What If Telltale’s Game of Thrones took Place During Robert’s Rebellion
If you thought Westeros is a mess now then you should dive into some Iron Throne history. You’ll find that conflict, betrayal and jack-assery were common in the Seven Kingdoms.
When Telltale first announced that they were going to make a Game of Thrones videogame, the big question was when and where this game would take place? So far we know this much, that the games will be based off the hit HBO series instead of A Song of Ice and Fire.
For the most part I think Telltale will use this opportunity to tell a neat story to run congruent to the events of the show. Perhaps we will follow Rickon Stark stashed away with the Umbers while his brother Bran ventures north of the Wall. Maybe we will follow Jaqen H’ghar prior to being captured in season one. Or a Dreadfort soldier who takes part of the Red Wedding? Why not!? Better yet, lets follow Beric Dondarrion and his exploits with the Brotherhood Without Banners!
Telltale could also use this moment to retell big events in Game of Thrones history. Many conflicts are referenced in the TV show, but none more than Robert’s Rebellion. Fans would appreciate the event that was the basis of all the current Iron Throne hijinx like Robert’s Rebellion.
Rob’s Rebellion takes place roughly seventeen years before season 1 of the television show. This was when Mad-King Targeyen was at the height of his kookiness. Relations between all the major houses were growing more and more hostile. What eventually kickstarted the rebellion was when Prince Rhaegar kidnapped Robert Baratheon’s would-be wife Lyanna who was also Eddard Stark’s sister.
This triggered a civil war that split the kingdom in half. Rob and Nedd fought and won a series of crucial battles that easily could be split into a five episodes. Game of Thrones has a number of characters who have a lot of implied bad-assery that in some cases is hard to believe. We have no idea how much of a capable commander Hoster Tully was because all we have even seen in the TV series is this feeble old man in his deathbed for a few episodes. I think showing characters in their prime does a lot to develop their backstory since the television series can perform these crazy lore dumps, which is tough to pay attention to.
While most of us know already know the outcomes of these major battles, we don’t know about the choices that lead us there. This game should be about those choices.
Episode 1: The Battle of Summerhall
When you see Robert Baratheon in season one of Game of Thrones, its tough to believe that he was an unbeatable warrior. The fat sad drunk you see who can’t even fit into his own armor was once an unstoppable killing machine who would charge into a battle with an over-sized war-hammer.
The Battle of Summerhall was when Robert Baratheon fought and won three battles in one day. This would be an action heavy episode where players would take control of the Robert himself. Deciding which armies to attack first would be the major decision making point along with deciding the fates of the captured enemy commanders.
Episode 2: The Battle of Ashford/The Battle of Bells
This was Rob’s only defeat in the war which was against the forces of House Tyrell. The loss would force Baratheon to retreat in order to link up with his allies. The episode would feature Commander Randyll Tarly as the enemy. Randyll is the father of Jon Snow’s Night’s Watch bestie, Sam Tarly. The elder Tarly is mentioned a few times in the TV show but never seen.
The approach of this episode would be the player figuring out the best to retreat before the main Tyrell forces could end the rebellion prematurely.
During his retreat from Ashford, Robert Baratheon somehow gets wounded and is forced to take refuge in the town of Stony Sept. Episode 2 would address what happened in this span of time since it’s never described in the books.
While hiding out, Robert has to avoid being captured by Lord Jon Connington’s men long enough for the Tullys and Starks to come save the day. This episode could feature some light stealth gameplay of Robert sneaking house to house with the aid of rebel sympathizers. We would also get our first introduction of a younger Eddard Stark and Hoster Tully (who we see mostly on a deathbed in Season 3).
Once united with his allies Rob launches a successful counterattack against the Mad-King to give Robert’s Rebellion his undivided attention. This will also be the moment when Robert finds out the fate of his beloved Lyanaa Stark.
Episode 3: The Battle of the Trident
The Battle of the Trident would be the climax of the five episode series. Driven by purpose and vengeance, this is when Robert shines as a warrior of legend as he takes part in the largest battle during the rebellion. Putting Rob Baratheon against the man who took his betrothed, Prince Rhaegar Targaryen. The opening should have Robert fighting his way to the dragon prince shouting orders to his generals Ed Stark, Hoster Tully, and Jon Arryn.
The highlight of the episode should Rob challenging Rhaeger to single combat. The fight itself should be an impressive quick time event that should lead them to what is now known as the Ruby Ford. Avenging Lyanna should be on Rob’s mind when he crushes Rhaeger’s ruby encrusted armor with his war-hammer.
At the end of the episode Robert is too injured to continue, the game puts you in control of Nedd Stark to finish out the remainder of the war.
This episode will also introduce Barristan the Bold being a complete bad ass.
Episode 4: The Sack of King’s Landing
An event that is referenced constantly in the TV series. This episode should have Nedd Stark arriving into King’s Landing moments after the Lannister’s betray Mad-King Targaryen. The Lannister treachery should be evident as you march Nedd Stark and his forces through the streets of King’s Landing. The wanton wholesale slaughter of innocent people should upset the noble Stark and shed a light on the horrors of war.
The gameplay itself should have Nedd putting an end to any atrocities that may come across whether it be with harsh language or with the steel of his Greatsword Ice. The final moments of the episode should be the confrontation in the throne room with Jamie Lannister. This dialogue heavy-scene should explain why the Mad-King is laying dead at the foot of this throne.
Episode 5: The Exile
During the Sack of King’s Landing, the Lannisters right then and there attempt to end the Targaryen bloodline by murdering almost all the members of the royal family. Viserys and Rhaella, the son and pregnant mother, have to escape the city while avoiding the Lannisters.
This episode should put you in control Viserys as he tries to take back alley channels in order to hitch a ride to the Free Cities with his mother. Again this should be an episode with the Targaryens exhausting every resource to figure way to escape the slaughter. Decisions like deciding which family heirlooms they can barter in order to ensure their safety should tug at the heart strings as the Viserys realizes that his dynasty is crashing around him.
The end of the episode should flash forward to Viserys and a young Daenerys escaping Rob’s assassins leading them to the events to the beginning of season 1.
The Dragon Prince, Final Word
It also may be interesting to tell the story all from Rhaegar’s perspective. He’s one character that is mentioned all the time but we don’t even know what he looks or have an inkling to how he was. Since we never really know why he kidnaps Lyanna Stark to begin with, we question: Is it love, or something more at play here? I would love to have his motivations explained. A brilliant fighter and a gifted scholar, I think it would be neat to follow Rhaegar and the events that lead to his eventually defeat.
Again this is just my dream scenario for a Telltale’s Game of Thrones. Telltale has a dragon-sized amount of lore they could play with in order to tell a compelling story. Telltale needs to able to find a good balance between dumping a lot of information keeping the player engaged with something to do. That’s why focusing on one major event like Robert’s Rebellion could do a great deal of fleshing out characters that didn’t get enough time on the big screen (mostly because they are all dead or super old) while also providing a satisfying and decision-heavy prequel.
For more on the game, check out all of our Telltale Game of Thrones news.