Twitter exploded after Game of Thrones fans got a surprise cameo on Sunday night's season premiere: English singer Ed Sheeran playing a Lannister soldier. Heavy rounds up some of the best memes about his appearance, while USA Today gathers up a range of the reactions, ranging from bafflement ("Ed Sheeran what are you doing here") to annoyance ("Ed Sheeran in GOT is one of the most ridiculously out of place things since...well David Beckham in that King Arthur movie") to people making fun of those who were annoyed ("Friends, please tell me more about how seeing Ed Sheeran in your dragon show is unrealistic"). But on Wednesday, Jeremy Podeswa, who directed the episode, defended Sheeran's appearance in an interview with the Daily Beast.
"I really, genuinely believe that if you didn’t know who he was, you would have just thought he was one of the gang, effortlessly," Podeswa says. "I’m actually a bit surprised that people have made that much fuss about it. Because he … I don’t know. To me, he does seem quite organic, in his own way, to the show." (Maisie Williams, who appeared in the scene as her character Arya Stark, is a real-life fan of Sheeran's and convinced showrunners to cast him.) Podeswa adds that "the role required gifts that he has"; Sheeran's character performed a song on the show. Sheeran briefly left Twitter after the episode aired, but also Wednesday, he clarified that the uproar over his appearance was not the reason: "I was always intending to come off Twitter," he insisted, though Fox News notes he quickly returned to the platform.