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Game of Thrones: Episode 5 - A Nest of Vipers
Score: 80%
Publisher: Telltale Games
Developer: Telltale Games
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Adventure


In terms of plotting, Game of Thrones: Episode 5 - A Nest of Vipers contains elements that are indicative of a bold, game-changing penultimate episode. But to be frank, it's easily the biggest mess I've ever seen in a Telltale episode. I'm not talking about the misleading name, which all but promises the inclusion of a certain fan favorite Dornishman. I'm talking about its busted structure -- it's a clinic on poor pacing, a crime that Telltale has rarely (if ever) been guilty of. A few more problems keep A Nest of Vipers from being as awesome as the last two episodes, as well. When it's good, it's amazing. When it's bad, it's atrocious. At least it ends incredibly strong.


He's back! Everyone's favorite woman-hunter and people-flayer has returned to the seat of House Forrester to administer some vengeance upon the still-recuperating Rodrik, who, with the aid of his betrothed Elaena Glenmore and her brother Arthur, has put the despicable Gryff Whitehill in his rightful place -- in my case, it was in a prison cell with considerably less eye function than before. Since Ludd Whitehill and his execrable brood are Bolton bootlickers, you'd think it was safe to say that they have the favor and support of the treacherous Warden of the North himself. But even a cretin as seemingly predictable as Ramsay Bolton can be difficult to peg down...

Certain revelations are made regarding House Forrester; particularly, the one about a supposed traitor in their midst. This outcome is completely determinant on your actions in previous episodes; mine had me shaking my head in confusion. I won't discuss it in detail in this review, but if it is addressed in Episode 6 - The Ice Dragon, I'll have a better idea of whether or not this arc makes sense -- and in that case, if it even works. From where I'm sitting right now, though, I'm leaning towards the possibility of it being contrived nonsense in service of melodrama.


"What did you think was going to happen?" That's my question to Asher Forrester, who somehow thought it would be a good idea to request military aid from an exiled princess warlord who is in the beginning of a violent and protracted siege. There's also the matter that Daenerys Targaryen is a jerkass who does considerably more harm than good. While I'm glad that sentiment seems to be spreading amongst Song of Ice and Fire fans, Game of Thrones: Episode 5 - A Nest of Vipers doesn't do much to disabuse that notion. She remains petty, vengeful, entitled, and thoroughly unlikable -- even more so in this sidestory than in the fifth book and later seasons of the TV series.

So of course, after Asher and Beskha return from the Khaleesi's little support mission, she grasps onto a convenient technicality to deny our heroes the assistance of her Second Sons. So under the advisement of Beskha, he opts for the next best thing: a plan that involves parleying with the leader of the nastiest group of pit fighters in all of Meereen...

King's Landing:

Amazingly, what was once the most promising story arc is threatening to completely collapse in on itself. If anyone in this series is actually playing the game of thrones, it's young handmaiden Mira Forrester. Politics is a language she is completely versed in, and she's proved herself more than capable of holding her own with even the most unsavory characters in King's Landing. But for the life of me, I don't know what the writers were thinking this time around, and I'm almost afraid to see how they tie this thread up.

Mira's little stunt at King Tommen's coronation feast has ruffled the wrong feathers. It's clear that the Queen-to-be trusts Mira about as far as she can throw her, and Mira's bastard-born fellow handmaiden Sera Flowers now sees her as a potential threat to her chances of marrying into legitimacy. But Cersei, awaiting her impending and richly-deserved demotion to Queen Dowager, enlists Mira's help for a special task suited to her particular skills in calculated dishonesty. The reward for carrying it out? A promise to rub out Andros, the Whitehill merchant lord and conspirator who Mira sniffed out in the last episode.

North of the Wall:

Former Forrester squire and Night's Watch deserter Gared Tuttle is up the creek without a paddle, though a paddle wouldn't help with all the ice. He's a deserter who killed a fellow Crow (even though the killing was completely justified), he's miles from the Wall, and he also happens to be in the company of wildlings -- I mean Free Folk. Cotter has been reunited with his quirky, tough little sister Sylvi; which instantly draws the ire of Finn (if he deserted with Gared and Cotter). Even worse, Sylvi refuses to lead the trio to the mysterious North Grove. Something deadly lies to the far north, and it's making its way southward. I have a hunch as to where Gared's story will ultimately take him, and I'm tentatively excited.


As a whole, Game of Thrones: Episode Five - A Nest of Vipers is a solid build-up to the end of Telltale's A Song of Ice and Fire sidestory. However, it's an incredibly clumsy lurch towards the finish line; chapters don't so much flow each other as collide violently with little or no warning. From The Walking Dead to The Wolf Among Us, Telltale is known for sticking the landing; I'm crossing my fingers that Game of Thrones rights itself properly for one final flourish.

-FenixDown, GameVortex Communications
AKA Jon Carlos

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