Warning: This Review will contain spoilers to Telltale’s Game of Thrones episodic series, referencing events from episode 1 and the newly released episode 2. Read on, unless you want to experience everything with a clean slate first!
After about twenty minutes into the second episode of Telltale’s Game of Thrones Episode 2, the meaning of the name became instantly clear. “The Lost Lords” opens up with a wideshot of Yunkai in Essos, just a few days since Daenarys Targaryen liberated the Slaver’s Bay city. You immediately introduced to Asher Forrester, the exiled son of House Forrester, as well as his quite likeable compatriot, Beskha. The two have a chemistry that seemed lost in the first episode of the series, and the whole rest of “The Lost LordS” I felt myself wondering what they were doing now. Asher is funny and charismatic, quick on his feet and pretty much carefree. Beskha seems enamored with the Westerosi, laying her dreams for their future out as plain as the ale in front of them. Martin has a way of making you feel as though the worst will come, and towards the end of their story arc this episode you start to get the feeling that those seeds are being sown (Apparently Beskha doesn’t like Meereen), but it’s sure to be a fun ride whenever you’re with those two.
Immediately after this first scene I’m brought back to my old Monty Python memorizing days. As a cart carrying corpses rolls along, I felt a little disappointed when I didn’t heard Eric Idle shouting “Bring out your dead!” A lost character, previously thought to be dead comes back and while the introduction of this character seems to feel a little forced and trope-y, it’s not unwelcome. I wondered how the situation in Ironrath would continue since the pivotal scene between Lord Ethan and Ramsay Snow at the end of the last episode, and Telltale seemed eager to quickly tie up the loose ends in the North. Through this character, however, you start to relive some of the same scenarios you witnessed in “Iron From Ice,” though I daresay some of the episode’s strongest scenes comes while surrounded by Forrester Ironwood.
In fact, this is where “The Lost Lords” truly shines over the premiere episode: letting the Forrester family take front and center in the story. While the previous Game of Thrones episode is told from these same perspectives, the developers and writers seemed to try and convince you that the game completely fits within the world HBO has brought to life. The way they did this was by having you interact with the actors from the show more than the other members of House Forrester. To some this felt forced, but even though Tyrion, Margery and newly added Jon Snow make appearances, there is no doubting who the main characters are within “The Lost Lords.” And that’s a great thing.
Some of my favorite scenes in Episode 1 had to do with Mira Forrester in King’s Landing. The eldest daughter of House Forrester is caught up in the political chess match that is at the very core of Game of Thrones and I found myself really loving the challenge of playing against Cersei and the rest of the Lannisters. Some criticized Telltale for a lack of action in the Game of Thrones premiere. Well, “The Lost Lords” makes up for this, on many fronts. Asher is satisfying even with the quick-time event nature of combat, Gared gets into a tussle while training on The Wall, and even Mira is destined for some danger of her own. Game of Thrones: A Telltale Series seems to be following the same format as the TV show: start slow, but ramp up the action as the season goes on.
It was also great to see once again that your choices matter and echo with the other characters in the story. In fact, a moment in Episode 1 I couldn’t quite understand came to head in Episode 2 that made me audibly exclaim “Ah HA! That’s why that was there!” Each episode seems well thought out and your choices really feel weighty. As Mira, do you help your family by pushing Margery Tyrell for more favors? If you do, how does your situation with the soon-to-be queen improve? If not, what state does that leave the rest of the Forresters back in Ironrath? Will your alliance with Lord Tyrion bring prosperity to the Northern house, or war with the Whitehills? These are questions you must ask with each decision, and each one carries with it a the feeling that you might’ve made the wrong choice almost immediately.
While the premiere episode had a satisfying twist at the end, “The Lost Lords” has a more predictable ending to it. However, I don’t think I would have ended the second Game of Thrones episode any other way. The power of Game of Thrones is even when the not-so-often predictable event happens, they are still beautiful and well portrayed, so much so that you don’t mind the fact you were dead on with your prediction. You only wonder if your next playthrough will be different enough to change saves for Episode 3.