Game Review | Game of Thrones | Season 1, Episode 3 | "The Sword in the Darkness"
Episode Summary: Asher sets off for Meereen in hope of finding an army to lead in the fight against the House Whitehill. Meanwhile, in King's Landing, Mira, caught in the city's political turmoil following the recent events, is still at work finding a powerful ally to aid her family in their struggle. (Wikipedia)
*** SPOILER ALERT – Do not read any further if you want to avoid spoilers ***
After this episode, it’s now the halfway point of the season and momentum is growing across all the storylines, although I still can’t see how a couple of them can possibly have an effect on the outcome of the central Forrester vs Whitehill plot.
Starting in the north, Gared is adjusting to life at the Wall, taking his vows of brotherhood to the Night’s Watch and being assigned to the Rangers. There’s a further tie-in to the TV series here as he also volunteers to help Jon deal with the Night’s Watch mutineers at Craster’s Keep, which is pretty cool although I can’t see Gared actually joining that expedition somehow.
One reason is that Gared’s uncle visits to drop off some Ironwood for the Watch, but also to give Gared a map to the North Grove, which Lord Forrester mentioned in his dying breath. A friend of Gared’s, Cotter, steals the map and then reveals to him that he’s a Wildling and can help Gared get to where he wants to go.
The other reason is that a new member of the Night’s Watch this episode is Britt, a Whitehill soldier who killed Gared’s family. The pair end up fighting on the Wall and it doesn’t go well for Britt, which means that the future doesn’t look too shiny for Gared either.
In the south, I was pleasantly surprised to see a lot of more of Mira this episode, even if Margaery ended up angry at her for working with Tyrion. It then got even worse for the Forrester girl as the events of the Purple Wedding unfolded, leaving her partnership with the Imp in ruins.
At Ironrath, things are a little more disappointing as there are a few moments when the story really feels forced to get where Telltale want events to play out in a certain manner and, despite a few brighter moments (including near the very end of the episode), the drama never quite played out as I’m sure the writers would have hoped, simply because it felt too much like there was no influence the player could have on proceedings.
Even then, it still felt like something actually happened compared to Asher, whose story got the short end of the stick this time out. There’s an early encounter with Drogon, but that’s pretty much it until the very end of the episode when he earns a meeting with none other than Daenerys Targaryen, who would like to know exactly where her dragon is.
The two high points of the episode for me were both related to exceptional use of the music, which made the sequences concerned really feel like they belonged in an episode of the show:
The first was after the Purple Wedding, where Mira dashed to Tyrion’s chambers after his arrest to steal a royal decree that she had turned down earlier in a vain attempt to appease Margaery.
The second was the very end as the music slowly swelled in background as Rodrik and Talia had a hopeful conversation after his ‘submission’ to Gryff Whitehill, Mira burned the decree to remove the link between her and the now-disgraced Tyrion, and Asher got to meet the Mother of Dragons.
In the heat of the moment, I was geeking out over the choice of the music used to close “The Sword in the Darkness” and was ready to rate this episode higher than the last, but on reflection, I don’t think this episode is really that good, but am pleased the series seems to be very much on an upwards trajectory after the disappointing start to the season.