By Liam Mathews,
"Hodor" can mean a lot of things. Technically, it means "hold the door," but it can also mean "hello," "goodbye" and everything in between. Currently, it means "Ed Sheeran’s cameo on Game of Thrones last year was dumb."
In an interview with The Huffington Post, Kristian Nairn, who played the lovable and tragic lug Hodor until Season 6 of HBO’s fantasy series, gave his fan’s opinion of Game of Thrones‘ history of stunt casting.
"I’m not a fan of the cameos in Game of Thrones," Nairn said. "I don’t like them. I think it’s stupid. I don’t mind going on the record on that. I just think it takes you right out of the world."
"Especially Ed Sheeran," he continued. "I was like, ‘Why is Ed Sheeran here?’ I mean, Ed Sheeran’s great. He’s a great guy, great musician, but why is he in Game of Thrones?"
The "Shape of You" singer appeared in the Season 7 premiere as a bardic soldier in the Lannister army who Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) meets in her travels. The cameo was divisive, to say the least, but at least we now know Hodor is on our side too.
"I’m not saying I’m not a fan of Ed Sheeran," Nairn added. "I’m being tactful here, but just not a fan of the cameo. I think most people would agree with me there. It was a big snap to reality. It’s like, ‘What? What?"
As Nairn sees it, it’s just a bad decision to spend all this time, money and energy creating an immersive fantasy world and then have a recognizable pop star come in and sing a song. A lot of fans would agree.
There have been numerous musician cameos throughout Game of Thrones, including the metal band Mastodon and the folk band Of Monsters and Men, but the only one Nairn can really get behind is Sigur Rós, an Icelandic art rock band who performed at Joffrey’s (Jack Gleeson) wedding in Season 4. Sigur Rós has a kind of otherworldly, fantastical musical outlook that doesn’t feel out of place in Westeros, Nairn explained.
"[Sigur Rós] kind of got away with it because they’re so quirky … They’re almost like Game of Thrones world in real life," Nairn said. "They’re so elven and spiritual. I think that works, but apart from that — I mean, I understand why people want to be in it, but just no. Go away."
Sheeran’s cameo was a gift to Thrones star Maisie Williams, who’s a big fan of his music. Imagine how much Nairn will hate it when it’s Sophie Turner‘s turn to get a gift and her fiance Joe Jonas shows up as a wildling and sings "Cake By the Ocean" in the courtyard of Winterfell.
Game of Thrones will return for its final season in 2019.
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