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July 24, 2017 at 10:17 AM EDT

This post contains spoilers about the “Stormborn” episode of Game of Thrones seventh season

If you watched all the Game of Thrones previews, you might have expected Melisandre to come back in Sunday’s episode, “Stormborn” (and she did). You might have also expected Arya’s long-lost Nymeria the direwolf to return (she did too). But we bet you totally weren’t expecting the triumphant return of most cheerful baker in the Seven Kingdoms: Hot Pie!

Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) ran into her old traveling companion while stopping in a tavern on the way to King’s Landing. Still proudly serving up his acclaimed meat-filled pastries, Hot Pie gave Arya a recap of what she’s missed during her time in Essos (most crucially, that Jon Snow was back at Winterfell). The news prompted the young Stark to change her mind about assassinating Cersei (for the moment, anyway) and instead turn toward Winterfell for a potential major family reunion. We spoke to the actor Ben Hawkey about how the actor got some dough to pop up in Westeros this season.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: When did you find out you were coming back to the show?
BEN HAWKEY: [Last August] I think. It was a really big shock. I wasn’t expecting to be coming back at all.

What was your reaction to getting that call?
I was confused. I didn’t know why they needed me, to be honest. I only recently just watched all the episodes. I hadn’t seen any of it.

You hadn’t seen any of Game of Thrones? But you’re in Game of Thrones!
No. In England, it’s on Sky Atlantic and I didn’t have Sky. So I actually never watched it. But I’ve caught up on it now.

You must have watched it like, wow, this show is a big deal.
Yeah, well, you know it’s a big deal. But then you see it and it’s another level.

I assume they swore you to silence about coming back? Because even the online rumor mill has been silent about this.
Yeah. They even gave me a code name on the emails. I really couldn’t believe it. I didn’t see any need for it, especially after watching it. I was like, “What could they want with Hot Pie?”

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What was your reaction when you read your script?
It was really nice. It’s like a perfect little Hot Pie scene.

I’ve always thought Hot Pie is arguably the show’s luckiest character. He’s just going to stay out of the action, not piss anybody off, and make his pies.
It’s quite light isn’t it? It’s nice to be a lighter character in a really dark series.

When people recognize you what do they say?
I don’t often get recognized anymore. I did up to season 3. But to be honest I don’t go out that much! And when I do it’s always very pleasant, it’s not like some people on the show who get mobbed.

RELATED: EW’s Game of Thrones Weekly podcast dissects ‘Stormborn’

What was it like working with Maisie again after some years apart? 
It’s interesting because we’ve both grown up quite a bit. I was just about to say we’re no longer immature but we both still are!

Do you hope to come back again for the final season?
I’d be happy to come back. But if not, that’s good as well.

More Game of Thrones “Stormborn” coverage:

Maisie Williams on that long-awaited Nymeria reunion

Nathalie Emmanuel on that ‘vulnerable’ romantic nude scene

Indira Varma and Gemma Whelan say their kiss was improvised

— Sand Snake actress Jessica Henwick on that brutal episode ending

“Stormborn” our deep dive recap

Game of Thrones airs Sundays on HBO.

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