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Review: Game of Thrones Episode 2 – The Lost Lords

The Lost Lords, the second episode of Telltale’s Game of Thrones adventure game, blew me away when I didn’t expect it to. I enjoyed the first episode, Iron From Ice, though it didn’t live up to what I knew Telltale could achieve. There were too many shoehorned-in appearances of characters from the show and the protagonists lacked the personality of Telltale’s earlier heroes. It felt like Game of Thrones by numbers, recycling familiar scenarios from the series but with new characters. It captured the tone of the show and the brutal setting, but it was a little disappointing.

The Lost Lords fixes all of that. The new POV character introduced this episode is Asher Forrester, the family’s exiled second son who’s living as a mercenary in Yunkai with his best friend Beskha – a badass female sellsword.  Asher is just what was needed to breathe some life into this series. From his introduction, he’s got twice the personality of the previous protagonists, who just drifted through scenes as a mouthpiece for the player’s choices. His action-packed scenes are always welcome in between all the tense politicking of the other characters.

Everyone else seems to have grown some personality as well. The rest of the Forresters are becoming much more defined, no longer just copies of the Starks. Their scenes, with the House in an even more precarious position after the shock ending of the first episode, are incredibly tense. This game is handling its politics amazingly. Every decision feels important, every line of dialogue could come back to haunt you. The scenes are nerve-wracking, perfectly capturing the vulnerable position of the Forresters in a cutthroat world.

Mira’s plot in King’s Landing is the most heavily political of them all. There’s a real sense that anything she does can be used against her, and balancing allegiances, calling in favours, and watching your own back creates a feeling of paranoia, especially as she draws the attention of some major political players. Unfortunately, she’s the least interesting of the characters as a person, so it really helps that her plot is the most engaging to play.

Gared’s plot has taken him the Wall – with an obligatory cameo from Jon Snow, of course – and currently feels the least relevant. It’s difficult to see how his plot is going to affect the fate of the Forresters, and currently it’s treading water a bit, but his scenes are fun and, like everyone else, he’s getting some much-needed character development.

The Lost Lords is everything I wanted this game to be. With less emphasis on characters from the show, the Forresters are allowed to grow and develop, carving out their own identities and conflicts in the Game of Thrones universe. The decision-making is tense and stressful, the action is brutal and exciting, and the emotional moments hit much harder this time. There’s not a weak scene in the whole episode and it builds to a fantastic, haunting, ending, that leaves me eagerly anticipating, and utterly dreading, the next episode.