Did Ed Sheeran Really *Need* To Be In Game Of Thrones, Though?
The Debrief: We're talking less about the long awaited first episdoe of GOT season 7, and more about the musical golden boy's fleeting appearance. And I'm not sure I'm okay with it.
We get it, okay? Ed Sheeran is that guy. The one that can do no wrong. The bloke who’s friends with everyone in a nonchalant, 'oh yeah, we go way back' type of way. That guy with all the songs that automagically make a mockery of anything else in the Official Charts that had a moment or two in the top ten. Everything the light touches is Ed Sheeran’s musical kingdom. And that kingdom extends to Westeros, apparently.
You’ll be in no way surprised to hear that Ed Sheeran was due to make an appearance in Game Of Thrones. That cat has long been out of the bag. But the new season has now officially landed and so has Ed Sheeran’s long awaited cameo.
Ed hadn’t spoken too much about what we could expect from his role in the show before sharing a picture of himself in character on Instagram on Sunday evening: ‘Throwback to the time I was a Lannister’, he wrote. And if we breeze past the unspoken, but widely acknowledged Instagram rule that throwbacks are reserved for Thursday, Fridays at a push if you’re more of a #teamflashback kind of gal, you’ll notice that Ed is very recognisable in his GOT gear. When you get around to watching episode one, you won’t miss him. Not a chance. Distracted by a notification on your phone? It’s fine mate. No doubt you’ll hear his voice, panic out of fear you’ve accidentally hit play on Divide only to find that those distinctive raspy tones are in fact coming from the telly.
Teeny tiny *spoiler* ahead
Yep. Ed Sheeran dragged himself all the way over to the ass end of the Riverlands to have a bit of a sing song among the foliage. Surprise, surprise, I suppose. Of course, he sang. But I can’t blame die hard Ed/GOT fans for expecting maybe a little more from the most anticlimactically awaited cameo appearance in only the biggest television franchise on earth. NDB.
Okay, maybe I’m not being fair. Not only did Ed sing a few lines of what very well may be one of the tracks that was swapped out for Galway Girl when they were narrowing down what to put on the new album, but Ed also had a line. An actual line of acting.
Maisie Williams, aka Arya Stark (I mention this because Ed doesn’t seem to have a character name in this episode. He’s an unnamed Lannister Soldier according to IMDb, which pretty much means he appears as himself. Shocker), is riding along on horseback when she hears singing. It’s Ed Sheeran singing. She pauses to tell Ed she's never heard it before. And then, Ed’s big moment, his acting debut on prime-time TV, takes shape in the form of his momentous reply: ‘It’s a new one’…
No, really. That’s all. Ed Sheeran out Ed Sheeraned himself.
I’ll be fair. Maybe I should poo-poo this whole thing so hard. The intention of his appearance seems to be a pretty sweet one. Speaking on a panel back in March, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss (the show’s creators) let slip that Ed Sheeran was invited on the show as a surprise for Maisie who is apparently a huge fan, reported Entertainment Weekly. And apparently, the whole thing took years to arrange. It’s very cute of them to do. Endearing in fact. But I’ve got to be honest, I’m not convinced.
Ed Sheeran is everywhere at the moment. Like, absolutely everywhere. Did we really need him on our televisions too? Did he really need to literally appear as himself on one of the world’s biggest entertainment platforms to sing a little bit? When Daniel Craig made an appearance on Star Wars, he was in full disguise. Just saying.
When these sorts of cameos happen, you can’t help but be jolted out of the experience of sitting down to immerse yourself in what’s going down in the Seven Kingdoms. You can’t avoid suddenly catapulting back to the reality in which Ed Sheeran already exists. You can stop yourself from suddenly questioning what the fuck is going on and why is Arya chatting to that famous singer guy with the guitar?
To put it tentatively, we’ve reached peak Sheeran. Winter really is here. And I’m not sure how well this stint bodes for the 8-Mile style bio pic about Ipswich that Ed is apparently planning to make…
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