It’s Finally over. We’re free!
This week we return to Westeros for the finale of Telltale Games’ Game of Thrones.
Transcript under the cut:
JAYLEE: This episode contains spoilers for Telltale Games’ Game of Thrones and the HBO series it’s based on.
JAYLEE: Hello and welcome back to the Push to Smart Water Cooler. This episode we are discussing the final episode of Season 1 of Telltale Games’ Game of Thrones. At the end of last episode there was that big decision whether you save Rodrik or Asher. We both chose to save Asher, and then all of the pieces are starting to fall into place. Ish.
STACEY: They’re falling alright.
JAYLEE: So any just general thoughts?
STACEY: What a piece of shit.
JAYLEE: I know!
STACEY: (laughs) I haven’t played a lot of games this year, and I finally had time these last few weeks and I’ve really be into Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate. And playing this game, it was like every minute of this over-long, drawn-out finale was like, this is a minute I could be playing Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate. But instead I’m playing this piece of crap.
JAYLEE: One thing that I realized is that this game is longer than one season of Game of Thrones the TV show.
JAYLEE: And that is so disappointing! Like when you put it into that perspective…
JAYLEE: I know, right? Because Game of Thrones is only 10 episodes a season, and they’re not usually long than an hour-long episode, and we have six episodes at two hours a pop and I’m just like, oh my god.
STACEY: And this one felt like so much longer than two hours. It just went on forever!
JAYLEE: It did! And it just has these really annoying, bullshit moments just to lengthen for no reason.
JAYLEE: Like, jumping ahead, just because who cares about structure in this game? Telltale doesn’t, obviously.
JAYLEE: When you’re Asher, near the end and there’s the big fight going on, you’re like, okay, now we’re going up to Whitehill! It’s then like, oh no, there’s another guy in front of you. And now there’s another guy in front of you. And now there’s a guy with a horn helmet and suddenly he’s really important and you have to kill him.
STACEY: Yeah, that just felt like—That was one of those scenes in particular where I was thinking that my favorite scenes in Game of Thrones the TV shows are the big battles. The best part of last season was the 30 minute-long battle against the White Walkers. That was amazing. And I’m sitting there playing this like, this is so tedious.
STACEY: How did they make this so tedious when these are the types of things I look forward to in the show? And I’m not sure I can put my finger on an exact reason. I don’t know if it’s just the fact that I don’t give a shit about any of these characters.
JAYLEE: (laughs) Yeah.
STACEY: That the way that the game is structured there aren’t any meaningful inputs for me to do to feel like I’m involved, but at the same time, if I’m not involved, then it’s not compelling to watch because the character models are not very good. The animation is not very good. So you just come away with nothing. Which is a bad sign. Episode Six you’re supposed to be invested, but I was at the point where it was just like, I don’t care.
JAYLEE: I know.
STACEY: It’s not worth it. I wanna go play Assassin’s Creed. (laughs)
JAYLEE: I was very much like, I don’t care, but I have to do this. I kept putting it off and putting it off, and I was like, okay, Stacey’s already played it, so I have to play it. So this episode starts off with Tuttle.
STACEY: It’s like, as soon as it starts and it’s Tuttle. It’s like, goddamn it!
JAYLEE: I know! Every time Tuttle was on screen I was just like, how dare you. They get to the North Grove and there are bastards there and—
STACEY: And polar bears.
JAYLEE: And one of them is a warg and one of them is a blood mage. And, I don’t know. Although, you did mention how the big battles in the Game of Thrones are really cool, I actually really did like the battle with Tuttle and the group in the North Grove just because it was very well choreographed and to the point.
STACEY: Yeah, it was a little bit… I felt like Tuttle was just lost in the action a little bit, which felt very silly.
STACEY: Because he’s just kind of standing there and then something would meander towards him and he’d be like, “Oh!” Lift his sword and quick time event.
STACEY: But I did think there were some things about the North Grove once we got there that really annoyed me. Like I hated how they just stroked Tuttle’s ego the entire time, like “You are so important! You are the special!” When he is not. He is obnoxious. He is Jon Snow beta version. But I like the idea of the North Grove and I thought the powers that these siblings had were really cool. And it annoyed me that it took six fricking episodes to get to them, and then we see no more of them.
JAYLEE: That’s the thing, I was thinking had we gotten here sooner, I would have really liked to see what took place in the North Grove.
STACEY: Yeah. There is no reason for Tuttle to take this long to get there!
JAYLEE: Yeah. All these things like, “Are you going to cut out Cotter’s heart?” No! Like…
STACEY: I did, because I was like, who the fuck cares about Cotter?
STACEY: This game has given me no reason to care one way or the other, so it’s just like, sure, whatever, I’ll do your blood magic ritual.
JAYLEE: It was a little Indiana Jones for me, so…
STACEY: Yeah, it was very Temple of Doom.
JAYLEE: So what happens when you cut out his heart?
JAYLEE: Does she eat it?
JAYLEE: Oh. Darn it!
STACEY: Yeah. No, just squeeze it over a fire, and it’s like, “The ritual’s done guys, great job.”
STACEY: And then you walk out and that’s it.
JAYLEE: When I gave Cotter the poison, one of the women who was in the chamber with them loses her mind control and I can’t remember anybody’s name, but the female bastard just ends up stabbing him to death.
STACEY: (laughs) “The female bastard.”
STACEY: The lady bastard.
JAYLEE: Lady Bastard! Of the Bastard Family.
STACEY: Who cares?
JAYLEE: Exactly. And then at the end where’s it’s like this big, “Everything’s gone to shit, but we’re in the North Grove and Tuttle’s so important.”
STACEY: (laughs) I know!
JAYLEE: And I was just kind of like, how dare you!
STACEY: During the credit sequence they have the TV show characters talking about the characters and what you’ve done in the show, and Jon Snow starts with like, “I saw a bit of myself in Tuttle.” It’s like, I bet you did! (laughs)
JAYLEE: (laughs) I hated that segment! First you go through all this shit where your choices are railroaded or road blocked, and then at the end, all these characters are talking shit about you. All these TV show characters that they forced into the game really clumsily, and now they’re talking about how everybody’s a piece of shit, and that’s why…. That’s the moment that they leave you with.
STACEY: Yeah, I kind of wonder if we’ll see anything from this in the show, since they’re trying so hard to shoehorn these characters and their opinions of these events in to the game. But what could possibly come from this? Who cares?
STACEY: Did you choose to stay in the North Grove, or did you choose to march on the North?
JAYLEE: Oh, I chose to stay in the North Grove.
STACEY: I chose to march.
JAYLEE: Oh really? I was just like, you just stay the fuck here.
STACEY: I was like, fuck it! I got a polar bear!
JAYLEE: (laughs) “I’m gonna kill the Whitehills.”
STACEY: (laughs) Yeah, that’s really what I was at. That one—was it Gryff?—at the end of the game he’s the only one I care about and I just want to punch him in his face. Like, that’s it.
JAYLEE: Did you kill him?
JAYLEE: Oh my god!
STACEY: Did you?
JAYLEE: I totally did! Yeah!
STACEY: Oh my god! I couldn’t get to him.
JAYLEE: I stabbed him and threw him into the fireplace.
STACEY: Argh! I’m so jealous!
JAYLEE: (laughs) Two episodes ago I poked out his eye, last episode he had a perfect pair of eyes, and then this episode he has an eyepatch.
STACEY: Oh good! So they fixed it.
JAYLEE: Yeah. They fixed it.
STACEY: So maybe we should talk about Asher’s track, since we’re on that. So we both obviously saved Asher.
JAYLEE: Well first, you know, there’s that little battle with just random Whilehill troops, and then you go back to the hall and the troops are kind of leading up there, and Lord Whitehill gives Rodrik back. The body of Rodrik, I should say.
STACEY: Yeah, and the crying animations are hysterical.
STACEY: They are so— They are like Deadly Premonition bad.
STACEY: But Deadly Premonition is so joyful, it’s all a part of the package. This was just bad.
STACEY: Oh my god. Sorry, continue.
JAYLEE: No, it’s okay. And then it’s like, “Marry my daughter and everything will be cool.”
STACEY: Yeah. (laughs)
JAYLEE: So then you get the option to poison Lord Whitehill, ambush Lord Whitehill. What’d you do?
STACEY: I poisoned. I’m guessing you ambushed since you got to kill him.
JAYLEE: I poisoned.
JAYLEE: But I knocked the cup away from my mother.
STACEY: Oh, I let her drink it. I was like, I don’t care! You’ve been annoying the whole game.
JAYLEE: It said “Stop her.” I thought Asher was going to drink it instead, and I was like, okay, I’ll do this. Whatever. But no, he just smashes it out of her hand and then everybody’s like “What the fuck?” It was bad.
STACEY: Oh. I just let her drink it. I was like… (laughs) Because she takes it away from Asher like “Let me drink.” And I was like, okay.
JAYLEE: Did Lord Whiltehill die?
JAYLEE: Sweet! Mine did not.
STACEY: He died and the mom died.
JAYLEE: Oh my god. I would kill for that.
STACEY: Yeah, I was very happy with that choice.
JAYLEE: So did you guys win the battle?
JAYLEE: Oh, okay.
STACEY: Though one thing I will say is Beskha is the best.
JAYLEE: MVP, yeah.
STACEY: Yeah, MVP. Best big sister ever.
JAYLEE: She’s the Best-a.
STACEY: I love that she’s like “Ryon’s my bother.” And everybody’s like, “Okay,” and she’s like “Yeah, you’re my brother, I’m going to protect you. I gonna kill all these guys. I got you. You’re good.”
JAYLEE: I was so attached to the pit fighter people. Every time one of them died I was like, no! You’re better!
STACEY: I know! That—(sighs) That’s such a waste.
JAYLEE: I know. Such a waste of these—
STACEY: Such a waste.
JAYLEE: We finally get these really colorful characters who are not the same brown-hair white person—
STACEY: And they’re cannon fodder.
JAYLEE: And then suddenly they all die.
STACEY: Sandy-haired bearded men. So I guess, does it end the same for you, then, with Asher almost dead on the back of a horse?
JAYLEE: One thing I will say is that I fucking hate Gwyn this episode. She stabbed me.
STACEY: Yes! She stabbed me too!
JAYLEE: Like, fuck you. (laughs) It’s one of those things that it’s like, I get here trying to make peace, but at the same time, it’s a lot easier to be in that position when your family isn’t constantly being offed by the Whitehills.
JAYLEE: I kind of appreciate it, but at the same time, you fucking ambush-murdered my brother, and you’re the reason my little brother got stabbed in the throat, and so no, I’m not going to be good.
STACEY: Yeah, no. At the end of the day, I think Asher’s one of the few characters I care about, which is funny because at the beginning I could not give two fucks about him. Because he was so dull, and somehow he’s emerged as…
JAYLEE: He felt kind of out of place.
JAYLEE: But Asher and Beskha. They’re just…
STACEY: They’re the best. If anything happens to them… I actually don’t care.
JAYLEE: (laughs) You actually don’t care.
STACEY: Do you want to move onto Mira then?
JAYLEE: Ugh, if we must.
STACEY: Ugh, Mira.
JAYLEE: And so, Margaery… Did you get kicked out of Margaery’s service?
STACEY: I did.
JAYLEE: Yeah, me too, because I took the heat for Sera—
STACEY: Yeah, me too.
JAYLEE: Who was kind of trying to stab me behind my back.
JAYLEE: And I ended up being a lot ruder to her than I thought the decisions I thought I was making were.
STACEY: Me too!
JAYLEE: My choice was like, “It’s a steep price, but it’s already over.” But she’s like “Well maybe I shouldn’t have done it, but it’s too late now!” And I was like, jeez, Mira!
STACEY: Yeah. So this degrades quite quickly. We’ve had the dead guard kind of looming over all this. And the way he pays off is in the worst way possible, which is someone starts a rumor, not only that she murdered him, but that she’s been murdering guards the whole time through her sexual wiles. (laughs)
JAYLEE: (laughs) Yeah. With her sexuality.
STACEY: Yeah! (laughs)
STACEY: Why was it not enough to have the self-defense thing? And then I had—I think you said you had thrown out the knife.
JAYLEE: Yes, I did.
STACEY: So I kept it, thinking, well, now I have a knife, which never came into play except for when they’re searching through the room and she’s like, “Oh no, the knife’s here!” And Tom’s like “WHY?”
STACEY: So did that play out differently for you at all, or were they still in a panic that they were searching her quarters?
JAYLEE: They were searching her quarters and they were freaking out, but they were more like, “Oh, they’re looking for us,” not the knife. Because I just threw it on top of a bush and nobody seemed to find it.
STACEY: (laughs) The plan is perfect.
JAYLEE: You kind of get away, and then you meet up with that sandy-hair… (laughs) Blonde guy. (laughs)
JAYLEE: And then—surprise, surprise—he’s the one who sold you out.
STACEY: And then he gets a bad case of the Mr. Jefferson.
STACEY: Because he just start monologuing!
JAYLEE: And then he attacks you, and then you can’t kill him… You really couldn’t do anything as Mira except for that one decision as the end. Like, this entire episode.
STACEY: And that decision was terrible. He shouldn’t have turned into a monologuing supervillain. You should have been able to extend the game to him, the court game. You should have been able… Did you accept his proposal?
JAYLEE: I did not.
STACEY: I did. And that basically just amounts to Tom dies and Mira is done for the rest of the episode. So you should have been able to play the game more. It shouldn’t have been a negotiation in a jail cell, you should have been able to negotiate the marriage or the relationship in different circumstances so she still does has some power to leverage.
STACEY: It shouldn’t have been a lose-lose for her. It should have been a proclamation, kind of like Fiona learning to become more than an NPC, where this is when she commits to playing the game.
STACEY: Where you thought that the thing with Margaery should have been a false flag where she chooses to either stand by her morals or stay in Margaery’s service playing the game, and this is the committal “she is in this.” That’s how it should have played out to me.
JAYLEE: I really wish that she would have been the one to come up with the marriage idea, instead of him being “I’ll keep you in a cage!”
STACEY: Yeah. (laughs)
JAYLEE: God. It was so bad.
STACEY: It was so bad.
JAYLEE: But yeah, she got her head chopped off. So that sucked.
STACEY: So in my game, she survived, but time Tom died in her place. But she’s kind of subservient and resigned to her fate, whereas this is like, this should be another step in the game for you. This was such a missed opportunity.
JAYLEE: That’s the thing that bothers me. Mira has the option of dying. Tuttle does not. What is justice?
JAYLEE: Very little happened, there was just so much crap to get to it.
JAYLEE: But yeah, it would have been nice if Mira had agency or Tuttle had a personality or Asher had a way out. But yeah. None of these things!
JAYLEE: I and 21% of characters fought with “fierce passion,” which means that everybody died and things were terrible.
STACEY: I was around the 29.4% that fought with “cunning strategy.” Whatever that means. So do we want to go through episode-specific choices?
JAYLEE: So last episode we asked what you wanted out of the final episode, and we go some amazing responses. Bleeters… Bleeters commented that the series can redeem itself by giving them a refund. “Otherwise, if Asher gets to slaughter every last Whitehill, down to their last smug asshole solider, I guess I’ll be content.”
STACEY: And that didn’t even happen.
JAYLEE: No. Didn’t even kill Lord Whitehill! God!
STACEY: (laughs) I killed him. I didn’t kill Gryff…
JAYLEE: I know.
STACEY: Maybe that’s it. If you successfully kill Lord Whitehill, you can’t kill Gryff. Strazol (struggles with pronunciation) —I think, sorry—had probably my favorite pitch for a finale, and I really wish Telltale read it. Or who knows, maybe they did and went “Crap, we can’t do that now because they thought of it.” “Gared finds the Arc of the Covenant in the North Grove, opens it and his face melts off.” Love it already. “Mira turns into Mecha Mira, destroys everyone at Kings Landing and becomes Queen. Asher/Rodrik Flacon Punches Lord Whitehill and sends him flying like Team Rocket. A text scroll at the end promises that Telltale is actually going to try from now on. 10/10 ending.”
JAYLEE: (laughs) Oh god.
STACEY: If only! Which to be fair, Tales from the Borderlands was great. I don’t know what happened.
JAYLEE: Another great comment was from (struggles with pronunciation) Mister Cilver? They said that they would redeem it by announcing the previous five episodes were a dream Gared had while he lay dying at the Red Wedding and that the final episode will be a 20-hour extravaganza far removed from the show characters and inevitable canon events that made it so impossible for Telltale to get their own story going without being beholden to the show.
STACEY: You know you’ve done something wrong when “it was all a dream” is the favorable outcome. (laughs)
JAYLEE: (laughs) Oh god. These comments were really my favorite thing about the series. It’s everybody bitching together in harmony.
STACEY: I know, I feel like I live in Bizzaro World because this… This game has gotten really high praise from a lot of outlets I respect.
STACEY: And obviously you can’t agree on everything, but there’s a sense of… What—what am I doing wrong that I’m feeling so terribly about this game?
JAYLEE: I refuse to think it’s anything about me personally. Just because it’s so bad!
STACEY: It’s so bad! (laughs)
JAYLEE: It’s just one of those things where… I’ve played bad games before.
STACEY: I like bad games normally. (laughs)
JAYLEE: Yeah. There’s a lot of charm in some bad games. But this was so bad. And I could not go 15 minutes playing this game without thinking “Wow, this is so bad.”
JAYLEE: So that does it!
STACEY: (laughs) We never did choices! (laughs)
STACEY: So I guess the choices for the actual episode we should go through now. They kind of went through a comprehensive “this is what you did for the entire season,” and none of it mattered, you sorry bastards.
JAYLEE: Yeah. But at least you were “fiercely passionate.”
STACEY: Yeah. (laughs) But this is what we had to do in the actual episode. So for me, it was me and 65.7% told Margaery the truth and were dismissed.
JAYLEE: Which I also got.
STACEY: Okay, so you’re part of the 65.7%. I and 22.5% agreed to marry Morgryn, who I guess is the bearded sandy-haired man. (laughs)
JAYLEE: That’s his name, apparently, which we learned after the entire the series. (laughs)
JAYLEE: Yeah, I did not, and so she got her head chopped off. So thanks for that, Telltale.
STACEY: (laughs) Maybe Gared will reattach it with his blood magic.
JAYLEE: Ugh, god!
STACEY: (laughs) Oh, fuck this game. Okay.
JAYLEE: Yeah. (laughs)
STACEY: Okay. So then I and 55.2% butchered Cotter for the blood magic ritual. Because why not? Who cares?
JAYLEE: Yeah, I did not because I was, for some reason, trying to be a good person. Who knows why?
STACEY: That’s such a change for you from last episode. Where you were just killing everyone.
JAYLEE: I know. Although I did have, whenever there was a chance, I had all the characters shout “Iron from ice.”
JAYLEE: Mira shouted that right before she got beheaded.
JAYLEE: So I was like, okay.
STACEY: I and 26.2% poisoned Lord Whitehill and Lady Forrester.
JAYLEE: I knocked the cup out of her hand.
STACEY: Aww, you’re such a good person.
JAYLEE: I’m a good son.
JAYLEE: But then she just gets fucking murdered on the street outside. Of course she does.
STACEY: (sighs) She was the worst. She was… Whatever plot called for, she would oppose. And then in the end, I and 52.2% abandoned the North Grove to march on Ironrath with my polar bear. (laughs)
JAYLEE: I did not, because I want them to stay as far away from the main game as possible.
STACEY: Maybe Tuttle will die in the march.
JAYLEE: Yeah! Oh. The polar bear has to eat something.
JAYLEE: Maybe if that’s how season 2 opens, just a polar bear eating Tuttle’s stomach, then maybe I’ll try it out.
STACEY: Or just the polar bear walking, you just see the crow armor laying in a pile. (laughs)
JAYLEE: So now we want to know what you thought about this wonderful episode of Telltale Games’ Game of Thrones.
JAYLEE: Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to subscribe to keep up to date with all of our latest episodes and Water Cooler discussions.
JAYLEE (AS TREE): (whispering) This game is garbage.