Having been left shaken after the conclusion of Telltale’s Game of Thrones episode one, I could not wait to see the crushing effect that its dark finale would have upon the already crumbling bonds of the Forrester family. They were a house divided; arguing over defensive strategies and methods of leadership, and that of course is still a prevalent feature throughout much of episode two. Although it mostly sets up intriguing plot points for the coming instalments, this episode still remains gripping through its wonderful storytelling. Various characters – both good and evil – are introduced, personas are expanded upon, and the world is enhanced through a variety of new and exciting environments.
The first of these locations, the Yellow City of Yunkai, has been greatly tarnished through conflict, and is now home to plenty of murderous sellswords in search of coin. One such sellsword, Asher, the estranged second son of House Forrester, kicks off the new episode with a scene that is both bloody and lively. He quips throughout the episode while bashing in skulls with a merciless flair, and is presented as a character that enjoys both booze and battle; a character that can be the light-hearted champion, as well as the dark and brooding warrior.
A great sense of camaraderie is quickly established between himself and his partner, Beskha, but unfortunately their time together serves solely as an introduction. Every time that we return to them, they are caught up in similar scenarios, and little time is given to their characterisation, beyond a certain aura of pluckiness. I hope that their journey back to Westeros proves to be a difficult one, so that we can see them in more varied, and equally dire situations; leading to the further development of their characters through struggle, strife and survival.
Back at Ironrath, the tension is building between the Forresters and their rivals, with the increasingly unnerving threat of conflict from the Whitehill soldiers looming over the head of every citizen. Tension has been heightened, and the stark provisions available make every moment daunting; there is no telling when the hammer will fall. These scenes may be ominous, but they also include a great sense of the familial bonds cemented between the remaining Forrester members. The love and loyalty present in the first episode has been built upon successfully, as solidarity and kinship are both heavily emphasised; factors that are becoming ever more important as the grip of war squeezes ever tighter on their northern world. Talia’s role has grown from that of meek girl in distress, to a conduit for empathy, and due to the surprising inclusion of a returning character, her compassionate nature truly shines through in a land full of hardship and unfriendly faces.
Dangerous and unwelcoming entities are very much a part of Gared’s chapters, as well as those of Mira. Gared Tuttle is now at the Wall, and it is endearing to see his transformation from the position of a simple squire to that of a more hardened member of the Night’s Watch. Although he still has a long way to go, we are able to witness his growth in strength from the few short scenes available here, which show excellent character development, especially when faced with a group of harsh and unruly men. His story seems to parallel that of Jon Snow (a first-rate performance from Kit Harrington, by the way), bringing them closer together and producing a bond that will no doubt flourish as Gared learns to cope with his new environment. As well as hitting some great story beats, the Wall adds a new and beautiful locale with its own tone of danger, similarly to desert city of Yunkai in which Asher calls his home.
Mira, having been sent to King’s Landing to serve as Margery Tyrell’s handmaiden, is now involved in a number of conspiracies that fit well within the secretive confines of the kingdom’s capital. The city has been faithfully recreated here through its threatening representation; it is a place that is never truly safe from hidden assassins, spies and false-friends. A tone of mystery remains a constant.
Although this episode has been able to capture the true essence of King’s Landing, and has given Mira a larger part to play in the numerous political matters sweeping over her house, she is still playing the part of the family slave. Despite being thousands of leagues away, important duties are placed upon the shoulders of a helpless teenage girl, and this often feels as though Telltale have been forced to include these moments in order to place her amongst more interesting situations. Having said that, the events of King’s Landing end on a high note, with an exciting finale that begs for the haste of episode three.
As The Lost Lords draws to a close, a touching montage displays the Forrester family’s solidarity, and their supreme desire to remain strong throughout a time of immense hardship. It may not be the shocking climax of episode one, but it certainly brings a tear to the eye, and shows that heart is the glue holding each member together. Big things have been happening since the beginning, and they are only about to get bigger.