LOS ANGELES: While the "Game of Thrones" frenzy continues to be a message-driving vehicle in the ongoing election season in India, television network HBO urged US President Donald Trump to stay away from using memes inspired by the hit fantasy series for political purposes.
Trump on Thursday celebrated the release of Robert Mueller's Russia report with a GoT themed tweet. It came after Attorney General William Barr discussed the report on Russian meddling in the 2016 election, stating that the special counsel found "no evidence of Trump campaign collusion with the Russian government's hacking".
In a mocked-up image with the title font of "Game of Thrones", Trump is seen with his back to the camera with mist and fog flowing in front of him. He is seen wearing a black overcoat, his wardrobe staple.
The words on it read: "No collusion. No obstruction. For the haters and the radical left democrats -- Game Over."
HBO fired back,
"Though we can understand the enthusiasm for 'Game of Thrones' now that the final season has arrived, we still prefer our intellectual property not be used for political purposes," a HBO spokesman said in a statement.
The channel had earlier warned Trump against using the show's imagery last year after he used it to threaten sanctions.
"We were not aware of this messaging and would prefer our trademark not be misappropriated for political purposes," a spokesman had said.
In a tweet at the time, on the show's official account, writers added: "How do you say trademark misuse in Dothraki?"
While Trump went on to use the "Game of Thrones" reference with his message, the same was done in India amidst the ongoing Lok Sabha election season. The Election Commission, Press Information Bureau and Congress picked popular references from the fantasy series to connect with the people and express their views.
The Press Information Bureau (PIB), the publicity arm of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, picked three major elements of the show -- Tyrion Lannister, Hodor and Dragon -- to create a montage and urged people to vote.
It features an image of Tyrion with the message "A very small man can cast a very large one", Kristian Nairn as gentle giant Hodor with "Not all heroes hold weapons... Some just vote" and the dragon soaring high with a message calling the Lok Sabha elections the 'Festival of Democracy'.
The caption read: "No matter how big or small one is, every vote has equal power. This Lok Sabha Elections, become a true hero. Go OuT and vote... It matters."
The show, which also stands for complicated political gambits, scheming and the backstabbing nature of people and finding love in troubled times, is also being used to take political jibes in India.
Congress took a potshot at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other ministers of the Bharatiya Janata Party through a GoT reference.
Taking to Twitter, the party posted a photoshopped GoT poster, showing Modi as the Night King, the commander of White Walkers and the villain of the series.
Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Arun Jaitley, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and BJP President Amit Shah are also seen as villainous characters from the HBO show in the poster.
The caption read: "Spoiler Alert: When you play the Game of Thieves, you either lose or you bribe! #BJPGameOfThieves" -- with this they twisted the original line: 'when you play the game of thrones, you win or you die for their political motive."
The Election Commission of India (EC) also posted a poster "Got inked" -- showing a dragon in the background.