Telltale's Game of Thrones Episode 5: "A Nest of Vipers" Review
When we last left off with Telltale’s Game of Thrones, the story had finally seemed to pick up and, naturally, the last episode ended on a cliffhanger. Telltale released the fifth episode, "A Nest of Vipers", on Tuesday and it is quite a wild ride. But does the fifth episode begin to knock down all the factors and consequences built up over the past four episodes?
!Warning: There will be spoiler for the previous episode “Sons of Winter”!
Something that struck me as the most interesting component of this episode was that each storyline had a defining feature or component that made it memorable. Whether it was gameplay or the people one of the Forrester POVs interacted with, there was something that made all parts of this episode seem fluent and interesting all the way through.
Starting off where the last episode left off...
The last episode ended with Rodrick and this episode started off with him., so I might as well do the same. At the end of “Sons of Winter”, our favorite psychopath Ramsey Bolton had returned for another visit. As always, any time spent with Ramsey is filled with gruesome sights and unpleasant news. Still, the problem with sections devoted to Ramsey is that, as far as the book and show go Ramsey is alive and kicking. So Rodrick swearing vengeance or blatantly defying him is basically pointless.
Ramsey, don't taunt me. You are still in the show and in the books!!
Any attempt at fighting him can only end in one way, as the Forresters are barely mentioned in the main series. Rodrick also finds out that the rumors of a spy in Ironrath are more than just rumors. It had a bit of good shock value, as it seems that the traitor depends on Rodrick’s past decisions but the reaction of the spy, once caught seems very irrational and random. Still in the end, hard choices had to be made and Rodrick has to take action, something that is always welcome.
Meanwhile, even furthur north
Going even further north, Gared has met up with Sylvie, Cotter’s sister. Not much progress is made toward finding the North Grove, but Telltale doesn’t leave us totally out in the cold. We get a sympathetic backstory for Cotter and Sylvie, a nice lengthy action scene and even a hunting scene. The hunting scene was a bit of fun, but the bow controls were a bit messed up and I reloaded my game in order to be able to nab some prey for our party to eat.
Going from tundras to deserts, Asher adds some intense fighting to the episode
As always Asher’s part of the story contains a decent amount of action and fighting, but this time it was balanced out with a lot of backstory and the additio of a colorful band of pit fighters from Breska's past.
Asher "making friends" with a new charecters known as The Beast.
One complaint some have had is about Danerys’ attitude and decisions toward Asher. Some reviewers have called her portrayal as too cold and that it was completely contradicting how she acts in the TV show and the book. I do agree that there is some contradiction, but not in the fact that she is cold and withdrawn toward Asher. In Telltale’s game, Danerys acts like the politicians in King’s Landing, very calculating and cool which is rather unusual for Dany as she is rather inexperienced in politics and is very naïve. Additionally her decisions, which I won’t get into for spoilers sake, are mandated by the book and TV series, an unfortunate side effect for the game’ setting occurring during the timeline of the show. In the end Asher gets himself into a few scuffles, possibly finds some new allies and a bit more of Beska’s past is revealed, a good formula that has worked for Asher since he first appeared in "The Lost Lords".
Some amazing events at King’s Landing
Similar to “Sons of Winter” this episode focused more on Asher, Rodrick and Gared. However despite having less “screen time” Mira made up for it in spades as she had decent lengthy scenes with both Cersei and Tyrion. The entire time Mira was talking with Cersei I was on the tip of my toes since the last time I talked to Cersei in "Iron from Ice" it felt that anything I said was displeasing to her.
Having a one-on-one converstation with Cersei, you have to be careful.
The actions I had to take while interacting with the imprisoned Tyrion made me doubt if I had done the right thing. Things, as usual for Mira, ended on an unsure note and no doubt there might be huge consequences for what I did, or failed to do.
The Ending, Oh my god the ending!
All previous chapters of Telltale’s Game of Thrones series have taken after the TV show by always delivering endings with intense cliffhangers. This episode puts all of the previous endings in the series, the game series that is, to shame. You have to make a descision, one heart breaking decision that will definetly have huge, game-changing effects on the finale. This decision was so big and had me so conflicted that I am very glad I have two files saved for the game.
As the fifth episode comes to a close, it is clear that for this game there were no restrictions. The player has to make some huge decisions, a few of which are life and death, Each choice felt like it had a lot of weight attached to it and the events in “A Nest of Vipers” has set up a lot for the next, and final, episode to cover. If Telltale can play its cards right the final episode, titled “The Ice Dragon”, will be a game full of action and battles that might hinge on the descisons made by all of the members of the Forrester house. As a whole “A Nest of Vipers” featured some of the best fighting sequences in the series, some big decisions and an ending really worth of the Game of Thrones title. “A Nest of Vipers” is not perfect, but its probably the best episode Telltale has released so far.