Given that Ed Sheeran’s latest album is breaking streaming records and “Game of Thrones” has likewise broken records as the TV’s most illegally downloaded series, Sunday’s revelation that the “Divide” singer-songwriter will be guest-starring in the HBO hit could literally break the Internet.
According to Entertainment Weekly, the announcement came at a “GoT” panel at South By Southwest, currently underway in Austin, Texas, with showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss revealing that Sheeran has long been a favourite of the cast, and they’ve been trying to lock him down for a guest-starring stint for some time now. This season they finally got him, they said.
Sheeran won’t be the first musician to appear on the show, with past seasons having featured cameos from Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol, Coldplay’s Will Champion, and members of the bands Sigur Rós and Mastodon, while Wilko Johnson (who played guitar in British band Dr. Feelgood) played royal executioner Ser Illyn Payne.
Meanwhile, Sunday’s SXSW session also served up some additional scoop on the show, including the reveal that the eighth season (which is scheduled to be the series’ last) will only consist of six episodes.
“It’s only going to be six episodes for the final season,” Benioff said, joking that because of the limited number of episodes left (season seven will only be seven episodes), that he and fellow producers have already divvied up who’ll be writing which episodes.
“We argued over who got to kill Sansa,” joked Benioff.
Also on the SXSW panel were stars Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams (who play Stark sisters Sansa and Arya), who asked the showrunners which characters they killed off that they would bring back if they could. While several members of the audience yelled for Hodor, reports EW, the showrunners revealed they’d like to resurrect Lady Catelyn Sark (Michelle Fairley) and King Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson).
Meanwhile, Sheeran discussed his upcoming role in an interview with Comic Book. “I do know which role I am going to play,” Sheeran reveals, adding: “I don’t die in it, I don’t die.”
In fact, Sheeran points out that if presented with a choice between a “Game of Thrones” death scene or a “Game of Thrones” sex scene, he has a clear winner. “I’d probably prefer to have sex than die in the show,” he quips. “I’m sure a lot of people are into that but I’m not.”
As for the size of his role, don’t expect to see a multi-episode story arc. “I’m only in it for like five minutes.”
Sheeran also reveals that he’s had a desire to appear on the show for some time, ever since pal Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol did a guest spot a few seasons back.
“My friend guested in it in 2012 and I remember I was on tour with him and he was like: ‘Right, I’ve got a guest slot on ‘Game Of Thrones’.’ I remember saying: ‘You got to get me on it at some point.’ It’s been five years so it’s finally come true.”
“Game of Thrones” returns with its seventh season on Sunday, July 16.