(Photo by Stefania D’Alessandro/Getty Images)
Among the many pieces of news to come out of yesterday’s Game of Thrones panel at the South by Southwest festival was that chart-topper Ed Sheeran will be making a cameo appearance in season 7. (We mean “chart-topper” literally — Sheeran’s song “Shape of You” has the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 as of this writing, so this is good timing.)
Very attentive fans may know that Sheeran has been trying to get on Game of Thrones for a while. “[E]very time they shoot it’s the time I tour in the UK,” he told Metro back in 2015. “But I’ve got that time off this year, so I’m going to hound them.” And as you can see below, Sheeran geeks the hell out when presented with the retail version of Longclaw, Jon Snow’s Valyrian steel sword. He’s a bit of a superfan.
What we didn’t know before the SXSW panel was that Sheeran’s cameo quest wasn’t one-sided — the Game of Thrones producers have wanted him on the show for a long while, since even before his music career blew up. Apparently, they’ve been trying for years to book him as a surprise for Maisie Williams (Arya), who’s a big fan of his.
— best of maisie (@bestofmaisie) February 23, 2017
As you can see above, the two are pretty friendly. Sheeran has also told a story about a bunch of Game of Thrones cast members (including Williams, Sophie Turner, Kit Harington and Alfie Allen) just popping by his house one night — he played them songs off his new album. Basically, of all the people who have lobbied for a role on GoT over the years, Sheeran seemed best positioned to actually get one, so it’s no surprise it’s happening.
Sheeran joins a pretty robust cameo lineup for season 7. Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard will also show up, and there are persistent rumors about indie band Bastille and UFC champion Conor McGregor. (The latter two have both denied being in season 7, but with the show’s penchant for secrecy, it’s hard to be sure of anything until the episodes air.)
When it comes to cameo appearances, the show has been good about not letting them interfere with episodes. Coldplay drummer Will Champion’s appearance in season 3 is a good example. He played one of the musicians at the Red Wedding, but it was a blink-and-you’ll-miss-him kind of deal.
Still, Sheeran is the biggest name the show has landed for a cameo thus far. Hopefully the producers will keep his appearance similarly low-key.