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