Game of Thrones “The Lost Lords” Review: Winter is Coming
Kalvin Martinez / Mar 24th, 2015 No Comments
Episodic content can be a powerful way to tell a story. It results in unique structuring and pacing. There are obvious drawbacks to telling a whole story in parts where some episodes are slower than others. The mark of good episodic content is that even the plot setup or less intense episodes are just as compelling as the ones with all the fireworks.
“The Lost Lords” isn’t a fireworks episode, but it does manage to be a great setup. It manages to keep players interest, even though it’s merely creating larger conflicts for the rest of the season.
*Major spoilers below*
The Shape of Things
House Forrester suffered greatly in “Iron from Ice”. There was the death of Lord Forrester, Gared Tuttle left to take the black, Mira’s position in King’s Landing become precarious, and the altercation with Ramsay Snow left Ironrath reeling. “The Lost Lords” sees House Forrester scrambling to pick up the pieces from those events. What are the Forresters to do with their new Lord dead, Lord Whitehill angling to steal all their Ironwood, and a distinct lack of allies or help?
While Westeros is a harsh place, it is not entirely unforgiving. Even though the Forresters suffered a loss, they are given a sliver of hope in the form of Rodrik Forrester, the eldest son. Believed to be dead after the Red Wedding, Rodrik managed to survive the massacre at the Twins and make it back to Ironrath. Though battered and nearly dead, it is up to Rodrik to take up Lordship of Ironrath and figure out a way to help his house endure such great inequity.
Elsewhere in Westeros, Gared Tuttle finally makes his way to the Wall and begins training for the black. He runs into some static from his fellow trainees and has to prove himself. Despite his adeptness with weaponry, he is warned by Jon Snow to be mindful not to alienate his comrades. In King’s Landing, Mira continues helping her family in light of recent events. While some potential help comes in the form of Tyrion Lannister and a new face, things don’t turn out exactly how Mira hoped.
In addition to Rodrik, we meet Asher Forrester, the second born son, who is in Essos making a living as a mercenary. Along with his trusted confidant, Breskha, they run afoul of a rival sellsword group in Yunkai over a fleeing slaver. After a deal gone bad, Asher runs into his uncle Malcolm, who informs him of the situation back home in Ironrath. While Asher still has bad blood with his family, he staves off the bitterness and agrees to help Malcolm raise an army to prevent his family’s destruction.
“Iron from Ice” ended on a bombshell, providing a good foundation for the season. “The Lost Lords” deals with the fallout, while setting up the larger thrust and conflicts for future episodes. It maneuvers the moving pieces into place, and gets players interested in what’s to come.
“The Lost Lords” presents players with tense situations. There is huge potential for these scenarios to provide much needed aid for House Forrester. These conversations are vital, and there is an air of desperation surrounding them before players realize failure could spell doom. This makes players feel uneasy as throughout these moments.
Of all the key players, the one with the most at risk is Rodrik. He cheated death, but is still flirting with it if he can’t keep his house in line. There are a number of dealings he must embark on to improve his family’s situation. In one, he must try and convince the woman he was previously betrothed to that he is still worth marrying despite his injuries. Convincing her is necessary as her father and his house could be powerful allies against House Whitehill. The tenderness of the scene juxtaposed with the importance of gaining allies makes it bittersweet and heavy.
Mira also has to do some important dealings in King’s Landing for her family. These involve trying to convince Tyrion to choose her family to supply Ironwood, while going up against powerful allies of Whitehill. It is hard to know what consequences crossing these men will cause, but securing an alliance with the Crown is more important. The conflicts for Tuttle and Asher are more action-oriented, but still have some of the tensions and unease that make the game so compelling.
This series is giving players choices that seem really meaningful. The decisions by the various characters carry weight and affect more than just the individuals making those decisions. What happens in King’s Landing isn’t just a question of what happens to Mira, but also Talia in Ironrath and Tuttle at the Wall. It means players will have to think carefully about what their choices, and that gives them a sense of importance.
“The Lost Lords” is not as incendiary as “Iron from Ice”, but it sets up some interesting and potentially crazy moments ahead. There are some compelling character moments throughout the episode. What these two episodes have proven so far is Telltale has an adept sense of how to translate what makes the television series so engrossing. In dealing with various parties in Westeros and beyond, players feel the anxiety and unease of what it is like to play the game of thrones.
tags: game of thrones , pc , review , steam , telltale games , The Lost Lords