Game Review | Game of Thrones | Season 1, Episode 2 | "The Lost Lords"
Episode Summary: A cart of the bodies from the massacre at the Twins is brought to Ironrath, amongst them is the body of Lord Gregor and the injured but still-living Rodrik. In distant Yunkai, three days after Daenerys' liberation, Asher and his female companion Beskha are visited by Malcolm Branfield, sent by his mother to bring him back to Ironrath. (Wikipedia)
*** SPOILER ALERT – Do not read any further if you want to avoid spoilers ***
Okay, so this was a little more like it after the underwhelming first episode. “Iron from Ice” was okay, but little more, but “The Lost Lords” really felt like a solid entry into the world of Game of Thrones, helped by the arrival of a certain Mr Jon Snow.
Yes, the broody, moody and stupidly honourable member of the Night’s Watch makes an appearance, offering advice to Gared as the former squire starts his new life at Castle Black. I have to admit to not actually being that big a fan of Jon in the show, but his inclusion does feel like an adding an extra layer of authenticity considering how important he seems to be to the fate of Westeros.
In addition to Jon, there are two new playable characters in this episode – Rodrik Forrester, somehow surviving the severe injuries he suffered during the events of the Red Wedding at the start of the season; and Asher Forrester, still in exile in Essos (specifically Yunkai).
Rodrik is possibly the more welcome of the two, effectively replacing his little brother Ethan after the boy’s murder at the hands of Ramsay Snow, as others tend to take him more seriously and it’s nice to be able to take a stand against the Whitehills, even if they again gain the upper hand by the end of the episode.
Asher is fun, although he only has a small, more action-oriented role, as he and his colleague, Beskha, get into a fight with a group called the Lost Legion. We don’t really get to learn much about Asher in “The Lost Lords”, but with his uncle Malcom arriving to bring him back to Westeros, I’m sure we’ll see a lot more of him in the future.
Lastly, there is also Mira – still stuck in King’s Landing and now getting drawn into murkier waters by Tyrion Lannister who wants to have some fun riling the Whitehills himself. Of course, this almost gets Mira killed, but she still feels (intentionally?) powerless right now compared to the male player characters. I’m keen to see what happens with her though – right now, her story seems rather detached from the events in the north and I’m hoping that changes sooner rather than later.
I will admit that Lady Forrester is beginning to grate a little, for fairly similar reasons to Cat Stark in the show – she is admirably protective of her family, but blind to options other than what she has set her mind on. I wonder if they will share a similar fate down the line…
As for the other issues I had with the first episode, the art style is still off-putting. It looks fine for the most part, but some of the backgrounds – and occasionally the characters – are so muddy and blurred that it becomes distracting, especially with longer-distance shots where the two can start to blend together.
Also, there are still some control issues, particularly in Asher’s more action-oriented sections, where the alternating between tapping in one direction, pressing a button or repeatedly mashing a button seem to be chosen at random, often not matching the action they’re supposed to be mimicking.
Despite these gripes, this is still a superior effort to last time out purely because of the new characters and how well-written they are. Admittedly, this is balanced by the antagonists being allowed to act like dicks with no consequences, but I suppose that’s Game of Thrones for you.