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.
“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.
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.
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”.