Game of Thrones director Jeremy Podeswa might be alone on the hill with his defense of Ed Sheeran’s casting.
The singer’s appearance as a singing Lannister soldier in Sunday’s season 7 premiere “Dragonstone” was mocked to the point that Sheeran may have deleted his Twitter account in response (it subsequently reappeared). But despite the criticism, the Grammy-winner does have a fan in Podeswa, who has worked on the show since season 5 and will also helm the season 7 finale.
“He came into this with only lovely intentions to come and do a good job and sing well, so I think that’s the only drag,” Podeswa said to Newsweek. “If people didn’t know who Ed was, they wouldn’t have thought about it twice. The hoo-ha seems to be from things that are outside of the world of the show. In the world of the show, he did a lovely job, and he looks like he belongs in that world.”
Sheeran isn’t the first musician to cameo on the HBO drama; Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol, Will Champion from Coldplay, Sigur Rós, and nearly all members of American heavy metal band Mastodon previously appeared on the Emmy-winning series. Many viewers seemed shocked to see the “Shape of You” singer despite his presence in season 7 being announced in March when co-showrunner David Benioff revealed it was meant as a gift for star Maisie Williams.
“I was quite surprised about the reaction actually because I know he’s very well known and a successful singer but you’re in the bubble of the show — the cast are well known too, everybody is really well known… none of them can walk down the street without being followed,” continued Podeswa. “I think people interrogated it too much, they’re bringing so much of his [superstar] presence into the thing which is far beyond what anybody was thinking going into it. He is known to the producers of the show and some of the cast, and he’s a gigantic fan of the show.”
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.