ayor Javier Gonzales channeled his inner Jaime Lannister on Saturday morning at Sanbusco Market Center when he wielded a sword to cut the ceremonial ribbon in the proclamation of George RR Martin Day across the land. Gonzales, who gazed at an Iron Throne replica at hand and joked that he wanted it for his chambers, then thanked the A Song of Ice and Fire author for not raising “man-eating dragons within the limits of the city” and for keeping “winter at bay.”
The ceremony, laced with flashes of the pomp and circumstance one would expect from his epic series, was a far cry to the modest life GRRM lived in the late ’70s when he first moved to town.
“No,” a humble Martin told SFR when asked if he ever thought his presence here would warrant such an honor. “I was just hoping I’d get to stay in Santa Fe for a while; that first year was kinda rough,” he continued. “I was writing a novel and watching my money dwindle.”
“I hung out with that guy behind you a lot there, playing Risk,” he said, pointing at local musician and journalist Steve Terrell. “That was my main pastime back in those days—conquering the world even then!”
Another escape in those first years was attending sci-fi and B-movie screenings at the Collective Fantasy Theater, later the Jean Cocteau Cinema, which he now owns. The mayor lauded Martin for his restoration of the single-screen, thus showing “an investment in Santa Fe’s diverse arts, film and nighttime economies.”
The author brought up the issue of lack of afterhours public transportation. “We’d like to get more college students from the Santa Fe University of Art and Design and St. John’s and Santa Fe Community College coming to our movies—especially when we play things that would appeal to college students—but they can’t get there. The one’s who don’t have cars are stuck on campus,” Martin said, sitting on the throne like a Wester-boss.
Gonzales also welcomed actor Pedro Pascal, who gives life to Oberyn Martell in the HBO adaptation of Martin’s work. “This city is yours. Treat it as your own and have fun. But keep in mind that I do control the police force—so watch out.”
Pascal’s much-anticipated character, known across the Seven Kingdoms as “The Red Viper,” is a slick, lustful and sharp-tongued addition to Game of Thrones. The casting choice reflects the first time a Latino has been given such a prominent role in the series—an honor the Chilean-born actor does not take lightly.
“It means everything. I watched the show like a regular fan,” Pascal said. “It was one of the biggest surprises of my whole life. To be able to have the opportunity to, I don’t know, represent my roots within something of this size is so exciting. It’s a total honor.”
As to what to expect for season four of GoT, premiering this Sunday? “We have a fairly high body count in the first episode, as I believe,” GRRM advanced. “And also a fair amount of sex.”
Here's a sneak peek: