Game of Thrones Episode 4: Sons of Winter (Steam Store)
Westeros falls on dark times and the Forrester family is no exception. Gryff rules Ironrath and Rodrick must fight for his right as Lord. Asher goes on a mission for Daenarys in exchange for some of her sellswords. Mira discovers that the Whitehills have a spy in Kings Landing while trying to get back in Margeary’s good graces. Gared faces execution at The Wall for murdering a fellow brother.
I’m going to talk about the story that really upset me first and that is Gared’s adventure. As I said earlier, he faces execution at The Wall. The real kicker is I went out of my way to not murder Britt and remain true to my vows. I even recited the oath aloud as I clicked on each sentence. I am not lying.
Doesn’t matter if Finn vouches for you, Frostfinger still doesn’t believe it and has you sentenced for execution. Therefore, according to The Wall, you can’t defend yourself against other people who try to kill you. Better to let them murder you or the Watch will do it themselves. When I had to pick a dialogue option for Gared about the Watch, you can bet that I had him say they betrayed him. Jon Snow gets one little scene before he leaves for Craster’s Keep.
If you tell him it’s an accident, he’ll believe you but he’s powerless to stop Frostfinger. Those of you who watch the show might see the irony in this. Those of you who haven’t might want to skip this next part to avoid spoilers. The Night’s Watch betrays Jon himself when he ascends to Lord Commander. His aim is to unite the Watch and the Free Folk against the true enemy, the White Walkers. However, many of the more old-fashioned members don’t like this new turn and trick him outside, stabbing him one by one. Mysandra resurrects Jon, but it destroys his hero worship of the Night’s Watch. If Telltale makes a second season, it would be interesting for Gared and Jon to meet and bond over their shared betrayal. Gared breaks out and continues his search for the North Grove.
In order to give a proper review, I need to discuss what happens at Ironrath. This is when Gryff’s rule becomes intolerable as he uses brute force to assure his position. It’s very similar to how a bully will use fear to rule over those weaker than them. Therefore, Gryff is little more than a thinly veiled Joffrey, which is the closest we’ll get to seeing him in the game. To ensure their position, the Whitehills demand that Eleana, betrothed to Rodrick, marry Gryff. Again, we have an obvious love triangle between a hero and a villain with Eleana having no affection for the villain whatsoever. However, I will applaud her for taking matters into her own hands. Needless to say, this gives Rodrick more allies in his fight for Ironrath. However, the trouble isn’t over when you deal with Gryff. Ludd Whitehill wants to make a deal with you and let me tell you something The Whitehills suck at making ironwood, so they have to threaten the Forresters into helping them. While Roose Bolton is an evil and ruthless man, there is no way he’d still side with the Whitehills after seeing their horrible work. The meeting at their estate does show one key difference between the Forresters and the Whitehills. Ludd Whitehill cares nothing for Gryff due to being his fourth born son. Rodrick, on the other hand, loves Ryon, despite him being fourth born, and will do anything he can to bring him back. Did I mention that, when you leave Ironrath, you have the option of leaving Talia in charge? I didn’t care for her, at first, but her biting Gryff in the third episode and openly rebelling against the Whitehills shows that there’s more to this young girl than meets the eye.
However, Talia still has a long way to go to catch up to Mira in my eyes. Margaery might fire her and she still risks her life to discover who’s working for the Whitehills in King’s Landing. Mira’s plot is about making a deal with her fellow handmaiden, Sera, and snooping around Tommen’s coronation to discover who works for the Whitehills. I love how the dialogue options can demonstrate that she’s not to be underestimated. You can also give Mira sweet dialogue options, though whether they’re genuine or she’s playing innocent to get what she wants is up to you. There is one scene I found rather funny. When Mira asks about Lyman, a fellow nobleman says that her ears are too delicate to hear such things. Keep in mind that, as a handmaiden, Mira cleans chamber pots, which are old-fashioned toilets. Yet she is far too delicate to hear of subjects such as sex, violence and drug addiction. That logic astounds me.
Last but not least is Asher’s plot, beginning with when you have to explain to Daenarys how you found her dragon.
I’ll admit that dealing with her can be rather intimidating. I’m just glad Joffrey or Viserys, Daenarys’s brother, never got dragons. It’s best not to think about it. Anyway, you have a hard time convincing her to lend you her sellswords until you agree to go on a stealth mission for her. You also get to find out about Beshka’s past and, let me tell you, the mission Daenarys sends you on is a conflict of interest. I won’t give too much away for fear of spoilers, but you do have to stop Beshka when she gets out of hand.
The game play is typical of a game made by Telltale, but executed quite well. You have to pick dialogue options for each character you play, as I said before.
You also get to experience quick time events and, let me tell you, they sneak up on you. My favorite part is when you get to go on a stealth mission for Daenarys as Asher. That, and beating up Gryff, but it was a little more personal on that one.
This is the one episode where the items you collect actually play a role. For instance, if you collected medical supplies when you were at the Maester’s in Episode 1, you can now use them to heal a fallen comrade. At the end of the episode, you can match up your choices with that of other players.
This game is addictive and intriguing. I give it 8 out of 10; fun but didn’t get a true emotional reaction out of me. Being upset over stupid decisions does not count.