Kristian Nairn, who played the one-worded wonder in the HBO fantasy drama, has said he didn’t like the cameo and would prefer it if the show avoided star castings: “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,” he told The Huffington Post.
“Especially Ed Sheeran,” he said. “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?
“I’m not saying I’m not a fan of Ed Sheeran,” Nairn clarified. “I’m being tactful here, but just not a fan of the cameo. I think most people would agree with me there. It was a big snap to reality. It’s like, ‘What? What?’”
Ed Sheeran’s musical cameo in the season seven opener was met with such a social media backlash that Jeremy Podeswa, who directed the episode, stepped in to defend it. He told Newsweek: “He was appropriate for the part because he needed to sing. If people didn’t know who Ed was, they wouldn’t have thought about it twice. The hoo-ha seems to be from things that are outside of the world of the show.”
Of course, Sheeran’s not the only musician to enjoy an appearance on the HBO hit. Coldplay’s Will Champion featured at season three’s Red Wedding and indie group Of Monsters and Men popped up as travelling musicians in Braavos, but none of those had speaking roles.
Game of Thrones will return to HBO and Sky Atlantic in 2019