It’s A Song of ICE and Fire!
Presumably peeved by the notion that Nancy Pelosi’s return to the Speaker’s chair and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s high school musical were dominating the day’s headlines, Donald Trump blew off some steam by posting a load of memes on his social media.
Topping the ‘Warren 1/2020th’ picture that he borrowed from the Daily Wire to mock the Massachusetts senator, the 45th President of the United States took to Instagram, to offer his followers this Game of Thrones-inspired image:
In George R. R. Martin’s books, The Wall is a 700-feet high divide that runs for one hundred leagues between the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros and the wild lands beyond. And as fans of the subsequent television show were eager to point out, the last time it was depicted, it wasn’t looking too good:
Mild spoilers below…
The Wall was destroyed at the end of the latest season of Game of Thrones. https://t.co/4skG02MPjV
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 3, 2019
Referencing a show where the central theme is that a wall failed to protect a nation's citizens from danger as it created a false sense of security that subsequently ensured they were too busy squabbling amongst themselves to notice a horde of ice zombies coming to own the libs. pic.twitter.com/02gCfjY4yd
— Ben (@BenHowe) January 3, 2019
Who wants to tell him that the central premise of Game of Thrones is that walls don’t work? https://t.co/5CQjtB4jUt
— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer) January 3, 2019
Trump should really watch an episode of Game of Thrones and stop mangling these references. https://t.co/joesBXWkwC
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) January 3, 2019
There's so much Game of Thrones wall material to work with, and they still manage to bungle the reference https://t.co/02bzAPCtgV
— Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) January 3, 2019
But even without considering how the last season of Game of Thrones ended (in dragonfire, with an army of the dead marching through the remains of the Wall), the President’s team would have only needed to open one book in Cockburn’s library to discover why this wasn’t the metaphor most fit for Trump’s purpose.
Despite its great size, age and magical enchantments, the Wall is crossed several times in the A Song of Ice and Fire series. King-beyond-the-wall Mance Rayder sneaks over it before the first book even starts. Samwell Tarly uses a secret door to escape back to civilization (and meets disabled child Bran Stark, separated from his parents, heading the other way as he does so). And Jon Snow climbs over it with the group of wildlings he’s been embedded with in the space of a mere chapter.
It’s not even the first Game of Thrones meme Trump has deployed this week – yesterday at his cabinet meeting to discuss Iran, there was a large printout of a picture captioned ‘Sanctions are coming’ on the desk. For those of you that are curious, they aren’t that effective in Martin’s series either: House Greyjoy are sanctioned following an attempted rebellion before the events of A Game of Thrones, but end up reaving and murdering their way across the Seven Kingdoms by the start of the second book, A Clash of Kings.
What do the author and the stars of the show think of all this? Unsurprisingly for creative types, they aren’t best pleased. ‘Ew,’ replied actress Sophie Turner when Trump first posted the ‘sanctions are coming’ meme back in November, while Martin responded with a picture of his own:
— George RR Martin (@GRRMspeaking) November 2, 2018
The show returns for its final season in the spring. Will the government still be shut down by then?