President Donald Trump on Friday tweeted a Game of Thrones-inspired meme of himself declaring new sanctions against Iran, and HBO isn't happy about it.
The image, emblazoned with "SANCTIONS ARE COMING NOVEMBER 5," is a play on "Winter is Coming," setting the stage for the final battle between the living and the dead in HBO's hit series. Trump's poster also copied Game of Thrones' signature font style.
A few minutes later, the White House retweeted Trump's message along with a dark announcement of its own:
"The United States has launched a campaign of economic pressure to deny the regime the funds it needs to advance its bloody agenda!"
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, HBO said it does not approve of its show's brand being used for political purposes.
"We were not aware of this messaging and would prefer our trademark not be misappropriated for political purposes."
HBO also tweeted: "How do you say copyright infringement in Dothraki?"
Must be a field day over there.
Reactions on Twitter were priceless.
J.K. Rowling nailed it.
Scott Dworkin was at a loss for words.
Sanctions really aren't something to gloat about.
This is what happens when 'rock bottom' rears its head and says, "hold my beer."
Like, this took work; real effort. Our tax dollars are hard at work.
Naturally, Twitterers fired back with Robert Mueller memes.
Others questioned whether Trump has ever watched Game of Thrones, but given its complex plot and hour-plus-long episodes, probably not.
But what if he does?
There are parallels.
Scratch one item off the parallels list.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Friday that all of the sanctions that were lifted as part of the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal will be reimposed and will take effect on Monday, November 5 - the day before the critical midterm elections.
"On November 5th, the United States will reimpose sanctions that were lifted as part of the nuclear deal on Iran's energy, shipbuilding, shipping, and banking sectors," Pompeo said.
"These sanctions hit at core areas of Iran's economy," Pompeo explained in a call with reporters. "They're necessary to spur changes we seek on the part of the regime. In order to maximize the effect of the President's pressure campaign, we have worked closely with other countries to cut off Iranian oil exports as much as possible."
The administration has 12 conditions Iran must meet if they wish to have the sanctions lifted, CNN reported, noting that experts view each of those items as code for "regime change."
"We want to restore democracy there," Pompeo told Laura Ingraham of Fox News on Wednesday. "We think the Iranian people want that same thing, and so our aim is not to harm the Iranian people but to change the behavior, the malign activity of this regime."
Iran was a democracy until 1953 when the United States led a coup to overthrow the democratically-elected government, after which it installed a dictator, Shah Reza Pahlavi.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that the new wave of sanctions will hit 700 new Iranian targets, including "individuals, entities, vessels, and aircraft."
"This includes hundreds of targets previously granted sanctions relief" under the nuclear deal, "as well more than 300 new designations," he said. "This is substantially more than we have previously done."