Season 4 of House of Cards features the terrorist organisation 'ICO' (Islamic Caliphate Organisation - essentially ISIS).

Season 4 spoiler:

At the end of the season, Frank and Claire use a terrorist kidnapping to declare war on terror, as a means to stay in power.

My question is - do the events of House of Cards take place in an America where 9/11 has happened ~10 years prior?

2 Answers 2


There is a reference to 9/11 at the end of Season 4's seventh episode.

Frank Underwood is remembering a meeting with Governor Conway. In the remembered scene, Frank asks if it's true Governor Conway had joined the U.S. military after the events of 9/11. The governor responds:

"You want a career in politics and the Twin Towers fall in your lap? The timing couldn't have been better"

(Full disclosure: I found the answer above within the answer to another question about House of Cards here on StackExchange)

  • Ahhh of course, it's a fairly major plot point.
    – dwjohnston
    Mar 23, 2016 at 9:06

Yes. Early in S04E07, Conway to a crowd:

You know what I did when 9/11 happened? I joined the Air Force because I wanted to serve my country, just like my grandfather did when he boarded a transport ship on this very dock and sailed to the Pacific to fight the Japanese.

Near the end of the same episode, there is a flashback to the 2013 New Year Party (when Walker was still the President-Elect):

Frank Underwood: So, is it true that you joined up a day after 9/11, or is that just something you say?

Conway: Within 24 hours, honest to God.

Underwood: That's incredible.

Conway: Hey I was 25, just out of law school. You want a career in politics and the Twin Towers fall in your lap? Timing couldn't have been better.


Underwood: How old are you? 35?

Conway: 36.

If the numbers are all correct, assuming Conway's birthday is between January 1 and September 11, and assuming the usual western/American convention of counting ages, one can conclude that the in-universe 9/11 also took place in 2001.

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