Game of Thrones is huge in the modern fantasy genre. Even though the TV series has offered a somewhat disappointing ending with the last season being, and let’s be honest here, bad. However, we have a plethora of other options to enjoy the world of Westeros and Telltale’s take is one of them.
As a disclaimer, this review will contain spoilers for all six episodes of the game. We will not be reviewing the gameplay aspect as it is your standard Telltale game with a moving visual novel type of gameplay and a multitude of dialogue options. The game is set somewhere around season four, five, and six and thus the game is not supposed to be played for people who have not watched TV series or read the books. It would be a poor introduction due to the fact that all of the sets of characters as well as events revolving around the game are all straight from the books.
The game is set around the tragic story of House Forrester, which makes a beautiful spot to start our journey. The players can easily expect to visit a lot of familiar locations like King’s Landing, Ironrath, and others with the addition of familiar and iconic characters all voiced by their TV series counterparts. We will shortly discuss all 6 episodes separately below. The game revolves around 3 characters: Gared Tuttle who is a squire to Lord Forrester, Ethan Forrester who is the Lord of House Forrester who will be taking up the position of a ruler in his father’s absence and Mira Forrester, who is Ethan’s older sister and a handmaiden to Margaery Tyrell in King’s Landing. The game jumps around these three who do their part to ensure the success of the house Forrester.
Episode 1 – Iron from Ice
The first episode of Telltale’s six-part episode follows closely the rules of the world of Westeros where life is not fair and doing what is right results in the bad ending for a lot of individuals. It is a two-hour long episode of dialogue decisions and begins with huge spoilers for people who have not seen or read the books.
The first episode sets itself up as a prologue and therefore has no serious decisions that impact the overall game. However, it does a great job of presenting all of the characters, cameoing the iconic ones, and leads us into the more interesting parts of the game. There are some tough decisions with a strong and interesting ending. It is obvious that the player will not be deciding the future of the whole Westeros, however, the game presents its characters so well that the player is involved in proving the success of the house Forrester.
Episode 2 – The Lost Lords
Game of Thrones episode 2 is a 90-minute experience. It is a continuation of a story of new characters after the shocking ending of episode 1. We revisit old locations like Ironrath, King’s Landing, and have a new one added like slaver city Yunkai. Although there are no backstabbings going on in this one we have a character Asher Forrester who is a funny new addition to our already varied cast. He is a bit cocky but funny character to say the least.
In addition, we see another iconic playable character visit King’s Landing and the Forrester family mourning their losses with a cool depiction. The problem with this episode is that the player realizes just how little impact their decision about who to appoint as Ethan’s advisor has. It gives the feeling that the first episode was nothing but a placeholder due to the fact that it seems like our decisions mattered not at all. Gared is introduced to life in Night’s Watch and follows closely the story of John Snow. The latter even gives Gared advice on how to coop with the problems he is facing with other recruits.
In addition to all of this, we are introduced to a big dilemma for Mira Forrester, which we won’t state to avoid major spoilers.
Episode 3 – The Sword in the Darkness
This episode begins with yet another cameo (we leave this up to the player to see). Mira continues her is struggling with different political affairs going on in King’s Landing. The abuse continues in the Ironrath and the events unravel quite quickly. The player is to decide where Asher’s priorities lie. Gared is pushed to pick sides between two recruits of the Wall and his purpose in the story finally starts to show. There is also a huge decision, which is hinted to have big consequences in the subsequent episodes.
All in all, the events are finally unraveling. As we have already mentioned Asher’s story is moving forward with an interesting plot point at which it is left for further episodes. Mira is also in the middle of multilayered intrigues in the King’s landing and thus makes a very interesting end of the episode. There is big anticipation coming and the player has left questions a lot of what happened.
Episode 4 – Sons of Winter
Sons of Winter is an episode leaving us in the anticipation of something more. The idea is that all of the major stories are advancing as Gared finally embarks on his journey towards North, Asher is working on gaining the favor of Daenerys Targaryan and Rodrig breaks the cycle of abuse in the Ironrath.
Not everything makes sense. With the episode starting off with Gared’s punishment there is no way for a player to prove that his actions were just reactive. The whole scene is a bit unbelievable. Night’s Watch itself is a bit too angry towards Gared to be fair. Daenerys’ mood also gains a bit of uncharacteristic anger although that can be overlooked due to the context.
Gared runs into a pack of wildlings and creates a very sweet part of the action. In general, this episode is full of it. Asher’s part during the Siege of Mereen also reinforces this notion. All in all, in our humble opinion, this is one of the most action-packed and fun episodes out of 4 as of now.
Episode 5 – A Nest of Vipers
The episode before the last. This is one of those moments when all of the masks should come off and the most impactful decisions should start taking place. This episode would’ve been the best out of 5 however, it is ruined by yet another out-of-character behavior that comes seemingly out of nowhere. Also for some reason, Robert Baratheon forgets that he is supposed to be cripple. He burns the cane in front of his soldiers and walks away as nothing happened. This is one of the most immersion-breaking moments of the whole series. This is all reinforced by a strong moment when Mira is interacting with Cersei Lannister which easily makes a highlight of this episode.
The episode ends with a very huge choice leaving the player with a desire to replay the series. However, it feels like previous decisions were not as impactful as we may have thought through and this episode falls short with the plot twists that we are used to when we look at the TV series and books.
Episode 6 – The Ice Dragon
Alright, we all knew how this was going to end. The whole Game of Thrones is built around good people dying due to their good-willed decisions. House Forresters do not end well – to no surprise due to the fact that this is a Game of Thrones game. The problem comes up when the episode is over and one starts thinking about what happened. The way everything is made makes a bit of a lackluster in the end. The plot unravels in a bit of an unappealing way and leaves the players asking if we would ever get a Season 2 of the game.
Spoiler alert, Telltale went bankrupt, unfortunately.
Overall, the game is quite a good experience although arguably not the best game by Telltale Studios. The plot twists are major and some characters are quite well done. Although there is an occasional moment where a lot of iconic figures just break character for no reason at all. This game is a must-play for everyone loving the Game of Thrones franchise. Although it’s not the best it is still considered to be a very well done story by our team of reviewers.