13:15 GMT +314 October 2019
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    This file publicity image released by HBO shows Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen in a scene from Game of Thrones.

    China's Xi Jinping Turns Out to Be Game of Thrones' Fan

    © AP Photo/ Keith Bernstein
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    Demonstrating a profound knowledge of where the locale is set in the famed HBO show, and the political intrigues woven into the plot, Xi noted that he would prefer reality to be far different from the one depicted, even warning against copying it in real diplomacy.

    As the Chinese president revealed to a group of foreign visitors at a meeting in Beijing, he is a devoted long-time fan of the hit television series Game of Thrones, according to one of the meeting’s attendees, as quoted by the South China Morning Post.

    Xi Jinping appeared to surprise both his aides and guests when he touched upon the wildly popular HBO production, with the latest episode aired over the past weekend after the series’ final season kicked off.

    READ MORE: One of Game of Thrones' Biggest Mysteries REVEALED

    “We must all make sure the world we live in does not descend into the chaotic warring seven kingdoms of Westeros”, Xi said, addressing the audience and thereby making a reference to George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy work.

    The second-highest ranking official in China, Premier Li Keqiang, appeared to have also revealed having a soft spot for the iconic series that is now drawing to a denouement in all of its dramatic twists and political intrigues. He notably cited Game of Thrones when elaborating on China’s ties with Central and Eastern Europe at a last month’s forum in Dubrovnik, the medieval Croatian city that doubles as King’s Landing, the capital of the Seven Kingdoms, in the show.

    The Westeros-set epic is translated into Mandarin as “Middle Kingdom”, with its Chinese fan base estimated to comprise tens of millions people across the country, notwithstanding the fact that the version shown in China through Tencent is an edited one, as much of the violence and saucy sex scenes have been removed from the show.

    A Chinese official in Beijing, who declined to give his name when speaking to the Chinese edition, laughed it off heartily when asked whether Xi and other high-ranking officials had seen the edited or the abridged version. He remarked that the country’s leadership got to see an even more condensed version, which he referred to as “the diamond version”, as it would be problematic to squeeze the full version into their busy schedules.

    READ MORE: Game of Thrones Recap: Who is Still Alive in Westeros as Season 8 is Coming

    Although it is a rare occasion for the country’s leadership to elaborate on their hobbies, Xinhua earlier reported that Xi takes a vivid interest in movies and literature, adding that as the Chinese president made a point in a letter to US students studying Chinese, he is particularly fond of “philosophy, history, literature, culture, music and sports.” Among Hollywood productions, he is said to especially single out “The Godfather” and “Saving Private Ryan”.

    Tags:
    Game of Thrones, Xi Jinping, China
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