It’s not just Donald Trump. Indian government bodies and businesses are tripping over Game of Thrones (GoT), too.
Given the show’s popularity, on April 15, the press information bureau of the Indian government posted GoT-themed memes on Twitter to encourage citizens to vote in the ongoing parliamentary elections. These memes included famous quotes of some of the show’s popular characters: Tyrion Lannister’s “A very small man can cast a very large shadow,” and Hodor’s “Not all heroes hold weapons, some just hodor.”
No matter how big or small one is, every vote has equal power.
This #LokSabhaElections , become a true hero.
— PIB India (@PIB_India) April 15, 2019
A couple of days later, the Election Commission of India (ECI) also referred to the show in a tweet asking people to vote using the hashtag #GotInked.
After Phase 1, time is ticking for Phase 2 #IndiaElections2019 #GoVote and click selfie flaunting your inked finger.
Share the picture with us.
We shall feature best ones on our coverpage
Tag @ECISVEEP with #GotInked pic.twitter.com/wmccwvRPye
— Election Commission #DeshKaMahatyohar (@ECISVEEP) April 17, 2019
The Lok Sabha (lower house of parliament) elections in India started on April 11, three days before the show’s final season went was launched, and will end on May 19—which is, incidentally, also the day when the final episode of GoT airs.
These 39 days of polling include at least 14 dry days when the government prohibits the sale and public consumption of alcohol.
But pubs in the country are hoping to make up for the lost business by hosting GoT-themed parties.
On April 19, south Delhi-based bistro and bar, Code, hosted around 500 persons at its GoT-themed party. “People in Delhi are crazy about GoT and it’s a great way to boost our business,” said Abhay Kumar, marketing manager for Code. “We have a capacity of around 400 people so we had to really manage the crowd that turned up for the party.”
GoT party props and merchandise are not as easily or cheaply available in India as they are in the US, so Code designed costumes and decorations for its party on its own. Code’s party included costume plays and different lounges named after the different castles in GoT.
Several other venues in Delhi are hosting similar parties over the coming weeks, according to Kumar.
The craze is not only limited to the capital city. Several small towns in the country, such as Lucknow, Chandigarh, and Dehradun are also hosting GoT screening parties. “I am a big fan of GoT and lots of people in my city are crazy about the show,” Gurasees Singh, the 26-year-old owner of Xtreme Sports Bar and Grill, Chandigarh, told Quartz. “Mondays (when new episodes of the season air in India) are generally very dull for our business. But we organise these screenings in the evenings at 6 pm and there’s a lot of office crowd coming in. Our business gets a lot of help.”
In the north-eastern town of Siliguri, in West Bengal, a restaurant even hosted a GoT quiz night on April 21.
On April 18, HBO asked American president Trump to stop using GoT-inspired memes for political purposes saying “we still prefer our intellectual property not be used for political purposes.” Wonder what the television network feels about these crazy Indian fans?
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