Former US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has confused her supporters – and delighted her detractors – by likening herself to scheming, vengeful Game of Thrones villain, Cersei Lannister.
In her new memoir, What Happened, Mrs Clinton recalls the backlash she suffered at the hands of Donald Trump supporters following the scandal surrounding her use of a private email server for official communications as Secretary of State.
Mrs Clinton, who was investigated by the FBI over the emails, references a scene in the HBO show’s sixth season, in which Queen Cersei is forced to walk through the streets naked while people hurl food at her and yell, “Shame”.
“Crowds at Trump rallies called for my imprisonment more times than I can count,” Mrs Clinton writes in the book.
“They shouted, ‘Guilty! Guilty!’ like the religious zealots in Game of Thrones chanting ‘Shame! Shame!’ while Cersei Lannister walked back to the Red Keep.”
Mrs Clinton goes on to suggest people “seemed to think I was evil”.
“Was this all because I’m a woman? No. But I believe it was motivation for some of those chanters and some of that bile,” she writes.
Fans of the series are perplexed as to why Mrs Clinton would align herself with Cersei given the latter is widely regarded to be a ruthless villain guilty of the crimes she was accused of – incest and murder to name a few.
“The risks of throwing a cultural reference out there,” tweeted University of Denver political scientist Seth Masket.
The comparison was described as “out of touch” by many on social media, with some accusing Mrs Clinton of attempting to appear relevant by name-checking the popular series.
That's not.. a good thing to compare yourself to.. pic.twitter.com/9tcMGtXEHq
— Anna 🌻 (@FireFoxOfficial) September 13, 2017
Meanwhile, some of Mrs Clinton’s critics seized the opportunity to highlight the “similarities” between the two women.
“The only thing they have in common is that they’re both dishonest and corrupt to the core,” one posted.
“Funny. She’s always reminded me of Cersei Lannister as well. Probably not in the way she imagines,” another said.
Others suggested an ill-willed ghostwriter or public relations advisor had steered her in the wrong direction, much like the manipulative GoT character Lord Petyr ‘Littlefinger’ Baelish.
It’s not the first time one of Mrs Clinton’s cultural references has fallen flat – in 2016 she joked about global gaming phenomenon Pokemon Go.
“I don’t know who created Pokémon Go, but I am trying to figure out how we get them to have Pokémon Go to the polls,” Mrs Clinton said.
The joke was deemed “cringeworthy” by many, but it still managed to elicit a laugh from her supporters at the rally.