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TV Review: Game of Thrones Season Seven Episode Five – “Eastwatch”

“We Either Serve And Die Or Fight And Die. I’ve Made My Choice…”

Beginning with perhaps the most obvious rescue in Thrones history, “Eastwatch” was a curiously intriguing episode, one which swapped action set pieces for cleverly maneuvered interactions, resulting in a swiftly paced hour of television which saw the return of long lost characters, the reunion of old friends and enemies and a game-changing couple of narrative tweaks which had fans screaming at the television with frustration the one minute and then applauding with joy the next. With Bronn inevitably the saving grace behind the cliffhanger of last week’s episode, allegiances seem to be at some sort of an end between the two after the latter understandably quipped, “dragons is where our partnership ends”, and whilst Bronn may have lost a selection of fans for his attack on Drogon last week, the comedic chemistry between himself and Jamie is still rife and effective as ever, even after witnessing an abundance of soldiers being shot up in flames. Furthermore, the death of both Tarly father and son raised an interesting predicament for Daenerys’ characterisation, with her villainous streak seeping out once again and arguably becoming more jarring by the second, yet with the vessel of Jon Snow by her side, you would expect each to learn from each other and ultimately level each other out, particularly after Dany’s shocked reaction to Drogon’s response to Jon.

Fitting in as many storyline developments as humanly possible within the second half, “Eastwatch” managed to swing in a glossed over historical game-changer, the long-awaited return of Gendry and the forming of Thrones’ own magnificent seven who ventured out beyond the wall in an attempt to begin preparations for the battle with the dead. Whilst this week’s episode was indeed low on blockbuster action, the low-key smuggling attempts and shadowy meetings in the dark made the episode feel almost Season One-esque, particularly with Littlefinger having the screen time to return to his more dastardly means at Winterfell, and whilst the travelling times for particular characters in Westeros has somewhat been subsided, “Eastwatch” was a thoroughly enjoyable episode, one which crammed in as much information as possible with a sole purpose of setting the ground for the remaining two episodes which are guaranteed to be explosive entertainment. We are ready.

Overall Score: 9/10

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The Wolf Among Us – Finale and Season Review – NO SPOILERS

The Wolf Among Us 2Over the next few days, The Wolf Among Us – Episode 5 is going live across a large selection of platforms. The highly anticipated finale to the series inspired and influenced by the Fable graphic novels is bitter sweet. As ever with something you invest a lot of time into, you can become attached to the series and it certainly is sad to see Bigby Wolf’s current tale end. With the huge success, it’s quite possible that we will see his return and that is calming to think about.

If you aren’t aware of The Wolf Among Us, you must experience it. From the studio that brought you The Walking Dead, Telltale studios have brought the comic book world into an experience that can only be described as an interactive show where your choices and actions form the story around you. Starring the Big Bad Wolf, Bigby, you are Fabletown’s protector; a detective of sorts. Over the 5 episodes you must solve the murder of a young Fable, but its never going to be that simple with Telltale. Without divulging the story, I can say that nothing really goes to plan for you. you’re thrown from pillar to post trying to work out who the murderer is but also get stuck into the affairs of many of Fabletown’s citizens who fate YOU decide.

Telltale’s success is not simple down to its innovate gameplay or story telling, it’s also down to the characters that it creates. Lee and Clementine from The Walking Dead series are the perfect examples of this. Their bond and partnership was endearing and you couldn’t help but fall in love with them. The same can be said about Bibgy Wolf. Although he’s not the loving sort of The Wolf Among Us 5character, he is a reformed character with a troubled past. His big persona, strength and forwardness are great fun and he knows he’s doing what needs to be done in a place where many fear his past. A man seeking redemption if you may. As a much more aggressive character, he’s accustom to violence so many of his actions can be extreme. Personally for me, this makes him even cooler and has sold me onto buying the graphic novels.

As I’ve already mentioned, the gameplay and story are wonderful, mixed with the amazing art style that uses thick and heavy outlines with many saturated colours, the colours actually pop. With news that Telltale are creating a Borderlands series, the blend of styles will make it one of the best visually. The vast amounts of work that goes into creating the art and story do have it’s drawbacks. Waiting patiently each month for a download means that many, like myself, have to suffer with a poor internet connection to download a substantial file and is a bit of a pain on days/times when internet traffic is high or your internet is down. The other problem is that the game can be a little fragmented with framerate issues. Dropping from time to time when loading and presenting itself as frozen does interrupt the flow of the story. Many of the Xbox users may also notice an achievement glitch which awards you the achievements but doesn’t acknowledge them on the Xbox hub. Currently the situation has yet to be fixed and little news opens up why this is happening.

I’ve been very careful not to reveal any spoilers for this series due to the fact that it is just epic and everyone’s experience can be different. The overall ending is set but why should I ruin that? Episode 5’s release was heavily anticipated and you will not be disappointed with this instalment. I’m a little confused by the end scene myself but I hope we will see some answers in the near future.

Wolf Among Us as a whole series deserves a 9/10. Sure, it can be buggy at times, but everything else works in it’s favour. It’s not convoluted and it’s not pre-school level. A very well written (with some very funny moments), voiced and styled first outing for Bigby and I can’t wait to see him return…Please let him return!

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