The Actor Who Played Robin Arryn On ‘Game Of Thrones’ Was Totally Caught Off Guard By The Fan Reaction To His ‘Glow-Up’

If there is one big positive many fans took away from the divisive Game of Thrones finale, it’s the unexpected but very welcome “glow-up” of young Robin Arryn, who we last saw as a pre-pubescent boy ruling The Eeyrie.

The young protector of the Vale was famously whiny and known for drinking his mother’s breast-milk back then.

But now he’s known for something else entirely: his SMOLDER.

The part was played then and now by Lino Facioli. The actor shared a photo of his character on Instagram.

Now, as fans compare Arryn’s transformation to that of Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom) from the Harry Potter movies, Lino Facioli spoke to Buzzfeed News about how surreal this process has been.

“I gained more followers in a night than I had in my whole time having Instagram. It just kept on going up and up and up, and that still seems to be the case. Honestly, I just kind of laugh and sort of just act as humble as possible. I never know how to react with compliments. I love them but it’s always like, how do you react? I really don’t know what to do but I’m enjoying it, I really am.”

As soon as Game of Thrones aired in the U.S., Facioli’s Instagram following exploded.

With over 66.1k followers on the image sharing platform, he’s just trying to enjoy the ride:

“I find the whole thing quite amusing really.”

The reaction to his character now versus the reaction to his character as a strange, breastfeeding monster-child were world’s apart, but Facioli was glad he got to play both versions.

“I love the idea that people find my character so amusing and so bizarre. I think there were points when I was growing up that I wasn’t sure about that, I didn’t really know how to handle the reaction I was getting. But I’ve sort of learned to love it and learned to have a laugh at it.”

Now 18, Facioli first auditioned for the show when he was only eight or nine.

He’s grown up being best known as the child ruler of the Eeyrie, which can be quite the strange experience.

“In the process of learning and seeing people’s reactions, I’ve learned a lot about myself and I’ve become a lot more confident in myself from these experiences.”

Twitter had quite a bit to say about the new Facioli.

The young actor was glad to be back on set with his old co-stars.

“I always felt like I was at home there. I always felt like I was with a good group of people and these are people that I’ve known for a while.”

As for the series finale he appeared in, Facioli is aware many fans felt disappointed by the experience, especially Dany Targaryen’s heel-turn.

He was glad, however, that his character at least got a happy ending.

“It didn’t come as that much of a shock for me as it did for other people. But when you think about people who have named their daughters Khaleesi or Daenerys, I mean that’s got to feel like a bit of a mistake, am I right? I feel for those people and I understand why a lot of people aren’t too happy. But I think it turned out okay for Robin.”

Yes it did.

It turned out VERY okay for Robin.

If you’re feeling Game of Thrones withdrawal, you can get another taste of Westeros with A Game of Thrones: The 20th Anniversary Illustrated Collector’s Edition available here.