Sheeran's scene also left an opportunity for him to return in the next episode, although he did not appear in the trailer.
Variety magazine called the cameo "ridiculous" while one fan on Twitter quipped: "If Arya kills Ed Sheeran it'll be worth it". But Podeswa blames the backlash on viewers focusing too much on Sheeran's celebrity status.
For more from the Game of Thrones premiere, watch the clip below! "He blends into the world of the show in a nice way where if you didn't have all these associations with him and his musical career, nobody would even blink about his presence on the show", Podeswa said.
Noting that "everybody on the show is famous now", Podeswa went on to explain, "He kind of deserved to be there, in a way, because he's a lovely performer. If people didn't know who Ed was, they wouldn't have thought about it twice", the director said.
While Arya heads to King's Landing to kill Queen Cersei, she meets balladeer "Ed", played by none other than IRL crooner Sheeran. "He came into this with only lovely intentions to come and do a good job and sing well". And he looks right in the show; he fits into the fabric of the show. There's nothing connected with him that's in the least bit self-aware or self-conscious", he revealed, before adding, "The only thing I don't feel great about is that Ed is such a lovely guy and really genuine and down to earth. "He's been acting for a little while; he takes it very seriously". We were shooting in the middle of nowhere in Northern Ireland. "And he was very happy to just kind of be a part of the ensemble". "He really could not have been nicer".