HBO Would Like Donald Trump to Stop Using Game of Thrones Memes to Stoke Fear Ahead of Elections [Updated]

Game of Thrones’ Night King.
Game of Thrones’ Night King.
Image: HBO

Days ahead of the U.S.’s important midterm elections, Donald Trump has continued on his crusade to stoke fear in the hearts of the country’s conservatives with blatant lies and racism. Today, that took the form of a Game of Thrones meme that HBO is none too pleased about.


Today, the U.S. president took to his unhinged Twitter account to post an image (which you can go find for yourself) warning people that “sanctions are coming,” and the image made use of Game of Thrones-esque imagery and fonts. One can presume that the message is meant to be commentary about the country’s supposedly impending sanctions against Iran, but at the same time, it’s always rather difficult to ascertain exactly what the notoriously uninformed president is trying to speak about.

Regardless of what Trump is getting at, HBO responded today to CNBC by making clear that it in no way had any part in Trump’s message and would rather that he leave the network’s name out of his mouth entirely:

“We were not aware of this messaging and would prefer our trademark not be misappropriated for political purposes.”

In response A Song of Ice and Fire creator George R. R. Martin expressed his desire to see people turn out to vote next week:

Trump’s message carries a particularly ugly, violent subtext to it. It’s an obvious reference to Game of Thrones’ oft-repeated refrain that “winter is coming”—also the motto of House Stark. In the world of Game of Thrones, said winter includes invading hordes of murderous, demonic white walkers. Pulled back, it’s impossible not to see Trump’s message as, at least in part, tapping into the racist, fear-mongering messaging conservatives have been putting out in regards to the caravan of asylum-seeking migrants currently making their way up through Central America who are, to be clear, not a threat to the country.

As a reminder, voting for the U.S.’s midterm elections begins next Tuesday, November 6.



io9 Culture Critic and Staff Writer. Cyclops was right.


I'm A Different Bird

“As a reminder, voting for the U.S.’s midterm elections begins next Tuesday, November 6.”

Correction: voting *ends* next Tuesday, November 6. Early voting is open right now in most states, and I would recommend everyone who can take advantage of it.