Ed Sheeran’s cameo in the Game of Thrones Season 7 premiere is getting a mixed response from the audience, but it’s not just a random celebrity cameo. The song he sings holds a vital clue about Cersei’s death.
In “Dragonstone,” the first episode of Season 7, the famous singer plays a Lannister soldier. Arya Stark stumbles upon a group of soldiers huddled around a campfire after she kills all the Freys. She has a surprisingly civil encounter with them, involving shooting the shit about traveling far from home and singing a song. Here are the lyrics to the song Sheeran’s character sings:
He rode through the streets of the city / down from his hill on high, O’er the wynds 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.
It’s actually a song from the books about Tyrion and Shae. There, a bard named Symon Silver Tongue finds out about Tyrion’s relationship with Shae and blackmails Tyrion with the song. Tyrion thinks of it when he strangles Shae to death with that gold chain in Season 4.
By Season 7, the story has obviously moved well past Tyrion and Shae. But there’s another Lannister with a gold hand and a secret lover the song could easily apply to.
At the beginning of Season 5, a flashback revealed a young Cersei visiting a witch who foretold the deaths of her children. In the books, the witch also foretells her own death at the hands of her “little brother.” While Tyrion is the obvious choice, Jaime is the younger twin. Her death would be far more poignant coming from his gold hand. Not only because he loves her, but he’d also be adding “Queenslayer” to his Kingslayer title.
So, Ed Sheeran’s cameo could be a simple nod to book readers who recognize the song — but it could also be an ominous portent about Cersei’s fate.
Game of Thrones Season 7 is currently airing Sunday nights on HBO.