Game Review | Game of Thrones | Season 1, Episode 6 | "The Ice Dragon"
Episode Summary: At King's landing, after losing the protection of Margaery Tyrell, Mira and her friend Tom try to avoid the Lannister guards while discovering that a former ally has been plotting against her this whole time. Mira is captured and must decide if she will face execution or allow Tom to die in her place. (Wikipedia)
*** SPOILER ALERT – Do not read any further if you want to avoid spoilers ***
And so ends one of the weaker series Telltale have put out since their streak of success began with The Walking Dead; not with a bang, but with little more than a whimper that leaves me not entirely interested about what seems like an inevitable second season.
There won’t be an overall review for this series as there were for the other episodic adventures I’ve made my way through, because it’ll end up being repetitive thanks to the quality of this series, which hasn't been bad, never anything truly memorable either.
Fine, licencing limitations may be partly to blame and they may have had less leeway to shake things up having to answer to both George RR Martin and HBO, but that still doesn’t explain why this series hasn’t been better than it turned out.
It even had a built-in advantage of using the actors from the show to voice their characters in this story too – although Natalie Dormer is the only one to put in an appearance in this final episode. It automatically had an added layer of immersion that didn’t exist for the other Telltale series.
The reason the series didn’t work as well as it could have was because it carried over too many of the negatives from the show and not enough of the positives. At least in the show, the final episode usually saves a ‘f**k yeah!’ scene or allows a character or plot at least a little sense of closure.
That doesn’t happen in "The Ice Dragon", with what little sense of hope there is being completely overshadowed by the antagonists continuing to come out on top. Yes, this happens in the show on a regular basis, but not to this degree and certainly not for almost the entirety of a season finale.
As I thought would happen, the separate storylines had grown too far apart from each other for them to tie back together for a satisfying conclusion, instead almost all simply setting up a continuation for a second season of the games.
Gared, Cotter and Sylvi find the North Grove at last and the original Lord Forrester’s warg and blood magic-using bastard children. There’s a small battle between their forces and some wights, before Cotter dies and Gared convinces the Snows to return south and aid their father’s family.
Mira is dismissed by Margaery and, thanks to various rumours pinning the death of a Lannister guard on her, she is imprisoned after being betrayed by Lord Morgryn. She then turns down his offer of marriage as a way to save herself and is executed.
Asher and his band of warriors return to Ironrath and concoct a plan to kill Lord Whitehill by poisoning him. Shit goes sideways in the most colossal way, a huge and bloody battle breaks out and Asher barely escapes after Lady Forrester is killed as Ironrath is captured by their rivals.
All of these stories are interesting to varying degrees and occasionally fun, but just read those summaries – the only one that is only remotely positive is Gared’s, and even he loses another friend!
It’s just such a consistently miserable experience from a narrative standpoint that it makes it even harder than usual to overlook the usual stiff animations and bizarre control choices that persist in Telltale games.
Mira’s death while keeping her dignity was genuinely sad despite my not liking the character that much – imagine how much more impact other moments might’ve had if there had been anything at all to balance out the constant misery and despair?
"The Ice Dragon" is well done, with several cathartic moments and some emotional scenes too. There are other, brief moments that hint at how much better the game could be, but what we end up with just isn’t enough to prove anything more than good, which feels disappointing for Game of Thrones.