Game of Thrones featured cameos from many musicians (and one New York Met pitcher) over its seven-season run, including Ed Sheeran, the bearded dudes in Mastodon, Coldplay’s Will Champion, Of Monsters and Men, and Sigur Rós. Indie favorites The National, who performed “The Rains of Castamere” for the HBO series, visited the Thrones set in Belfast, Ireland, and even climbed the Wall. But they weren’t invited to appear on the show itself — and singer Matt Berninger is (jokingly) “pissed.”
In a career-spanning interview with Stereogum, Berninger explained how The National got the “Rains of Castamere” honors. “Alec Bemis, who was [Bryce Dessner’s] friend in school, is also really close friends with Dan Weiss, who was one of the creators of Game of Thrones, and Dan Weiss has been a huge fan of the National, I think, from literally the first record… The National’s been to the top of the Wall.” They also visited Castle Black, where The National of people, Jon Snow, resided with the Night’s Watch. When the interviewer pointed out that other musicians, like Sheeran (who wishes that his character had been “brutally murdered”), were on the show, Berninger came to a realization:
“You’re right. I’m pissed. I’m fucking pissed! I’m pissed I never got to be in it. I mean, we were literally there and we all have beards and shit… They were doing a big scene. It was on the other side of the Wall, at the entrance to the cave, where all the giants and everybody are collecting. It was mostly Jon Snow — he was there kind of by himself standing there, and they were going to CG in some giants or something… We spent all day in the freezing cold watching Kit Harington stand in front of that gate for a while.”
That’s the magic of television, baby. It’s not all singing about bathrooms.
Berninger’s solo album, Serpentine Prison, is out on October 16.