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March 9, 2015
Game of Thrones: A Telltale Games Series is an episodic video game based on the HBO television series, released in 2,014 and consists of six episodes. It is being developed in conjunction with HBO by Telltale Games, developers of the critically praised video game spinoffs for The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us.
The main characters are from House Forrester. The Forresters are a family of the minor nobility from the Wolfswood in the North, bannermen to House Glover - who are in themselves major vassals sworn to House Stark of Winterfell. The seat of House Forrester is Ironrath, an imposing stronghold in the forest surrounded by ironwood trees. Their House words are "Iron from Ice", echoing their believe that the severe cold and hostile landscape of the North only make them stronger.
House Forrester does actually exist in the novels, and they are a minor House in the Wolfswood who serve as vassals to House Glover. However they were only mentioned in passing once and its current members were not described: "...guides Lady Sybell [Glover] had given them, trackers and hunters sworn to Deepwood with clan names like Forrester and Woods, Branch and Bole." (A Dance With Dragons, Chapter 42) With no details given about its current members in the novels, this gives the video game a blank canvas to fill new characters with.
The events in the game series generally coincide with Season 4, beginning towards the end of Season 3 and ending just before Season 5 begins.
Players will visit familiar locations such as King's Landing and the Wall, as well as unfamiliar locations such as Ironrath, the home of House Forrester. The game will be played from five different points of view. Each character you play as is a member of House Forrester; either a direct family member, or a person in service to the House. Scattered across Westeros and Essos, each character will play their part in seeking to save House Forrester from destruction. Playing as five characters not only reflects the epic scope of Game of Thrones, but is also something that the player needs to be mindful of. This is because the actions of one character can ripple out to affect the rest of House Forrester.
In the social structure of the Seven Kingdoms, there are usually only nine Great Houses, such as the Starks or Lannisters, that rule entire regions ("seven" kingdoms, plus the Riverlands which are a borderland region, plus the capital region of the Crownlands). Each Great House has about a dozen or so major noble Houses immediately sworn to them. In the North, these include House Umber, House Manderly, House Karstark, and House Glover, among others. All told this means that there are a little over one hundred major noble Houses in Westeros, almost all of which have been accounted for in the novels. However, each of the major noble Houses also have their own minor noble Houses that serve them as local bannermen. For example, House Cassel is a local minor House in direct service to the Starks, not one of the major noble Houses like the Umbers (George R.R. Martin has said that in retrospect, he should have used distinct terms for the three different ranks of nobles, such as "duke" and "baron", instead of each holding the rank of "Lord"). Given that each major noble House has a couple of minor Houses serving as local bannermen, there are apparently hundreds of minor Houses which have never been mentioned in the novels, with the main novel mostly focusing on the large-scale conflicts between entire kingdoms.
Essentially, the video game is focusing on a representative "everyman" minor House, to show how the War of the Five Kings is impacting people on a local level.
Westeros is a large continent, not simply one country, so the unified realm under the Iron Throne is on the scale of the Roman Empire, and each constituent kingdom such as "the North" is the size of an entire real-life medieval country, with armies numbering in the tens of thousands. Major Houses such as the Umbers or Karstarks can raise armies from their combined minor bannermen numbering in the low thousands. Minor noble Houses who are bannermen to the others have forces numbering in the hundreds at most.