The first thing that pops into my head when I hear someone mention Game of Thrones: DUUUN duun, da da DAAAA dun, dA Da dunnnnnnnnn. And then second: Damn the entire A Song of Ice and Fire saga and its unyielding chokehold on my attention. For me, few other novels--or television shows, because, really, who reads books these days--have been as simultaneously delightful and infuriating to enjoy. It's a universe I can't seem to get enough of, even if its goings-on occasionally drive me to stress eat 8,000-calorie mega dinners. You can imagine my disappointment, then, every time a new and hideously awful Game of Thrones game comes out. BUT! There might yet be hope.
IGN reports that Telltale Games--you know, the studio that made The Walking Dead, GamesRadar's 2012 Game of the Year--is rumored to be working on a Game of Thrones game. If you're one of the types to greet this news with "Hrrrnnnng the combat will suck," then you're oblivious to why this is the best news ever.
Yes, A Song of Ice and Fire is home to horrifically brutal scenes (what up, Red Wedding?)--but far more exciting are its politically motivated plot twists and the tension built by its eccentric cast of characters, all of whom harbor a secret agenda that, when exposed, will blow your mind. These are the things that make the series so wholly entertaining--and these are the exact same things that act as the foundation for many of Telltale's games.
I mean, The Walking Dead is beloved because of its focus on character interaction and the drama said interactions inevitably breed. And what is Game of Thrones if not a catalog of character interactions (some lovely, some nightmare-inducing) and their consequences? Telltale's creative style tends to prize drama and intrigue above all else--as does Martin's fantasy series. It's such a natural fit.
So, too, is Telltale's typical episodic approach to games. The A Song of Ice and Fire novels are told through a rotating perspective of various characters, providing insight into their motivations and goals. It'd be easy to imagine each episode of a theoretical game focusing on a single character. Episode 1: Taking the Black as Jon Snow; Episode 2: Becoming the Hand of the King as Eddard Stark; and so on. Telltale even experimented with a multi-character setup in its 400 Days DLC for The Walking Dead, meaning the studio has experience with switching up perspectives.
Of course, there's a good chance that if Telltale makes an episodic game based on the A Song of Ice and Fire universe, it may not star the iconic characters. Maybe it'll have some cameos, as did The Walking Dead, but I fully expect it'll feature a new cast of characters, each struggling in different ways with the shifting politics revolving around the Iron Throne. Let's just hope they're as twisted and selfish as the ones we've already come to know and love.