President Donald Trump held his first cabinet meeting of 2019 on Tuesday, amid an ongoing government shutdown.
Of most pressing concern to many observers (ahem) was the poster-sized mockup of a meme sitting in front of Trump.
Note the poster on the table in the Cabinet Room. pic.twitter.com/iHc9e5LIg1
— Jeff Mason (@jeffmason1) January 2, 2019
The president first tweeted the meme ahead of sanctions against Iran — lifted under the nuclear deal Trump left — snapping back into place.
The meme is based on a lead group of characters — the Stark family — in Game of Thrones, whose foreboding motto is “Winter is coming.”
Trump only briefly mentioned Iran, saying that the sanctions against it have worked and “turned it into a different country,” according to the White House press pool. “Iran is in trouble,” the president said.
But Trump focused the meeting on his demand for a border wall — the main reason for the government shutdown — and claimed again that “walls work.”
And, again, people were quick to jump on the historical inaccuracy of that claim.
Ask a Roman historian what happened to Hadrian's, the Chinese what happened to theirs, the French what happened to the Maginot Line and the former Soviets what happened to the one that divided Berlin. https://t.co/u3yCDjSJ2U
— Jonathan Landay (@JonathanLanday) January 2, 2019
Those who are caught up on the most recent season of Game of Thrones also may spot why it’s a not great claim to make in front of a GoT-themed meme.
(Feel free to skip the next bit if that doesn’t describe you!)
Namely that, in the show, the Wall — which, though fictional, is roughly 20 times higher than the one Trump wants and is made of ice — gets A HOLE BLOWN IN IT during the end of the last season.
Letting an army of what are effectively very evil zombies march into lands controlled by the living.
(Okay, keep reading.)
Irony aside, there are still a number of questions up in the air about the provenance of the poster.
* Why was it delivered and so prominent during this meeting, which, based on pool reports published to date, wasn’t really about Iran?
* Did it require government resources to be used during a shutdown?
* Who gets to keep it after the meeting?
* Has the president seen Game of Thrones? Does Trump know that the meme cuts against his argument that “walls work”?
This post will be updated if and when we get answers to these pressing questions.