Game of Thrones Episode Three: The Sword in the Darkness Review

The second episode of Telltale’s Game of Thrones series, The Lost Lords, experienced something of a downward turn after a promising start with episode one. So, as we stand at the halfway point of the six episode season with The Sword in the Darkness, it’s a good time to measure whether GoT is showing any real progression of its story and character threads? Well, it is, and it isn’t. In this latest episode, the series starts to gather steam and feel more like the T.V. show again – on the road to the inevitable fantastically grim conclusion – but, oh boy, it sure doesn’t manage to leave some of its earlier errors behind.

Game of Thrones Episode 3

Episode three starts off as episode two did: in the company of Asher in Mereen and on the run from those he has wronged as he looks to build an army to take his home of Ironrath back from the Whitehills. The crux of the episode though -as the title alludes to- involves the Wall and The Night’s Watch as Gared Tuttle truly begins his service. However, there are still some intriguing events occurring in each character’s story thread. The Sword in the Darkness you see, takes place around the time of the infamous ‘’Purple Wedding’’ and its impact resonates throughout the narrative, possibly causing yet more strife for the beleaguered Forresters.

After the clunky filler of The Lost Lords it’s nice to see The Sword in the Darkness move the interwoven tale far more fluidly and as a result gives the protagonists more depth and reason to root for their cause. Asher is still the weakest of the leads sadly, boiling down to a distilled analog for “angry tough bloke with a family to protect’’. Events happen around him (including a pleasing opening run in with a particularly savage cast member), but he feels more like a conduit for exposition than a fully fleshed-out character. Part of the problem might be that while Asher’s relationship with Beskha is interesting enough, his Uncle Malcom continues to be a rather dull and lifeless vessel to stress the importance of Asher’s family plight. It upsets the balance of supposed loyalty that works so much better in the other strands of the episode.

Game of Thrones Episode 3 PS4

Garred has started to become less of a Jon Snow tribute act now and has a good amount of growth in episode three as his internal struggle of loyalties and vengeance threaten his stay at Castle Black, all happening while he also discovers details of the legendary North Grove’s potential location. His story has a good go at keeping the moral juggling act going for the most righteous person in this series, throwing up personal dilemmas aplenty.


Mira meanwhile, is surely on course for disaster as she continues to suffer misfortune after her attempts to save her family home and avoid conflict at King’s Landing. Being so close to the corrupt heart of Westeros makes every word out of her mouth a potential knife in the back later on. Of all the protagonists left, Mira seems the most likely to meet a grisly end right now, but that’s what makes her tale so gripping. You just don’t see how she’ll get out of King’s Landing with her life.

Then there is Rodrik, who in the space of just two episodes has become one of my favourite Telltale characters. His thread is some of Telltale’s best work since The Walking Dead. The moral choices on offer to the proud crippled Lord as he strives to prevent the Whitehills from taking over the Forrester family home are genuinely difficult decisions. Without going into it too much, Rodrik is being pressured from all sides. His family want their home back, but some feel taking on the Whitehill family physically is far too risky and the Whitehill’s continue to push their boot down on the neck of the Forrester legacy by demanding more and more whilst offering little but murderous threats. This brews for the entire episode and the danger of a bloody war between the families is constantly present — there is a danger that if this particular back and forth continues too long then the tension will be lost, so hopefully there’s some resolution to it next time out.

Game of Thrones PS3

So all in all, episode three as a story is right back on track and heading for some exciting climaxes in the second half of the season It’s sadly the same old problems that detract from it though. That Whitehill girl still has the most infuriatingly off-putting accent, some secondary characters are still without any depth (Uncle Malcom is fast-becoming Ser Malcom of the Drying Paint) and there are still those same graphical issues and janky movement to take the shine off an otherwise splendidly-presented world. Also, despite the strong narrative of the episode, the ending is a bit underwhelming once again. The events that precede it are the reason to be excited for episode four though, so that’s not a particularly big problem, just a disappointing aside.



The Final Word

The series is back on track with The Sword in the Darkness, which will make the wait for episode four all the more agonising/frustrating.