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Video Game / Game of Thrones

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"There is nothing so terrifying as a truly just man."

Game of Thrones is a 2012 Action RPG inspired by George R. R. Martin's fantasy epic A Song of Ice and Fire, but not, ironically, by the television show of the same name. The game was in Development Hell for seven years, and it is very clear that the plot draws far more from the book than the show.

Throughout the story, the player takes control of two disgraced knights. One, a Sworn Brother of the Night's Watch named Mors Westford, otherwise known as the Butcher. The other, Alester Sarwyck, a Red Priest returning home to reclaim his inheritance. Both are immediately introduced as Well-Intentioned Extremists, with the player often having a say as to how either character reacts to brutal life in the Seven Kingdoms. Their stories are kept separate for much of the game, with Mors in the North and Alester in the South. Both characters will face many forms of corruption and betrayal, and over the course of the game, the player will be confronted with the same harsh realities and shocking twists the series is known for. And of course, everyone dies.

It is worth mentioning that though the game draws on plot points ignored in the television show, it actually features the voice work of James Cosmo (Lord Commander Jeor Mormont) and Conleth Hill (Lord Varys) as their respective characters from the show. Other major characters appearing with unique portrayals are Queen Cersei Lannister, Qhorin Halfhand, and Chataya. For tropes regarding book characters, please see their respective pages.

The game was developed by Cyanide Studio, and released on PC, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. Note: If you're looking for the Telltale Games game of the same name, go here.

Tropes found in the game include:

  • Above the Influence:
    • Mors is completely uninterested in harlots, unlike the majority of the men of the Night's Watch.
    • While not disdaining sex workers, and used to frequently partake of their services, Alester no longer does so as a Red Priest. He makes it clear that Red Priests are not Celibate Hero types, though.
  • Adaptational Heroism/Adaptational Intelligence: The Queen Cersei Lannister is surprisingly reasonable and almost show no signs of a narcissistic bitch.
  • Alternate Universe: Despite being written by George R.R. Martin himself, it is canon to neither A Song of Ice and Fire or HBO's Game of Thrones.
  • Analogy Backfire: Ser Alester attempts to use a metaphor about the gods of the Seven being part of a larger whole in order to convince his house septa that R'hllor isn't blasphemous. Suggesting that she's being closed minded. His septa points out, if he'd paid attention to her lessons, that the Seven are in fact facets of one whole so he's using one of their teachings against her.
  • And Then What?: The easiest way for Ser Alester to put down the peasants rebellion is to point out that killing nobles is hardly going to result in a resumption of the trade they need to survive.
  • Animal Motifs:
    • Mors Westford is a skinchanger whose companion is a dog. He is regularly compared to a canine for his ability to sniff secrets out. His defining characteristic is his loyalty. When we finally see his house sigil, of course it's a dog.
    • Averted with Alester, whose banner is a broken sword, which is no less fitting.
  • Anti-Hero: Both main characters, though in very different ways.
    • Mors will happily slaughter anyone who dares dishonor themselves on his watch, but has a very strong sense of justice that compels him to defend the weak. This attitude is a major reason why he exiled himself to the Wall. The Night's Watch is the only place he felt an honest knight could truly serve without hurting the innocent. His strong camaraderie with other Sworn Brothers suggest he was even happy, though its clear many are just scared of him.
    • Alester no longer has the traditional mindset of what constitutes a knight in Westeros, but he still puts his family, faith, and community before anything else. Compared to Mors, he initially comes off as the more sympathetic of the pair before Mors comes out of his shell and we learn just what depths Alester will go to protect his family.
  • Army of Thieves and Whores: As in the show, the Night's Watch is full of former criminals that have taken the Black as opposed to being hung, including rapists as well as murderers. In something of an aversion, quite a few of the brothers are a Justified Criminal when you hear their stories. These include a man who killed a bunch of wildlings who raided his farm (but was taken for a smuggler) and a man who badly beat charlatans who sold his wife fake medicine.
  • The Atoner: Alester exiled himself to live as a beggar and then a Red Priest after the war. Turns out it's not the war he is trying to atone for.
  • Baby Trap: Bethany, a former prostitute, attempts this on Ser Gyles Langward. She says that they were lovers and now she is with his child, just as he's attempting to get married. She's not with child and even if she were, it would likely not be Gyles' baby. Ser Aleister can either help with her deception or send her back to the brothel where she at least was a High-Class Call Girl.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Mors and Alester in the final chapter.
  • Badass Preacher: Ser Alester Sarwyck, anointed Priest of R'hllor, will tell you more about the God of Flame and Shadow than you ever wanted to know, and those who don't care to listen often get the Flaming Sword instead. Borders on Church Militant, as he hopes to use his authority in Riverspring to create a safe haven for his faith.
  • Bastard Bastard:
    • Ser Valarr Hill seems to think no one likes him because of his illegitimate status, and not at all due to how freaking evil he is.
    • Averted with Jeyne Greystone, and her own child, who is just interested in a normal life.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: It wouldn't be Westeros with just one massive conspiracy.
    • Big Bad Wannabe: Gorn, a wildling intent on leading his tribe through the Wall. A fierce warlord with many warriors,he might have succeeded if the Butcher and Qhorin Halfhand had not been waiting on the other side.
    • Hero Antagonist: Tyrek, a Riverspring merchant intent on leading his starving people to open revolt. Not actually evil, per se, just angry.
    • Dragon-in-Chief: Ser Valarr Hill, the game's primary antagonist, and the most evil man in Westeros. A Bastard Bastard, Blood Knight, and Evil Sorcerer, Ser Valarr is Alester's illegitimate brother and Arch-Enemy.
    • Big Bad: Queen Cersei Lannister. Unlike the show, the game displays her ruthlessness in all its horrific glory. Like the books, Cersei orchestrates the murder of all her husband's bastards in order to cement her own children's ascent. She even goes so far to employ Valarr to chase a pregnant woman all over Westeros.
    • Greater-Scope Villain: Lord Tywin Lannister. Never actually appears in game, but it is his power and influence that grants Ser Valarr the manpower and authority to cause our heroes so much suffering. Tywin is eventually revealed to have given the infamous order that Mors joined the Night's Watch in order to avoid carrying out. He then ordered Alester and Valarr to murder Mors' family in retaliation. Though we never see him, he is ultimately responsible for almost the entire game's plot in one way or another.
    • Big Bad: Lord Arwood Harlton, the Manipulative Bastard responsible for murdering Alester's father and brother, torturing Mors, and attempting to use an unwilling Jeyne to rally support against the Lannisters. Unlike the other antagonists, Harlton actually has an Evil Plan that stretches back 15 years. His great resources and personal army would almost cement him as the game's true antagonist if not for a bit of Black Magic on Valarr's part.
  • Big Good: Jon Arryn was serving as this in the game until his untimely death. He was keeping a watch on Cersei Lannister's agent, Valarr, as well as working to protect Jeyne Greystone against her wrath. His death results in his agents being left without protection at the court and vulnerable to Cersei's wrath.
  • Big "NO!": A rather Narmy one from Mors when he discovers his wife and daughter have died.
  • Black Knight: Ser Valarr Hill is a Bastard Bastard trained in the ways of both knightly combat as well as sorcery by the Citadel. Also, he wears black armor.
  • Break the Fourth Wall: Two surprising examples, one more overt than the other. The first is American-accented Maester Martin, who gets irritated when people ask him when he'll finish his history of the Seven Kingdoms. The second one is Varys, who apparently knows everything because he's the narrator.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: Ser Valarr Hill plans to wed his half-sister, Elyana, in order to secure the lordship of Riversprings. Everyone is disgusted and appalled by this idea but, of course, for Cersei Lannister who sees nothing wrong with it.
  • The Butcher: A rare heroic version. Mors's Ax-Crazy tendencies and overall badass reputation have earned him this title.
  • Celibate Hero:
    • Mors is still devoted to his wife that he abandoned to join the Night's Watch. Even during the War, he was notable for not engaging the services of any harlots. This makes him practically unique among the Night's Watch. Ironically, Ser Mormont chides him for this as it makes him devoted to things outside the cost.
    • Averted with Ser Alester who, while a Red Priest, points out that they do not require an oath of celibacy. You are supposed to be in love, though.
  • The Corruptible: Most of the Night's Watch proves to be this once Lannister gold starts being thrown about.
  • Darker and Edgier: Not the setting itself, but the characters are much more grim and brutal than any of the heroes of the main series.
    • Justified, in that they are both career knights, and thus professional killers.
  • Deal with the Devil: Ser Alester makes a deal with Cersei Lannister, suggested by Varys, to become her personal agent in exchange for forwarding his claim to Riverspring. Cersei offers to make him heir (which he legally is anyway) if he outperforms against Ser Valarr, his half-brother that she's already promised Riverspring. Almost immediately, Ser Alester is used in missions against Jon Arryn and his men.
  • The Dragon: Ser Valarr serves as this to Cersei Lannister, being her personal assassin since the days of Robert's Rebellion.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Mors Westford's dayjob when not massacring his enemies.
  • Dueling Player Characters: The Post-Final Boss of the game is whichever character you didn't pick as the main character for chapters 14 and 15.
  • Dying Town: Riverspring has been dying for the fifteen years that Alester has been gone. By the time that Alester returns, it is on the verge of revolt due to lack of trade as well as food.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Ser Valarr interrogates a number of servants, threatening torture if they don't answer his questions and stabbing one to death when they beg for mercy.
  • Failure Knight: Both main characters. Standard for the setting, but Mors and Alester raise the bar to new levels.
  • Fanservice:
    • The prostitutes of the whore house in Moletown are extremely attractive women in scantily clad attire.
    • Falena wears what amounts to pasties over her nipples while being otherwise wearing glorious period dress.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Mors and Alester are this, due to the harsh realities of Westeros. Mors regularly reminds the player far more of the Punisher in chainmail than Jon Snow or Samwell Tarly. Lord Commander Mormont approves.
  • The Heavy: Yohn serves as this to Valarr Hill, who is The Dragon to Cersei. Yohn impersonates Ser Godric Donnerly when attempting to claim Jeyne Greystone.
  • Hero of Another Story: Mors and Alester are individuals involved in a Lannister plot regarding a bastard of both Baratheon as well as Targaryen blood. Oh and an evil sorcerer. It takes place just before the events of the series.
  • Hero Antagonist: The Mother Hen (AKA Ser Godric Donnerly) is running a spy network throughout King's Landing that is working against Queen Cersei. Ser Allester and Ser Valarr are dispatched to eliminate him by Queen Cersei. Given he is trying to prove the Queen's treason and is only drawn out when you threaten an innocent blacksmith's apprentice, he is a much better man than your side.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold:
    • Sybelle and Falena are both thoroughly decent people who just so happen to be sex workers. Sybelle protects Jeyne, as best she can, in Mole's Town for no payment while Falena works to try to protect Gewain due to being his lover (beyond a paid companion).
    • Chataya is a Downplayed Trope as she has elements of a Miss Kitty, looking after her girls, but she's also very meticuous about her money. The only reason she helps Ser Aleister so much is the fact that he is a former lover of hers as well as her own vested interest,
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Deconstructed when Mors explains that the Wildlings are the enemies of the Night's Watch because the Others haven't been seen in eight thousand years (though he doesn't discount their existence). He also states that Wildlings are often desperate for food, shelter, and other supplies so they will do anything to get them from the Seven Kingdoms communities they raid. This convinces the most skeptical of the Night's Watch recruits to the Wildling's danger because he, too, had been that desperate and knew what he'd been willing to do to survive.
  • Impossibly-Low Neckline: The harlots of Moletown wear outfits that resemble slingshot bikinis with loin cloths.
  • Inadequate Inheritor: Elyana Sarwyck is considered this by the people of Riversprings due to her inability to slow the decline of the town.
  • Captain Smooth and Sergeant Rough: Alester and Mors have this dynamic when they finally meet up. They're both technically landed nobles, but Alester is rightful heir to a major town while Mors is a professional soldier who surrendered his own lands long ago.
  • Low Fantasy: Like the series, the plot is far more interested in matters of politics and succession. It is very easy to forget both heroes and the Big Bad are essentially sorcerers.
  • Mugging the Monster: A group of bandits attempt to shake down Ser Mors when he's chasing a Wildling deserter near the start of the game. While outnumbering him five to one, they miss that a hardened Nights Watch veteran is probably harder game than they want to tangle with. Mors makes short work of them and this is before he's learned to use his dog to tear out throats.
  • Multiple Endings: Depending on who you played the final battle as and a choice after the battle
    • If Mors survives the ending and chooses to give the baby to Varys, he returns to the wall to live out the rest of his days.
    • If Mors decides to raise the baby himself, he goes on the run from Cersei's soldiers.
    • If Alester survives the final battle and gives the baby to Cersei, he reclaims his land but seems to despair at what hes sacrificed to get there and is last seen contemplating suicide.
    • If Alester gives the baby to Varys, he becomes a Doomed Moral Victor as Cersei has him killed.
    • If the player loses the final battle, then there is a rather lengthy ending where Varys hands the child over to Valarr, and is accepted as an ally by the suspicious Valarr.
  • Narrator: Varys... who plays a major role in the game.
  • Prequel: Game of Thrones: The RPG takes place in the days immediately leading up to the death of Jon Arryn in the first episode.
  • Red Baron: Together the player characters are nicknamed "The Double-Edged Sword". Mors is also nicknamed "The Butcher".
  • Real Knights Love R'hllor: Alester Sarwyck never lets anyone forget it.
    • Downplayed with Mors and the Faith of the Seven. He never expresses a genuine belief in the Seven, but still considers his Andal heritage very important to his identity as a knight.
  • Never My Fault: Alester blames having to kill Mors' family on Mors himself and his disobedience to their liege lord, despite it being his idea for Mors to take the black instead of getting executed.
  • Recruiters Always Lie: Averted in tragic fashion. Mors regularly lures newcomers to the Night's Watch with rather terrifying descriptions of a life spent fighting wildlings, the cold, and much worse. Fortunately for him, peasant life is even worse everywhere else.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Played straight, subverted, and flaunted.
    • Mors Westford is specifically introduced as Mormont's best ranger (Not the same thing as First Ranger, which is Benjen Stark's job) and a Sworn Brother so feared, both wildlings and crows dread encountering him. However, he leaves the Wall long before Jon Snow ever arrives. He only returns to the Wall in one of five endings.
    • The Sarwycks of Riverspring and the Harltons of Castlewood are never mentioned in the books, nor do their towns exist on the map. Both families along with their towns are essentially wiped by war and poverty before the end of the game.
    • Alester and Valarr become personal enforcers for Cersei Lannister, assassinating 'enemies of the state on her behalf. Both skip town before the beginning of the book's events and only return when everyone is distracted by Ned Stark's coup.
    • Varys engineers the Final Boss Fight on behalf of the heroes and helps Alester out more than once. Alester is convinced that Varys is somehow manipulating events to benefit himself, regardless of who wins and who loses. He is.
    • The main plot revolves around the premise of Robert Baratheon impregnating one of Aerys' bastards. However, Jeyne is almost as anti-Targaryen as Robert, what with her mother being raped by a mad king and spending her life on the run. Lord Harlton even comments the only thing that really matters to the common people is her silver hair, which is good enough for his plans. Almost everyone is far more concerned about her unborn child than her personally.
    • The Battle of Stag's Mount is regularly referenced. Good luck finding it on a map.
    • Mors and Alester are famous war heroes who made their name in the above battle, and served under Jon Arryn. Jon Arryn is quite dead during the game, but his trust in Mors is why he drags the old knight back into the game of thrones.
    • The Brotherhood, a secretive pro-Targaryen alliance between lords disenfranchised during the War. They are also wiped out before their plans really take off. More importantly, they have no actual link to the surviving Targaryens and are more interested in setting up a puppet government in their name.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: A peasants revolt happens almost as soon as Ser Alester comes back to Riversprings. Guards are murdered, hostages taken from a funeral, and rapes committed during the revolt.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Yohn corrupts almost a dozen brothers of the Night's Watch by throwing a massive amount of coin around in his search for Jeyne. It works well because a great deal of the Night's Watch have no loyalty to the organization and aren't there by choice. He also found out which men were corruptible from one of the older brothers he paid for the information.
  • Spoiled Brat: Ser Glyes Langward is a fourth son of a minor noble house that is getting married but has incurred a large amount of debt at a local whorehouse. He's also sired a bastard child there. Or so he's told. When told to pay up for the money he was charged for oggling the women, he flat out refuses.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: Protagonists Alester and Mors are two narrative perspectives about events in Westeros happening before the events of the HBO show. Alester is in the South and Mors in the North for much of the game despite both being from the Westlands.
  • Wham Shot: The sight of Jeyne's hood falling down to reveal she has the bright silver hair of a Targaryen.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Alester is greeted with anger and disgust from all of his family as well as their vassals due to abandoning them without warning fifteen years ago.
  • Wretched Hive:
    • King's Landing is depicted as a place with corrupt guards, an evil nobility, mass poverty, and lots of criminals.
    • Moletown is a mostly-underground city that is full of bandits, Wildlings, and corruption.