At a cabinet meeting in January, President Donald Trump used a large Game of Thrones meme as a prop. He frequently tweets things about himself in the Game of Thrones font, and did so earlier today. It is clear Donald Trump would like you to associate Donald Trump with Game of Thrones. I assume this is because Game of Thrones is somewhat masculine. However, there is no way Donald Trump watches Game of Thrones.
I say this with near-complete certainty.
Take what we know about Donald Trump’s television-watching habits. The New York Times reported, in December 2017, that people close to him estimated he spends “at least four hours a day, and sometimes as much as twice that, in front of a television.” Trump has said otherwise, admittedly, once telling reporters aboard Air Force One that he doesn’t watch that much television because he is too busy with, of course, documents. “People that don’t know me, they like to say I watch television — people with fake sources. You know, fake reporters, fake sources,” he said. “Primarily because of documents. I’m reading documents.” Indeed, indeed.
Still, we know he’s a rabid viewer of cable news — Fox News in particular, and Fox & Friends in particular-particular. I think, despite the supposed document reading, we can be pretty sure there is a lot of television watching going on in the world of Donald Trump. But could that television watching include HBO’s mega-popular Game of Thrones?
I don’t think so.
I do not watch Game of Thrones either, and I’ll tell you why in a second. But I know what it is. I know it comes from books. I know there is an entire cottage industry dedicated to recapping, dissecting, and explaining it to fans who dutifully watch each episode, and who have read the books, and who still have no idea what the fuck is going on in it. I know before every new season we suffer through a news cycle of “Here’s What Happened on Game of Thrones in the Past.” And I know that this is how Vulture described Game of Thrones in a post about Game of Thrones recap podcasts: “Each installment is rich and dense and full of portent, with much of it deeply informed by what has come before.”
Does that sound like some shit Donald Trump watches?
I don’t think so.
Like I said, I, like Donald Trump, do not watch Game of Thrones. After being laid off from a job a few years ago, I decided it was time I began watching it, and I tried. I put on the first episode and within 20 minutes I began cleaning my apartment out of a desperate need to do something other than watch a show that I immediately did not understand. When it came time for the second episode I was completely lost, in large part due to the amount of time that was spent cleaning rather than watching, admittedly, but also in part due to how the show has a lot of characters and is somewhat hard to follow. It is, as Vulture said, very dense.
Now, I am not an abnormally smart woman, obviously. And it is not a show that only the abnormally smart can enjoy; it is quite popular. I am also not abnormally unsmart — I am regular. But it does seem like the kind of show you have to pay attention to and think about. You think Donald Trump is doing that shit with Game of Thrones?
I do not.
Donald Trump does not watch Game of Thrones. Game of Thrones is too complicated. Some things are just easy to understand.