Game of Thrones Episode Six: The Ice Dragon is the season one finale to Telltale’s take on the series. As this is the last episode, this writer decided to not hold anything back as he thought it’d be hard to review otherwise. SPOILERS AHEAD! Warnings aside, let’s get to the review of episode six.
When this game started, there were two things the episodes were building on: finding the White Grove and saving the Forresters. Gared played his part by recruiting others in his quest to find the White Grove while his Forrester brethren approached different ways to seek help in their fight against the Whitehills. Every episode seemed to be building toward an epic finale, but it all felt flat. Let’s go through it character by character to find out why.
Asher: With Asher returned, army in hand, one would imagine there would be an immediate battle. Nope. Instead, the story seems to rewind to previous plot points with the Whitehills offering yet another pact through marriage. There’s really no option to surrender, so instead Asher plots a faux treaty. Get Lord Whitehill into the manor and either ambush, or poison him. However, no matter the choice, Asher’s betrothed, Gwyn, visits him pleading that he actually goes through with the pact, which then offers the option of negating the previous assassination. However, no matter what the decision is of any of these three choices, the end result is the same. A fight will break out, leading to the Forrester’s defeat.
Gared: Tuttle’s story is the only one with a rewarding conclusion as the White Grove is revealed to be real. Not only that, there’s a small army guarding the place in the form of his former master’s children. The choice presented to Gared is to stay and protect White Grove, or to march this army onto Ironwrath. Given the previous scene showed the keep’s fall, the decision was obvious.
Mira: All of her time is spent trying to help gain favor in King’s Landing in order to help her family, no matter what. Whatever choices the player makes, the game decided to call out Mira on everything she does, seemingly more so than everyone else. This constant negative reinforcement was frustrating. What’s more Mira is thrown in jail, without a trial, and the only way out is by marrying her betrayer to which he spells out her horrible future if she does. Again, the decision to refuse is obvious, resulting in her death. What a waste of a character.
While this writer’s choices may not be those of others, most of the end results are the same no matter what. Branching narratives, especially in Telltale games, are clever ruses. Choices may alter small parts of the plot, but the end results are basically the same. It’s the journey not the destination after all. However, when a game, such as this, offers choice in the hope of winning with the end result being hopeless no matter what, well, it sucks. The reason? Season two.
The Ice Dragon’s release is the biggest gap in-between episodes in the series with four months of development instead of the usual two. Why’d it take so long? This writer assumes there were rewrites to leave it open for season two. After all, six episodes is the most given to any Telltale game thus far, making it seem like they wanted more episodes in order to tell their complete story in one season. Not only that, episode six is the worst running of them all. Not only were the usual freezes and audio bugs were more frequent, but also the entire finale with Asher was void of sound except for the background noise. Plus, better yet, his face melted off his body and then reformed partially. Not proof of conspiracy, but it is fishy.
Game of Thrones Episode Six: The Ice Dragon, and the series as a whole, was an interesting experiment that didn’t pan out. Following four characters, while true to the show, was exhausting and led to insignificant plot points. Not only that, the build up was a let down. This episode is being given two out of five stars, however, even with the end ruined, the series as a whole receives three out of five stars. It’s not completely without merit, but boy does it leave a sour taste.
Special notes: This review code of The Ice Dragon was provided by Telltale Games.