When beginning production of Game of Thrones, it was decided by the showrunners that they wanted to use an unknown cast, unaware that these unheard of actors would become some of the biggest superstars in the world. Then, as the show began to catch on and break countless records, everyone wanted in on the action. This resulted in cameos by other celebrities being sprinkled throughout the show for eagle-eyed viewers to catch. Although some may have been more obvious than others, there are plenty that went unnoticed. Did you manage to catch every cameo no matter how brief? Take a look and find out!
Gary Lightbody From Snow Patrol Showed Off His Voice
Lead singer Gary Lightbody from the Irish rock band Snow Patrol had a brief appearance on Game of Thrones in the third season of the show. He plays the role of a Bolton soldier traveling down the King’s Road leading the other soldiers in the song “The Bear and the Maiden Fair.”
The song is foreboding considering that in a future episode Brienne is forced to face off with a bear with nothing but a wooden sword.
Richard E. Grant Plays Tywin Lannister In A Play
Richard E. Grant is a Swazi-English actor that has had roles in films such as How to Get Ahead in Advertising, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, The Iron Lady, Logan, and more. In Game of Thrones, he makes a brief appearance as an actor/playwright portraying Izembaro in Season Six.
Izembaro’s character plays Tywin Lannister in a theatrical performance within the show. So essentially, he’s an actor playing an actor within a show. Don’t blink or you might miss him!
Kevin Eldon Has Multiple Appearances
English actor and comedian Kevin Eldon is known for his roles in Hot Fuzz and The It Crowd. However, he also played not one but two different small roles in the Game of Thrones series. The first was as Camello, a member of Izembardo’s comedic troupe in Season Six where his characters plays a cartoonish portrayal of Ned Stark, Arya Stark’s deceased father.
He appears again on the show as a Gold Cloak in Season Seven who is bribed by Davos to allow Gendy to escape with Tyrion. However, after he gets suspicious, he meets his demise at the end of Gendry’s war hammer.
Ian McShane Provides Light In The Darkness
Ian McShane is a well-known English actor who has played prominent roles in popular shows such as Deadwood, American Horror Story, and Donovan, among others. He has also been in notable feature films including Kung Fu-Panda, and John Wick. In the show, he plays Ray, a man who has devoted his life to the Faith of the Seven after having committed atrocities in his youth.
After the Hound is left for dead by Arya, Ray nurses him back to health and tries to show him the good in the world of Westeros. After Ray is murdered, the Hound proceeds to go on a revenge-fueled axe murdering spree.
Neil Fingleton Is A Real Life Giant
Standing at an astonishing seven-foot-seven, English actor and baseball player, Neil Fingleton, held the title of the tallest man in the United Kingdom. In the show, he played the giant Mag Mar Tun Doh Weg, the king of the giants, and a member of the Free Folk army.
With a mammoth as his mount, he and Dongo are regarded as one of the few giants remaining. The two lose their lives in the episode “The Watchers on the Wall,” and Fingleton tragically passed away in 2017 of heart failure.
Mastodon Appear As The Undead
Mastodon is an English heavy metal band who first appears as background wildings in the episode “Hardhome” that have been turned into undead wights. They reprise their role as controlled wights once again in Season Seven.
There’s even an awesome photo of Brent Hinds posing with a White Walker making the classic heavy metal “devil horns.” With their already bushy beards and large builds, they all fit their roles of wildings-turned-wights perfectly. Rock on!
Of Monsters And Men Have A Very Fitting Cameo
Of Monster and Men is an Icelandic rock-folk band that hit the top of the charts with their debut album My Head Is an Animal and their single “Little Talks.” They appear in Season Six of the show was stage-bards in the play “The Bloody Hand,” which gives a comedic account of the dispute between the Lannisters and Ned Stark.
Luckily for this group, unlike other cameos, they seemingly survive the brutality of the world of Game of Thrones.
Bastille Makes A Brief Appearance
British rock group Bastille also has a short cameo, that maybe only fans of the band caught. In the Season Seven episode “The Dragon and the Wolf,” keyboardist Kyle Simmons can be seen as a wight following the Night King as he leads his army beyond the Wall and into Westeros.
Although most people probably had no idea, Bastille can still brag that they were in a titular episode of Game of Thrones.
Coldplay Drummer Will Champion Was Involved In One Of The Most Infamous Episodes
It’s clear that the casting directors of Game of Thrones like to have famous cameos play to their strengths, which is precisely what they did when they involved Will Champion, the drummer from the band Coldplay. In the show, he can be seen playing a medieval drum. However, he doesn’t appear in just any episode.
He’s featured in the Season Three episode, “The Rains of Castamere,” in which the Red Wedding occurs, solidifying Game of Thrones as one of the most popular shows on television.
Rob McElhenney Doesn’t Last Long
Best-known for playing the delusional character of Mac on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Rob McElhenney makes a brief cameo in the Season Eight premiere. Unfortunately, his skills at ocular patdowns and karate couldn’t save him from an arrow to the eye playing an Ironborn guard holding Theon’s sister, Yara, hostage.
Most people might have missed this quick appearance, with McElhenney posting “Don’t blink” on social media for audiences, because they would otherwise miss it.
J.R.R. Tolkien’s Great-Grandson Got In On The Action
There’s no debate that Game of Thrones was heavily influenced by J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. So, what better way to pay homage than to cast his great-grandson, Royd Tolkien, as a wildling in the jaw-dropping episode “Hardhome”? Game of Thrones hasn’t been his only fantasy cameos either.
He was also featured in adaptations of his great-grandfathers work as a Gandorian Ranger in Return of the King and a Burier of the Witch-King in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
Joel Fry Of Animal Circus Persued Daenerys
Hailing from London, Animal Circus is a reggae/ska band whose lead singer, Joel Fry, portrayed Hizdar zo Loraq, a Meereenese slavemaster nobleman in Game of Thrones. His character desperately wants Daenerys’ hand in marriage, and although they are briefly engaged, he’s brutally murdered by the ruthless Sons of the Harpy.
Fry is no stranger to the screen either and has made several cameos in TV and movies, one of them being the film 10,000 BC.
Not All Cameos Are Human
Although some people may have recognized other celebrity cameos on the show, it’s unlikely that most identified Bart the Bear. Bart is a successful actor, having appeared in other projects such as Doctor Dolittle 2 and Into the Wild.
He can be seen in Season Three of Game of Thrones as the bear pitted against Brienne in the pit. Because of flight restrictions, his scenes were filmed in Los Angeles where he lives, and no harm was done to the animal.
Wilko Johnson Is A Man Of Few Words
Guitarist for the band Dr. Feelgood, Wilko Johnson has a rather significant role in the show. He plays Ser Illyn Payne, a man who had his tongue pulled out with hot pincers by the Mad King.
In the series, he’s the royal executioner who beheads Eddard Stark, which puts the whole story into motion. While Payne makes numerous appearances in early seasons of the show, due to health concerns, Johnson was slowly phased out of the show.
Ed Sheeran Upset Audiences
Ed Sheeran’s cameo in the show might be one of the most easily recognized, which sent Game of Thrones fans into a hateful frenzy. In Season Seven, he plays one of the kindly Lannister soldiers that Arya runs into on the King’s Road on her way to kill Cersei.
However, to make up for featuring him, the showrunners dropped an Easter egg about him in Season Eight. When Bronn is enjoying the company of some women, one of them comments, “That boy, Eddie…the ginger? That’s him. Came back with his face burned right off.”
David Benioff’s Parents Didn’t Pass Up The Chance
In the Season Four premiere, showrunner David Benioff’s parents can be seen as a peasant couple walking arm-and-arm on their way to King’s Landing. While they may have portrayed peasants in the show, that’s far from what they are in real life.
His father, Stephen Friedman, is the former chairman of Goldman Sachs and the United States President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. Benioff changed his last name to his mother’s maiden name to avoid confusion with other writers.
Noah Syndergaard Stepped Off The Field
Pitcher for the New York Mets, Noah Syndergaard, had the opportunity to show off his own athletic talents as a Lannister soldier throwing a spear right into the chest of a Dothraki.
Although he may have had his time in the limelight taking out a fierce opponent, it wasn’t long before he was burned to a crisp by one of Daenerys’ dragons. Regardless, Syndergaard can walk away with his head held high, as he had 612 strikeouts as of April 27, 2019.
Aaron Rodgers Had A Short-Lived Moment In The Limelight
Regarded as one of the greatest NFL quarterbacks in recent history, Aaron Rodgers announced on social media that he would appear in the Season Eight episode “The Bells.” However, fans had a difficult time singling him out.
While die-hard Aaron Rodgers fans may have been able to spot him, for the majority of viewers, he was just another sad soul being reduced to ash by dragon fire. It looks like his football skills didn’t pay off in this situation!
An Iconic Sword Was Part Of The Iron Throne
This small cameo was included for all of the ultra-fantasy lovers out there. Considering that a lot of Game of Thrones fans are also well versed in the world of Middle-earth, Gandalf’s sword Glamdring was snuck among the other swords that make up the Iron Throne.
While the swords are meant to show all of the leaders that submitted to Aegon the Conqueror, we’re sure that the showrunners couldn’t help themselves referencing Lord of the Rings at least once.
Showrunners David Benioff And D.B. Weiss Are In The Hall Of Faces
Although the showrunners and co-creators of the show David Benioff and D.B Weiss could have made an appearance whenever they wanted, they chose an unusual time to make an appearance.
Their faces can be seen displayed on the wall in the Hall of Faces in the House of Black and White in Bravos. Nobody’s sure why they chose to be featured in such a disturbing place, but surely they got a good laugh out of it. They can also be seen briefly as wildlings in Season Eight as survivors after the battle against the White Walkers.
Steve Love’s Hard Work Paid Off
Steve Love is a Canadian actor and YouTuber, who devotes his channel to impersonating Game of Thrones characters. Lucky for him, his impressions caught the eye of the show’s casting directors and was offered a brief and deadly appearance on the show in Season Six.
Love played the character of Steve, a member of the Brotherhood Without Banners. While joking about the recent slaughter of the religious community led by Ray, the Hound swiftly removes his head from his shoulders in an act of revenge.
Sigur Ros Was Shooed Away By King Joffery
The progressive Icelandic rock band, Sigur Ros, once recorded a cover of “The Rains of Castamere,” but also appeared as musicians at Joffery’s doomed wedding in the episode “The Lion and the Rose.”
In the episode, Joffery throws coins at the bards to get them to leave, and although they were made of rubber, the band reported that they still hurt. The actor portraying Joffery, Jack Gleason, is a sweetheart in real life and felt terrible about his actions toward the group.
Martin Starr Died Alongside Rob McElhenney
An Ironborn guard alongside Rob McElhenney, actor Martin Starr also met his fate in the plan to save Yara. Starr is known for his work in projects such as Freaks and Geeks and, most recently, Silicon Valley in which he plays Bertram Gilfoyle.
Unfortunately for Starr, he met his fate with an arrow to the brain. Although some might not notice him without his iconic glasses, his performance was convincing, no matter how brief.
George R.R. Martin’s Cameo Didn’t Make The Cut
Despite being the mastermind behind the world of Game of Thrones, author George R.R. Martin never managed to make an appearance on the hit show, although he tried. He was featured in the unaired pilot where he played a Pentoshi nobleman attending Daenerys’ wedding to Khal Drogo.
Unfortunately, after Daenerys was recast, Martin’s scene was cut, and he turned down all of the many cameos that were offered to him. Understandable considering how much more writing he has to do.
Director Neil Marshall Showed Off His Archery Skills
One of the directors on Game of Thrones, Neil Marshall, best known for his work on “Blackwater,” made several cameos throughout the show. One of his most notable, however, was as an archer on The Wall as the brothers of the Nights Watch attempted to fend off the wildlings.
Impressively, Marshall actually practices archery in real life, which enabled him to look like he knew what he was doing as he shot down wildings during Season Four’s “The Watchers on the Wall” episode.”
Roy Dotrice Narrated The Novels
Roy Dotrice is both an actor and a narrator for the A Song of Ice and Fire audiobooks. A skilled narrator, in the past, he has been nominated for a Grammy Award for his narration style.
Initially, he was intended to act as they questionable Maester Pycelle but had to turn the role down due to medical issues. Instead, he still managed to get some screen time in Season Two as the Pyromancer. Sadly, he passed away in 2017 at the age of 94.
Bryan Cogman Didn’t Want To Miss Out
On top of writing eleven episodes, Bryan Cogman also penned the book Inside HBO’s Game of Thrones. Besides being instrumental to the production of the show, he was also in it and has a small cameo as a servant at Dragonstone under the service of Stannis Baratheon and his wife, Selyse.
Although it was rumored to be so, unfortunately, Cogman will not be a part of any of the once potential Game of Thrones sequels that were highly anticipated by fans.
Dogs Had Cameos Too
Although the dog Saxon made his debut on the show, we’re going to call it a cameo since it was also involved in the production of Solo: A Star Wars Story. The actor dog played the role of Arya’s direwolf Nymeria and fooled audiences into believing he was a girl.
For the majority of the series, Arya’s wolf was believed to be running free in the Riverlands until we finally caught a glimpse of her in Season Eight as a fully-grown and formidable direwolf.
Chris Stapleton Was Great At Being Dead
American country music superstar Chris Stapleton can be seen as an undead wight in the climactic episode “The Long Night.” Although he was merely a walking corpse in the Knight King’s army, it was a dream come true for Stapleton.
He commented, “I was like, you know, I would gladly fly to wherever in the world just to be a small part and get to watch that show going down.” Stapleton wasn’t alone either, his bass player and tour manager, J.T. Cure was involved in the battle scene as well.
Mastodon Makes A Reprisal
After making their debut on Game of Thrones in the episode, “Hardhome.” The heavy metal group was invited back to show their faces as undead slaves in the Knight King’s army in the Season Seven finale, “The Dragon and the Wolf.”
However, the band did more than just act in the show; they also lent their skills in music in 2015 when they released a song titled “White Walker.” The track was later added to the Game of Thrones: Catch the Throne Vol.2 mixtape to promote the fifth season.