Ed Sheeran’s “Game of Thrones” cameo last season proved divisive among the show’s fans, but the “Shape of You” singer wants everyone to remember that it was meant as a surprise for Maisie Williams.
Williams is a longtime fan of Sheeran’s, so showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff recruited him to be in a scene with her for the Season 7 premiere, playing a Lannister soldier she meets during her travels.
“She’s come to gigs for years,” Sheeran said in an interview with MTV News. “They basically put me in a scene with her to kind of be like, ‘Hey, thanks for doing the show for so many years. Ed’s going to be in it.'”
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Though Sheeran’s appearance was brief and it‘s unlikely he’ll ever do more than the one scene, the backlash to his appearance was swift. Fans took to Twitter immediately after the episode to bash Sheeran and complain that his cameo was a gratuitous distraction from the otherwise highly anticipated episode.
The next day, Sheeran quit the social media platform entirely, though he denied it had anything to do with “Game of Thrones.”
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Jeremy Podeswa, the director of the episode, later defended Sheeran in an interview with The Daily Beast back in July. “I’m a bit surprised that people have made that much fuss about it,” he said. “To me, he does seem quite organic, in his own way, to the show.”
“I think she was really happy to have him there, and they do have a lovely rapport,” he said.