Game of Thrones” showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss made an appearance at the South by Southwest multimedia festival to discuss the upcoming seventh season of the show (and a little about its eighth and final season), and one surprising revelation was made regarding singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, who will apparently be making a brief appearance in Westeros this year.

The casting was a favour for Maisie Williams

Taking place in Ballroom D at the Austin Convention Center, Benioff and Weiss explained Sheeran’s casting at the SXSW panel, which by the way, revealed absolutely nothing about the plot or where it’s heading which was disappointing but Winter has arrived finally so that’s exciting, as a favour to Maisie Williams, the actress who plays Arya Stark on “Game of Thrones.” Williams and co-star Sophie Turner (who plays Sansa on the show) served as moderators for the panel.

The “Game of Thrones” showrunners explained that Williams is “a big fan” of Sheeran and his Music, and had been attempting to build the bridges with the singer and his management in order to get him to appear on the show “for years” as a “surprise” for the Arya actress, and they confirmed that “this year, we finally did it,” so Sheeran will be popping up in the seventh season, despite not being an actor or having any acting experience, and will probably form a part of an Arya storyline or at least appear in a scene with her, since the whole thing is a gift to the girl who portrays her.

Sheeran is not the first musician to make an appearance on “Game of Thrones.” Others who have shown up in episodes of the smash-hit HBO fantasy drama include Will Champion from Coldplay, Joel Fry from Animal Circus, and people from the heavy metal band Mastodon, but Sheeran does claim the crown for most famous, what with his high-profile romantic entanglements and plethora of top ten hits.

Other ‘Thrones’ matters were discussed

Benioff and Weiss also shared some non-Sheeran-related “Game of Thrones” business. They announced that the eighth season of the show (and its last) would consist only of six episodes, which is down from the seven we’ll get this year from Season 7, and way down from the standard of ten we’ve come to expect over the last six years.

Game of Thrones” will return for Season 7 on 16 July on HBO and 17 July on Sky Atlantic.