‘Game of Thrones’ review: Jon Snow’s surprise in the woods

Don’t go in the woods!

Despite “Game of Thrones” being a show that is at its core rather high-brow, well-developed, and exceptionally creative, Sunday night’s episode incorporated a tired-and-true storytelling adage — if you hear weird noises coming from the woods, it’s probably a good idea not to go and check them out.

Sadly, Jon Snow did not listen to us, and ended up getting pelted in the head by Craster as he tried to hide his secret habit of abandoning newborn babies in the snowbank to some sort of bizarre entity. (Now we know why the man has so many wives.) This also explains why one of the pregnant ladies at his keep was so desperate to escape.

There was still quite a bit going on elsewhere in Westeros this week, though there was sadly no plot bomb the equivalent of everyone finding out about Joffrey’s real “claim” to the throne.

Arya – Finally, we have some movement on her storyline! Arya’s secret is out, even if it is only to Gendry, a boy with a rather large secret of his own in his blood ties to Robert Baratheon. Can we praise “Thrones” enough for actually finding some great child actors? It’s a pretty rare thing to see in any medium, let alone television.

Dany – We’re massive fans of Emilia Clarke’s work, but our beloved Targeryan has only spent a few short minutes on our TV sets so far this season. While we’re learned that not everyone among the Dothraki loves the idea of a female in charge, this is about all we saw of her this week.

Theon – At its core, this episode was really all about Theon Greyjoy returning to the Iron Islands, hitting on a woman that turns out to be his sister, and then getting mocked relentless by his father for wearing fancy clothes. Oh, and Theon’s father is none too interested in listening to any treaty offers from Robb Stark, who spent much of his upbringing with Theon.

Stannis – Who wants to see a contender for the throne strip down with a sorceress? If so, Stannis’ plot is for you this week! Melisandre managed to convince him rather quickly that she would be the best way for him to give birth to a son, and in the process served as a temporary distraction to his plans to form an army to take back the throne from Joffrey.

The Lannisters – While we had a few moments with Littlefinger, the majority of the story from King’s Lading this week came courtesy of Tyrion’s attempts to flex his muscles by first threatening Varys, and then removed the head of the guard simply because he could. All the while, he managed to infuriate Cersei and raise a very real question — who is actually the ruler of this land at the moment?

Ultimately, we couldn’t be more captivated with “Thrones” at the moment if we tried. We wish the episodes were longer, and that’s saying something for a show that runs 55 minutes without commercials. No show at the moment does a better job of making us want more, especially when we have a cliffhanger courtesy of a bump on Jon’s head.

Photo: HBO

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