you win or you die

Is Donald Trump Voldemort or King Joffrey?

We vote Reince Preibus for Tyrion – he already has the name.

In the last week, we saw Donald Trump engage in a war of words with the pope, secure his position as GOP front-runner, and deal a death blow to the Bush dynasty, leaving many wondering, Is this real life? Apparently not. Marco Rubio supporters and nerds on the internet agree: The 2016 race is officially so bizarre that it can only be explained by turning to the world of fantasy. But which epic series best encapsulates the drama and peril of Trump’s impending rise to power?

On Sunday, the super-pac supporting Marco Rubio argued that America’s current situation is best understood by looking to the Harry Potter series. In a memo to donors, Conservative Solutions PAC said people who describe Trump as “unstoppable” following his victories in New Hampshire and South Carolina are as misguided as those who believed the wizarding world had no defense against the reemergence of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named — and not just because Harry Potter teaches us that love (and Establishment backing?) always triumphs over those who embrace hate and fear. The memo lays out a far more complex theory involving horcruxes. Per the Tampa Bay Times:

In Harry Potter lore, Voldemort, the Dark Lord, had a secret to his strength. His secret was his horcruxes. The horcruxes were objects that allowed Voldemort to maintain immortality. As each horcrux was destroyed, Voldemort became increasingly vulnerable, not increasingly strong. When all of the horcruxes were gone, Voldemort lost his one-on-one battle with Harry Potter.

Donald Trump has a solid claim on one-third of the Republican vote. He has virtually no claim on the other two-thirds. The data consistently and overwhelmingly shows Trump with the highest unfavorables among the remaining candidates, and that he is the last choice of more voters than any other Republican by far. That means Trump’s support will grow very little as the field continues to narrow. His 33% is formidable when the field is large; it isn’t when the field is small. Trump won a victory in South Carolina, but the field shrank once again. Like Voldemort’s horcruxes, the large candidate field shields Trump from harm. At each step of the primary process, Trump is losing his shields, and that is making him more vulnerable.

It goes on to explain that “Extending this analogy puts Marco Rubio in the role of Harry Potter,” though it includes the caveat “Note: we are not calling Donald Trump evil. This is an analogy, not a direct comparison.” You want to choose your words carefully when you’re talking about a guy who only wants to destroy people in his quest for personal power and establishment of pure-blood supremacy.

But is Team Rubio giving Trump too much credit by suggesting he’s the real-life equivalent of the most powerful Dark Wizard ever (and is it smart to compare the youthful Florida senator to the Boy Who Lived)? In his latest video, Australian YouTuber Huw Parkinson suggests Trump is actually more like a Game of Thrones evildoer — and not even a Westeros baddie with power over shadow babies or ice zombies. As shown below, the Donald’s tirades sound like something we’d hear coming out of one of the series’s non-magical but supremely hateable villains, such as King Joffrey or Alliser Thorne.

Parkinson doesn’t really explain who the other candidates are in this scenario, but especially after this weekend, it seems pretty clear that Jeb Bush is Stannis Baratheon, the uptight rightful heir to the Iron Throne. And Rubio is his younger, more popular former protégé with a more tenuous claim — so he’s Renly Baratheon? Or perhaps possible fraud Aegon “Young Griff” Targaryen, or the the currently missing-in-action Baratheon bastard Edric Storm, neither of whom exist in the show? Okay, we see why they went with the confusing Harry Potter metaphor. 

Is Donald Trump Voldemort or King Joffrey?