After Donald Trump posted an image online inspired by Game of Thrones imagery, HBO and a handful of actors from the show slammed the president for the image's political slant. The post - which features a photo of Trump behind a body of text - directly borrows one of the show's most iconic lines, as well as its distinctive font.
Following the White House's reimposition of sanctions against Iran following their withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (commonly referred to as the Iran nuclear deal), Trump posted an image online that borrowed direct influence from HBO's Game of Thrones in more ways than one. As he result, he drew attention from HBO itself, as well as some of the show's stars, who did not take kindly to the President using references from the series without permission.
The image that Trump posted on his official Twitter account features himself behind a body of text that reads, "Sanctions are coming," inspired by House Stark's motto, "Winter is coming." The text is written in the show's trademark font. In response, HBO released an official statement regarding the image explaining that they "would prefer our trademark not be misappropriated for political purposes," according to Variety. The network also tweeted about the image, saying, “How do you say trademark misuse in Dothraki?” Though HBO has yet to announce whether or not any official legal action has been taken against the image, some of the show's actors - including Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner - tweeted out their personal criticisms, and Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin shared his own tweet which specifically refers to the November 6 election.
Ew— Sophie Turner (@SophieT) November 2, 2018
How do you say trademark misuse in Dothraki?— HBO (@HBO) November 2, 2018
While Turner's response speaks for itself, Williams' tweet specifically refers to the catchphrase borrowed from her late sword instructor Syrio Forel (Miltos Yerolemou), "Not today." HBO's tweet, on the other hand, refers to the Dothraki, an unforgiving race of nomadic warriors from Essos - suggesting that considerable action may well be taken in response to Trump's tweet.
Though Trump has yet to respond to criticisms directed at his post, his use of Game of Thrones imagery goes to show just how culturally resonant the show has become over the past seven years. For a standing president to borrow inspiration from a mainstream television show speaks volumes about its success. The fact that he wasn't granted permission from HBO to apply said influence onto his social media feed, however, is another story entirely.
The eighth and final season of Game of Thrones will air on HBO in 2019.