With Season 4 just around the corner Game of Thrones hype is at an all time high. People have been trying everything to keep themselves going until the next season and with so many gamers out there, video games are a vital way to do so. There’s just one problem – Game of Thrones: The Game, is not very good. Now don’t get me wrong, from what I’ve seen its perfectly playable but for fans of the series it’s just not quite the experience of being within the Kingdom of Westeros they were craving. Fortunately however, there is a game that comes far closer to replicating this experience, and its one I think you may have heard about.
Elder Scrolls: Skyrim is an extremely highly regarded Fantasy RPG, set in the Frozen Northern land of Skyrim. It is also an excellent game for Game of Thrones fans as it shares many key similarities with George R. R. Martin’s series. To demonstrate this I’ve noted the similarities so you can see what Lordly things can be accomplished in Whiterun and the surrounding areas just as well as in King’s Landing.
The Lords of the seven kingdoms are well known for their lengthy, bureaucratic methods of defeating their rivals as well as their brasher, military assaults and the land of Skyrim has a similarly fertile political soil for would-be conquerors. Join the struggle for power between the Iron-clad imperial troops and the fierce, patriotic Stormcloaks and see whichever party suits you ceases the north for themselves. Want to help one side then double-cross it to the other like Lord Balish did to Ned Stark? Well you can. Fell like holding on to your honour and seeing the North returned to its rightful owners like Robert Stark attempted to? Well you can do that also. Alternatively you can leave both sides alone and explore the many other political interests found across the cities of Skyrim.
In Skyrim (just as in Westeros), Dragons are but a distant memory of more turbulent times and the nation believes themselves safe from these horrors. Much like Daenerys Targyran, you will descend upon them as the Dragonborn and prove them wrong. Wielding the power of Dragons with your very words using Dragon Shouts and become even more powerful than the mother of Dragons. Fret not however, as you can be just as wise as the savvy Adventurer will learn to develop your Draconic tongue and eventually converse with reptilian allies of their own. You will also have ample opportunity to exercise your more moral leanings. You’ll be able to follow Daenerys in showing mercy to your victims, or be seduced by the darker forces of the world. The Lord of Light may be able to summon Demon assassins with Kings blood, but you maybe able to do so with sheer magical power by joining the Mages School or seeking out the Demons of Tamriel: the legendary Daedric.
Anyone who’s read A Song of Ice and Fire or even watched HBO’s Game of Thrones will want to explore the beautiful vistas that make up the varied kingdoms of Westeros. None are more enigmatic of the series however, like the Frozen territory of the Starks of Winterfell. The similarity between this kingdom and Skyrim is unmistakable, from the icy, barren climate to the similarly tempered inhabitants; exploring Skyrim is about as close as a gamer can get to actually being in Winterfell. Indeed many of the sites which characterise the Stark’s homeland are also there to see in the Elder Scrolls. The ancient snowy fortress protecting by an aging, weakening order of Black is here represented by the Greybeards and their mountain. Furthermore Skyrim’s inhabitants must deal with Giants, Wolves and Undead alike, just like the denizens of Winterfell. There are even old Gods which can help you on your journey by praying at their shrines and ignoring the pull of the newer, Imperial gods like those worshipped by the Lannisters.
Now I will be the first to admit that the comparison is not perfect, Skyrim’s warring factions are not as strongly affiliated with noble houses as those in Thrones. Furthermore the Dragons are a force of their own in Skyrim, while Daenerys very much controls her own Draconic children. Still, it is the many things that are the same that makes Skyrim the perfect choice for Thrones fans who need something to tithe them over until April.
Go now Dragonborne and seize your destiny. If nothing else, it will be excellent training for when you are one day truly able to take the virtual, Iron Throne.