You might not think of Game of Thrones as the kind of show that relies on celebrity cameos. It's not like the latter seasons of the original Will & Grace, where you could bet on a major celebrity passing through the apartment sometime during the episode. But just because Game of Thrones doesn't advertise its guest stars doesn't mean they're not there. Here is a list of 11 subtle Game of Thrones cameos you never noticed. Because really, who knows who's under all that fur half the time?
The appearance of Ed Sheeran in Season 7 was probably the most memorable cameo, and it stuck out like a sore thumb. Arya just happened to stumble upon a popular musician in the middle of the woods and was treated to a song. It felt so out of place that it received a lot of criticism from viewers, which Sheeran addressed during an interview with BuzzFeed. "It was fun being in Game of Thrones, but I definitely think they should've killed me off in the episode," he said. "I reckon that probably would've been the redemption for people that didn't like it."
These cameos aren't like Sheeran's. In fact, even if you were watching closely, you might not have ever realized that the following people have taken a brief journey to Westeros.
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia star Rob McElhenney was pretty much unrecognizable when he popped up in the first episode of Season 8. He played one of Euron's men, and was killed by an arrow to the eye during Theon's rescue of Yara. It may seem like the weirdest of crossovers, but McElhenney is actually friends with Game of Thrones' creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. Not only did they write an episode of It's Always Sunny ("Flowers for Charlie"), they appeared as lifeguards in "The Gang Goes To A Water Park." Seems like this was just returning the favor.
Comedian Martin Starr was right alongside McElhenney as another of Euron's men. All that Iron Islands leather and grit really works as camouflage!
David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
Benioff and Weiss have actually snuck cameos into their own show, too. According to Vanity Fair, they provided their own faces to the hall of the Faceless Men.
It seems comedians have a habit of showing up on Game of Thrones only to be instantly dispatched with. YouTuber Steve Love took an ax to the head from the Hound in his Season 6 appearance. According to CTV News, that was what Love was hoping for: one of the show's typically brutal death scenes.
Game of Thrones directors can't resist stepping in front of the camera on occasion. Neil Marshall is apparently a solid enough archer to step into the Battle of Castle Black in Season 4's "The Watchers on the Wall," per Vanity Fair.
The band Mastodon (comprised of Brann Dailor, Bill Kelliher, and Brent Hinds) first connected with Game of Thrones when they provided the song "White Walker" to the Game of Thrones mixtape Catch the Throne Vol. 2. But they also got to meet some White Walkers when they appeared as wildlings in "Hardhome."
It's starting to seem like musicians and comedians comprise half the extras on Game of Thrones. Sigur Rós showed up in "The Lion and the Rose" to croon an extra-mournful version of "The Rains of Castamere" at Joffrey's wedding to Margaery.
Coldplay drummer Will Champion has also lent some musical stylings to the show when he played the drums at Edmure Tully's wedding in "The Rains of Castamere." I'm starting to think this is all a genius plan to get Benioff and Weiss' favorite bands on the show.
Proving my point: Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody sang a little bit of "The Bear and the Maiden Fair" in Season 3's "Walk of Punishment" while traveling with Roose Bolton's men.
Guitarist Wilko Johnson, of the band Dr. Feelgood, said very little as executioner Ser Ilyn Payne in the first two seasons. But that just made him all the more ominous.
One of the spearmen in "The Spoils of War" was Noah Syndergaard, starting pitcher for the New York Mets. He managed to take down one of the Dothraki, but that was before the dragons rolled up and started roasting everyone, so his cameo may or may not have had a fiery end.
Next time a character ends up being canon fodder on Game of Thrones, look a little closer — it might be someone you know.