intellectual property cases — or would, anyway, if nomadic tribes in a pre-industrial society had a lot of use for intellectual property.
The meeting didn’t actually have a lot to do with Iran or “Game of Thrones;” the stock market, the shutdown and North Korea denuclearization seemed to be the issues of the day.
However, it came just days after Trump used a similar version of the meme regarding the border wall:
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I will admit with some sadness that liberals on social media may have had a point about that meme — namely, that one lesson from “Game of Thrones” is that walls may not necessarily be the best defense against enemies.
However, it’s worth noting that illegal immigrants, human traffickers and drug cartels aren’t necessarily White Walkers and that the Breaching of the Wall in “Game of Thrones” required a concerted effort of the sort neither Mexico nor America is likely to countenance. If this didn’t make any sense to you, just assume this was a poor metaphor and move right along.
As always, the reactions to the poster were almost as funny as the poster itself. An Esquire writer noted that “‘Winter Is Coming’ is a phrase used in ‘Game of Thrones‘ to warn of impending doom. In the show, this long winter arrives when the undead monsters from the north arrive to wipe out humanity. So, in simple terms that Trump might understand, the winter in the phrase is a bad thing.
“When Trump used his Thrones-style poster to announce that his administration would be putting economic sanctions on Iran, he was essentially positioning himself as the villain.”
Except most people could kind of get the impending doom part and also that Iran is more treacherous than America, so I think context speaks for itself. Next? The New York Times, which found it odd that nobody talked about it during the meeting.
“Mr. Trump did not talk about the poster. Nor did any of his cabinet members seated around him, or even Vice President Mike Pence, who was sitting directly in front of it. And he made no connection to the date on the poster — two days before Election Day,” Michael Tackett wrote. “And as he took questions from reporters on Wednesday, Mr. Trump mentioned that Iran was now a much different country, apparently because of the sanctions that the United States had imposed.”
Which would qualify as sort of talking about it, right? And doesn’t it speak for itself at that point?
Which is what Kellyanne Conway said about it when asked questions on the matter: “I’ll let it speak for itself,” she said, according to Deadline. This, apparently, qualifies as her being “stumped” about what it meant.
In other words, brace yourself: Hot takes are coming.
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