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6 Musicians Who Made Guest Cameos on Game of Thrones Before Ed Sheeran

This weekend at South by Southwest, Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss announced that shaggy pop star Ed Sheeran will be making a cameo during Season 7, which premieres this summer on HBO.

The producers explained that actress Maisie Williams (who plays the badass ninja-like Arya Stark) loves the pop singer and that the spot was for her: “For years, we were trying to get Ed Sheeran on the show to surprise Maisie and this year we finally did it,” Benioff said.

While the “Shape of You” singer seems like an odd addition to the world of Westeros, it is far from the first time the smash hit George R.R. Martin saga welcomed famous musicians onto the set. Let’s take a look back on some of the musically talented cameos that we’ve seen on GOT so far.

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Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol

The lead singer of alt-rock band Snow Patrol had a tiny moment in the GoT spotlight during Season 3, Episode 3 as one of Roose Bolton’s men trotting through the forest. Does this mean that Lightbody is a bad guy? Yep, it seems that way.

Don’t blink or you might miss it: He’s the guy behind the guy in the front on the white horse and the one who leads the men in a chorus of “The Bear and the Maiden Fair.”

Will Champion of Coldplay

Coldplay’s drummer, Will Champion, does what de does best in his Game of Throne‘s cameo. You can see him playing percussion in a wedding band during Season 3, Episode 9, “The Rains of Castamere.” The episode, which is named after the song Champion is performing, is one of the most notorious in television history, and you might remember watching it with your hand plastered over your mouth in utter disgust and terror. Known to many simply as the Red Wedding, the scene where Champion is playing away is also the scene where the Frey family massacre their enemies — including fan favorites Robb and Catelyn Stark — at a wedding meant to unite the clans.

Wilko Johnson of Dr. Feelgood

Wilko Johnson Game of Thrones
Image: HBO

Dr. Feelgood guitarist Wilko Johnson landed an entire character in the series despite not having any history as an actor. He played the terrifying Ser Ilyn Payne, the character loyal to the Lannisters and known best for beheading Ned Stark (which is a Season 1 spoiler, but if you haven’t watched Season 1 yet, that’s kind of your fault).

After appearing in the first two seasons, Johnson had to drop out of the show due to a cancer diagnosis. But it’s now been a few years down the line and he is recovering after treatment. He has noted in interviews that he’d love to reprise his role, especially since his character is one of the few people in King’s Landing at this point who is still alive.

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Sigur Rós

It isn’t too surprising that Icelandic indie rock band Sigur Rós appeared since Iceland has been a regular filming location for the show since its first season. The three-person band appears in “The Lion and the Rose” from Season 4, performing at the wedding of Margaery Tyrell and Joffrey Lannister. This celebration doesn’t go any better than the Red Wedding, with Joffrey getting poisoned after the ceremony, though the musical entertainment is nice.

During his South by Southwest talk, Dan Weiss noted that Jónsi Birgisson, the lead singer of Sigur Rós, thought that he could leave the set after his close-up and was surprised that he had to stick around for several more days as a background actor while the entire wedding was shot. “He was a super-good sport about it,” Weiss said.


The members of metal band Mastodon were perfect for extras in a grand scene featuring a hoard of white walkers and a horde of wildlings.

Brann Dailor told Pitchfork: “It was such an incredible experience to be on set as extras for our collective favorite show Game Of Thrones and to be wildlings murdered and then brought back to life by White Walkers was beyond amazing. I watched my best friends Brent and Bill, murdered right in front of me as I myself was stabbed in the stomach and had my throat slit multiple times, and I didn’t mind at all. It made me love being in Mastodon even more. We are more than privileged and honored to have been a part of one of the greatest stories ever told on film, and the catering wasn’t bad either.”

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We should mention one more thing before we go: Kristian Nairn, who played the friendly, mostly mute giant Hodor isn’t just the GoT actor with the easiest lines to memorize — he’s also a professional guitarist and progressive house DJ.

Which musician would you like to see on Game of Thrones, even if it’s just for a hot second?

Before you go, check out our slideshow below.

game of thrones slideshow
Image: HBO

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