Even though Game of Thrones' season 7 finale already happened and left fans reeling, the prospect of waiting until 2019 for more Westerosi intrigue is harrowing in and of itself. Thankfully, HBO is giving fans a little something to tide them over.
According to Marie Claire, the network just debuted "Game Revealed," a series of mini-documentaries on YouTube that gives viewers a peek behind the scenes. The inaugural episode offers up something nobody expected: an explainer on exactly who Ed Sheeran was playing during his cameo in the season premiere.
"Ed Sheeran has got a beautiful voice, and we knew that he was a fan of the show, and we knew that Maisie [Williams, who plays Arya Stark] was obsessed with him," showrunner David Benioff said in one segment of the episode. "So we always thought it would be fun to try to get him into a Maisie scene at some point."
Fans now know that Sheeran played a Lannister bannerman (his IMDb page officially bills him as "Lannister Soldier," not "Lannister Minstrel"), but they may not know that his appearance was more than just a gift to Williams. Benioff explains that the musical Sheeran moment was a purposeful scene.
Fans will recall that the season opened with Arya's mass murder while she was wearing Walder Frey's face. Benioff said that the more human, lighthearted moment with the bannermen was to contrast the savagery and violence of that scene and offer up a chance for Arya to let down her guard. Sheeran said that he was playing the character as an everyman and wanted to show that soldiers at war are, in essence, just normal guys.
"When I first got the scene and I saw I was a Lannister soldier and it was Maisie, I just assumed we'd all get killed at the end," Sheeran said. Thankfully, his character didn't meet a grisly fate. Instead, he served his purpose and gave Arya a break from her to-do list.
"It's just a nice moment for her to really enjoy human company without lies and trickery," Williams said of Arya's all-too-short diversion. "She really enjoys hearing their stories and just finding a bit of normality again."
Check out the whole episode below.