Game of Thrones – Episode Two: The Lost Lords releases this week for PC/Steam, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Mac, Android and IOS this week. Our look at the previous episode, Iron from Ice, went over the basics of gameplay, the visual style, sound and acting of the game, as well as an in-depth exporation of the beginning of the game with both written and video form in order to get a feel for the scope of the narrative. As this is a story driven game, and we covered the core elements outside of that, their scores will remain largely the same, with each episode ranging from roughly one and a half to two hours, we can’t delve too deeply without spoiling things for players. So, let’s take stock of where we’ve came from, or more accurately how my specific choices have lead the multiple playable characters up to their starting point for this second episode.
What follows are major spoilers and a recap of Episode One – Iron From Ice
Gared Tuttle fetches ale for the Forrester forces with a fellow squire at a wedding celebration for Robb Stark on Walder Frey’s lands. Gared begins to notice the Frey men readying swords and crossbows in tents scattered throughout the camp. Gared urges his companion Bowen to run as the betrayal and slaughter begin. He witnesses the fall of Rodrik, the King’s eldest son as he runs towards his lord’s side. The elder Forrester is alive but wounded, and their forces are outnumbered. As they head to the forest to make their escape and Forrester realises he will not make it, he sends the young Gared with the family sword back to their home of Ironrath to spread the word of their defeat.
Gared hurries towards the Forrester lands finding farms and land sacked and under the control of Roose Bolton’s men. When he discovers his home in ruins and his family murdered, the young man kills two of the enemy soldiers in his rage. Though a noble act, it proves to be more trouble than it’s worth. Gared is wounded and though he makes it to the keep and is treated for his wounds, he is sent off to The Wall before the Boltons along with the Forrester’s arch-rival clan Whitehill arrive to arrest him for murder.
Meanwhile the three youngest of house Forrester Ethan, Ryon and Talia play in the nearby woods – a temporary respite from the poor circumstances surrounding their family. Ethan does his best to bravely take a hard line when Lord Whitehill comes calling in order to gloat over the death of his family. They are looking for Gared, but he has already gone. Whitehill promises repercussions with the aid of the Boltons.
Mira Forrester acts as handmaiden to future queen Margery Tyrell. She finds the news from her family distressing and to further compound things she is brought before Cersei Lannister, who accuses her of disloyalty to the crown. Cersei attempts to rattle the young woman, while Tyrion is, as always, far less serious. Per Margery’s instructions, Mira does her best to appease the Lannister matriarch and is somewhat successful in doing so. Once Cersei takes her leave, Tyrion seeks to negotiate with Mira in order to secure ironwood from the Forrester lands. Mira is willing to risk the trouble from both Cersei and Margery in order to attempt to bolster her house. Later Mira begs of Margery to ask King Joffrey to aid the Forrester family from Bolton trouble, quickly approaching in the form of Ramsey Snow.
Gared hides himself in the woods after he comes upon the twisted young Lord Ramsay – now a true Bolton – flaying a man in attempts to gain information on his way to Ironrath. At the keep the following day Ethan is forced to make difficult choices as the new Lord Forrester. He shows a measure of mercy to a thief by sending him to The Wall. He later discovers that his mother has sent his Uncle Malcolm to head across the Narrow Sea and find Asher, the eldest living son of the Forrester family who has left his heritage and family far behind. In addition to this feeling of being undermined, Ethan struggles with the decision on appointing a sentinel. Ultimately he chooses Duncan Tuttle over Ser Royland as an attempt to err on the side of diplomacy.
Mira awaits words from Margery in King’s Landing. The results is not the desired outcome. Joffrey has rebuked the request, thus making Margery less likely to provide any help in the future and leaving the Forresters at Ironrath with no aid coming. A young, poor servant boy promises to offer Mira aid if she wants it.
Ramsey and Whitehill are invited into the Great Hall of Ironrath upon their arrival. Ethan works hard to take the diplomatic path and kneels before the “Lord” Bolton. The young Forrester balks at the thought of giving up Gared who he claims was justified in his killing. When Ramsey attempts to take away all of the valuable ironwood resources, Ethan negotiates for them to keep half. As Ramsey informs them of the new Whitehill garrison that will occupy Ironrath, tensions begin to increase. When he attempts to take poor Talia as his ward, Ethan grabs her away and… is met with a blade through the neck. Young Ryon is taken and the episode ends.
Episode Two – The Lost Lords – An Overview
Episode Two begins in the desert city of Yunkai. Asher Forrester has come here to escape his family and his past – a female mercenary his only companion. They have a hostage for ransom, but soon run afoul of a large mercenary group known as the Lost Legion. As the two sides battle, Malcolm Forrester shows up to intervene, there to return Asher to his home in their time of need (and neither of them are aware of how bad it has become). They will spend most of this episode dealing with the mercenaries and planning a way back to Westeros.
The second character the player will control is quite a surprise, so much so that we won’t reveal it until the 3rd episode arrives. Suffice to say that this character is most likely completely unexpected to the player given the events of the first episode. They will be an important focus for the Forresters for the majority of The Lost Lords.
Yunkai is not the only new setting we will explore this time around. Our story joins squire Gared Tuttle as he finds his way to The Wall and begins to learn what it will take for him to become a member of the Crows. He will find that his attachments to the North do him relatively little in the way of favors here.
Our final playable character this go around is Mira. She once again attempts to gain the assistance of Margery Tyrell, but it proves fruitless. She furthers an attempted alliance with Tyrion Lannister in regards to securing funds for her family’s claim to the Ironwood – in doing so she makes enemies and puts herself in danger.
Tensions are growing for the Forrester family throughout all the lands as they struggle to put themselves and their people in a positions to survive. This all comes against a backdrop of profound grief as they prepare to lay to rest two of their lords, and family members, lost within such a short period of time.
Another quality episode that seeks to expand the reach of the story, though keeping the threads connected through this family. On the technical side the strange fuzzy, watercolor outlines that act as depth of field, mentioned in the previous review, somehow managed to grow more distracting this time around. Here’s hoping for some respite or some measure of revenge for the Forresters in episode three.
Game of Thrones – Episode 2: The Lost Lords was played for review on PC via Steam.