Ed Sheeran to guest star on Game of Thrones

Showrunners announced that Sheeran will be the next musician to have a cameo on the wildly popular HBO show.

Showrunners made the announcement during a South by Southwest discussion panel

Ed Sheeran performs on NBC's Today Show on Wednesday in New York. (Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

Ed Sheeran will guest star in the upcoming season of Game of Thrones.

The show's producers made the announcement Sunday night during a panel discussion at the South by Southwest festival in Texas.

Producer David Benioff told the audience that they've been trying to get the 26-year-old British singer a spot on the show for years to surprise Sheeran fan Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark on the HBO fantasy drama.

Sheeran isn't the first guest star with a musical background to make it to Westeros. Past cameos include Coldplay drummer Will Champion as part of the band playing The Rains of Castamere in season three and Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody singing The Bear and the Maiden Fair in season four.

A few series regulars have considerable musical chops as well. Kristian Nairn, who played the gentle giant Hodor, is a longtime performer and DJ. And Jerome Flynn, who plays Bronn, was one half of the English pop duo Robson & Jerome during the 1990s.

The seventh season of Game of Thrones premieres on HBO July 16. It will run for seven episodes instead of the usual 10, followed by the eighth and final season in 2018, which will run for six episodes.

with files from CBC News