Winter has arrived in Santa Fe.
About 130 lucky Game of Thrones fans got to experience the 8th and final season premiere Sunday alongside Santa Fe local, George R.R. Martin, whose popular books inspired the hit TV series.
“Winter is coming! I warned you all!” Martin said in an interview with KRQE News 13.
It was a bittersweet day for the die-hard fans though, as the HBO series has just six episodes left.
“I’ve watched all the seasons and I’ve read all the books multiple times so I’m really excited to see how HBO puts their spin on things,” Jennifer Shurter of Santa Fe said.
“It has everything,” Sara Lanctot of Santa Fe added. “It has drama, it has heroes, it has comedy.”
For many, the excitement on Sunday included camping outside for the screening of the first episode at the Jean Cocteau Cinema, which is owned by Martin.
Big cheers greeted the Santa Fe-based author as he arrived, followed by a costume contest and the screening.
Martin said he wants super fans of all ages to know the sixth book he’s still writing will have some differences from this final season, meaning when Game of Thrones wraps up on HBO, there’s still something to look forward to.
“It’s actually going to be two parallel worlds here because the way I’m doing it and the way they’re doing it are not quite the same, though there are some certain similarities,” he explained. “Especially since the show went beyond my books. I’m still working on book 6: The Winds of Winter. And the show is wrapping up and ending but I’m not wrapping up and ending for a number of years yet. So in the beginning, they were catching up to me and now I’m catching up to them.”
As for Sunday’s spectacular turnout, it was a hometown show of support he will cherish for years to come.
“It’s like one of the perfect places in the world,” he said of New Mexico. “I think New Mexico people are wonderful and, of course, I came here in ’78 at first as a tourist from the midwest and fell in love with the place, and moved here the following year. I promptly got addicted to green chile which made me unable to live anywhere else.”
Both the 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. screenings sold out in just hours.