Game of Thrones finds a way to simultaneously enrage and enthral its fanbase with almost every episode, but viewers are divided by one moment in particular from Monday’s season seven premiere.
Yes, English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran crashed the set as a Lannister soldier whose camp is stumbled upon by Arya Stark.
But instead of meeting the sharp end of her sword, he spent a good 30 seconds chewing the scenery and unsubtly eluding to his real-life top-40 status with a throwaway line about a ditty he was singing: “It’s a new one.”
It was an undisputedly cringeworthy moment in an otherwise solid series.
But what fans may not realise is that it’s far from the first time a musician has slipped into Westeros.
Ramsay Bolton – Believe it or not, the deplorable Bolton (Iwan Rheon) is actually quite a tender musician in real life.
Hodor – If you think Kristian Nairn is a man of few words in GoT, then you may not be surprised to see him without a microphone when taking to the stage as a DJ. He even came to Australia a few years ago for his Rave of Thrones tour.
Melisandre – The red priestess may be terrifying on screen, but actor Carice Van Houten’s music isn’t quite so off-putting. Her 2012 album See You on the Ice is available for streaming.
Grey Worm – RnB fans would have been surprised to see Jacob Anderson pop up in Daenerys’ plot thread. He’s actually the relatively well-known artist Raleigh Ritchie!
Daario Naharis – Both actors who portrayed this hunky warrior actually have musical backgrounds. The first, Ed Skrein, has a grime career on the side. His role replacement, Michiel Huisman, plays an arrogant busker in the music-filled series Tremé and is the frontman of relatively unknown Dutch band Fontane.
Bronn – Before he was an actor, Jerome Flynn was a member of flash-in-the-pan pop group Robson & Jerome. We think moving on to acting may have been a sound choice.
Hizdahr zo Loraq – No, that’s not a typo. A slave trader who’s seen in several Daenerys-heavy episodes is one half of pop duo Animal Circus.
Sandor ‘The Hound’ Clegane – The enormous actor plays guitar in his spare time. He also used to be a member of a band called ‘Thundersoup’ – here he is performing in a Santa costume.