'Game of Thrones' Actor Recalls Ed Sheeran Cameo: 'All of a Sudden There's a Pop Star? What?'

Kristian Nairn, the actor who plays the universally beloved Hodor on 'Game of Thrones,' opened up about his general distaste for cameos on the show, since they tend to take the audience out of the fantasy of the show. Ed Sheeran's was particularly bad, he said.

With so many Game of Thrones fans scattered throughout the world, it would be hard to define a single moment or character as a fan-favorite. With that said, there’s one character that’s universally loved: Hodor. There’s also one moment that’s more or less universally questioned: Ed Sheeran’s cameo in the Season 7 premiere. In a recent interview with HuffPost, Kristian Nairn, the actor who plays Hodor, revealed he thought having Sheeran on was kind of weird. 

Nairn isn’t a Sheeran hater, though. He’s just “not a fan” of cameos on the HBO show. “I think it’s stupid,” he said. “I just think it takes you right out of the world.”

“It’s a fantasy show. We’re all caught in this amazing world and spend so much time and money and talent to create, and all of a sudden there’s a pop star? What?” Nairn continued, but added that Sheeran’s cameo was particularly egregious. “Especially Ed Sheeran. I was like, ‘Why is Ed Sheeran here?’ I mean, Ed Sheeran’s great. He’s a great guy, great musician, but why is he in Game of Thrones?”

“I’m not saying I’m not a fan of Ed Sheeran,” Nairn said. “I’m being tactful here, but just not a fan of the cameo. I think most people would agree with me there. It was a big snap to reality. It’s like, ‘What? What?'”

Sheeran appeared in a scene with Maisie Williams, and the cameo was allegedly a surprise for her, who is a big fan. The episode’s director said the singer is “one of the nicest guys in the world.” No matter how sweet that sounds, the “Shape of You” singer’s cameo was roasted online. The social media backlash was so strong that Sheeran briefly quit Twitter soon afterwards. Of course, he said it had nothing to do with the memes. 


To be fair, Sheeran is hardly the first celebrity cameo on the show—in fact, the list leans especially musical. Members of the metal band Mastodon appear in Season 5 and 7; Of Monsters and Men appear in the background playing instruments in an episode in Season 6; and Sigur Rós are in Joffrey’s wedding in Season 4. That final one is maybe the only exception to Nairn’s “no cameo” rule. 

“[Sigur Rós] kind of got away with it because they’re so quirky,” he told HuffPost. “They’re almost like Game of Thrones world in real life. They’re so elven and spiritual.”

“Apart from that—I mean, I understand why people want to be in it, but just no. Go away,” Nairn added. 

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