Warning: Spoilers ahead for “Game of Thrones” Season 7!
All men must die, but Ed Sheeran is safe for now.
The British singer appeared on Sunday’s “Game of Thrones” Season 7 premiere as part of a small band of Lannister soldiers encountered by Arya (Maisie Williams) en route south to King’s Landing.
Arya hears him singing through the trees ― “Hands of gold are always cold, but a woman’s hands are warm” ― before cautiously sitting down to trash talk the country’s capital city over some fresh rabbit. The encounter is perhaps the friendliest meeting of strangers in the woods we’ve seen so far in Westeros, where such occasions can get a bit murder-y. Even when Arya admits the true purpose of her travels ― to kill Queen Cersei (Lena Headey) ― the Lannister group assumes she’s just joshin’ around.
Sheeran’s lyrics actually come straight from George R.R. Martin’s “Song of Ice and Fire” book series, where they’re sung to Tyrion about his lover Shae:
He rode through the streets of the city, down from his hill on high
O’er the winds and the steps and the cobbles, he rode to a woman’s sigh
For she was his secret treasure, she was his shame and his bliss
And a chain and a keep are nothing, compared to a woman’s kiss
For hands of gold are always cold, but a woman’s hands are warm
(“It’s a new one,” Sheeran says of the song.)
It’s easy to see, though, how the lyrics could reference a certain other Lannister with a literal gold hand ― Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), whose relationship with sister Cersei could also be described as “his secret treasure.”
In any case, the scene was a treat for Williams, a big fan of Sheeran, whose small part in the new season was announced earlier this year. But the young actress’ enthusiasm for the “Shape of You” singer’s musical stylings couldn’t stop fans from mercilessly picking apart the scene on Twitter.
Although a few were pleasantly surprised ...
Many hardened “Thrones” fans began calling for violence.
Some criticized the move for taking viewers out of the story with the sudden appearance of a familiar real-life pop star.
While others joined in for a bit of sarcastic fun.
At least Maisie looked happy about the whole thing!
Sheeran’s appearance on “Game of Thrones” follows cameos by several other musicians, including Coldplay’s Will Champion and Of Monsters and Men.
“Game of Thrones” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.