Coldplay was involved in Game of Thrones season 3’s Red Wedding through a cameo by the band’s drummer, Will Champion. Here’s why it was significant.
Coldplay was in attendance for Game of Thrones‘ infamous Red Wedding with a special cameo from the band’s drummer, Will Champion. The memorable event took place in season 3 of the HBO series based on George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels. When the specific episode debuted in the summer of 2012, Coldplay had been active for a decade and a half. Aside from Champion, the British rock band from London consists of guitarist Jonny Buckland, bassist Guy Berryman, and most notably, lead vocalist Chris Martin.
After a few name changes in the late ’90s, Coldplay found worldwide fame in 2000 with the release of their album Parachutes. Since then, the band has released seven studio albums while becoming one of the best-selling musical artists in history. To gain extra exposure, some of the band members made guest appearances in movies and TV shows over the years. Martin, in particular, played a zombified version of himself in Shaun of the Dead alongside Buckland before appearing in Modern Family and Curb Your Enthusiasm. Though Champion didn’t appear in those titles, he had a cameo in one of the most noteworthy episodes in Game of Thrones‘ eight-season run.
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In June 2012, Champion appeared in Game of Thrones season 3’s “The Rains of Castamere.” The episode notably followed Robb Stark’s army arrived at the castle of House Frey to attend Edmure Tully’s wedding. Robb, his wife Talisa, and mother Catelyn Stark partook in the festivities surrounding Edmure and his new wife, Roslin Frey. They then realized they were led into a trap when the wedding band began playing a song connected to House Lannister. Champion fittingly played the drummer of the band hired by hosts. When House Frey massacred their Stark guests, including Robb, Talisa, and Catelyn in what became known as the Red Wedding, even the band got in on the violence, trading in their instruments and weapons. Though it’s unclear if Champion or Coldplay had any connections to the series ahead of the cameo, it seemed the series had a knack for bringing in popular musicians.
Over Game of Thrones‘ eight seasons, the show made a habit of featuring big-name celebrities, including musicians. In addition to Coldplay’s involvement in season 3, the installment also invited Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody to play a soldier from House Bolton. Like Champion’s role in portraying a Westeros musician, Lightbody could be heard singing a tune called “The Bear and the Maiden Fair.” In season 5, the heavy metal band Mastodon had a cameo as wildlings, while the following season featured an appearance by Of Monsters and Men. Other musicians who made cameos included Bastille, Ed Sheeran, and Chris Stapleton. Game of Thrones clearly put a lot of thought into cameo casting, prioritizing names who had large fan followings.
Though Champion’s role on Game of Thrones was brief, he and the rest of his Coldplay bandmates would have another collaboration with the series down the line. In 2015, Coldplay developed a comedy skit documenting their efforts to produce Game of Thrones: The Musical as part of Red Nose Day. The project featured original songs created by the band and appearances by several major Game of Thrones actors performing the tunes while in on the joke. In the end, Martin playfully appeared to nix the idea of a musical. Coincidentally enough, a Broadway play based on Game of Thrones is currently in development from Martin, but Coldplay sadly isn’t involved.
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