In just a few months, HBO's most-watched series Game of Thrones will return for the first of its last two seasons. This weekend, the premium network revealed that season 7 premieres in July, and it will be followed by a six-episode final season to debut in 2018. There's only 13 episodes remaining before the show ends its run and not a lot of time left to be a part of one of TV's most critically acclaimed dramas ever.
Luckily, English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran is already ahead of the game and is set to appear in the upcoming seventh season. Past seasons of Game of Thrones have featured cameos by various musical artists such as Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol, Will Champion from Coldplay, Sigur Rós, and Mastodon. So Sheeran is just the latest name to turn a love for the series into a guest spot, and he's also quite possibly the most well-known musician to appear on the show.
Of course, according to showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, who announced the news Sunday at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas, Sheeran's cameo was actually a long time coming. Apparently, Thrones' star Maisie Williams (who plays Arya Stark) is a big fan of the musician, and as the producers explained, “For years we were trying to get Ed Sheeran on the show to surprise Maisie and this year we finally did it.” Sheeran is also not a stranger to being on set, since he previously appeared on The Bastard Executioner after exchanging tweets about creator Kurt Sutter's prior series Sons of Anarchy.
It's a good thing Sheeran is aware of all the work it takes to just film a cameo. On the panel at SXSW, Weiss joked about how "a lot of [music artists] say they would they would like to [be on the show], and then we tell them [shooting a scene] is so boring." Some people forget that filming a series, even one as exciting as Game of Thrones, requires a lot of waiting around for your 10 seconds of fame. Not to mention the fact that you have to stick around as a background actor until the actors have completed filming all the scenes at that particular location. It's not just one and done.
While the producers didn't reveal any hints to when and where Sheeran will show up, it's likely his scenes will have something to do with Arya, since Benioff and Weiss had planned his cameo on the series as a surprise for Williams. Arya is likely to continue her murderous streak from last season, so maybe Sheeran plays someone she kills. It's also possible that Arya won't live to see season 8, so Sheeran could be around for her swan song. There's numerous possibilities, and we only have four months left to find out.