Little thought of mine on Lance and Lotor in s3:
Now what I got from Lance’s personality is that he is rather quick to trust people, or at least he doesn’t have much mistrust in him.
I mean he just accepted a giant yup pet as his friend, told her about himself and tried to protect her.
Lance also does a lot for his friends, like transforming into a Dolphin to catch a coin for Pidge.
So I could imagine that when he sees Lotor for the first time, he may not know who he is and maybe neither would Lotor know that Lance is a paladin.
Perhabs they could just meet under normal circumstances, on another big store planet, with Lance hitting the friendship button immidiately.
And later on he learns that the Person he befriended was the enemy.
Hell, he could even tell Lotor some important information and Lotor could just roll with it like “this kid sure is dumb, he practically tells me everything.”
As for angst in Lance’s character development, I can really see this happen, his friendly selfless nature turned against him.