To promote his administrationâs decision to reimpose sanctions on Iran, President Trump turned Friday to the wildly popular television show âGame of Thrones.â
In a tweet that featured a cinematic poster with a steely depiction of the president, he included the words âSanctions Are Coming.â That phrase mimicked one from the show, âWinter Is Coming,â a foreboding line that warns of a deep freeze that will herald an army of the undead from the north to conquer other lands.
HBO responded to Mr. Trump with a message of its own: Keep us out of it.
âWe were not aware of this messaging and would prefer our trademark not be misappropriated for political purposes,â an HBO spokesman, Quentin Schaffer, said in a statement.
HBOâs official statement came after a dose of snark on Twitter in response to Mr. Trumpâs tweet. âHow do you say trademark misuse in Dothraki?â the company wrote. (Dothraki is a language spoken by a group of nomadic warriors, also called Dothraki, in âGame of Thrones.â)
Two members of the âThronesâ cast gave personal reactions of distaste. Sophie Turner, the English actress that plays Sansa Stark in the show, replied to Mr. Trumpâs tweet with a blunt âEw.â And Maisie Williams, an English actress who plays Sansaâs sister, Arya Stark, responded, âNot today.â
The White House press office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday evening.
Politicians have referenced the trademark phrase before. In 2015, Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, tweeted âBig News Is Comingâ to foreshadow the expected announcement that he was running for president.
Mr. Schaffer, the HBO spokesman, said that apart from Mr. Trump using the phrase, the company prefers that others donât use it to âpromote their own agendas.â
Several years ago, in a series of tweets, Mr. Trump repeatedly called for television viewers to cancel their HBO accounts because the network carried the late-night host Bill Maherâs talk show. Mr. Trump had a feud with Mr. Maher at the time.
Musical artists including R.E.M. and Aerosmith have previously asked Mr. Trump to stop using their songs at his rallies. Elton John, whose music Mr. Trump has played consistently at his rallies, told The Guardian in 2016 that he didnât want his music involved in American politics.
Mr. Trumpâs play on the âThronesâ phrase on Friday had a clearly partisan angle. On Friday, his administration reaffirmed sanctions on Iran days before midterm elections.
The sanctions, promised in May, will target more than 700 businesses, individuals and other entities involved in Iranâs oil, banking, shipping, shipbuilding and insurance sectors. The Trump administration also announced on Friday that it was exempting eight countries from the Nov. 5 deadline for nations to cease importing Iranian goods or face financial penalties.