Since before its publication, we've all been picking apart Hillary Clinton's memoir What Happened, for every quote, reference and insight possible. The media at large, especially, have been paying special attention to anyone Clinton names, from Joe Biden to Beyonce. And now Cersei has been thrown in to the mix. Yes, the Game of Thrones character is also name-dropped in Clinton's memoir, comparing herself to the beloved (and controversial) Lannister. And, honestly, it's pretty legit.
It is in a passage in which Clinton is discussing the outrageous level of hostility that was aimed at her by Trump's supporters that she makes the comparison, writing, "Crowds at Trump rallies called for my imprisonment more times than I can count,” she wrote. “They shouted, ‘Guilty! Guilty!’ like the religious zealots in Game of Thrones chanting ‘Shame! Shame!’ while Cersei Lannister walked back to the Red Keep.”
If you watch GoT (or pay any attention to pop culture at all) you'll know the infamous scene, during the show's fifth season, in which Cersei is forced to make a ‘walk of atonement’ through the streets of King’s Landing as public penance for her sins. It is a powerful and heartbreaking scene, but Clinton's comparison really isn't too far off. It's really not that hard to imagine a Trump rally going nuts for a naked and afraid Clinton being paraded through he streets.
Clinton goes on to explain how shocked she was by the unending "flood of hatred" that she was overcome with during the 2016 campaign, and explaining, again, why she believes sexism was at the root of her loss.
“People seemed to think I was evil,” she writes. “Was this all because I’m a woman? No. But I believe it was motivation for some of those chanters and some of that bile.”
Of course, Clinton spends the entirety of What Happened explaining the reasons why she thinks she lost, and sexism is only one of the factors. But it's beyond important that she has chosen to confront this sexism and misogyny head-on, and not simply ignore the vitriol in favor of blaming herself or her campaign staff (which many in her opposition would say are the two, and only, main reasons she could not win the presidency.) It's heartening to watch Clinton attempt to rise from the ashes, and continually, and powerfully, coping with the brutal election loss. After all, if anyone can do it, it's a veritable badass like Clinton.