If Lotor was in the crypto-sleep like Allura and Coran have, when would he been put out of it? Could he been a child/young teen upon being placed in crypto-sleep and got released years earlier before Voltron formed and grew up to his current age, or was put in around the same age as Allura and released around or after the formation of Voltron?
My two cents was that Lotor was much younger than Allura when he was put into suspended animation, and was captured/thawed by the empire. This covers the exile- which, Zarkon who despises Alfor wouldn’t call Alfor helping Lotor hide an “exile”.
Like- Allura is explicitly less than 28 and the writers have called her a “teenager” which, I’ve been using 19 as a sort of placeholder read until we get more accuracy on that. We know she was the same age, give or take a year if we’ve passed her birthday, before being placed into hibernation since she only was brought out of cryogenics in s1e1, when the show started.
But Lotor’s seemingly been in the present long enough to be exiled for a “long absence”.
Let’s figure Lotor was 10 when he was placed in suspended animation, and would thus be 10 when he came out of it. If he was then, fairly early on, exiled for seven years (pretty likely since as an upset hostage who didn’t want to come back to his parents and would be horrified by what they were doing, he’d be far more likely to do what Zarkon would view as a punishable misgiving)- that fits nicely with what the show’s given us so far:
First, seven years is enough time to be considered a long absence. Haggar might be ancient, but, she would also have a pretty keen sense of the difference that not seeing someone for one year can make on them.
It’s enough time for Lotor to find the generals and establish his own footing.
Zarkon’s certainly cruel enough to fling a ten-year-old out into the universe with minimal resources.
If the last thing Allura remembers of Lotor is a child younger than Pidge who sought protection from Alfor because he was in danger from the newly-revived Zarkon, then being confronted with someone close to her own age who seems to be utterly untroubled at the prospect of furthering Zarkon’s destructive empire, that would be disturbing the exact way that she said it was.
It’d explain why Lotor was absent from Coran’s narrative of ten thousand years ago in s3e7- if, simply enough, Lotor was not old enough to have any real say in that political environment, and, thus, wouldn’t have been party to any of those plot-relevant conversations we saw. As it was, we barely saw Allura even though we know Alfor spent part of every day with her.
And it would nicely answer why Throk, who is familiar with Lotor, didn’t recognize him for his distinctive, characteristic stature, fighting style, and personalized armor- but did recognize his hair and, seemingly, his face. The things Throk recognized would be present on Lotor as a young child- all the things he didn’t, Lotor would’ve had to have developed on his own during the exile. It also explains why Throk patronizingly calls him a “brat”- not only is Lotor young, but Throk would remember him primarily as a child, and emphasize his youthfulness in comparison to the commanding elite who’s been fighting by Zarkon’s side “forever”.