Jeremy Podeswa came to the singer's defense on Tuesday, telling Newsweek that "Ed did a lovely job."
"He was appropriate for the part because he needed to sing. ... In the world of the show he did a lovely job, and he looks like he belongs in that world," he said.
Podeswa had more praise for Sheeran in an interview with Variety. He said the Grammy winner's "voice was used to great effect" and that he "just has a really nice presence." Fans wouldn't have reacted so badly, according to the director, if Sheeran weren't so well-known.
"If people didn't know who Ed was, they wouldn't have thought about it twice," Podeswa told Newsweek. "The hoo-ha seems to be from things that are outside of the world of the show."
The problem, however, is that viewers did know who Sheeran was and they can't help having knowledge from the real world. As such, many found his appearance distracting, just as they indicated in an avalanche of tweets. In fact, they were so vocal, their response seemed to inspire Sheeran to temporarily delete his Twitter account.
At least the episode kicked off another season, though -- that is something all "Game of Thrones" fans should agree is a very good thing.