Will House Forrester’s legacy go up in smoke? Find out in Game of Thrones: Episode Three – The Sword in the Darkness.

In this episodic point-and-click adventure video game, the instability of Ironrath could lead to many long-lasting repercussions throughout each of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. With two recent deaths in the Forrester family, Lord Whitehill is still up to no good, hoping to profit from its downfall, but a newly revealed faction may prove to be a deciding factor in the results.

The game begins by picking up the pieces from Episode Two: The Lost Lords, following my favorite ragtag group of characters from the series: Asher, Beskha and Malcolm. After being cornered by The Lost Guard, the trio retreat into a cave and discover a dragon impeding their progress, foreshadowing the inevitable introduction of the Mother of Dragons, herself.

Back at Castle Black, Gared Tuttle has been promoted to a ranger. But as soon as he states his vows, his Uncle reveals a secret citadel beyond The Wall which the family must protect at all costs. Decisions must be made. Gared must choose between his newfound loyalty to The Night’s Watch or fulfill a deathbed promise made to Lord Forrester.

At King’s Landing, Mira has upset Lady Margaery on her wedding day, but that’s the least of her concerns. After unofficially brokering a deal with Tyrion Lannister to save her family, he is arrested, making her contract difficult to enforce. Mira must choose between fulfilling her handmaiden duties or protecting her family.

Gryff Whitehill’s occupation of House Forrester concludes the final group of characters Player 1 controls in the series. The injured Rodrik continues to tolerate the soldiers who have overtaken his property. Having to choose between family and pride, Rodrik’s decisions wouldn’t be as difficult if he was at full strength (which he isn’t).

Lord Tyrion and Jon Snow are still my favorite non-playable characters. I only wish they were featured more prominently in the overall storyline. On the other end of the scale, I found myself really disliking all of the Whitehill gang, with each passing episode. They truly have no redeeming qualities, whatsoever, so their eventual demise will be incredibly joyful and deserved.

Telltale Games’ writers have created an intricate storyline that’s both enjoyable and painful. There are some great characters exclusively created for this medium who are easy to root for, moving the story along quickly. Then there are the secondary characters who aren’t as much fun to control, bogging down the storyline by demanding too much exposition. It’s a difficult balance, between exposition and action, much like what happens in the HBO TV series. I hope this struggle gets resolved by the end of the season.

Episode 3, alone, is 968 MB of memory to download, which will seemingly create one of the largest episodic video games ever, once Season 1 is completed. Often times, the game plays like it, as well, pausing and stuttering often throughout gameplay.

All of the achievements and trophies are story-line based. None of them are missable, so don’t stress out about completing the game.

Having finally been introduced to a full season of the HBO series, I’ve gotten more in-depth information about the overall world where this video game takes place. That being said, I’m extremely excited about the arrival of Daenerys Targaryen, who makes an appearance during the episode’s curtain call. She brings promise to all upcoming episodes. Hopefully, her character will help end this battle of never-ending exposition.

Strength: New characters offer a promise of hope…
Weakness: …To a storyline that’s still slowly developing.
WTF Moment: Drogon sure has has a fiery temper.

Notable Quotes:
– “I am the sword in the darkness.”
– “Our house has survived for centuries.”
– “This is Essos… there’s always time for gold.”
– “The most valuable favor is the favor unspent.”
– “The gods are not forgiving. We brothers have to be.”
– “I want the dove pie served with a spoon of lemon cream.”
– “You have a history of putting your faith in women who don’t deserve it.”

Review: 3/5