Game Of Thrones episode 1 recap: ‘Iron From Ice’ draws blood

game thrones episode 1 recap iron ice draws blood house forrester of telltale  4
Editor’s note: The following is a recap of the events of Game of Thrones: Episode One – Iron From Ice, not a review. We’ll be reviewing the full season once it’s over; the expectation with these recaps is that you’ve played the episode already and you’re here because you want to think and talk about it. This is your water cooler discussion. Expect plenty of spoilers below, since we’re here to talk about what happened. How is your Game of Thrones journey shaping up? Let us know in the comments.

Keep up with our recaps of Telltale’s Game of Thrones right here.

Who are you?

Are you bold? Are you bitter? Are you craven? Are you kind? Are you patient? Are you petulant? Do you show mercy? Or do you have none?

These questions are front-of-mind while playing Game of Thrones: A Telltale Game Series, the newest choose-your-own-adventure-on-steroids offering from the same studio that gifted us with The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, and more — and the answers are very much customizable. As with Telltale’s other games, the ways in which you react to and interact with the world of Westeros are entirely up to you — and while many story movements happen no matter what, your path toward inevitability varies wildly.

Game of Thrones Telltale - 2

I can tell you only about the people I personally have met in the Seven Kingdoms. I met a modest and humble fellow named Gared Tuttle, a squire in service of Lord Gregor of House Forrester. We met just outside of The Twins, the very same night that Walder Frey and the Lannisters betrayed and butchered the Starks and their surrounding Northern forces. Gared abandoned his friend Bowen and left him for dead, too focused on saving his sworn lord to risk his life saving a doomed squire. But Gared’s efforts were too late, helpless to watch as Lord Gregor’s firstborn son Rodrik, and then Gregor himself, were cut down by the Lannister and Frey forces.

Shortly before his death, Lord Forrester announced his intentions to make my Gared a knight. Even closer to the time of his demise, Gregor gifted Gared with his sword, tasking him with returning the weapon to his seat at Ironrath in the North. Gared, the loyal soldier that he is, complied without complaint, leaving behind the fire and blood outside the Twins to make way for the North.

Do you show mercy? Or do you have none?

But Gared’s days of doom were not behind him. Further along the Kingsroad, near Ironrath, Gared stumbled upon the bloody aftermath of an altercation between his farmer family and a knight in service of Roose Bolton, newly-minted Warden in the North. My Gared challenged these Bolton men to a fight, ruthlessly killing two of the soldiers. From the Boltons’ perspective, Gared is a murderer. In his mind, he brought justice upon the heads of murderers. The truth does not matter, only its impact.

After he told his tale to Ironrath castellan (and Gared’s uncle) Duncan, as well as master-at-arms Royland Degore, the question became what to do with Gared. Rather than let Gared stay in Ironrath and wait to die at the hands of Lord Bolton’s cruel bastard son, Ramsay Snow, Duncan commanded his nephew to go to The Wall — not as a punishment, but as a kindness, and a way to save his life. Before leaving, Gared gifted Duncan with Lord Gregor’s final words, which were meant for Duncan’s ears only : “The North Grove must not be lost.”

The meaning of those words remains a mystery for all except Duncan, and that includes Ironrath’s new lord, Ethan Forrester, Lord Gregor’s young third-born son. My Ethan lacks the cruelty of Joffrey Baratheon, but also lacks the courage and confidence of Robb Stark. He is, in technical terms, a bit of a dingus, far too young to know what’s good for his people in times of great distress. For example, when faced with punishing a thief, he cuts the man’s fingers off, brutally hacking away at the digits with his own unskilled hand. Later, when faced with choosing a sentinel to act as his closest advisor, Ethan selects battle-hungry Royland, rather than calm and collected Duncan.

When I met Ethan, he was faced with the tremendous pressure of how to keep his family’s precious ironwood out of the hands of House Whitehill, wicked and untalented banner men to the all-powerful Boltons. He chose to seek the help of his sister, Mira, a handmaiden of Lady Margaery Tyrell in King’s Landing.

But my Mira, shrewd and savvy as she is, was no match for Queen Cersei’s cunning, stumbling her way through a high-pressure meeting in which Cersei sought to suss out whether Mira’s true allegiance belonged to her family in the North, or her king in this very city. Mira’s lies were told with confidence, but not enough to survive Cersei’s bullshit detector.

Game of Thrones Telltale - 5

Even Mira’s brave attempt to convince Margaery to use her influence over Joffrey to help the Forresters went without reward. Though Margaery admired Mira’s courage and bent to her request, Joffrey refused to send aid to the rightful heirs of Ironrath. And it gets worse: Margaery can’t do any more favors for Mira at this point, advising Mira to keep her head low and her mouth shut.

While Mira was left to survive in the belly of the beast known as King’s Landing, Gared continued his trek toward The Wall, stopping at one point to witness the cruelty of Ramsay Snow with his own eyes. At a crossroads, Gared watched in horror as Ramsay flayed a prisoner to death, little more than a passing-of-the-time before his next-day arrival at Ironrath. Gared walked away from the situation undetected and unscathed, save for psychological scars.

If only the same could be said for Lord Ethan. Despite a mock show of bravery and solemnity, as advised by Royland, Ethan was unable to keep control over a meeting with Ramsay and Lord Whitehill when the two finally arrived at Ironrath. During the meeting, Ramsay announced that the Whitehills would gain majority possession and control over House Forrester’s precious ironwood, and even flirted with the possibility of stealing Ethan’s twin sister Talia and younger brother Ryon for his own sick purposes.

Game of Thrones Telltale - 6

But my Ethan would not stand for such an affront. Call it in-character overconfidence and petulance, or call it a rare act of impulsive bravery; however you slice it, Ethan took a stand between Ramsay and his siblings. If he had to tolerate Ramsay handing Ironrath over to the Whitehills, he would not tolerate abuse toward his family.

For this, Ethan was rewarded with a knife to the throat.

Ramsay smiled as he stuck the blade deep into Ethan’s flesh, his family helpless to watch as the blood poured out of their young son’s body. Ethan died right there on the floor of the great hall of Ironrath — another Forrester felled in a war between petty, powerful people.

Product Review

Anybody seen my grenades? ‘Battlefield V’ shows up late and unprepared

Battlefield V’s War Stories give us a new perspective on World War II, but the game’s lack of polish across both its campaign and multiplayer modes are almost impossible to ignore.
Movies & TV

Winter coming in spring? HBO reveals 'Game of Thrones' season 8 premiere date

With the eighth and final season looming, Game of Thrones fever has officially become a pandemic. Our list of all the relevant news and rumors will help make the wait more bearable, if you don't mind spoilers.
Mobile

Get your gaming on the go with this list of the 25 best Android games

The Google Play Store is loaded with both terrific and terrible gaming titles. We vetted the store to bring you some of the best Android games available, whether you're into puzzles, shooters, racing games, or something else.
Gaming

These cheat codes made gaming history

For almost as long as video games have existed, there have been video game cheat codes. Here are some of the most famous cheat codes, including the legendary Konami Code found in dozens of games.
Gaming

If we get a Nintendo 64 Classic, it needs to have these games

The Nintendo 64 introduced a long list of top-tier games, but which were the iconic platform's best? From Mario Party to Ocarina of Time to NFL Blitz, check out our picks for the best N64 games.
Deals

The best cheap-but-awesome PS4 game deals under $20

The PlayStation 4 has hit its stride in recent years and is now more affordable than ever. If you have a PS4 or are thinking of buying one, we’ve collected some must-have games. The best part? Each of these is just $20 or less.
Gaming

‘Final Fantasy XV’ mod remembers the RPG’s canceled DLC and features

A Final Fantasy XV mod pays homage to the content canceled by Square Enix. Episodes Aranea, Luna, and Noctis will no longer happen, while the promised level-building tool and Mod Organizer improvements for the PC version were also shelved.
Gaming

Owners of ROM sites ordered to pay Nintendo more than $12 million

An federal court judge in Arizona has awarded Nintendo more than $12 million in damages in its lawsuit with the owners of two popular ROM websites. The sites must also be transferred to Nintendo's control.
Gaming

Feeling nostalgic? Here are the 25 best Sega Genesis games

Although the company has since fallen into obscurity, Sega was an indisputable titan throughout the '90s. That said, here are 25 best Sega Genesis games that helped define its fabled decade.
Gaming

‘PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’ parachutes onto PlayStation 4 on December 7

Following months of speculation, PUBG Corp. has announced that PUBG is coming to PS4 on December 7. The PS4 version includes all three maps and major features, and you can get some PlayStation-themed apparel items by pre-ordering.
Gaming

Struggling to survive 'Battlefield 5?' Our boot camp will keep you in the fight

Battlefield V's multiplayer component can be overwhelming, but you can succeed against the enemy with a little help. These are the tips and tricks you need to know to win in Battlefield V.
Gaming

What games were nominated for the The Game Awards 2018? Find out here

The Game Awards returns to Los Angeles for its fifth show this December. Here is everything we know about the event, including its location, where you can watch it, and games that were nominated.
Gaming

How to Install an SSD in a PlayStation 4 or PS4 Pro

SSDs are much faster than mechanical hard drives, which is what the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro come with. Here, we show you how to replace it with an SSD, which will allow you to boot to the OS faster and load games quicker.
Gaming

Faction-based PvP, new Vault openings coming to ‘Fallout 76’ after launch

Bethesda is already hard at work on post-launch content for Fallout 76, which launches November 14 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Faction-based PvP is in the works, and new vaults will open over time.