There were a lot of loose threads Game of Thrones did not manage to tidy up in its final hour and a half—like why it even mattered that Arya and Bran Stark had magical powers if they don’t use them for the entirety of the final season’s epic wars; what’s going to happen with the brothels and clean water; how the Wall was rebuilt so quickly and what the Night’s Watch will do now without the White Walkers, and so on. But there was one crucial, unexpected element that the show did resolve: What happened to Robin Arryn.
The second half of the Game of Thrones series finale jumps ahead two weeks from Jon Snow’s stealth murder of Daenerys Targaryen, where the heads of all the major houses in Westeros have convened to decide what to do with Tyrion Lannister and Jon—and that pesky succession question. Among those lords present are Edmure Tully, Samwell Tarly, all three Stark siblings, and… Robin Arryn, who ascended to Warden of the East and Protector of the Vale after the deaths of his mother, Lysa Arryn, and Petyr Baelish.
And, of all the characters to abruptly bring back into the show’s final moments, it turns out, Robin Arryn was perhaps the most memeable. For when we last saw the young lord, he was a pre-teen who breast fed right up until his mother was pushed out the Moon Door; when he returned to the screen, he was fully grown up, prompting comparisons to Neville Longbottom (the Harry Potter actor Matthew Lewis similarly matured on screen) and even Lizzie McGuire character Ethan Craft. And of course, this led to many musings on the supernatural power of breast milk. (Although, actually, given this so-called glow-up occurred after his mother’s death, perhaps it was the breast milk holding him back all along.)
It’s been three years since Lino Facioli, the British-Brazilian actor who plays Robin Arryn, last appeared on the show—and a lot can change in that time, as Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner have attested in interviews. Game of Thrones remains his major acting credit to date (he also appeared in Get Him to the Greek in 2010), but, judging by his Instagram, he’s also a budding artist and ardent animal lover—his feed is filled with images alongside horses, swans, golden retrievers, and various other farm animals.
Given the responses to his appearance on social media, Facioli picked the perfect time to reactivate his Twitter account as he did last month. And, in addition to bringing back a character we didn’t know we were missing, the show also brought back what’s turned into a recurring gaffe: leaving various anachronistic beverage containers in clear view of the camera. We’ll miss you, Game of Thrones.