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‘Game of Thrones – A Nest of Vipers’ Review

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Platforms PS4/XB1/PS3/360/PC/OS X/iOS/Android
Developer Telltale Games   Publisher Telltale Games
Genre Adventure   Platform Played On PC

After months of complaining that developer Telltale Games won’t give players more drastic consequences for their actions, it has finally happened. Telltale’s fifth episode of Game of Thrones, called A Nest of Vipers, doesn’t really advance the plot on Mira’s or Gared’s side, but that can almost be entirely forgiven, thanks to something which happens on Rodrik’s and Asher’s side; something because of which the final episode can go in at least two, incredibly different directions. But, I’m getting ahead of myself; let’s take them in order.

A Nest of Vipers immediately starts where episode four had ended, that is with Rodrik being “ambushed” by Ramsay enjoying his meal (well, at least I think he is) besides Talia. Naturally, knowing his reputation and the fact that he had so eagerly killed Ethan, tension is running high whenever this character enters a scene, although, in this one, even Rodrik’s worst doesn’t affect him. That is because, without spoiling it, Lord Bolton’s bastard has something rather uncomfortable for Rodrik and Talia to witness, further fueling their anger toward him and the Whitehills.

Toward the end of the episode, Rodrik’s part comes into play, yet again, this time revealing the traitor inside the House and Rodrik’s decision to meet Asher ahead of Ironrath (I’ll get to that in a bit). The revelation of the mole wasn’t really a big one, as there were only so few whom could have been involved. At the very least, the traitor changes based on player-decision, so there’s that. I’m interested to see if the traitor will come into play in the last episode or even in a potential second season; maybe as a way of redeeming himself.

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Back in King’s Landing, due to her troubles at last episode’s feast, Mira has officially lost Sera as her friend, as the latter is bent on moving up the proverbial social chain and Mira’s determination to do just about anything to help her family stands in Sera’s way. At this point, Mira is left without any moves to make, yet an unexpected alliance between her and Cersei might be the perfect way to get rid of Lord Andros. Naturally, this alliance doesn’t come free of charge, as Sera is tasked with getting some information from Tyrion, something which fans of the show will surely know the answer to. Sadly, Mira’s story doesn’t evolve in any particular direction, so whatever is planned for her will surely happen in the last episode.

On the other side of the sea, even though Asher and Beskha had completed Daenerys’ request of starting a rebellion in the city of Meereen, she either reveals the fact that she doesn’t have any men to spare for the Forresters, or she outright refuses to give you anything, based on Asher’s honesty to her regarding a certain matter. In the meantime, Malcolm, Asher’s uncle, decides to stay behind and serve Daenerys, thinking she will be the only ally needed once she takes the Iron Throne, while the other two try their luck at hiring someone from Meereen.

The more impressive part comes when our heroes enter the city, looking for thugs to hire. At this time, every last corner in the city is in chaos. Splashes of blood cover the walls, heads and headless corpses are unceremoniously displayed on tables, and, as Beskha puts it, showing even a mere sign of weakness to the brutes of Meereen, hell-bent on murdering their former masters, is not a wise choice. As expected, the former slaves of the city want more than gold if they’re to follow Asher, so a pit-fight is in order. This is one of the best scenes of the episode, as Asher’s opponent dances around him like the Red Viper of Dorne.

Finally, Asher embarks alongside his “mercenaries” on a ship, heading toward Westeros. Surprisingly, his reunion with Rodrik takes place at the end of this episode, although they’re both ambushed (lots of ambushes in this episode) by someone whom I will not spoil. And, my God, what a finale. Without ruining the surprise, it’s safe to say that this last decision will have a huge impact on the future of the series. If your choices and their respective consequences in past episodes didn’t really warrant second play-throughs, A Nest of Vipers completely changes that, setting up what will surely be an exciting finale, and maybe even a completely different season two, if there will be one and if Telltale decides to continue with the Forresters or even have them in it.

Going back to Westeros and over The Wall, Gared starts bonding with Cotter’s sister, right after everyone tells him they’re ready to abandon going north. While Cotter and his sister want to join Mance’s army, Finn hasn’t gotten a clue about his future, but still won’t join our favorite squire to find the North Grove; that is, if you had brought him with you in the previous episode. Fortunately (in a twisted way and for Gared, only), unforeseen circumstances force the group to actually head north. Sadly, just like in Mira’s case, zero progress is made on this side, so I’m not sure how exactly will Gared be able to both find the North Grove and use it to help his family in the remaining episode.

the-verdict

A Nest of Viper‘s final, crushing, and heart-breaking decision could have easily made this the best episode of the first season, alongside Asher’s pit-fight. Unfortunately, a somewhat flat revelation of the traitor and the fact that Mira’s and Gared’s stories don’t go anywhere prevent it from actually taking the crown. Nevertheless, if you’ve been holding out on playing the season until all episodes are available, I’d even go as far as to suggest you to immediately start playing them, just so you’d get to that scene and start speculating about the finale. Whatever happens next, we’re ready. Bring out you worst, Game of Thrones universe.

The Good

  • Final, Soul-Crushing Decision
  • Asher’s Pit-Fight
  • Ramsay (Everyone Loves to Hate Him)

The Bad

  • Flat Reveal of the Traitor
  • Mira’s and Gared’s Sides Go Nowhere
  • Daenerys Still Acts Out of Character

The Score 9


Vlad Pintea is a news editor/columnist/reviewer at Analog Addiction. You can contact him via e-mail at vlad94pintea@yahoo.com and vlad94pintea@gmail.com, on Skype (vlad94pintea), and Facebook.

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