There was a conspicuous addition to the cast during the Season 7 premiere of “Game of Thrones.” As Arya Stark made her way on horseback through the Riverlands after murdering the entire Frey clan, she was captivated by the sound of harmonic cheesiness floating on the breeze. She had stumbled upon a musically-inclined group of soldiers, including one played by pop star Ed Sheeran, who was leading a folk song.

It was a little jarring to see the ginger megastar – a Taylor Swift bestie with copious tattoos – wearing armor and a red cape passing around blackberry wine and a charred rodent. But, hey, Harry Styles plays a soldier in Christopher Nolan’s new war movie “Dunkirk,” so who are we to judge? The question is: What was Sheeran doing there? Because the show doesn’t usually resort to stunt casting. It doesn’t need to.

It’s actually a sweet story. Twenty-year-old actress Maisie Williams, who plays Arya, is a huge fan of the “Shape of You” hit-maker, so showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss recruited him for an episode as a surprise for her.

Growing up in the limelight is no picnic, as Williams and her onscreen sister Sophie Turner can attest, but it does have its perks.

Sheeran had warned fans that it wasn’t much of a scene. In an April interview, he broke the cardinal rule of “Game of Thrones” actor interviews by revealing what would happen during his scene.

“I don’t die in it,” he said. “I’m only in it for like five minutes.”

– From news service reports