Spain’s political parties are using the hit television series Game of Thrones in campaign advertising ahead of the general election on April 28.
The right-wing Popular Party (PP) has created a video filled with references to the fight for the Iron Throne to criticize its opponents. In the video, which was shared on the PP’s social media channels, a narrator describes the position of each “kingdom” or party in Spain. While no political party is specifically mentioned in the video, the connection is made clear from the description and the colors associated with each group.
The narrator says that “there are those who think that Spain is made up of seven kingdoms. There are the ones who prefer to divide and live separate from the rest, whom they call beasts.” There are also “those who cannot get over the past and continue to think about empires,” and “those who feel the need for revenge,” as well as “those who want to govern while lacking a clear roadmap.” Finally, there are “those who would do anything to stay in power.” In the PSOE “kingdom,” instead of a dragon, an airplane flies overhead in allusion to the Dassault Falcon 900 jet aircraft used to transport Spanish royals and high-ranking government officials. The PP has attacked Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez for using the plane for private purposes.
The video concludes “Spain is not Game of Thrones, it is a modern country that does not need more wars.” The PP says that the aim of the video is to show its “concern over the situation that other parties want to bring to Spain.”
The PSOE has also found inspiration in the HBO series. Juventudes Socialistas, the PSOE youth group, has come up with a black-and-white poster with Sánchez’s face and the message “Defend Westeros” in the Game of Thrones font, which was shared on Instagram.
The anti-austerity party Podemos has made lots of references to Game of Thrones in the past, but has not yet mentioned it in this year’s campaign. Its leader Pablo Iglesias is a self-confessed fan and the curator of a book titled Ganar o morir. Lecciones políticas en Juego de tronos (or Win or die: Political lessons in Game of Thrones). In 2015, he gave King Felipe VI a box set of the series. Shortly afterwards, Iglesias told reporters he had given the king the four seasons of the fantasy series so that he “would understand the key points of the political crisis in Spain.”
Iglesias has also said that “Podemos identifies a lot with Khaleesi,” in reference to the Game of Thrones character Daenerys Targaryen, otherwise known as The Dragon Queen. Indeed, Teresa Rodríguez, the candidate for the leftist regional alliance Adelante Andalucía, was depicted as Khaleesi during the campaign for the Andalusian election in December 2018.
We have been the Night’s Watch for a long time but now we have bought three dragons.
English version by Melissa Kitson.