Rudy Giuliani Says “Trial By Combat” Remark Before Capitol Violence Was ‘Game Of Thrones’ Reference

Alexandra Del Rosario
·3 min read

Nearly a week after supporters of Donald Trump violently stormed the U.S. Capitol, the president’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani said his call for “trial by combat” wasn’t one seeking to inspire violence, but rather a reference to Game Of Thrones.

Giuliani was one of the speakers at the Save America rally on the Ellipse that preceded the storming of the Capitol. In its impeachment report, the House Judiciary Committee cited Giuliani’s comment along with those of Trump. The president was impeached for the second time on Wednesday.

More from Deadline

Giuliani told The Hill that he was referring to a trial that happened in the show – specifically citing Peter Dinklage’s Tyrion Lannister.

“I was referring to the kind of trial that took place for Tyrion in that very famous documentary about fictitious medieval England,” Giuliani clarified for the politics publication. “When Tyrion, who is a very small man, is accused of murder. He didn’t commit murder, he can’t defend himself, and he hires a champion to defend him.”

In the smash HBO series, based on George R.R. Martin’s fantasy books, Tyrion suggests trial by combat after Lysa Arryn (Kate Dickie) accuses him of a murder he did not commit and seeks to throw him to his death. Tyrion hires Bronn (Jerome Flynn) to fight on his behalf against Ser Vardis Egen, who fights for Lysa. Bronn succeeds in the fight, acquitting Tyrion of the murderous charges.

Another trial by combat involving Dinklage’s character comes later in the series. Accused of assassinating King Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson), Tyrion demands another trial by combat and has Oberyn Martell (Pedro Pascal) to go against Ser Gregor Clegane . Oberyn fails and dies a gruesome death.

Giuliani continued, noting that the “trial by combat” comment was supposedly meant about the voting machines. The former New York City mayor further defends his pre-Capitol siege remark, sharing that “it incited no violent response from the crowd.”

“The crowd didn’t jump up saying, ‘lock him up, throw him in jail, go to hell.’ I’ve had speeches where people jump up and say, ‘Lock him up.’ It was not an emotion inspiring part of the speech. So to try to take it out of context and use it is typical of the crooked left and the press.”

But Giuliani made the remark in the context of making false claims of voter fraud on the part of “the Democrats and their allies” and unfounded allegations of criminal conduct.

Giuliani’s full quote at the rally speech was, “If they ran such a clean election, they’d have you come in and look at the paper ballots. Who hides evidence? Criminals hide evidence. Not honest people. Over the next 10 days, we get to see the machines that are crooked, the ballots that are fraudulent, and if we’re wrong, we will be made fools of. But if we’re right, a lot of them will go to jail. Let’s have trial by combat.”

Sign up for Deadline's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.