Telltale has done an admirable job of making its episodic Game of Thrones series feel like its HBO counterpart, and to further add authenticity to the experience, it takes no prisoners in its eventful season finale.
What Is It?
While A Nest of Vipers ended with quite a tragic decision, The Ice Dragon mixes things up a bit by starting off with Gared Tuttle, who finally arrives at the North Grove after fending off a couple White Walkers. As strange as it was for him to pick fights with the undead, he finds it even stranger when he realizes the North Grove is as supernatural as it is hidden.
The problems are more political over at King’s Landing, when Mira Forrester is summoned to Margeary Tyrell for a conference with her and fellow handmaiden, Sera Durwell, that results in one of them being dismissed from their handmaiden duties. On top of this, there are rumors of Mira’s involvement with the murder of a Lannister guard resulting in legal issues in the kingdom jeopardizing Mira’s attempt to help her family back home.
Back at Ironrath, the inevitable war between the Forresters and Whitehills is about to begin. Depending on the decision you made at the end of the previous episode, the events leading up the battle are drastically different, and nearly every choice made has major ramifications in the finale’s final minutes.
Why Should I Care?
Without jumping to conclusions, one might assume that Game of Thrones marks the first Telltale game where decisions actually matter. For example, in The Walking Dead had a bunch of moments where you had to choose to save one character from dying, while another meets his or her demise only to have the character you saved die later anyway. That being said, playing Game of Thrones using methodology from previous Telltale entries will get you burned.
The similarities in these adaptations lie in the fact that these are both untold stories. Clementine isn’t part of the canon in The Walking Dead novel or TV show, and while the Forresters are hinted about in their source material, their stories aren’t actually told either. So if you go into Game of Thrones thinking you really understand the political happenings in Westeros, unfavorable instances in this finale shouldn’t surprise you.
The narrative for the war in Ironrath changes drastically depending on the selection you chose at the end of the last episode, and this results in the arc being radically different in the finale. The main commonalities include the importance of the army Asher just recruited beyond the Great Sea versus ending the bloodshed in Ironrath while disgracing the Forrester name. The dog-eat-dog nature of each house in the universe makes it impossible to be both honorable and in power.
One or more Forresters will die, and though that might be a spoiler to some, the fact of the matter is that they’re allies of House Stark. Blood will inevitably be spilled in the north.
What Makes It Worth My Time And Money?
The Ice Dragon will have its fair share of unfortunate outcomes, and they all happen because of something you made the Forresters do not only in A Nest of Vipers, but in the other episodes as well. Right before the final credits roll, you’ll be treated to monologues provided by Ramsay Bolton, Margeary Tyrell, and Cersei Lannister in summation of House Forrester and while they speak, additional statistics regarding your in-game decisions compared with the decisions made by other players will flash on the screen, showing that everything you’ve done since Episode 1 mattered.
So if you’re the type of person who likes to constantly rewind the game or check YouTube segments to see what decisions affect what outcomes, you’ll have a really tough time doing that. You’re probably better off playing through the game multiple times instead.
The developers and writers at Telltale deserve quite a bit of praise for what they were able to accomplish with their version of Game of Thrones, because this finale is definitely something that’ll have people talking at the water cooler.
Winter is coming, and so is a second season.
Iron from ice. Hope from tragedy. That’s The Ice Dragon and Game of Thrones in a nutshell.
Reviews of Previous Episodes of Game of Thrones:
- Episode 5: “A Nest of Vipers“
- Episode 4: “Sons of Winter“
- Episode 3: “The Sword in the Darkness“
- Episode 2: “The Lost Lords“
- Episode 1: “Iron From Ice“