Game of Thrones: Episode 5 – A Ne st of Vipe rs
How to fake friends and influence people
Pity the poor fool who gets on the wrong side of Ramsay Bolton. Early on in this episode, we see everyone’s least-favourite Notherner disembowel a hapless pawn – who just so happens to be a Forrester bannerman. Lovely. Pity even more the poor lord who just so happens to be courting said pawn’s sister. Talk about an awkward situation to have to discuss over Sunday lunch with the in-laws, and frankly that’s among the least of Rodrik Forrester’s worries.
While Rodders may indeed have drawn the shortest straw in this episode, he’s by no means the only one in a sticky situation. Exiled brother Asher has seen the Khaleesi renege on her promise of an army of Second Sons to fight for his family, so it’s off to the fighting pits to hire some sellswords instead. Oh, and to impress them, he’ll need to get down and dirty in there – the ensuing, frantic combat is among the highlights here.
Down in King’s Landing, Mira goes up against both Cersei and Tyrion – with Lena Headey on brilliantly icy form. It genuinely feels like you’re walking a dangerous tightrope of deceit between the two, trying to discern which answers are the ones that will prevent the latter from rumbling your true intentions and appease the former enough that she might wield her considerable power to aid your house’s plight. Out beyond the Wall, Gared is still searching for the North Grove – ostensibly also as a means of contributing to the Forrester effort, but it’s been so long that this mysterious locale was introduced that even the new (and pretty vague) info we receive this episode wasn’t quite enough to pique our interest.
One of our main criticisms of the series thus far – ill-chosen art style aside – is that your decisions don’t seem to have a tangible impact upon matters. That changes here, with one choice in particular that you’ll both agonise over and have to live with in the final instalment. There are a few lesser moments, too, where it feels like past decisions are coming back to haunt you. It’s a welcome change, albeit one we’d have liked sooner, and makes this finally feel more like a ‘proper’ entry in the Telltale canon. OXM