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Game of Thrones season 7 episode 1: Ed Sheeran makes painfully unsubtle cameo

The ‘Shape of You’ star  had several lines and considerable screen time – but no good reason to be there

Christopher Hooton
Monday 17 July 2017 02:01 BST
Ed Sheeran makes Game of Thrones cameo

Celebrity cameos are nothing new in Game of Thrones, but Ed Sheeran’s was a step too far for many fans, as the HBO show returned for the premiere episode of its seventh season.

*Mild spoilers ahead for episode 1, “Dragonstone”*

Arya Stark is travelling on horseback through a wood when she stumbles upon a group of soldiers. There, she sees Sheeran, midway through singing a campfire song (that features in the books) and turning around for a not particularly subtle close-up.

He proceeds to get pretty extensive camera coverage for the rest of the scene, often appearing in the foreground and background of shots as Arya and the soldiers exchange banter.

“If Arya doesn’t burn Ed Sheeran he’ll come back as a white walker and be playing Westeros Glastonbury for thousands of years,” one viewer tweeted.

“Ed Sheeran’s Game of Thrones introduction had all the grace and nuance as the time Alice and the gang at Mel’s Diner met Jerry Reed,” another added.

Sheeran’s part is the biggest musician cameo in the show yet, following smaller contributions from members of Coldplay, Sigur Ros, Snow Patrol and Mastodon.

The scene left the door open for the singer to also feature in the next episode, though he doesn’t appear in the trailer.

Co-showrunner David Benioff previously explained of the cameo: “We knew that Maisie was a big fan of Ed Sheeran, and for years we’ve been trying to get him on the show so we can surprise Maisie. This year we finally did it.”

Elsewhere in the episode, Jon and Sansa’s Winterfell rule got off to a rocky start, Daenerys arrived in Westeros and The Hound made a joke about top knots.

“Dragonstone” was 59 minutes long, though future episodes this season will run longer, with one being virtually feature-length.

Game of Thrones season 7 continues on HBO, Sky Atlantic and NOWTV next Sunday.

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