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60 Minutes Viewers Buzzed Over The Game Of Thrones Comment In Prince Harry's Interview

When Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, released his highly-anticipated memoir titled "Spare" on January 10, 2023, it sent shockwaves not only through the United Kingdom and its press but also throughout the whole world whose eyes were on the real-life "Game of Thrones"-style royal family. The royal "spare," as the book's title refers to the prince, did not hold back in telling his version of significant events that happened within the modern British monarchy.

The book and its contents had the foreseeable consequence of alienating some members of the royal family, like Harry's brother, Prince William, who, according to Us Weekly, allegedly said he "doesn't even recognize his own brother anymore" and believes a reconciliation may prove difficult. Another source implied to People Magazine that King Charles III's coronation, which was supposed to be a happy occasion despite the death of Queen Elizabeth II, now has a shadow cast over it.

But more than widening the rift between his family, the memoir unsurprisingly drew the press' attention like moths to an intensely burning pit. Speaking of burning, Prince Harry, during an interview with 60 Minutes, likened the media attention to the well-known "A Song of Ice and Fire" winged creatures. And the internet was on fire.

Shame, Shame, Shame

The first "Game of Thrones" parallel mentioned in the "60 Minutes" interview wasn't brought up by Prince Harry. Anderson Cooper referred to an article published by The Sun and written by Jeremy Clarkson, who is known, among other things, for having hosted "Top Gear." Clarkson's piece viciously implied Meghan Markle is deserving of getting the Cersei Lannister treatment when she was made to do the Walk of Shame down the streets of King's Landing in the most humiliating fashion.

"I hate her," Clarkson wrote in the article (via National Review), which has since been deleted. "[...] At night, I'm unable to sleep as I lie there, grinding my teeth and dreaming of the day when she is made to parade naked through the streets of every town in Britain while the crowds chant, "Shame!" and throw lumps of excrement at her. Everyone who's my age thinks the same way. But what makes me despair is that younger people, especially girls, think she's pretty cool."

When asked if this brutal analogy surprised him, the Prince answered that it didn't, however, it was nevertheless shocking. "I mean, thank you for proving our point," he said with an ironic chuckle at the end, before the conversation moved on to other subjects. 

From a Reddit post with over a thousand comments, most people seem to believe the fault lies with Clarkson and not Markle. One of the most objective and matter-of-fact comments on Clarkson's stance read, "Clarkson is from the generation Raised to believe in Britain and her place in the world and revere the royal family. Markle highlights a lot of the shortcomings of the royal family, at a time when they are also experiencing the impact from Prince Andrew and the death of the queen." 

When dragons get involved, everything burns

Toward the end of the interview, Anderson Cooper once again brought up "Game of Thrones" as a metaphor for the cold war being quietly fought amongst the British royals. The interviewer compared the contentious family situation to the fantasy-adventure series, only without the massive scaly lizards who breathe fire. Prince Harry, however, even though he admitted he hasn't watched the popular HBO TV show, attributed the role of the frightening Old Valyria creatures to a third party who is also capable of incendiary effect.

"[...] there's definitely dragons." Harry said, "And that's again the third party which is the British Press so ultimately without the British press as part of this, we would probably still be a fairly dysfunctional family, like, a lot are. But at the heart of it, there is a family, without question."

The internet exploded with people's opinions on this comparison. Many seemed to find amusement in the analogy. "Harry with the zinger!" wrote @justwrite115. Journalist AJ Ross also commented on the reference by posting a GIF of Olenna Tyrell, played by the late Diana Rigg, smirking smugly as only the Queen of Thorns could.

Others also took to Twitter but this time to express their astonishment at finding out that the Prince never sat down to binge the intricate eight-season-long medieval-style drama: "Ok, one of the most shocking things to come out of this Harry and Anderson interview is finding out He didn't watch Game of Thrones," remarked @kateritchie.

Regardless of how one might feel about the royal family's feud, it is undeniable that the dragon metaphor fits. The press can be relentless, capable of stirring the pot further, complicating an already tricky and delicate situation and setting fire to a highly flammable pile.