As the world braces for the eight and final season of Game of Thrones to drop on Sunday, one fan took it upon himself to call his banners in show of support of the King in the North — well, in a manner of speaking.
A set of banners have begun popping up in Beirut, the capital city of Lebanon, in the last few days to give helpful advice and encouragement to some of the show's main characters. On one banner, originally hung on one of Beirut's main bridges, the writer declares, "The elders of Beirut support Jon Snow in his war against the White Walkers."
The originator of the banners, Faysal Timrawi, told BuzzFeed News in a Skype interview on Wednesday that he came up with the idea while speaking with his friend Ziad, who tweeted the first pictures of his handiwork.
"We were just waiting and counting the days for the final season to show up," Timrawi, a 32-year-old architect with a business that operates in both Lebanon and Jordan, said. "I told him about the idea and wanted to make something funny about it."
In Lebanon's fractured political scene, where 13 separate parties have seats in parliament, banners supporting various parties and candidates can often be found hanging around the capital city. It was in that spirit that Timrawi decided to hang a few of his own.
"Even the signature [on the first banner] 'friends of Faysal' was a joke about what's happening in Beirut," he said.
Timrawi says he's been a fan of Game of Thrones since the second season aired. The show technically airs in Lebanon the day after the US premiere thanks to time zones — it comes on at 4 AM Mondays with Arabic subtitles — but as a fan of other fantasy works like The Lord of the Rings, Timrawi said it's worth the wait.
The first — and biggest — banner got taken down not long after it was hung. He isn't sure who actually removed it, but that hasn't stopped him from producing more, including one that declares, "The White Walkers took down the first banner, but we will not shut up."
In another, Timrawi begs Queen Cersei, First of Her Name, to unite with the rest of Westeros in the fight against the Army of the Dead.
"Cersei Lannister...open your mind...our strength is in our unity," the banner reads.
Timwari said that he wasn't expecting such a big response to the banners inside Lebanon, even though his friend told him they'd probably go viral. "I’m glad I made everyone’s day by making them laugh for two hours over this," he said. "People are calling me a hero, people are calling me a silly man."
Timwari is not sure how many more banners will be coming, given that it wasn't really a project he spent a longtime planning. "Maybe when watching the season, we may do something new," he said.
Given the way the last two seasons have completely upended things, he wasn't willing to place a guess about just who winds up on the Iron Throne. But asked which has a better chance of happening — a happy ending in Game of Thrones or a stable coalition government in Lebanon — he didn't have to think very long.
"Ah, Allah!" he said with a laugh. "I guess, a happy ending in Game of Thrones. We won't have anything happen that's stable in Lebanon."
Sara Yasin contributed reporting to this article.