After making its fans wait for over a year, yesterday’s much-awaited Game of Thrones episode was a delicious comeback for the series. From its victorious opening scene, a particularly sickening poo montage, to the awe-inducing (and maybe a little nostalgic?) last scene, the episode threw fans into a tizzy, and with good reason. After all, winter is finally here, and as you’ve probably seen in yesterday’s episode, our heroes are about to face a force that’s even worse than any Lannister. (Helloooooo, army of the dead!)
But let’s get real here. As a big fan of the show, I look forward to getting sucked into the world of Westeros for an hour every Monday, and although that was exactly what happened with the first episode, there was one little glitch I couldn’t let it get away with. You all know what scene I’m talking about.
It opened with Arya Stark riding through the forest, and amidst the sounds of her steed’s footfalls and the rushing of a stream, a lone singing voice rose from the quiet. Mind you, I didn’t know about a certain pop star’s cameo in this episode, and I was completely shocked to hear that guy who sang Shape of You singing in the vicinity of one of my favorite Game of Thrones characters. But when the realization sank in, I was confused. As someone who wanted to disappear into the mythos of the series, that voice completely threw me off. As soon as I heard that distinct voice crooning, I was taken out of Westeros and back into 2017. A rude awakening, if you ask me.
What happened after wasn’t too bad. He was given minimal speaking lines and was probably one of the nicest characters in the violent show’s history; but he was still, unmistakably, Ed Sheeran, that quiet dude who sang Thinking Out Loud and definitely not that-guy-in-the-background-who-sang-in-that-one-Game-of-Thrones-episode. I'm all for pop culture references, but in this situation, it completely takes you out of the fantasy world and makes you realize you're watching a television show.
Little background on the cameo: Apparently, Maisie Williams, the actress who plays Arya Stark, is a big fan of Ed’s. After a few years of prodding by David Benioff (one of the show’s creators), he agreed to make an appearance as a surprise for Maisie. But did the cameo work for the show?
Let’s just say it wasn’t the best part of Season 7's pilot episode, and the Internet agrees.
What say you, reader? Did you enjoy Ed Sheeran’s screen time?
Watch the clip here: