BRUSSELS - The leader of the Podemos party that has shaken up Spanish politics gave Spain's King Felipe VI a DVD from the cult television series "Game of Thrones" when the two met in Brussels on Wednesday.
"I'm breaking protocol to offer you a present that I think you will like," the anti-austerity party leader, Pablo Iglesias, told the king during a meeting between the monarch and Spanish members of the European parliament.
"I haven't seen it," the king replied while accepting the present from the leader of the leftist party who makes no secret of his republican convictions.
Adapted from "A Song of Ice and Fire" fantasy saga by US novelist George R.R. Martin, the TV series "Game of Thrones" revolves around a ruthless power struggle between noble families who covet the Iron Throne in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros.
Lovers, warriors, princesses, eunuchs, dragons and zombies, among many others, take their turn in a multi-plot narrative in which the only common denominator is death.
"I told him that he is sure to like the series and that it will give him some keys for understanding the political crisis in Spain," Iglesias, a former political science professor, told Spanish reporters of his encounter with the king after giving the monarch the DVD.
The pony-tailed Podemos leader has made no secret of his passion for the television series. Last year he edited a book analysing the television show called "Win or Die - Political Lessons from Game of Thrones". The cover features a drawing of Iglesias sitting on an iron throne.
Just before the fifth season of "Game of Thrones" debuted earlier this month, he told alternative Spanish radio show Carne Cruda that the series was "amazing" as it allows viewers to "understand the relationship between power and legitimacy." Felipe V1 made his first visit Wednesday to European institutions in Brussels since his accession to the Spanish throne in January.
He was first received in parliament by its president, the German socialist Martin Schulz, before meeting with the assembly's seven political groups and then Spanish eurodeputies.
The king accepted an invitation from Schulz to give a speech to the plenary session of the European parliament at its main seat in the French city of Strasbourg.
Felipe VI also met European Council President Donald Tusk before he was to hold talks with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and the college of Commissioners.