21 'Game of Thrones' Cameos We Didn't See Coming

Nicole Pomarico | May 5, 2019 TV
21 'Game of Thrones' Cameos We Didn't See Coming
Image: HBO

Thomas Turgoose, Ed Sheeran, and Maisie Williams in Game of Thrones
HBO

After eight seasons, it's almost time to say goodbye to Game of Thrones forever. It's hard to believe that the HBO fan favorite is wrapping up for good this season, but it's been an amazing run. Over the years, there have been so many GoT guest stars who are truly unforgettable. But let's be real: There's a lot going on in this show, and some of the celebrities who've appeared on the show have been so low-key that it's easy to miss a cameo or two. And surprisingly enough, so many big names have made their way onto the set over the course of the show.

Of course, some cameos have been more high-profile than others. After all, can anyone forget how polarizing Ed Sheeran's appearance was? People are still talking about it. But there have been a lot of walk-on roles that have flown totally under the radar, whether they've belonged to other musicians, actors, or even celebrities who've made their love for everything GoT known.

It's gotta be a dream come true for them! 

In fact, some of the best cameos in GoT history have belonged to the people who've worked on the show all along, but behind the camera instead of in front of it. And sometimes, they even get their families involved, too. Those are the kind of Easter eggs we love discovering and pointing out to our friends and fellow fans over and over again.

Here's a look at some of the Game of Thrones cameos that even the show's biggest fans might have missed. It's kind of crazy to think about the attention to detail that was required to pull some of these off, but honestly, it's GoT.

What else did we expect?

  • Gary Lightbody

    1

    The Snow Patrol frontman made an appearance in the season three episode "Walk of Punishment." As Daily Edge pointed out, Gary led a group of men in singing "The Bear and The Maiden Fair" while on horseback. Why not put his singing talents to good use?

  • Ed Sheeran

    2

    In the seventh season of Game of Thrones, singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran made a brief cameo. But what was even more memorable about his role? The fact that the show explained what happened to his character in season eight. As E! Online pointed out, "Eddie" lost his face to a fiery battle -- and his eyelids were permanently gone.

    Ouch.

  • David Benioff & D.B. Weiss

    3

    This moment happened so quickly -- and so low-key -- that some fans totally might've missed it, but the co-creators of the show definitely made a cameo. In season five, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss's faces were in the Hall of Faces in the House of Black and White, as seen in this video.

  • George W. Bush

    4
    George W. Bush
    Splash News

    Much like Weiss and Benioff's appearance, George W. Bush's likeness appeared on the show in a similar way -- but by mistake. His severed head was mounted to a stake in a season one episode. After the cameo drew controversy, Weiss and Benioff apologized for their choice in using Bush's head in the scene.

    In a statement (via The Hollywood Reporter), they said: 

    "We use a lot of prosthetic body parts on the show: heads, arms, etc. We can't afford to have these all made from scratch, especially in scenes where we need a lot of them, so we rent them in bulk. After the scene was already shot, someone pointed out that one of the heads looked like George W. Bush. In the DVD commentary, we mentioned this, though we should not have. We meant no disrespect to the former president and apologize if anything we said or did suggested otherwise."
  • Bastille

    5

    Bastille is one of the lucky musical groups that have appeared on Game of Thrones, and the cameo happened recently. As NME reported, members of Bastille played White Walkers on the season seven finale. And judging by the group's Twitter update, it seems like they had no issue getting into character.

  • Noah Syndergaard 

    6

    New York Mets player Noah Syndergaard played a Lannister soldier in season seven. It was easy to miss his cameo, since he was only on screen for a second, but he did manage to take out a Dothraki. Pretty impressive!

  • Rob McElhenney

    7
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    Don’t blink. #gameofthrones

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    When season eight premiered, fans may have missed a familiar face from It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia: Rob McElhenney. The Wrap reported, Rob played one of Euron Greyjoy's men, although he was quickly killed. Bummer, but it seems like he was still pretty pumped about his cameo.

  • Martin Starr

    8
    Martin Starr
    Splash News

    Right alongside Rob McElhenney was Silicon Valley star Martin Starr, fighting the same battle. Sadly, they shared the same cameo and the same fate. Martin's character also died, but hey, at least he made it to GoT's highly anticipated season premiere first, right?

  • Sigur Ros

    9
    Jon Thor Birgisson, Orri P. Dyrason, and Georg Holm in Game of Thrones
    HBO

    The band that played "The Rains of Castamere" at Joffrey and Margaery's wedding? They were real-life band Sigur Ros, who seemed pretty excited to put their own take on a song that's become so iconic to the series. 

    "It felt like a natural thing to make our version of ‘Rains of Castamere.’ We probably managed to create the gloomiest version so far," singer Georg Holm said in a statement, according to Rolling Stone. "It is maybe not the happiest wedding song, but we think that it fit the scene very well.”

  • Ian McShane

    10
    Rory McCann and Ian McShane in The Broken Man
    HBO

    In the season six episode "The Broken Man," Deadwood star Ian McShane played Brother Ray. Sadly, his character didn't last long: He was murdered pretty much immediately. But as he told Entertainment Weekly, Ian said it was easy to play dead.

    "It's very easy. You just have to hold your breath for 10 seconds and look sufficiently dead for them to get it," he said.

  • Of Monsters and Men

    11
    Of Monsters and Men
    Splash News

    Another real-life band that played a musical group in the show. According to what the band told The Wall Street Journal, they asked if they could be extras when the show was filming in Iceland, but it wasn't until later on that they finally got their shot. They got to play musicians in the season six episode, "The Door."

  • David S. Cohen

    12

    It's not just musicians, baseball players, and actors who get their shot at a GoT cameo. Even former deputy directors of the CIA can be lucky enough to snag a walk-on role. David S. Cohen made a quick appearance as a Winterfell resident.

    Not too shabby!

  • Steve Love

    13
    Steve Love
    HBO

    Because Steve is known on YouTube for his GoT love, it's no surprise that he eventually won himself a role on the show. In the season six episode "No One," Steve played a member of the Brotherhood Without Banners.

    And yes, he was axed to death.

  • Bryan Cogman

    14
    Bryan Cogman
    Splash News

    Bryan Cogman is a writer on GoT, but in season four, he got a chance to step in front of the camera. When he made his cameo, Bryan played a waiter at Dragonstone. It was super quick, so many fans might have missed it, but he was definitely there.

  • Mastodon

    15
    Mastodon
    HBO

    In the season seven finale of GoT, the band Mastodon appeared in all its glory. As Pitchfork pointed out, Mastodon members played White Walkers. Fans who weren't looking for them might have missed them. They played their roles so well, they almost blended in!

  • Royd Tolkien

    16
    Royd Tolkien
    Splash News

    Fans who love both GoT and Lord of The Rings may have gotten a kick out of this one. In season five's "Hard Home," Royd Tolkien -- the great grandchild of author J.R.R. Tolkien -- appeared as a wildling. He was super low-key, like most of the celebrity cameos.

  • Will Champion

    17
    Will Champion
    Splash News

    Add another musician to the list. Coldplay drummer Will Champion appeared on GoT at the Red Wedding. And appropriately enough, he played ... a drummer.

    Yep, that sounds right!

  • Roy Dotrice

    18
    Roy Dotrice
    HBO

    Veteran British actor Roy Dotrice was originally tapped to play a larger role in GoT, but when that didn't work out, he still got to appear on the show. On season two, he appeared twice as Wisdom Hallyne the pyromancer. Sadly, Roy died in 2017 at 94.

  • David Benioff's Parents

    19

    In the season four premiere, both of creator David Benioff's parents appeared as villagers. (David's dad is former Goldman Sachs head Stephen Friedman -- just a fun fact.)

    That's one way to impress the fam!

  • Neil Marshall

    20
    Neil Marshall
    HBO

    Neil Marshall is usually behind the camera, directing -- including on Game of Thrones -- but he did appear in an episode. In season four, Neil played a character in the Battle of Castle Black. He also happened to direct that particular battle, so how's that for multitasking?

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