NOTE: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD. Do not read if you haven’t seen Game of Thrones and plan to watch it.
Within only a month, HBO’s critically acclaimed fantasy series Game of Thrones will come to a crashing end, and last week’s episode — The Long Night (Episode 3 of Season 8) — just confirmed that.
The highly anticipated episode depicted the merciless Battle of Winterfell — the fight between the living and the dead — and it was brutal.
Sure, we lost a handful of the show’s biggest heroes and possibly Game of Thrones‘ primary antagonist, but those losses were expected at one point or another.
Quite possibly for some, the biggest and most unexpected loss was the Kentucky-born five-time Grammy Award-winning musician, Chris Stapleton.
That’s right. In case you missed it, the Tennessee Whiskey singer made a cameo in Game of Thrones last Sunday as a Wildling warrior.
Unfortunately, he was resurrected from death by the Night King and joined the relentless army of White Walkers.
Stapleton confirmed his appearance in an Instagram post on Monday. “Winterfell 4.28.2019,” he wrote, while his wife, Morgane Stapleton, added, “My Wildling is a White Walker.”
It’s unclear the damage that Stapleton, 41, did during the Battle of Winterfell, however, we’re sure he made a valiant effort to protect the House Stark castle before joining the undead army and turning against his living comrades.
This wasn’t the first cameo by a musician on Game of Thrones either.
Over the years, the showrunners have welcomed a variety of different musical guests to make subtle appearances on their show — aside from the first two seasons.
Fortunately, for the majority of those special guests, their characters aren’t often killed off — so far as we know.
Here’s a look at all the musical cameos featured in Game of Thrones:
Will Champion, the drummer of Coldplay, was one of the first musicians to ever appear on the show.
He can be seen in the background of a scene in The Rains of Castamere (Season 3 Episode 9) — best known as “The Red Wedding.”
Champion, 40, does what he knows best and wields a drum as part of Edmure Tully’s and Roslin Frey’s wedding band. It’s unknown whether he survived the massacre that ensued shortly after their performance.
Ed Sheeran‘s cameo is likely the hardest to miss throughout the entire series. He appears in Season 7’s premiere episode, Dragonstone, as a travelling Lannister soldier.
In the episode, he and his crew are joined by Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) at a campfire, where he sings one of George R. R. Martin’s originals written for A Song of Ice and Fire — the novel the series is based upon.
Although Sheeran, 28, is fairly awkward without his trusty guitar, he fits the scene decked out in a full suit of armour. He sings:
“Down from his hill on high, over 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…”
Not only did Mastodon appear on Hardhome (Season 5 Episode 8) as White Walkers, but some of the members made their return in the Season 7 finale, The Dragon and the Wolf.
Drummer Brann Dailor and guitarists Brent Hinds and Bill Kelliher, all suited up to join the undead army. They make pretty fearsome warriors too — very suitable for the Atlanta-based heavy metal band.
“You guys! I was on TV last night!” wrote Dailor, 44, in an Instagram post featuring his character.
“The newest episode of Game of Thrones is centered around my character.” he joked. “One guy who walks very slow. Oops… hope I didn’t spoil anything for anyone.”
Mastodon also released an original song entitled White Walker for the second Game of Thrones companion album, Catch the Throne Vol. 2 (2015).
Unless there are still some hidden musicians waiting to be discovered in some of the earlier Game of Thrones episodes, it seems that Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol was, in fact, the first ever musical cameo on the show.
Lightbody, 42, appeared in Season 3 Episode 3, Walk of Punishment, as a singer among many of Locke’s men. He sang a song called The Bear and the Maiden Fair while prisoners Jaime Lannister and Brienne of Tarth were escorted to Harrenhal on horseback.
The Chasing Cars rocker teased his appearance on social media by sharing a picture with co-creators Dan Weiss and David Benioff in Belfast, Ireland — where his scene was shot, along with a vast majority of the show.
British indie pop group Bastille, also appeared in the hard-hitting Season 7 finale — well, some of them did.
Although the entire band kitted up to join the Night King’s army in The Dragon and the Wolf, only a couple of them made it to the big screen.
Surprisingly enough, touring manager Dick Meredith made the cut, as well as keyboard player Kyle Simmons.
“This was a fun day,” the Pompeii hit-makers wrote on Twitter.
Of Monsters and Men
Icelandic folk group Of Monsters and Men made quite possibly one of the most unique appearances on Game of Thrones as a live theater band.
The Little Talks rockers can be seen in Season 6’s The Door (Episode 5) during the Braavosi play which Arya Stark attends. The five-piece is perched high across three balconies above the stage.
Frontman Ragnar Thorhallsson detailed the experience to the Wall Street Journal, citing it was hard work.
“I didn’t realize how much work being an actor is,” he said. “They’re at it all day repeating the same line for different camera angles over and over again, and they have to keep up the same high energy the whole day.”
Sigur Rós, the Icelandic avant-garde trio, are featured in Season 4 Episode 2, The Lion and the Rose.
This episode goes down in history for many longtime supporters of the show as it is the episode in which King Joffrey Baratheon is poisoned and killed.
Unfortunately, before his mostly celebrated death, the King interrupts a typically sombre Sigur Rós performance by hurling coins at them and yelling, “Off you go!”
The band performed yet another Martin-written ballad, The Rains of Castamere — which also happens to be the name of the episode Coldplay’s drummer Champion appears in.
It was later confirmed that lead vocalist Jón Birgisson contributed all vocals for the performance.
Finally and most recently, one of the members of British indie rock group Foals got their shot in the Game of Thrones spotlight. Drummer Jack Bevan appeared alongside guitarist Jimmy Smith and of course Stapleton in during the intense Battle of Winterfell last week.
Although the blood-stained warriors were not easy to point out onscreen, they fought alongside Jaime Lannister, Brienne of Tarth and her unit of men.
Bevan, 33, confirmed his appearance in an Instagram post. “Last February,” he wrote, “our manager managed to get a lovely crew of us all into the Battle of Winterfell. Sadly,” he added, “I don’t think we survived the night.”
“It really was one of the coolest experiences I’ve had,” he concluded. “Cheers to the best show of all time!”
“Thanks for the wig, b***hes,” wrote Smith in his own post. “Take a walk on the Wildling side.”
While Bevan referenced a “lovely crew,” it’s unclear whether any of the other two bandmates appeared in The Long Night.
As far as musical guests go, that’s it… so far as we know.
Episode 4 of Game of Thrones’ eighth season airs this Sunday night.
Will we see any more cameos in any of the last three episodes? Unlikely, however, it is the final season. So never say never.
WATCH: Game of Thrones fans, including a dog, react to moments in ‘The Battle of Winterfell’
The Game of Thrones series finale is scheduled to take place on May 19 at 9 p.m. ET.
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