Ahead of the premiere of the final series of Game of Thrones, banners supporting the show's hero Jon Snow have popped up around Beirut, pocking fun at local politics and causing hilarity among Beirutis.
“The people of Beirut support Jon Snow in his battle against the White Walkers” read one banner hanging above a busy bridge. “Cersei Lannister, be smart; our strength is in our unity”, said another.
“Whoever put this is a national hero”, tweeted one person. “Beirut banners weigh in on global GOT premiere anticipation. I love my people”, wrote another.
In a style mimicking local political banners, the banners are signed “friends of Faysal Al-Timrawi”.
Al-Timrawi, a 32-year old Beiruti architect who put the banners up three nights ago with the help of two friends, told The National that the idea was to make fun of the local tradition of hanging placards in the streets to show one's support to a politician.
“Political banners are everywhere in Beirut but no-one reads them. But now everybody knows that Beirutis are supporting Jon Snow!”, said Al-Timrawi.
Placards paid for by locals traditionally appear in towns and villages as soon as a politician pays a visit. Similarly, banners with “we are all with you” written on them materialised all over Lebanon when people thought that Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigned under duress in November 2017 in Saudi Arabia.
*Mild Game of Thrones spoilers ahead*
Al-Timrawi is also, of course, a passionate fan of the series and its hero, Jon Snow.
“I’m addicted! When Jon Snow died three seasons ago, we received guests at my house in the traditional way the Lebanese offer condolences”, he says. Much to his relief, Jon Snow later resurrected.
The banners’ idea came to Al-Timrawi as he was recently watching re-runs in anticipation of the final season which will be broadcast in the UAE on April 15. He says: “I thought, why not keep busy in the meantime?”.
Al-Timrawi and his friends quickly recovered from the one incident that marred their campaign. After one banner was taken down anonymously, they put a new one up instead that read, "The white walkers took down the banners … but we will not be silenced", referring to electric blue-eyed undead zombies threatening to kill all things alive in Game of Thrones.