President Donald Trump has given a slightly ominous nod to Game of Thrones in relation to the reinstating of all US sanctions on Iran.
The sanctions were initially removed as part of the 2015 nuclear deal, but will now be reintroduced by the Trump administration. According to The White House, these sanctions will be ‘the toughest sanctions [the] regime ever imposed on Iran’.
In a slightly confusing celebration of this announcement, President Trump has tweeted a picture of himself striding forward across a grey and moody landscape, like some sort of suited and booted wildling.
Emblazoned across the gloomy image are the slightly threatening – and bafflingly misused – words, ‘Sanctions Are Coming, November 5’.
Now forgive me, but as a long-time Game of Thrones fan, never have those words ever struck any hope, optimism or comfort into the hearts of any the main characters – villains or heroes – or for that matter any of the viewers.
Indeed, the looming winter ahead has cast a shadow over the already blood-soaked show; promising despair, darkness and death. It has often served for a metaphor for all that is evil and corrupt in George RR Martin’s unpredictable universe; suggesting further horrors beyond what we have already seen.
It is unclear as to why exactly President Trump wants to equate sanctions he has expressed enthusiasm for with something so negative and sinister, or on the other hand, why make light of such sanctions if they are in fact as severe as his administration promises?
It also remains uncertain whether or not the president has actually seen and misinterpreted any aspects of the show, or whether he just enjoys referencing snippets of popular culture to get retweets. One thing is for certain, Ned Stark he is certainly not…
Speaking with reporters following the announcement, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said:
On November 5th, the United States will reimpose sanctions that were lifted as part of the nuclear deal on Iran’s energy, shipbuilding, shipping, and banking sectors.
These sanctions hit at core areas of Iran’s economy, They’re necessary to spur changes we seek on the part of the regime. In order to maximize the effect of the President’s pressure campaign, we have worked closely with other countries to cut off Iranian oil exports as much as possible.
The sanctions will be enforced as of Monday, November 5 and will penalise nations which do not stop importing oil from Iran.
Luckily, the internet is full of those who do know their dire wolves from their dragons, and Trump’s tweet quickly sparked a string of vastly superior memes and references.
Some edited the original post to read ‘Impeachment is Coming’, while others photoshopped Trump’s picture to depict him as the malevolent Night King.
Sanctions are what? The day before the election? Not suspicious at all. pic.twitter.com/hModIK6IW7
— News Corpse (@NewsCorpse) November 2, 2018
Political communication has been reduced to tired and predictable memes, while the US president continues to insult the intelligence of his voters with frustratingly inaccurate Game of Thrones references. Perhaps the ice zombie army really is on the way after all…
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.