***Spoilers for the Game of Thrones story through “A Song of Ice and Fire”, book three: “A Storm of Swords” or season 3 of the TV Series, and episode one of this series: “Iron from Ice”***
Season: 1 / Episode: 2 / Telltale Games
The first episode of the GOT adventure series was filled to the brim with action, intrigue, revelations and some really hard decisions. “Lost Lords” throttles back on that some, highlighting some of those attributes and skimping on others. As before, the story revolves around House Forrester and their perilous attempts to stave off a full-scale war or invasion of their House. After the shocking ending of Ramsay Snow (he ain’t earned a House name) killing Lord Ethan in “Iron from Ice,” the POV characters shuffle a bit in this episode. We get acquainted with Ethan’s two older brothers: Asher is across the Narrow Sea because he was exiled, and Rodrik, the favorite son of the House Forrester who we presumed to be dead after the slaughter outside of the Red Wedding. And yo, things are as bad as they’ve ever been for the Forresters. If you thought that maybe things might start to get better as they fight political and physical threats from multiple sides, then you came to the wrong neighborhood, Vato. The game opens with Asher in Yunkai with his companion Beshka, taking up residence in a home that is not theirs. Asher seems to be a man without a ton of morality which may have caused his exile (we find out actually why later). Or it’s possible that he has walked this path of debauchery because of exile, it’s hard to tell. They are negotiating an exchange of sorts that leads to the biggest battle of the episode as they are forced to defend themselves when things go bad. You do have the potential to mold Asher into a good leader, which makes him unique to the other characters who are mostly reacting to circumstances.
This episode also follows Gared as he makes his way to the wall to join the Night’s Watch. His scenes don’t seem to be of much consequence to the overall story yet, but I was impressed with Kit Harrington’s voice acting. With so many heavyweights on the TV show, Harrington’s acting is rarely grouped with them, but he really does shine in the voice acting of Jon in his scenes. On the other side of Westeros in King’s Landing, the scenes with Mira Forrester are scarce, but could have heavy repercussions. Her political entanglement with Tyrion has the potential to deepen (and Lawd, what that could mean) and she has a bit of an action sequence herself with some huge decisions that could go either way for her safety.
The lion’s share of this episode is spent with Rodrik’s recovery in Ironrath and the multiple decisions he has to make as the new Lord of House Forrester. The narrative is a good and clean one as Rodrik is lucky to be alive with a physical appearance that reflects that, but he’s simultaneously responsible for showing strength of his house with Whitehill soldiers in their domain. There were a number of big decisions that you are forced to make that have repercussions in this same episode, including how you treat the Whitehill soldiers or how defiant you are to the new regime that is trying to muscle in on your House.
The voice acting in “Lost Lords” is solid and even though we don’t get the amazing Lena Headey in this episode, Kit Harrington does a great job as an established character in this one. Technically where this game suffers is visually, showing some issues that didn’t seem to be present in the first episode. I stated previously that I liked the style of the water color background for the art direction, but too often, especially in light-colored sequences (such as the ones that take place in King’s Landing or Yunkai), there was a lot of bleed over from the characters in the foreground and background visuals. It seemed too muddled and inconsistent throughout and was often distracting from the narrative.
The storytelling and intrigue of this episodic series is still spot on and it’s hard to say no to more Game of Thrones mythology. Good voice acting and tough decisions make this another worthwhile trip to this world. The graphics suffer a set back in this specific issue, so we’ll see if that plagues the series at all moving forward.