'Release the Kraken': The Right-Wing Call That's Inspiring Memes from Both Sides

Sidney Powell, one of the attorneys on Donald Trump's legal team contesting the election results, has been on the medi circuit lately. She visited The Rush Limbaugh Show yesterday and Mario Bartiromo on Fox News the day before. The appearance that's really gained traction, though, happened days before on Lou Dobbs Tonight on the Fox Business Network. During that conversation, Powell repurposed a popular phrase that has since taken off on Twitter as a clarion call for the right while a source of mockery for the left.

"I'm going to release the Kraken," Powell declared defiantly while saying she would expose the deck was stacked against Trump in the election by "Silicon Valley people, the big tech companies, the social media and even the media companies."

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The infamous kraken of legend GameSpot/Rare

If you're not a fan of bizarre fantasy films, you may not recognize the line from 1981's Clash of the Titans or its 2010 remake, which featured Liam Neeson uttering the line, though you've likely seen the endless silly memes it inspired. In the films, Zeus orders an enormous sea monster called a Kraken to destroy the kingdom of Argo. In Norse mythology, Krakens appear more like gigantic squids that attack ships. Today's modern usage of the term, unrelated to Powell's comments and Zeus, often refers to the Seattle's professional hockey team Kraken as well as a popular brand of rum.

Powell's use of the line also created a surge of its own memes--from both Trump supporters and critics--rising until it became one of the top trends on Twitter today. Powell must have noticed the popularity of the phrase, as she incorporated it in her Twitter bio.

Note: Last week, a national coalition, which includes the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the National Association of State Election Directors, announced that there was no evidence of systematic voter fraud.

Here is Powell on Dobbs, where she utters the phrase at around the 7:20 mark:

Supporters and media personalities immediately began linking Powell with the phrase, saying she's going to start revealing whistleblowers.

Conservative journalist Lara Logan has posted several tweets supporting Powell, too.

Outspoken conservative cartoonist Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, released a video in which he baselessly claims there will be evidence forthcoming of voter fraud while referencing "Release the Kraken."

Of course, it has also been the source of mockery.

During the interview with Dobbs, Powell continued to spread a recent unfounded conspiracy that voting fraud occurred as evidenced by the use of Dominion Voting Systems machines used in closely contested states--the same voting machines, according to the conspiracy, originally used to allow Hugo Chavez to rig elections in Venezuela and have, according to the claims, been used around the world to fix other elections. This theory has been debunked.

This commenter pointed out that the Kraken always comes out on the losing end in mythological tales.

Actor and SiriusXM talk show host John Fugelsang mocked George Papadopoulos, a former member of the foreign policy advisory panel to Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, for rejoicing with the phrase. Papadopoulos pleaded guilty in October 2017 to making false statements to FBI agents about the timing and the possible significance of his contacts in 2016 relating to U.S.–Russia relations and the Trump presidential campaign. He served twelve days in federal prison before being placed on a 12-month supervised release.


This Twitter user seemed to think Republicans may have a long wait ahead of them before Powell releases the Kraken.

A few different users referenced the scene in the new Borat movie in which Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani gets caught in what some have interpreted as a compromising position.

The wife of one of the Krassenstein Brothers, the siblings notoriously banned from Twitter for trolling Trump and his supporters, has been vocal about the Kraken.

Meanwhile, conservative singer and former member of the Pussycat Dolls, Kaya Jones, seemed enthused about the prospect of Powell's supposed upcoming revelations.

Some are just waiting and waiting...