'Game of Thrones' fans well know that HBO's adaptation of the George R.R. Martin series will often incorporate changes of convenience, while keeping to the canon in a manner that AMC's 'The Walking Dead' often lacks. Last night's "Dark Wings, Dar
k Words
" however introduced some far-flung changes from the books ahead, so why did David Benioff and Dan Weiss deviate so far from the book? Find out whose surprise return has 'Game of Thrones' fans alight inside!

Though itself adapted from George R.R. Martin's canon, Theon Greyjoy's siege of Winterfell proved to be a highlight of 'Game of Thrones season 2 that saw actor Alfie Allen significantly impressing the HBO drama's producers. So much so, in fact, that last night's 'Game of Thrones' season 3 episode "Dark Wings, Dark Words" gave the character an early return, a full two books ahead of schedule!

While HBO's current series tracks the first half of series creator George R.R. Martin's third novel in the series "A Storm of Swords," Theon himself is not heard from again until Martin's fifth novel "A Dance with Dragons." However, last night's episode saw Theon revealed to be alive, and tortured by as-yet-unrevealed figures, so why the change, according to executive producers David Benioff and Dan Weiss? Says Benioff to Entertainment Weekly:

Once we saw what Alfie was doing with the role we wanted to keep him going. His character is very shades-of-gray. He’s fun to write for and he’s fun to watch... [Also] Alfie doesn’t look anything like the character in the book but when he auditioned he blew everybody else out of the water. Theon last season did so many horrible things, but it was so much easier to imagine for yourself how he got to that place. He’s a character that’s similar in many ways to the book version, but because of Alfie the character has taken on his own life in the show.

Benioff added that Allen's unique portrayal of the character made him far more sympathetic than the book, in spite of some terrible actions, and presented an opportunity to further develop the character in ways waiting for later seasons would have stalled. The circumstances of the character's capture remain something of a mystery, given how HBO adapted the events from the book, but time will reveal Greyjoy's role in the coming season.

What say you? Were you surprised to see Theon back so soon? Did he come to a deserved fate for his actions in season 2? Tell us what you think of 'Game of Thrones' season 3 after the latest preview below!