Ed Sheeran may be in love with your body, but he’s got no love for “Game of Thrones” fans right now. The British pop star was barraged of negative reactions on social media following a cameo in HBO’s blockbuster fantasy series, which evidently prompted him to quit Twitter for a day (he has since re-activated his account). Fortunately for Sheeran, Jeremy Podeswa, who directed the episode, rode in like Brienne of Tarth to gallantly defend his honor.
“I think Ed did a lovely job—he’s a lovely actor and a lovely person,” the director told Newsweek. “He was appropriate for the part because he needed to sing. If people didn’t know who Ed was, they wouldn’t have thought about it twice.”
Sheeran’s casting was a gift for actress Maisie Williams, who is a huge fan of the pop star. They appear together in a brief scene in which Arya (Williams) happens upon soldiers fighting for the Lannister army. They sing around a fire, kindly offer her some of their rabbit, and share their dreams for life after the war. Some critics saw the scene as an unnecessary tangent and a way of shoehorning in Sheeran’s appearance that did not progress the story, while others seemed to object solely on the basis of their distaste for Sheeran.
However, Podeswa blamed the negative reaction on outside influences, including Sheeran’s much maligned position at the top of the pop charts. “The hoo-ha seems to be from things that are outside of the world of the show,” said Podeswa. “In the world of the show he did a lovely job, and he looks like he belongs in that world.”