One Game of Thrones director is standing by the show's most recent cameo appearance. While Game of Thrones is no stranger to cameos from famous musicians -- Sigur Ros, Coldplay's Will Champion, Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody, and Of Monsters and Men have all appeared at various points throughout the show's run -- fans were particularly surprised by Ed Sheeran's sudden appearance in last week's season 7 premiere. The singer/songwriter was a part of a small group of Lannister soldiers that Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) happened upon across during her journey to King's Landing, all of whom showed her a surprising level of kindness.
However, while Sheeran's singing voice was appropriate for the character, and he had very few lines of actual dialogue, many Game of Thrones fans have accused the HBO fantasy series of going too far with the famous singer's inclusion. Many of the complaints have not only revolved around Sheeran's real life persona but that it took too many viewers out of the episode when he first showed up.
The episode's director, Jeremy Podeswa, says he still thinks the decision was an appropriate one of the show to make. While speaking with Newsweek recently, the veteran Thrones director said the character's description required him to be a singer, which led the creative team to choosing Sheeran for the role:
"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. In the world of the show he did a lovely job, and he looks like he belongs in that world."
It's true that Sheeran is probably the most famous non-actor to appear in the show up until this point, and as such, might have caused many viewers to be taken out of the episode for a few moments. But considering how much the focus of the scene changes from Sheeran's character to the other Lannister soldiers talking with Arya, and her own personal reaction to their kindness, the shock of the moment itself dies down fairly quickly once the scene actually gets going.
Then again, while the moment itself may have completely ruined the scene or episode for some viewers, it certainly didn't hurt the premiere's ratings, which managed to break records previously set by Thrones. Right now, anticipation for this coming Sunday's episode is about as high as it could be, thanks to how much of the premiere's runtime was spent laying the groundwork for the things to come. And with less than two full seasons left before Game of Thrones comes to an end next year, there are much bigger things in store in the show's future than a brief cameo by a famous musician.