Prosecutors Used ‘Game of Thrones’ Quote to Prove Jan. 6 Capitol Rioter Had Criminal Intent

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Jeremiah Caplinger pleaded guilty on Nov. 5, 2021 to one count of stepping on, climbing, removing or injuring property on U.S. Capitol grounds during the Jan. 6 insurrection. Ahead of Caplinger’s sentencing next month, newly-filed court documents obtained by Variety reveal that prosecutors in the case used a famous quote from the HBO fantasy series “Game of Thrones” to argue that Caplinger acted with criminal intent.

Two days after the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, Caplinger took to social media to share an image of a solider from the American Revolution alongside a caption that read: “As said by [Cersei] Lannister ‘I choose violence'” (via Insider). The line of dialogue is spoken by Lena Headey’s villainous Cersei in the Season 6 episode “No One.”

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Prosectors explain in the document’s footnotes that “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.'”

“In stating, ‘I choose violence’, Cersei Lannister embraced — and then carried out — mass murder to achieve her political ends,” the prosecutors add in the filing. “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 document also finds the prosecutors noting 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.”

Caplinger will be sentenced on Feb. 1 and faces up to six months in prison.

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