“Sanctions Are Coming,” Donald Trump tweeted at noon on Friday, using the famous “Game of Thrones” font over an image of himself. This is a clear play on “Winter is Coming,” one of the oft-used phrases of the show that is frequently used in promotional materials.
HBO responded quickly to the tweet, saying “we were not aware of this messaging and would prefer our trademark not be misappropriated for political purposes,” CNBC reports.
The network released a later tweet that was more lighthearted, joking about copyright infringement. HBO has stated that it doesn’t plan to take any action against the president’s misuse of their trademarked imagery, though clearly they were unimpressed with the usage.
Members of the cast of Game of Thrones responded to the president’s tweet soon after HBO lashed out. Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark, answered with “not today,” another line from the show.
Sophie Turner, who plays her sister, Sansa Stark, provided an even shorter reply.
“Ew,” she tweeted, according to CNN.
George R.R. Martin, who wrote the series, A Song of Ice and Fire, that serves as the basis for the show, answered the presidential tweet with an image of the “Game of Thrones” font of his own, saying “Fear cuts deeper than swords. Vote Tuesday the 6th.” He’s referring to the nationwide midterm elections, of which there are several key races which could swing the balance of power in Congress from Republican to Democrat.
— George RR Martin (@GRRMspeaking) November 2, 2018
In the past, Martin has compared Trump to King Joffrey, whose reign was brief, but full of childish behavior.
An Iranian general responded directly to Trump with a message of his own: “I will stand against you,” which he posted on Instagram.
#UPDATE: Iranian General and head of IRGC Qassem Soleimani responds to President Trump’s Game Of Thrones meme on Twitter with his own Game Of Thrones meme on Instagram. This is getting ridiculous now. pic.twitter.com/IyMUW5SUFy
— ELINT News (@ELINTNews) November 3, 2018
Other Twitter users had fun with the meme, replying directly to the president with their own phrases.
— claebooski (@claebooski771) November 3, 2018
— Paul Hanlin Jr (@Paul_Hanlin_Jr) November 3, 2018
— Blue Wave 2018 Vote! ????????????????????⚖️????????????????????????#FBR (@enja1949) November 3, 2018
“Mueller is coming” was a common theme for responses, while many posted gifs from the series.
In the tweet, Trump was referring to the sanctions he intends to pose against Iran in a dismantling of the sanctions set up by Barack Obama in 2015. The White House clarified the tweet from their official Twitter account shortly after Trump posted the image.
Game of Thrones references have found their way into politics several times in the past. The show has been mentioned by former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and the font has been used for memes previously.