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Upset about Ed Sheeran on

The Washington PostNews • July 19th, 2017leans Left

Ed Sheeran and Maisie Williams in “Game of Thrones.” (Helen Sloan/HBO)

Ed Sheeran’s appearance in the “Game of Thrones” season premiere annoyed some viewers who found the singer’s cameo distracting in a show that doesn’t tend to have big guest appearances.

But the episode’s director, Jeremy Podeswa, sees no reason to be upset about it.

Podeswa told the Daily Beast this week that he was “a bit surprised that people have made that much fuss about it … To me, he does seem quite organic, in his own way, to the show.”

On Sunday’s episode, Arya Stark comes across a group of soldiers singing a ditty and chowing down on roasted rabbit. Sheeran was one of them, and he exchanges a few words with Arya.

“The truth is, everybody on the show is famous now,” Podeswa told Daily Beast. “It doesn’t mean anything to me. It’s about, are they appropriate for the role? Are they doing a good job? And it was yes, yes, yes to all those questions with him so, I don’t know.”

The show has had other musicians show up, but perhaps not as conspicuously as Sheeran. Coldplay drummer Will Champion, for instance, played in a band at the Red Wedding.

[What was Ed Sheeran doing on ‘Game of Thrones’?]

Maisie Williams, 20, plays Arya and is a huge Sheeran fan. So the HBO series’ showrunners got Sheeran to show up as a surprise for the actress, who has basically grown up on set.

“She was really happy to have him there, and they do have a lovely rapport,” Podeswa told the Daily Beast. “But the great thing is he kind of deserved to be there, in a way, because he’s a lovely performer. The role required gifts that he has. And he looks right in the show; he fits into the fabric of the show.”

Podeswa added that Sheeran has been “acting for a little while; he takes it very seriously.”

[‘Game of Thrones’ recap: A return to ‘Dragonstone’ and a question of alliances]

The online backlash also prompted speculation as to whether Sheeran deleted his Twitter account over it. At some point after the “Game of Thrones” premiere, his account disappeared. He soon returned and his tweets before April 2015 have been removed.

Sheeran has previously alluded to the hate he gets online to explain why he only uses Twitter to cross-post his Instagram photos; Twitter is a place for “saying mean things” and he was trying to “work out why people dislike me so much,” he told Britain’s Sun tabloid.

One of the old tweets Sheeran deleted is one from 2013 congratulating Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody for his own brief “Game of Thrones” cameo.

Throwback to the time I was a Lannister A post shared by Ed Sheeran (@teddysphotos) on Jul 16, 2017 at 7:09pm PDT

Despite any backlash, Sheeran seems to be on an acting roll. He’ll lend his speaking — and singing — voice to a musician character in an upcoming “Simpsons” episode.

“This year continues to be surreal and amazing,” Sheeran wrote on Instagram.

This year continues to be equally surreal and amazing. Watch out for this one, me and Lisa have a whole thing going on x A post shared by Ed Sheeran (@teddysphotos) on Jul 17, 2017 at 12:16pm PDT

The animated Fox series has a long history of famous guest appearances, with everyone from Paul McCartney to Meryl Streep lending their voices. But it appears that just as with “Game of Thrones,” Sheeran is somewhat of a superfan. Among the singer’s many tattoos is a three-eyed fish from “The Simpsons.”

“Simpsons” producer Mike Scully had heard Sheeran had long wanted to appear on the show, according to Entertainment Weekly.

“We had a perfect part for him,” executive producer Al Jean told the outlet. “So we said, ‘Oh, great, we’ll have him do this!’ And we recorded him over the phone from England.”

So, Sheeran, if there’s another show you want to appear on, you better speak up soon because apparently 2017 is the year to make your TV dreams come true.

"Game of Thrones" actors Kit Harington, Sophie Turner, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Liam Cunningham attend the premiere of the seventh season in Los Angeles. (Reuters)

Read more:

Some “Game of Thrones” stars are better than others at keeping secrets

An illustrated guide to every death in “Game of Thrones”

Elahe Izadi Is A Pop Culture Writer For The Washington Post