Review: Game of Thrones: Episode 2 – The Lost Lords

Iron From Ice, Telltale’s first venture into the world of Ice and Fire, successfully left us reeling. The Northern houses don’t seem to have the best luck in Westeros, and the Forresters are no exception.

Developer: Telltale Games
Publisher: Telltale Games
Reviewed on: PC
Also Available On: Mac, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, iOS
Release Date: Available Now


It’s the aforementioned characters that enter in Episode 2, those we control with a degree of familiarity – there’s Asher, the headstrong Forrester son who has been living in exile across the Narrow Sea, and his brother Rodrik, the heir to House Forrester, presumed dead. Asher’s impulsive, brutal behaviour has been uneasily discussed by his family, and his return a cause of concern  for some. His work as a sellsword in Essos, a land utterly foreign to the cold severity of the North, seems a fitting place for him – which is why it seems odd that he feels no reluctance to return home to aid a family that exiled him. It seems particularly unexpected because their reason for doing so wasn’t due to a violent encounter – he fell in love with a Whitehill, the enemies of his House. There is some sense of character inconsistency when Asher appears here, and his attitudes don’t translate so well in the dialogue options available. He doesn’t seem to fit the man whose potential return caused such tension in Episode 1.


On the other hand, Rodrik’s entrance sets the tone for this morbid episode when he regains consciousness aboard a wagon of dead bodies, maggots and flies preying on Forrester corpses. It’s impressive (and extremely unsettling) how nasty these scenes can be considering the cartoon-graphic style; Telltale‘s indulgence in the unpleasant (you only have to recall the grisly injuries in The Walking Dead game) is put to good use in a medieval setting. After discovering Rodrik, Maester Ortengryn sets to work on his battered body as Rodrik fades in and out of awareness, the screen fading to black amidst glimpses of bloody wounds. Throw some spooky, ethereal background music into the mix and you’ve got a fairly gruesome scene. Whilst not as fatal as the TV show for the squeamish fans out there, it’s still in true Game of Thrones form, where gore isn’t sugar-coated.


The latest Lord Forrester only survived one episode, and Rodrik’s chances seem only marginally better as his house’s survival is by no means secure. The continuity between characters flows more naturally here than it did in the first episode, as events in King’s Landing causally tie to what’s occurring in Ironrath. Negotiating with the Lannisters is a minefield, and the eldest Forrester daughter seems out of her depth when she is effectively forced to  broker a deal with Tyrion Lannister. Ironwood, that rich, mystical resource that has constantly been fought over by the Forresters and the Whitehills, is being demanded by the Crown. Not only do the dialogue options raise  immediate concerns (does Mira reject Tyrion’s idea, further alienating herself from any allies?), it also reveals the serious backlash upon her family, as war between the Northern houses is at risk. It takes a lot of mulling over – difficult when your responses are timed – so it’s not unlikely you will want to pause the game, which arguably is cheating the system a little. It does show how widespread in impact your decisions can feel, although the extent that they will actually influence your game is questionable.


Telltale’s adaptation is clearly moving away from the canon story we know (which seems unavoidable). Gared, the Forrester squire, arrives at the Wall and meets our favourite member of the Night’s Watch. Again we see the similarities in the Starks and our Northern protagonists; there’s definitely  some echoes of Jon’s experiences as a fresh recruit in Gared’s role, as he’s given the option of standing up to bullies and playing the ‘outsider’. It’s arguably just fan-service by likening him so obviously to Jon, and some players may be put out by the non-canon implications of their meeting. Still, it may be interesting to see how their interactions progress as they share recent losses and conflicting loyalties.

The obvious parallels between the Forresters and Starks were mentioned in Episode 1’s review, and Episode 2 contains some familiar events. Mira Forrester’s position in King’s Landing is a tense one, and when she receives a mysterious invitation to the gardens at midnight, there are clear echoes of Sansa’s story. This makes events in Mira’s narrative seem very repetitive at first, but thankfully Telltale do justice to the original material by avoiding predictability. Mira’s midnight encounter is considerably different and ends up  being one of the more dramatic scenes in this episode.


New settings of Essos and The Wall
Sets the groundwork for an intense Episode 3
Strong poignant tone in most chapters
Protagonists feel too similar to other characters
Little narrative progress in this episode

The Lost Lords definitely conveys a creeping sense of foreboding rather than constant drama. Whilst the protagonists are more obviously being sold based on their similarities to favourite characters, the slower pace of Episode 2 creates growing trepidation for what’s to come. Hopefully we will see the rest of the series build upon this by strengthening its story.

The review copy of this title was purchased by the author.
Official Game Site

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