HBO unleashes Game of Thrones dragons on Donald Trump tweet

The president lifts the HBO hit's style and slogan for use in a tweet about Iran sanctions, leading to calls of trademark misuse.

Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
CNET freelancer Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
2 min read

Don't mess with the warriors of HBO's  hit Game of Thrones, even if you're the president.

On Friday, President Donald Trump tweeted a photo of himself overlaid with the familiar Game of Thrones-style font, and the words "Sanctions Are Coming," a twist on the show's famous slogan, "Winter Is Coming." The president is presumably referring to reimposing tough sanctions on Iran. But he didn't have permission from HBO to copy the show's trademark, and Westeros is not happy.

Officially, the network issued a statement saying, "We were not aware of this messaging and would prefer our trademark not be misappropriated for political purposes."

But on Twitter, various Game of Thrones representatives had more lively reactions. HBO's official account responded with a tweet referring to one of the show's fictional languages, writing, "How do you say trademark misuse in Dothraki?" 

Cast members reacted negatively also, with Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark, shooting back, "Not today." 

That's of course from a lesson taught to Arya by her believed-dead fencing teacher, Syrio Florel. Syrio told her, "There is only one God, and his name is Death. And there is only one thing we say to Death: 'Not today.'"

Arya's on-screen sister Sansa, or at least her portrayer, Sophie Turner, had a short-but-sweet reply as well. She responded with two letters: "Ew."

This isn't the only recent time that Trump and Thrones have intermingled. Last month, author George R.R. Martin, whose Song of Ice and Fire book series is the basis for the show, told The New York Times that the president reminds him of one of his characters, cruel King Joffrey Baratheon, who was murdered at his own wedding.

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