Samwell Tarly’s “poop montage” wasn’t the most distracting moment in the Game of Thrones season seven premiere — it was Ed Sheeran’s cameo as a Lannister soldier. Usually when a real-world musician appears in Westeros, they’re relegated to playing bannermen, like Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody, or Wildling extras, like Mastodon. But not Sheeran, who was invited to guest star as a surprise for Maisie Williams (Arya). “Ed Sheeran has got a beautiful voice, and we knew that he was a fan of the show, and we knew that Maisie was obsessed with him,” co-showrunner David Benioff explained. “So we always thought it would be fun to try to get him into a Maisie scene at some point.”
Not everyone involved with the show was a fan of the stunt-casting, though.
“I’m not a fan of the cameos in Game of Thrones. I don’t like them. I think it’s stupid. I don’t mind going on the record on that. I just think it takes you right out of the world,” actor Kristian Nairn, who played Hodor, told the Huffington (Hodorington?) Post. Especially Ed Sheeran. I was like, ‘Why is Ed Sheeran here?’ I mean, Ed Sheeran’s great. He’s a great guy, great musician, but why is he in Game of Thrones?” Nairn clarified that he’s not not an Ed Sheeran fan, but “I think most people would agree with me there. It was a big snap to reality.”
Especially when the Sheeran solider started singing “Shape of Hodor.”