The Game of Thrones series finale contains several shocking moments — Bran Stark, of all people, ends up King of Westeros. Jon Snow returns to where he started, the Night’s Watch. Samwell Tarly nearly invents democracy (and plastic water bottles, yet another continuity oops). One of the biggest surprises, however, comes from the scene in which the surviving Lords and Ladies of Westeros gather on a small council. Sitting alongside Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner), Arya Stark (Maisie Williams), Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie), and other beloved characters, there’s one random guy who we just kind of accept as another important person, who shrugs along when it’s time to elect a new king and then it clicks — OMG.
The suave-looking lord stretching his legs among Westeros’s Most Powerful is none other than Robin Arryn (Lino Facioli), once the little boy who begged to throw Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) out the Moon Door, now all grown up. In an episode that was otherwise something of a "wet fart" (thank you Kit Harington for that descriptor), the Moon Door Boy Glow-Up Surprise stands out as one of few moments that really shook fans to their core.
Robin hasn’t appeared on the show since 2016, but his character’s introduction is seared into viewers’ memories. Back in the first season, Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley) travels to the Vale of Arryn, reuniting with her sister Lysa (Kate Dickie) for the first time in years. Catelyn walking in on Lysa breastfeeding her 6-year-old son Robin is one of the series’ first major WTF moments that had everyone talking the next day. Lysa Arryn once took helicopter parenting to the extreme, sheltering her only child from the world and literally clasping him to her breast long after he outgrew infancy.
In a series known for subversive plot twists like the Red Wedding and Daenerys Targaryen’s (Emilia Clarke) turn to the dark side, seeing the once scrawny, sickly child known as “Sweetrobin” grow into a strapping young lord has people experiencing Neville Longbottom flashbacks. Much of Twitter is freaking out over Robin’s glow-up:
Yeah, introducing solids really improved Robin Arryn.— Nicole Cliffe (@Nicole_Cliffe) May 20, 2019
Robin has come a loooong way from being the bratty, petulant boy that Sansa smacked across the face for stomping on her snow castle replica of Winterfell. It’s easy to forget that this character existed, but while the rest of Westeros’ attention has been focused on King’s Landing and the War in the North, Robin has been ruling the Vale as the remaining heir of the Eyrie. This gives him a seat at the “grown-ups table” once the dust has cleared in King’s Landing.
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Tyrion may have declared that Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) has the greatest story, but Robin’s scene-stealing appearance has viewers asking “What’s HIS story?”
Even Lino Facioli himself seems to be enjoying this stunning turn of events:
His Twitter bio says it all: “AKA that weird kid from game of thrones.” Not anymore, apparently.