In 2016, Jack Posobiec underwent a metamorphosis—one that took him from the heart of online literary fandom to being one of the more influential members of the burgeoning new right.
The 31-year-old man is the latest breakout star in the wave of media figures promoting American nationalism, and backing Trump. He is many things to many people—derided by many on the left as a conspiracy theorist and disinformation agent. On the far right, he is loved by many—alongside Mike Cernovich, Alex Jones, Paul Joseph Watson, and the like—as one of those who tells the "real truth" about Trump, refugees, and the globalist agenda.
The self-described nationalist garnered international headlines for being the one to bring the "Macron Leaks" from the dark world of 4Chan to the real world just days before the French election. Just this week Posobiec—among other figures in the far-right media sphere—was put on a controversial list by the government of Sweden saying he was "inciting violence against immigrants."
Oh yeah, and he's also received White House press credentials to cover Donald Trump for Canada's answer to Breitbart (or Infowars somedays)—Rebel Media.
The weirdest thing about his rise, however, is that, prior to the tail end of the 2016 election, Posobiec's online presence was pretty much non-existent—but he was a big player in the pretty niche world of Westeros reporting. When I called him up to ask about it, he said he's surprised that no one had brought it up yet.
"I've been waiting for someone to ask, 'Hey, didn't you used to be the Game of Thrones guy, and now you're in the White House?'" Posobiec told VICE while driving home from a White House press conference featuring Trump and Turkish President Erdogan.
The majority of Posobiec's writing, prior to late in the presidential campaign, was on a blog he ran called Angry Game of Thrones Fan. Starting in 2012, Posobiec wrote what he calls "satirical" fan fiction, made videos, and even had a podcast in which he took a sniveling whining voice—all as @AGoTFan. Posobiec said that the website was in the vein of "Mr. Plinkett from RedLetterMedia."
"I started by nitpicking at extremely minor details, just as throwaway characters in the books that didn't make an appearance on screen like Ser Kyle Condon, but in a complete and insufferable rage tweeting in all caps, and using the trademark catchphrase #NOONEUNDERSTAAANDS," Posobiec told VICE.
The blog won Posobiec a little bit of a following in the Game of Thrones world—he estimates having a readership around 10,000 at its peak and just as many twitter followers. The blog's shining moment would come when Posobiec spoke out against the rape of Sansa Stark on TV (something that didn't occur in the book.) Posobiec allowed a rape survivor to write about her reaction and said he used the publicity he got for this to raise money for RAINN, a national sex assault hotline.
As one might expect from a GoT blogger/right-wing media reporter, Posobiec has an eclectic background.
Posobiec was born and raised in Norristown, PA, and went to Temple University in 2003 for a double major in political science and broadcasting. Posobiec told VICE that, after graduating in 2008, he made his way to China to work for the American Chamber of Commerce (oddly enough, when there, he had a small role in the movie The Forbidden Kingdom.) In college, Posobiec was rather political, being chairmen of the Temple College Republicans and working on several campaigns, including Rick Santorum's 2006 senate run. In 2010, Posobiec joined the Naval reserve and has been deployed several times, including a one-year stretch in Guantanamo Bay from 2012 to 2013.
According to Posobiec, he started using the AngryGoTFan heavily when he was deployed. It was during that time Posobiec said he "fell in love with Twitter" and learned "how to use memes." Sometimes his "character" would expand into the real world and Posobiec would go to conventions as him to heckle writers and, at one point, he made a film to troll David Benioff, the HBO adaptation writer, based on one of Benioff's books "as a way to say 'lets see how you like it, buddy'" (the film has since been taken offline). Here's a video of Posobiec singing the Gummi Bears theme to console you:
For the majority of his time, Posobiec did not mix his politics with GoT blogging, except for one moment in 2015 when his politics collided with his blog through the sweetest of all mediums, fan fiction. In his tale "The Lady and the Trump," he introduced his favorite politician, Donald Trump, into his favorite universe, Westeros.
"The first time Donald Trump locked eyes with her, he built a tower straight to Sansa's heart," reads the opening line. [Editor's note: Sansa is a teenager.]
Posobiec explained that he wrote the piece because he thought it was funny and that he saw parallels between America's political reality and Game of Thrones (sadly, while both feature childish kings, only one features dragons.) The Lady and the Trump seemed to be a one-off for Posobiec and he has since made the page unavailable (even through the Internet Archive.)
AngryGoTFan started to fade in 2015 during the actual show's fifth season (when the show outpaced the books.) However, this coincided with the clusterfuck that was the presidential election. So Posobiec started tweeting about politics through "the lens of Game of Thrones" where he would compare politicians to GoT characters—Clinton as a Khaleesi (blonde?) and Ted Cruz as an Ironborn, (always losing?) for example. This was Posobiec's metamorphosis into real-world political reporting.
After coming home from deployment in June 2016, Posobiec, who claimed he was "very active digitally campaigning for Trump" when abroad, was asked if he would join Citizens for Trump as their special projects director. This role meant Posobiec was "in charge of our national outreach programs, live streaming events to three million followers on Facebook, and running our America First Rally at the RNC." At the America First Rally, Posobiec met Milo Yiannopoulos, Baked Alaska, and Mike Cernovich. The group hit it off and Posobiec said they told him, "hey, you got this great Twitter account. Why don't you just be yourself on Twitter?"
So he did.
"The way I look at it, is I stopped being AngryGoTFan on Twitter and just started being myself," Posobiec said.
On Facebook, Posobiec said he has always been political so it wasn't difficult to ween himself off GoT tweets and start focusing primarily on the election, where he would typically push Trump and demonize Clinton. He changed his Twitter handle to his real name, however, his AngryGoTFan tweets still exist. Despite the changes though, the influence of the books on Posobiec remained.
"I always say, there is no way you can cover politics in DC in 2017 without reading Game of Thrones book series, at least twice—I've actually read it five times," said Posobiec.
Following the lead of Mike Cernovich, Posobiec utilizing Twitter and Periscope focused upon the conspiracy around Hillary Clinton's health (Posobiec said he stands by his reporting) and would tweet about what his "sources" had to say. He said he felt he started to break through the noise in late October when he went on an online radio show and "broke the story of the GOP coup" shortly after the "grab 'em by the pussy" Access Hollywood tapes came out.
The time after the election was a busy one for Posobiec as well. As reported by Buzzfeed, on November 13, Posobiec worked to discredit an anti-Trump rally by planting a fake "Rape Melina" sign. The tactic worked and the sign gathered extensive media coverage. Three days later, Posobiec, still in Washington D.C. went to Comet Ping Pong to investigate the now infamous Pizzagate conspiracy.
Posobiec live streamed on Periscope (one of his most used tools) in Comet Ping Pong, and workers in the pizza place proceeded to notify the cops on him. He left without incident. A month later, another man entered Comet Ping Pong this time with a rifle and fired three shots. On Fox News, when the story broke, Posobiec was accused of being the shooter and they showed photos of him.
Following that, Posobiec was one the ringleader in the "Dump Star Wars" movement that claimed Disney snuck in anti-Trump messages into Rogue One. Posobiec's tweets on Star Wars got retweeted thousands of times and the Periscope video he made in regards to the movement was seen almost 40,000 times.
Posobiec has no qualms in admitting that he's clearly right of centre but is adamant that he has no ties to people who espouse racist ideology like Richard Spencer—he explained that he doesn't consider himself in the alt-right (which he is frequently lumped into). Posobiec called the alt-right a "moving target."
"When it comes to nationalism, absolutely, I'm an American nationalist," said Posobiec. "I believe in borders and in culture. I believe in general in limited government, lower taxes that kind of thing. I'm pro-life, Christian, pro-gun, I don't know if that makes me alt-right but that's where I stand on politics."
Earlier this year, Posobiec was one of the main guests and organizers at the Deploraball and travelled to Sweden for Mike Cernovich to investigate claims that migrants were terrifying the country. The trip would be released as a film entitled Invasion on March 24. Shortly afterward, Posobiec would join the Rebel, Canada's far-right media outlet, as their Washington correspondent. He made an immediate splash in his new job: the Macron leaks. After seeing a post on 4Chan about the, now debunked, documents that allegedly proved Macron was evading taxes, a user said "just wait for Friday."
"I literally just sat there hitting refresh over and over, scrolling through the posts," Posobiec said. "At some point that afternoon [the documents] showed up." Posobiec quickly started posting what he saw on Twitter and the story exploded. Afterwards, Posobiec found himself mentioned in the New Yorker, the Atlantic , and France's paper of record, Le Monde. Less than a week later, to the ire (and cheers) of many, Posobiec would be granted White House press credentials.
The blogger had made it bigly.
While Posobiec said he's "literally living his dream" not all is swell as a right wing provocateur and reporter. Many who are on the other side of the aisle view Posobiec as a conspiracy theorist, he's also been on the receiving end of those dang theories as well. Posobiec is a favourite target of Louise Mensch, a former left wing politician turned conspiracy theorist with a boner for "outing" Russian agents with little to no evidence. He claims he was doxxed and his parents received death threats.
Still, it does seem perfect that when a reality TV star is president, a Game of Thrones blogger who dabbles in conspiracy theories is there covering it. Westeros has shit all on the confounding reality that is 2017 America.
Follow Mack Lamoureux on Twitter.