On Wednesday, as the federal government entered day 12 of the partial shutdown that has seen furloughed employees go without pay and actual poop pile up at America’s national parks, President Donald Trump hosted a cabinet meeting at the White House. There, Trump addressed the shutdown and spoke about North Korea and the stock market … all while a poster-sized print-out of a Game of Thrones–inspired meme was brazenly displayed on the table in front of him.
The president had tweeted the meme — which features an image of him with the words “Sanctions are coming” in Game of Thrones font and a clear riff of the HBO program’s iconic “Winter is coming” catch phrase — back in November, at the time seemingly in reference to sanctions against Iran.
His November tweet drew negative responses from the show’s cast, including Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams, as well as the network itself:
Of course, that apparently did not deter the Trump administration from continuing to use the image, as it was blown-up to poster size and placed in front of the president during the meeting. BuzzFeed News reports that Trump only briefly mentioned Iran during the meeting, and USA Today states that the reason for the poster’s appearance at the meeting wasn’t immediately clear. And so, understandably, its presence on the table left many people wondering … why?
On top of that, as BuzzFeed notes, Trump stated during the meeting that “walls work” (a reference to his ongoing demand for a border wall) — while on Game of Thrones, the show’s wall literally did not work, as (spoiler alert) a chunk of it eventually gets blown up by a dead dragon. But context aside, Trump’s behavior really fits in with his history of printing out tweets, so we should have seen this coming.