Developers: Telltale Games
Publishers: Telltale Games
Plot: With the Whitehills occupying Ironrath, the Forresters start looking for an army to fight back. Meanwhile, Gared Tuttle reaches the Wall.
After the shocking killing off of the game’s lead character (Telltale proving themselves to be well versed in the rules of telling a Game of Thrones story), the Forresters are left in turmoil. The Boltons have let the Forresters sworn enemies, the Whitehills, occupy them and claim ownership of half of the Ironwood that gives the Forresters their trade. On top of that, the family are reeling from the fact Ryon, their youngest and current heir, has been taken hostage to ensure the Forrester’s cooperation. It isn’t all bad news though – a new heir shows up at the castle, in a shocking turn of events (I am not spoiling who though). He decides that the way out of Ironrath’s problems is to get themselves an army, so they actually stand a chance of fighting back. Over in Yunkai, Asher, the exiled brother, decides to try to raise an army of sellswords, putting him and his fighting companion, Beskha, on a quest to Meereen to meet the one person who has sellswords to spare, a certain Mother of Dragons. However, this could take time, so the Forresters look closer to home, where a certain marriage to a powerful family could grant them the army they need. The episode focuses on the wooing of this potential bride, as well as Mira’s struggles in King’s Landing, as she tries to get Margaery Tyrell to persuade the potential match to help the Forresters. However, in doing so, she makes some dangerous enemies, truly understanding the meaning of the ‘game of thrones’.
Let’s make one thing very clear. The Lost Lords is nowhere near as good as Iron from Ice. That isn’t an insult, because this is still a very strong, structured episode, delivering on all of the correct thrills. The problem with Game of Thrones, both the game and, to a lesser degree, the show, is that it is always playing the long game. The choices we make at this part of the story will only come into play in the later parts of the chapters. It stands to reason that we are going to be given a handful of episodes in this series that focuses on moving the story along, rather than hitting the bar that we know this game can reach. For example, Gared’s storyline doesn’t really go anywhere. He gets to the Wall and we are introduced to the players of his story (including an always welcome Jon Snow). They don’t really do anything, other than introduce themselves, so we can come acquainted to them in a later episode. The episode seems to be very aware of this as well, because it opens with a fairly gripping fight scene. It is a little Telltale-esque, with every action only having three different outcomes. Dying doesn’t really matter much, because quickly tapping the reload button reverses you to the last punch. It’s fun and well-scripted, but static. Stronger is the wooing of the aforementioned bride-to-be. Telltale is at its best, when it is forcing you to clumsily work your way around a conversation, your stone-faced warrior reduced to an embarrassed schoolboy, trying to tell the woman in front of him that he is trying to propose.
But if The Lost Lord doesn’t deliver on the set-pieces, it does a great job of setting up future battles. Yes, the Wall segment is a little light on the action, but now we are acquainted with the Brothers of the Night Watch, when they are inevitably pitted against the dreaded White Walkers, we will care about what happens to them. Sure, one of your brothers holds a grudge against you now, but will the pair of you be able to bury the hatchet to overcome your enemies? Episode One focused on the lead characters and the supporting cast took the easy way out – they were cameos from the stars of the show, Tyrion, Cersei, etc… There is a sense that The Lost Lords starts to break away from the shadow of the books and begin to have its own universe. Beskha is sure to be a fan favourite, a female sellsword that is just as tough as her male counterparts. She is just as likeable as the Hound or Bronn, and she is an original creation of the game. It makes for a promising future for this series and that, to me, is far more important than spending an episode, trying to be just as edgy and exciting as the episode that came before it.
Final Verdict: The Lost Lords is far more story-based than Iron From Ice, but it has its own charm, building a strong background for the rest of the series to play with.