You would not have been remiss to have forgot about the final instalment of Telltale’s Game of Thrones. It was a long four months ago that its fifth episode, A Nest of Vipers, was released, but now the season has been completed, through an outing that is eager to ignite your blood in a frenzy of action, emotion and despair. Gared reaches his goal beyond the Wall, Rodrik charges head on into a battle with the bastard Whitehills, and Mira is finally given a chapter worth talking about. While each character’s arc may end on a series of stunning cliffhangers, the relationships and moments of choice, before those brain-wracking finales, are as desperate and as compelling as they come.
Gared’s arrival at the North Grove is met with some trepidation, as he, Sylvi and an injured Cotter are chased by the immense form of a polar bear, before then being accosted by a mystical group of warriors. They are led by the brother and sister pairing of Josera and Elsera Snow, a couple that are both as steely as they are likeable; anxious of Gared’s coming at first, they soon delve towards a comfortable level of camaraderie with the squire. The former is a skin-changing warg, while the latter dabbles in a form of blood magic used to control an army of human-like zombies. While the North Grove itself is simplistically described as “a place to fend off the forces of darkness,” its glowing, blue visuals provide a uniquely mystic aesthetic to the episode.
The implications of Elsera’s magic upon Gared’s choices are also intriguing, as he must choose between using a friend as a sacrificial, sacrilegious tool, to bolster the strength of her art, or to give his comrade an honourable death without arcane involvement. The choice itself may not present a berth of outcomes – the friend will die either way – but its inclusion interestingly strengthens the series’ involvement within the wider Game of Thrones universe, in which magic is feared as a form of treacherous blasphemy against the Faith of the Seven.
Mira’s chapter begins with the usual toff that has come to be expected from the dull happenings of King’s Landing. Margery is acting like a spoilt brat, spewing forth nonsense about honour and betrayal, and the actress playing her is oddly unable to pronounce Mira’s name the same way twice. All of this is standard fare, until a distinct flurry of tension is added to the proceedings. Plots against Mira are intensifying at an alarming rate, and the threat of death looms hard over her scenes. Instead of encapsulating the blandness of previous episodes, King’s Landing itself is truly characterised as a place of sinister happenings and corruption. Plot twists occur throughout, turning supposed instances of safety on their head, and Mira is threatened on multiple levels: from hazards pertaining to her national identity, to those of gender-related and sexual menace. For the first time in the series, I felt for Mira’s pain, as her life at court closed around her with no one and nowhere to turn to.
After the harrowing finale of episode five, it is no surprise that Rodrik’s chapters are some of The Ice Dragon’s most compelling. Rodrik must contend with a group of unrefined slavers, as well as bolster Ironwrath’s defensive system in order to counter an attack by Ludd Whitehill, and his abhorrent son, Gryff. Throughout the entirety of the series, the Whitehills have been a bunch of dickheads; they have prodded Rodrik and family from night until noon with insults, dishonour and physical assault. The Ice Dragon continues this trend forcefully, providing a great sense of motivation to counter the hateful contestation of one of the North’s most abominable families.
Combat, of course, pockmarks the action, as Rodrik battles knights and soldiers galore, whilst members of his kin are slain alongside him in bloody valour. While the Forrester family are somewhat derivative of the Starks – the one sent to the wall, the daughter sent to court, the young lord of the household – Telltale have made me care about their lives to an unforeseen level. Rodrik’s cries amongst the dead and dying piqued my reflexes, as I desperately tried to slay every Whitehill in sight, whilst holding on to the few brethren that remained; the suspense and dire straits of Game of Thrones were heightened by the amount of Forrester blood on the screen.
Almost every chapter here ends on a cliffhanger, with the Forresters either scattered throughout the realm, dead or worse. Having to wait for the next season will be a painful test of endurance, as I must know the fate of this beloved family’s ill-omened members. While this first season has certainly had a number of disappointing downs, the final episode is not amongst them. It provides a closing chapter fuelled by drama, suspense and terrible intensity. A fitting end for a series of violent and shocking repute.
A fitting and violent end
The Forrester's first season has come to an end through a bout of emotion, paramount shocks and startling violence