Skip to navigationSkip to content
JOURNALISTIC SUPERWEAPON

CNN used its magic election wall to analyze the politics of “Game of Thrones”

cnn game of thrones
CNN/YouTube screenshot
“If you take a look at the map—a very chaotic situation up there.”
  • Adam Epstein
By Adam Epstein

Entertainment reporter

Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Because the current American presidential election is apparently not crazy enough, CNN has decided to puts its famous “magic wall” to another use: an in-depth analysis of HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Since 2008, CNN has used its “magic wall” to examine every major US election. The map can break down elections and polls in real-time by various geographic and demographic parameters. It can also go back in time and reveal data from past elections. John King, the network’s chief national correspondent, doubles as chief swiper and line-drawer.

On Friday (May 6), King and CNN chief Washington correspondent Jake Tapper hovered over the magic wall, drawing battle lines around a map of the television show’s fictional world Westeros, as if it were an American state voting in the presidential primaries.

“Tough contest—he was stabbed to death by a very, very strong female candidate,” Tapper said about prince Doran Martell of Dorne, who was murdered by his brother’s paramour Ellaria Sand. “She accused him of having low energy.”

“That’s a line we’ve heard used effectively before,” King quipped.

The whole segment was a not-so-subtle metaphor for the current US presidential election between presumptive nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Watch below:

The wall has been the brunt of jokes for years, given the amusing optics of an adult journalist playing around with a colorful gizmo. In 2008, Jon Stewart and John Oliver lampooned the “journalistic superweapon” in a sketch for The Daily Show (video). In 2012, satirical news site The Onion published an article titled “CNN’s John King Now Just Swiping Hands Across Everything.”

Just last week, US president Barack Obama made fun of Tapper and CNN at the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner (video). “Jake Tapper left journalism to go to CNN,” Obama said, as Tapper looked on with a pained smile.

It’s nice to see CNN getting in on the fun with some self-deprecating jokes of its own. Of course, it’s also worth noting, that CNN and HBO are both owned by Time Warner.

📬 A periodic dispatch from the annual session of the United Nations General Assembly in NYC.

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.