All the sneaky celebrity Game of Thrones cameos you missed
It would be an understatement to say that Ed Sheeran’s cameo as a Lannister soldier sparked a strong reaction from Game of Thrones fans. In a fantasy world that opens its arms to welcome repeated instances of incest, back-from-the-dead ice dragons and an ancient race of humanoid ice creatures, the ginger-haired crooner caused a whole lot of unexpected controversy. But what a lot of people don’t know is that the Galway Girl singer is certainly not the first celebrity to make the journey to Westeros. In fact, you’ve probably missed a fair few Game of Thrones cameos.
Sneaking musicians and other faces into the HBO world has become almost second nature to the show’s creators, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, and it’s fair to say that only the most eagle-eyed fan will have spotted them all. Are you the three-eyed raven of the Game of Thrones cameo world? We shall see.
1. Coldplay’s Will Champion
You would be forgiven for not recognising drummer and backing vocalist Will Champion’s Game of Thrones cameo given the fact that he showed up in one of the most infamous episodes of all time. The Red Wedding in “The Rains of Castamere” was one of the biggest massacres in the show’s history - and the Coldplay band member had a front row seat as a drummer in the band that plays at Edmure Tully and Roslin Frey’s wedding.
2. Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody
Although many fans hit the roof over Ed Sheeran’s impromptu “new tune” that featured on the show, they seemed completely cool with Gary Lightbody warbling along to The Bear and the Maiden Fair in "The Rains of Castamere”. The musician, who is a massive fan of the show, was over the moon to get the chance to appear, posting a picture of him kitted out in Bolton soldier costume on social media.
Mastodon band members Brann Dailor, Bill Kelliher and Brent Hinds were handed out some of the best roles on the whole show when they cameoed as White Walkers in the season seven finale, “The Dragon and the Wolf”. Amazingly, it was actually their second cameo on the show, having previously appeared as wildlings in season five. Some people get all the best Game of Thrones cameos…
4. Sigur Rós
No one could ever escape the wrath of Joffrey Baratheon - including Icelandic indie rock band, Sigur Rós. The group made a surprise appearance at the tyrant King’s wedding to Margaery Tyrell, but ended up ducking and dodging after their music proved less than satisfactory and the young dictator began throwing coins at them. What a great claim to Game of Thrones fame.
5. Bastille’s Kyle Simmons
You were way too busy waiting for the Ice Dragon to demolish the wall to clock any celebrity cameos, but there was in fact quite a large one at the 72-minute mark of “The Dragon and the Wolf”. Bastille’s Kyle Simmons and the band’s tour manager, Dick Meredith hit our screens as white walkers at season seven’s climatic end. According to reports, other members of the band, including lead singer Dan Smith, were also filmed for the sequence but didn’t make the final cut. Gutted.
6. George W. Bush
OK, this one is a bit of a stretch. You didn’t actually miss a George Bush cameo in Game of Thrones. But if you keep your eyes peeled when King Joffrey takes Sansa Stark to gaze upon the spiked head of her dead father in "Fire and Blood", you’ll see a severed head that looks an awful lot like the head of the 43rd President of the United States. The incident sparked outrage from Republicans and forced the show’s creators to deny that it was a political statement, instead insisting that they had rented prosthetic body parts and had not realised that it was Bush’s head.
7. Neil Fingleton
The name of Neil Fingleton probably doesn’t mean much to you, but what if I told you that he was the tallest man in the United Kingdom? The 7ft 7in star played colossal warrior Mag the Mighty in season four’s “The Watchers of the Wall”, which saw him face off against the men of the Night’s Watch at the gate. Tragically the actor passed away in February 2017 at the age of 36.
8. David Benioff and D.B. Weiss
What’s the point in creating one of the most-watched TV shows on the planet if you can’t make a mini cameo in it yourself? That was the question Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss must have asked themselves before putting themselves in the House of Black's Hall of Faces.
9. Noah Syndergaard
What better way to go than being roasted alive by one of Dany’s dragons? New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard had a pretty epic cameo as a member of the Lannister army who was seen hurling a spear at a horse before getting taken down himself by Viserion. The baseball player told Sports Illustrated of his excitement at appearing on the show in April 2017, saying: “I think it’s the greatest TV show of all time, so just to be able to say I was in Game of Thrones is an unbelievable feeling.”
10. Of Monsters and Men
How do celebrities bag Game of Thrones cameos? According to members Of Monsters and Men, who popped up as the stage musicians in the play that Arya sees in Braavos in "The Door", you just have to ask. Vocalist Ragnar “Raggi” Þórhallsson told The Wall Street Journal: “We’d asked our manager a long time ago to ask them if we could be extras in it while they where shooting in Iceland, but nothing really happened, and our touring schedule was pretty crazy at that time anyways so we sort of just disappeared. But apparently they noticed our interest and the ball started rolling. I’m pretty sure our manager just kept asking and asking and finally they must have given in.”
So did you spot them all? Props to you if you did. After all, there are many who didn’t have a clue about any of them. Which celebrities will get annihilated in the Great War between the dead and alive in season eight? We can only wait until 2019 and see. In the meantime, we can console ourselves with fact that there's an actual Game of Thrones festival coming.