Your Choices Matter: Telltale’s Game of Thrones Season Finale “The Ice Dragon” Review

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Telltale’s sixth and final episode “The Ice Dragon” was released today on platforms wide, wrapping up the first season of their Game of Thrones series. House Forrester was truly pushed to their limits against the Whitehills while Mira and Gared furthered their plans to bring aid to their family.

Full spoilers for the episode beneath the cut:

The episode opens with Gared, Cotter, and Sylvi as their journey to find The North Grove comes to a close. He looks up at the Northern Lights and sees the constellation known as The Ice Dragon and knows they’ve found it.

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The action sequences were intense this episode and the giant polar bear was a great start. It got even better when you arrived at The Grove and saw it was actually a Warg rather than a wild animal. The story of the fortress begins to unfold as you discover Gregor’s backstory and the magic it holds.

A White Walker attack ensues, and then we come to our first major decision. Cotter was fatally harmed last episode and still hasn’t recovered; you must decide how he passes. I think this is the easiest choice but I’m definitely going to see some blood magic in my replay.

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In King’s Landing, the consequences of Mira’s actions are catching up with her. You first meet with Margaery and Sera discussing your presence at Tommen’s Coronation and the scene you made. You also have the choice of telling the truth and sparing Sera’s position or lying. If you tell the truth, you’re dismissed as Margaery’s handmaiden.

The death of the Lannister soldier is also starting to stir up a commotion as your name is on every guard’s lips. King’s Landing is more dangerous now than ever and what you could really use is an ally. When two guards are pursuing you, that’s just what saves you…or so you thought.

I thought Mira’s story ended well this season. It’s nice to see that the choices we’ve been making all season matter in the long run and have consequences. If you make the wrong decisions this episode, you can even end up dead.

I just wish it weren’t so easy to draw parallels between the Starks and the Forresters. With her newly arranged wedding, it’s all too easy to see her as Sansa (Morgryn = Petyr?).

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With an army at the gates, Ironrath is set for battle. The showdown we’ve been waiting for all season tied up more than a few lose ends. As Rodrik, it’s up to you to save Ryon and defend your home…while killing as many Whitehills as possible in between.

You make a plan to infiltrate their encampment and save Ryon. When the time comes to make your decision you must choose: either follow Gryff and save Ryon or follow Ludd and end it all.

I chose Gryff and damn, was I satisfied (even more than kicking Britt off The Wall). The action sequence was smooth and avenging Asher by beheading Gryff felt more than deserved. The Forresters needed a victory and today, they got two for Ryon was also saved.

You return to Ironrath and everything is carnage and chaos. The gate has been smashed and Whitehills are slipping in and slaughtering your small folk. You make a minor decision to either protect the gate or the small folk.

Once the gate finally gives, Ludd makes his entrance among his soldiers from up on his high horse. You see him and charge but are cut off by his man-at-arms Harys. This is the most brutal fight we’ve had all season and I loved it. He almost has you until Lady Forrester intervenes stabbing Harys with a dagger in the back to which he responds with his sword in her stomach.

That was as devastating a blow as Catelyn Stark.

Enraged, you defeat Harys in a gory fashion. More soldiers are piling in as you realize you’re overrun. You’re about to be executed again before Duncan pulls you out and throws you on a horse.

I thought it was over and we wouldn’t know what was going to happen next but after that little summary of your choices over the season, we get more.

The epilogue consists of the horse taking you to what looks to be a burned down village. You are badly wounded and can’t even get up until a hand helps you… it’s Royland and Talia! House Forrester lives!

Back at the North Grove, you make the final choice in the game: to stay or march South to Ironrath.

March on, Gared. On to Season 2!

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The finale of Game of Thrones puts emphasis on choices and the consequences that follow and for that, Telltale is the perfect platform to expand this story. I give it a 9/10. This episode in particular was especially unique as the story varies depending on your choice of Asher/Rodrik giving it the ultimate replay value.

For a potential next season there are only a few minor things Telltale could improve on. Firstly, if you’re playing this on an older console like a Playstation 3, it probably won’t run very smooth which is frustrating seeing as it runs better on a phone. The fight sequences will lag and the dialogue will not only get mismatched but quit altogether. Maybe Telltale is rushing the release (with releasing a trailer the day before the game release, that’s definitely a possibility) but they need to put more time into making the game run smooth given its simplicity.

Also, the episode wasn’t available on the Playstation store and had to be downloaded from within the game itself. I’m not sure about you folks at home but I’ve had download problems each episode.

Creatively, the series could be much stronger if they strayed away from the Starks’ storyline. Like the gameplay itself, it makes it seem as if it’s lagging behind the series rather than becoming a rendition of its own. Maybe bring some southern families into the fold next season rather than relying on characters we already know so well.

That’s not to say the game itself isn’t exceptional. When it works, the fight sequences and dialogue are faultless and it’s like an interactive episode of Game of Thrones which is more than a fan could ask for.

Telltale’s Game of Thrones is now available in its entirety via retail disk or digital download.

What did you think of Telltale’s take on Game of Thrones? Let us know in the comments!

24 responses

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    1. “Your Choices Matter”

      Which is why you’re railroaded into the choice of getting beheaded or marrying Totally Not Littlefinger as Mira no matter what you did previously? Choices haven’t mattered in Telltale games since the first season of The Walking Dead.

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    2. Not a satisfying end ;(
      I wanted to beat the shit out of this daming whitehills but they won in the last episode! They took over ironrathe

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    3. Holy shit! Choices did actually matter. Just finished this and just wow. Things didn’t really go at all like this review says with me. Now to see how many ways things can go! Can’t say that I’m happy about how things ended with my save.

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    4. Playstation runs their weekly updates on Tuesdays. These updates are not able to be visually seen by a Playstation gamer. Downloads cannot occur until the update is completed. Pretty dumb to release a game for a console that can’t download that game til later that evening.

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    5. I told my buddy after the last episode that I am going to just kill as many of them as I can when I replay the entire game. Now that I see what happened, I might just play like a wuss the entire time on my replay.

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    6. I think a cool GOT game would be a really immersive RPG. You get to pick a house to serve, or create a whole new house and choose the banner, or create a character and choose the path or house to serve. Train a dragon if a Targ, befriend a direwolf, or raise an army from scratch and challenge the seven kingdoms! All just wishful thinking.

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    7. Matt,

      Ever played the A Clash of Kings mod or A World of Ice and Fire mod for Mount and Blade Warband? Both are pretty good.

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    8. I think the siege is so much better if you’re playing as Asher, especially if you go for the poisoning plot. I wasn’t a big fan of this game series, but this last episode was pretty good.

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    9. I enjoyed it but I don’t see how season 2 will continue the Forrestor’s story. There are three major divergences

      (Asher/Rodrik, Mira dead/alive, Gared’s choice)

      and I just don’t see Telltale attempting to tell another 6 episode story taking into account these three factors. If there is a season 2, I am expecting brand new protagonists.

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    10. Great game

      Rather bittersweet but that is GoT

      Will go through the variation, I pretty much chose the same as the article writer

      Was intrigued to see “you and X% chose to save Ryon over victory in war” which has me intrigued that if you kill Ludd you win the battle?

      I had Elaena stay as well but then later she got dragged off, could have implications either way

      This ep has a lot more permutations, had me feeling the game too so will have a bit of fun replaying it all

      Had Mira stand tall as she lost her head with Sera and Gatwick looking on etc

      Lol, Morgryn “not Littlefinger” is a fool, Mira’s arguments about Ludd using up the Ironwood is correct and then he loses his influence down the line, logevity of a resource you have a Monopoly on is key which is something LF would know

      Great game, not surprised at lack of variation given the budget and scale, but as a toe in the water this is great and with a higher budget has greater expansion value

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    11. BeautyBrinne,

      Haha! Just finished it and I also failed with flying colors! Especially as Mira. Hoo boy… that did not go well at all in the end. 🙁

      I also regret not trying the blood magic with Gared. Cersei voiceover at the end hinted to me that I was too sentimental in my decisions. Definitely replaying the chapter as a stone cold badass. XD

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    12. lol,

      Going through my second saved game now as Asher, that really is a different arc so it’s definetely interesting

      As Mira I’ve already knifed Sera (twice in this one as I dobbed her in to Tarwick) which is complete opposite to my first run-through

      Might turn Cotter into an Elsera BM Wight thing in this one…

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    13. Seems there’s a few variations on how it can end

      I’m hoping this is one of those things where they’ve made a small streamlined first game to put their toe in the water, but then the more expensive subsequent games can account for the butterfly effect

      Thing with that is that there would be a lot more scenes required, meaning production costs are higher meaning we’d all be paying more for a same length game episode wise, but the offset is that a lot more hours of gameplay are racked up through replay value…

      Eg, aGoT book would be considered streamlined, and then there’s things after that in subsequent books

      In future, they’ve left open Malcolm with Dany to cater for any Southron angle,

      Plus they still have Bowwen and Norren and presumably other Forrester prisoners captured at the Twins, if they are released they have a small army capable of power projection

      People have whinged about “lack of choices” mattering, but this can actually turn out quite great in the long run

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    14. Matt:
      I think a cool GOT game would be a really immersive RPG. You get to pick a house to serve, or create a whole new house and choose the banner, or create a character and choose the path or house to serve. Train a dragon if a Targ, befriend a direwolf, or raise an army from scratch and challenge the seven kingdoms! All just wishful thinking.

      You should check out Crusader Kings 2, great roleplaying game, and try out the “A Game of Thrones” mod for it! It’s really great, they have added all of the history of ASOIAF, and you can play as any house you like, or make your own. There is dragons, white walkers and all that other good stuff! The mod is really well made.

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    15. It seems to me or whatever I do, I’ll end up dead? No matter my choices, Forresters keep being killed. That’s really annoying, don’t you think?

      Luckily, I’ve learned something and decided that Mira should marry the idiot instead of being beheaded, yay!
      And I hate the Boltons even so much more now! The Whitehills are their pets, that bunch of f**ckers! I choose Asher and war above all, kill ’em all no matter what. House Forrester may fall, but we’ll take some Whitehills with us 🙂

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    16. I enjoyed this game to start with and thought they made great use of the source material (in some ways better use than B&W did in the last tv season). However as it went on i grew frustrated that hardly any decisions or actions actually change the story.

      I guess the choice between Roderick and Asher was better one as was the Mira endings. I liked Mira and went for the Morgryn option.

      It is however more of a semi-interactive web comic rather than a real game. I will probably play the second season but wish they would put more real game altering decisions in it.

      (Beshka and Mira were my faves btw)

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