‘Game of Thrones’ director reacts to Ed Sheeran cameo backlash

Ed Sheeran, left, and Maisie Williams in a scene from 'Game of Thrones.'.
Ed Sheeran, left, and Maisie Williams in a scene from 'Game of Thrones.'. Helen Sloan/HBO via AP

SPOILER ALERT: Do not read on unless you’ve watched the Game of Thrones Season 7 premiere.

While many Game of Thrones fans had different reactions to Ed Sheeran’s cameo in the Season 7 premiere, Game of Thrones director Jeremy Podeswa had nothing but good things to say about the singer.

The Thinking Out Loud singer made a cameo appearance as a Lannister soldier with his campfire singing catching the attention of Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) who was passing by but then cautiously joined their party for dinner.

“It was lovely working with Ed,” Podeswa told Variety. “He is one of the nicest guys in the world, and he really is one of the guys. He’s lovely, he’s a team player, he wants to do a good job, he takes direction, he’s very open.”

READ MORE: Ed Sheeran’s ‘Game of Thrones’ cameo receives mixed reviews from fans

The episode’s director continued: “He’s a big fan of the show and he was really excited to be a part of it. I think his lovely voice was used to great effect and he just has a really nice presence.”

Story continues below advertisement

Podeswa also said that Sheeran “blends into the world of the show in a nice way” and that if people didn’t know who the singer was, “nobody would even blink about his presence on the show.”

Sheeran’s appearance as a Lannister soldier drew a mix of criticism and praise from fans of the show, including some calling the show “less authentic” due to his cameo.

Podeswa told Newsweek that he was “quite surprised” about the reaction to Sheeran’s appearance.

“I know he’s very well known and a successful singer but you’re in the bubble of the show — the cast are well known too, everybody is really well known… none of them can walk down the street without being followed,” Podeswa said. “I think people interrogated it too much, they’re bringing so much of his [superstar] presence into the thing which is far beyond what anybody was thinking going into it. He is known to the producers of the show and some of the cast, and he’s a gigantic fan of the show.”

READ MORE: ‘Game Of Thrones’ actor Kit Harington speaks out about ‘a**holes’ who leak spoilers

The Castle on the Hill singer isn’t the first musician to make a cameo appearance on the HBO show. Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol, Will Champion from Coldplay, Sigur Rós band members Orri Páll Dýrason, Georg Hólm and Jón Þór Birgisson and Brann Dailor, Bill Kelliher and Brent Hinds of the American heavy metal band Mastodon, have previously appeared on Game of Thrones.

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: New ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 7 trailer: Winter is coming

After Sheeran’s appearance on the show as a singing soldier became a buzzed-about topic on social media, his Twitter account suddenly vanished.

The Twitter disappearance was short-lived because he is now back online but all of his tweets since April 2015 have been removed and the singer’s more than 19 million followers have been reduced to a few thousand.

The 26-year-old told Britain’s Sun tabloid this month that he was no longer using his Twitter account aside from posting his Instagram pictures to it. He called Twitter a platform for “saying mean things” and was trying to “work out why people dislike me so much.”

Sheeran took to Instagram on Wednesday to deny that his Twitter absence had anything to do with the backlash from his Game of Thrones appearance.

“I came off Twitter coz I was always intending to come off Twitter, had nothing to do with what people said about my Game of Thrones cameo,” the singer wrote.  “Why the hell would I worry what people thought about that. It’s clearly f***in’ awesome.”

Story continues below advertisement

The HBO drama’s seventh-season premiere last weekend drew a record-setting 10.1 million viewers, according to Nielsen company figures released Tuesday.

—With files from the Associated Press

Sponsored content