You probably know Ed Sheeran best for his music. The ginger-haired troubadour scored his first No. 1 single this year with "Shape of You," and it's been on steady radio rotation all summer. Sheeran's track record proves that he can write a confident pop hit — a far cry from the 11-year-old Brit who couldn't get anyone to join his band because he was a "nerd with red hair and glasses."
But Sheeran is still a nerd at heart. Between the Captain America tees, the Game of Thrones cameo, and the Lego obsession, the "Castle on the Hill" singer has plenty of nerd cred. Let's take a look at the depths of Sheeran's nerdom, and hey, maybe we'll even get to see the VMA nominee embrace his geeky side on the MTV Video Music Awards stage on Sunday, August 27. (Here's hoping he can sneak his Hobbit sword past security.)
He wrote the ending credits song for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
"I See Fire" is one of Sheeran's best songs, don't @ me. Sheeran is a massive fan of J. R. R. Tolkien and the Lord of the Rings films, so getting the chance to write a song for The Hobbit was a dream come true. But Sheeran didn't just pen the lyrics (they were ultimately approved by director Peter Jackson), he also played all of the instruments featured on the track, with the exception of the cello, which is weird considering that he actually can play the cello. "I wanted to be an extra, just a hobbit walking in the background," he told Access Hollywood of his involvement in the film. Maybe Sheeran will finally get his chance when Hollywood eventually adapts Tolkien's ultimate tome The Silmarillion.
He had a memorable cameo on Game of ThronesHBO
We can all thank Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody for introducing Sheeran to Game of Thrones back in 2012 when the "Chasing Cars" singer had a cameo in the third season of the HBO epic. Sheeran asked his tour-mate to hook him up with a cameo as well, and even though it took five years, Sheeran made his much talked about debut in the Season 7 premiere. The cameo was a gift to Game of Thrones actress Maisie Williams, who's a self-proclaimed Sheerio, so the singer spent his 60 seconds of screen time as a Lannister soldier with none other than Arya Stark. He even sang a campfire song written by George R.R. Martin.
He loves Star Wars
To be fair, who doesn't love Stars Wars? Let me find those people and talk to them. It's not only that Sheeran walks around wearing Star Wars t-shirts, taking photos with Stormtroopers, and building Millennium Falcon Lego sets, but he also goes around defending Star Wars from ignorant haters who just don't know any better. He's one with the Force, and the Force is one with him.
He has a totally normal obsession with Legos
In addition to collecting teddy bears and children's toys, Sheeran has a deep — very, very deep — love of Legos. He demonstrated it in his song "Lego House." He loves them so much that he even took a set with him on a date because he just couldn't wait to build it. "I once went on a date, brought a Lego set with me, and while we were chatting I made the set and then left," he told British chat show host Graham Norton. Imagine loving Legos so much that you bring them on a first date and then bounce when you're done.
He also like building Lego sets with friends. "When I went to No. 1, I bought a Lego Star Wars Millennium Falcon," Sheeran told a magazine at the time. "Harry [Styles] bought me the Imperial Star Destroyer, and we stayed up until about 3 a.m. making it." Styles also confirmed their late-night Lego adventures on social media.
And a somewhat unhealthy obsession with swords
If Peter Jackson had given me a sword from the set of a Lord of the Rings movie, I'd probably bring it everywhere with me too, but Sheeran took his obsession a little too far, according to his friend and former tour-mate Taylor Swift. "He was obsessed with it to the point where he would come into my dressing room waving it and then just leave," Swift told MTV News back in 2013. "Or he'd just get it out on the plane and everybody is like, 'We don't know if that's OK on a plane."
"But he's obsessed with stuff like that," she continued. "He's obsessed with Legos. He's obsessed with swords, like axes, stuff like that. It was on the table [on the trip to Nashville] and it started to slide." So, yeah, Sheeran nearly impaled Taylor Swift with a sword. He also owns a replica of Longclaw, Jon Snow's Valyrian steel sword from Game of Thrones.
He names his guitars
Music geeks are still geeks. Back in 2014, Sheeran revealed that he had named all of his touring guitars after people in the working crew. "The one I'm using at the moment is Chris, and he’s the sound engineer," he told Radio Disney. "And the one before was called Trev, and the one before that was James II because James I was smashed."
His other guitars include Keith, Lloyd, Nigel, Cyril, and Felix. What a happy family!