Prosecutors used an iconic Game of Thrones quote to convict a US Capitol rioter

·2-min read
Prosecutors used an iconic Game of Thrones quote to convict a US Capitol rioter

Prosecutors used a famous quote from Game of Thrones to argue that a rioter during the US Capitol insurrection acted with criminal intent.

Jeremiah Caplinger pleaded guilty in November last year to one count of stepping on, climbing on, removing or injuring property on US Capitol grounds during the 6 January pro-Trump riots.

In court documents obtained by Variety, it was revealed that prosecutors in the case used an iconic line from HBO’s fantasy series to convict Caplinger.

The quote in question is “I choose violence,” which is said by Cersei Lannister (played by Lena Headey) in a season six episode titled “No One”.

Per Variety, two days after the insurrection, Caplinger shared an image of a soldier from the American Revolution accompanied with a caption that quoted Cersei.

In the footnotes of the court documents, prosecutors added a lengthy entry explaining the context of the Game of Thrones quote.

It reads: “Cersei Lannister is a fictional character in HBO television series Game of Thrones. After being confronted by a group of politically-empowered religious zealots, who warn her that if she does not yield to them ‘there will be violence’, Cersei Lannister responds, ‘I choose violence.’

“In stating, ‘I choose violence,’ Cersei Lannister embraced – and then carried out – mass murder to achieve her political ends.”


The statement goes on to explain how the quote pertains to the case against Caplinger, reading: “In the context of Caplinger’s posting this just two days after 6 January, Caplinger’s adoption of this quote is alarming and provides insight into his mental state and intent in storming the Capitol.”

The prosecutors also noted that Cersei used “a weapon of mass destruction to blow up one of the largest and most important buildings in the capital city”, which housed “politicians and religious leaders”.

Caplinger faces six months in prison. He will be sentenced on 1 February.

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