- “Game of Thrones” has been full of cameos throughout its eight seasons
- The final season premiere featured brief appearances from Rob McElhenney and Martin Short
- Ed Sheeran, members of Coldplay and Snow Patrol, and showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are among the many celebrity appearances
In its almost eight seasons, “Game of Thrones” has featured many prominent figures in brief cameos, sometimes as short as one or two quick shots. The massive popularity of the show has attracted celebrities, many of which are huge “Game of Thrones” fans themselves.
We rounded up some of the most notable celebrity cameos. It’s worth noting that for our purposes, musicians who played supporting roles like Wilko Johnson as Ser Ilyn Payne and Joel Fry as Hizdahr zo Loraq aren’t cameos, nor is the prosthetic head of former President George W. Bush on a spike in season one.
Rob McElhenney and Martin Starr both made bloody cameos on the season eight premiere.
In the season eight premiere, two soldiers were brutally shot through the eye as Theon boarded the Greyjoy ship to save Yara. That was “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” actor and creator Rob McElhenney and Martin Starr, from “Freaks and Geeks” and HBO’s “Silicon Valley.”
McElhenney is a huge fan of the show and is close with the showrunners. Weiss and Benioff wrote an “Always Sunny” episode in 2013.
Of Monsters and Men had a musical cameo — twice.
The folk-pop band has made two appearances as a travelling band in the background of “Game of Thrones” scenes.
The first cameo was during the infamous Purple Wedding in the second episode of season four. The band returns in season six, performing background for the production of “The Bloody Hand” we see in Braavos in episode six, the one that mocks some fan-favourite characters in an over-the-top production.
Ed Sheeran had a polarising cameo.
The Ed Sheeran cameo in the seventh season premiere was pretty polarising. By far the biggest artist to land a “Thrones” cameo, Sheeran played a Lannister soldier who doubled as a bard. You can hear him singing “Hands of Gold,” an original composition written for the show, before sitting down for a friendly meal and drink with his troupe and Arya.
For those who weren’t a fan of that scene, you can rejoice that the show may have nodded to Sheeran’s character meeting a grisly fate.
Roy Dotrice was originally cast as a big role, but ended up making a cameo.
Roy Dotrice was a British actor, mostly known for being the voice of the “A Song of Ice and Fire” audiobooks. Originally cast to play Grand Maester Pycelle,Dotrice had to back out from the project but found a way into the show eventually as Hallyne the pyromancer. He appears twice in season two, most notably at the battle of Blackwater in the season finale.
Dotrice died in 2017 at the age of 94.
Sigur Rós also made a musical cameo.
Another Purple Wedding cameo, Icelandic rock band Sigur Rós made a cameo and performed their take on “The Rains of Castamere,” a reference to the Red Wedding that also foreshadows the fate of Joffrey in “The Lion and The Rose.” Their rendition of the track was played in the credits as well.
Coldplay Drummer Will Champion played, well, a drummer.
At the Red Wedding, in “The Rains of Castamere” Will Champion, drummer of Coldplay, makes an appearance. As is custom with the musician cameos on “Game of Thrones,” we see Champion drumming up a storm to the episode’s title track. This is the cue that sends the most gruesome event in “Thrones” history into motion.
Steve Love also met a grisly fate.
YouTuber Steve Love rose to internet fame by doing “Game of Thrones” impressions. So, it makes sense the creators took notice and put him in the show for a brief cameo in season six. In episode eight, “No One”, Love is a member of the Brotherhood Without Banners. Like many celebrity cameos, he meets his end almost immediately after we meet him. This death is by the axe of The Hound.
Noah Syndergaard put his pitching arm to good use.
In season seven, Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard makes a guest appearance as a Lannister spear thrower. Syndergaard is on record as being a big “Game of Thrones” guy and actively watches the show.
Unfortunately, like all the Lannister soldiers in “The Spoils of War” (season seven, episode four) his character’s time to shine was cut short by dragon fire.
Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol also played a musician.
Gary Lightbody is the lead singer and songwriter of Irish rock band Snow Patrol. Lightbody makes a cameo in season three, episode three. In “Walk of Punishment” Lightbody is cast as a Bolton soldier who is part of a group that sings “The Bear and the Maiden Fair” as they travel down the road.
Royd Tolkien had a small but meaningful cameo.
The great-grandson of “Lord of the Rings” author and king of fantasy J.R.R. Tolkien, Royd’s cameo was inevitable. Tolkien’s cameo was short and barely recognisable as a wildling in “Hardhome,” the eighth episode of season five.
Tolkien proudly shared a snap of his cameo and gushed over how fun shooting the episode was.
David Benioff and D.B. Weiss’s likenesses had a cameo.
Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss made a cameo appearance in season five. Or at least, their faces did. In episode six of the season, if you look closely you can see the faces in the Hall of Faces the House of Black and White. This is confirmed by “Game of Thrones” prosthetics supervisor Barrie Gower.
The band Mastodon made several appearances.
Metal group Mastodon, made up of Brann Dailor, Bill Kelliher, and Brent Hinds, appeared in two episodes and had quite the plotline. First, they appeared during “Hardhome” as Wildlings who are slaughtered during the massacre. Like many Wildlings during that event, they were brought back as wights.
They appeared again at the end of season seven again as wights.
Singer Chris Stapleton made an appearance during the Battle of Winterfell.
Country singer Chris Stapleton made a brief cameo as Wildling who died and came back as a Whitewalker during the Battle of Winterfell in season eight.
Stapleton later told Rolling Stone that he told producers he’d go wherever they needed him to in order to participate and that he went to Northern Ireland to film his scenes.
“I was like, you know, I would gladly fly to wherever in the world just to be a small part and get to watch that show going down,” Stapleton told Rolling Stone. “They were gracious enough to let me come participate that way.”
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