Prosecutors used ‘Game Of Thrones’ quote to prove criminal intent of Capitol rioter

A rioter quoted Cersei Lannister on social media days after he stormed the Capitol building

Prosecutors used the plot from an episode of Game Of Thrones to prove a US Capitol rioter had criminal intent, according to court documents.

Jeremiah Caplinger, 25, pleaded guilty on November 5, 2021 to one count of stepping on, climbing, removing or injuring property on US Capitol grounds during the insurrection on January 6. He’s set to be sentenced on February 1.

According to a sentencing memorandum (via Business Insider), Caplinger posted an image on social media two days after the insurrection, showing a soldier from the American Revolution with the caption: “As said by [Cersei] Lannister ‘I choose violence’”.

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In the document’s footnotes, prosecutors explained the context of the quote, which is used in season six episode ‘No One’ by Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey).

Game Of Thrones
Jaime and Cersei Lannister in ‘Game Of Thrones’ CREDIT: HBO

The document reads: “Cersei Lannister is a fictional character in the 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.’”

The prosecutors added: “In stating, ‘I choose violence’, Cersei Lannister embraced – and then carried out – mass murder to achieve her political ends. In the context of Caplinger posting this just two days after Jan. 6, Caplinger’s adoption of this quote is alarming and provides insight into his mental state and intent in storming the Capitol.”

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

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According to the document, Caplinger is facing up to six months in prison.

Game Of Thrones came to an end after eight seasons in 2019, with numerous spin-offs now in the works. The first to be released will be House Of Dragon in 2022, which follows the rise of House Targaryen 300 years before events in the original series.

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