"We're all caught in this amazing world we spend so much time and money and talent to create, and all of a sudden there's a pop star? What?" says this fan-favorite.
"We're all caught in this amazing world we spend so much time and money and talent to create, and all of a sudden there's a pop star? What?" marveled Kristian Nairn, who endeared millions of fans with his heartbreaking performance as Hodor.
But this wasn't just a case of the big man picking on Ed Sheeran, he doesn't like any of the show's high-profile guest stars. "I'm not a fan of the cameos in 'Game of Thrones.' I don't like them," Nairn told The Huffington Post. "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."
As one of the biggest pop stars on the planet, though, Sheeran's guest spot was particularly jarring. "I was like, 'Why is Ed Sheeran here?'" Nairn said of when he saw the episode. "I mean, Ed Sheeran's great. He's a great guy, great musician, but why is he in 'Game of Thrones'?"
Just as sweet in real life as Hodor, and far more articulate, Nairn wanted to be sure that his message wasn't being misconstrued. Sheeran is great. Sheeran on "Thrones" ... not so great. "I think most people would agree with me there. It was a big snap to reality. It's like, 'What? What?'"
Nairn's right in that a lot of people agree with him on that one. Sheeran appeared in the Season 7 premiere last July, and the backlash from the fan community was immediate with most agreeing that he threw them right out of Westeros.
Within a few days, the "Shape of You" singer had deleted his Twitter account, though he denied it had anything to do with the backlash. He thought his cameo was "f-----g awesome" and doesn't care what you think.
The episode's director, Jeremy Podeswa, couldn't understand all the hate, either, saying Sheeran was "lovely" in the role and on set. "If people didn’t know who Ed was, they wouldn’t have thought about it twice," he told Newsweek at the time.
But that's exactly Nainr's point. Virtually everyone knows him, and having him sing only made things worse, ripping Nairn and many other viewers right out of the fantasy narrative.