Telltale’s Game of Thrones Episode Two: ‘The Lost Lords’ Review

“I’m going to kill that man”

After being introduced to House Forrester and a glimpse at the challenges they must overcome to survive in this cruel world, ‘The Lost Lords’ casts it’s net a little wider, with the episode dealing with figures connected to the House and those previously thought lost to it. It still suffers from the somewhat slow pace that has accompanied this series, yet there are plenty of tough decisions to navigate. Moreover, it maintains the intrigue over the wider political climate that at the very least, gives off the impression it is being moulded by your choices throughout the episode.

The episode kicks off with House Forrester struggling in the aftermath of the traumatic event that closed out the previous episode. Finding themselves under the heel of House Bolton, and woefully short of the resources required to resist, the Forrester family are driven to desperate measures to survive. One of those steps is to recall Asher Forrester, the second eldest son who was previously exiled after partaking in a forbidden romantic tryst with a member from a rival family. Whereas most of House Forrester are modest, honourable people, Asher is clearly cut from a different cloth, a cocky renegade making his living as a sellsword in the city of Yunkai with his best friend Beshka. His scenes reflect this shift too, with all of them being purely action-based, orchestrated by Telltale’s use of quick-time events. This isn’t a bad thing however; the fight scenes themselves are well-done, nailing the ‘dirtiness’ of Game of Thrones’ visceral combat but he’s given no major decisions to make either, and that is detrimental to the character. Granted, he makes his first appearance in the episode, but Asher doesn’t enjoy the character growth that other cast members have had, you would expect this to rectified in the following episodes however.

Meanwhile, the other principal plot point from the episode deals with the surprising return of a family member believed to be lost to the house forever, a new playable character at that. This allows the plot strands already birthed at Ironrath to intensify, the last line of defense was breached in the first episode, ‘The Lost Lords’ seeks to explore how the Forresters can survive trapped in the lion’s den they once called home.

Gared Tuttle begins his life on The Wall this episode, an introduction to life in the Night’s Watch that is completely lifted from Jon Snow’s own journey in the television series. By far the weakest part of ‘The Lost Lords’, his scenes at times comes across as a mere checklist. For instance you establish who will be your friend and who will be your nemesis, complete gruelling training challenges under the gaze of the commander and attempt to gain acceptance from your fellow brothers. It may be significant for the character to learn the ropes at The Wall, but Telltale could have been a bit more inventive rather than mirroring Jon Snow’s experience.

Mira Forrester’s story however is where this Game of Thrones series has shone the brightest, she may be far removed from the direct conflict up at Ironrath, but that doesn’t mean she’s not in grave danger. After all, she’s being forced to play the political game, attempting to use Margaery Tyrell’s power for the security of her family, but it’s often at the risk of betraying the trust of Margaery entirely. It’s a deliciously wicked balance, and it’s no surprise that these scenes have the toughest decisions of the episode. Moreover, Mira also must deal with the consequences of her decision to ask Margaery for help last time, if she agreed to help out, she’ll not abide this time and the relationship between Queen and handmaiden grows a little strained. The dynamic works well, and with the rippling effect of your decisions already being keenly felt it makes this plot angle the most intriguing part of the series.

Telltale aren’t in the strongest of positions in terms of the wider narrative for this episode, characters are being moved to where they need to be with all the exciting scenes saved for future episodes. For example, Gared on The Wall ahead of the big Wildling assault, Mira in King’s Landing ahead of Joffery’s demise and Asher travelling to Meereen just as Daenerys begins liberating slaves. Everything is being put in place, each character existing somewhere on the playing field, doing everything they can to preserve House Forrester by the means they have available.

It’s reiterated that the decisions you make are not particularly for the benefit of the individual family member, no rather it’s for the House as a whole. It may be wider in scope than any other Telltale property, and ‘The Lost Lords’ indicates patience is expected from the player. The pacing is more measured, as the political climate continues to steadily develop. After all, not all Game of Thrones episodes have a Red Wedding and spectacular wars, many are devoted to the general political manoeuvring of the houses.

‘The Lost Lords’ is an enjoyable episode that teases the promise of big events to come, but it lacks much in the way of truly memorable scenes itself.

7/10 

+ Mira playing the political game

+ Decisions already bearing meaningful consequences

+ Ironrath struggle intensifies

-Gared’s training on The Wall

-Asher has no major involvement