So … exciting news today that Maisie “Arya Stark” Williams has been filmed doing Assassin’s Creed-type stuff during the shooting for season six of Game Of Thrones.
Yet I think whoever wrote that headline in The Independent has stumbled across something unexpectedly magical. Because there should be more Westeros-style antics in the Assassin’s Creed series.
In fact, I would go even one further: an Assassin’s Creed: Westeros edition would be fantastic.
All the elements are already in place for an amazing AC-style video game. Spectacular, rich, well-fleshed-out characters – check. A fascinating, intricate, ancient world full of magic, legends and wonders to explore – check. The potential for epic quests, large-scale battles, drama, pathos and heroism – check.
And dragons. Lots of dragons.
Because dragons make everything better.
Obviously, the first choice would be for gamers to play as the series’s “assassin”, Arya. We can follow her progress – her skilling and levelling up, as it were – as a young child in Winterfell. Arya progresses in lethality as she trains under her dancing master Syrio Forel, learning new techniques and weapons and mastering her sword Needle.
In the meantime, there is huge scope for side quests, leaping off the top of roofs and climbing the buildings of King’s Landing much in the same way that Ezio scaled and explored 15th-century Venice. (Such was the superb detail of Venice in Assassin’s Creed II I feel like I have already toured the city.)
Arya’s dealings with The Hound and Jaqen H’ghar further push along the plot and her skills and weapons. The Hound can teach her to use heavy weapons or ride a horse (level up!), while H’ghar, the grand master of the game, can instruct her in the highest-level assassin skills, including being able to transform her appearance and take on another’s face (stealth mode?).
The size of Westeros would allow AC: Westeros edition to become a giant sandbox game much in the manner of Grand Theft Auto or Metal Gear Solid. Arya could travel the land, having adventures and taking on the odd assassination, running, tracking or spying side mission.
Perhaps, when she reaches higher levels and has learnt everything H’ghar has to teach her, she could recruit killers for her own guild in the same way as the Assassin’s Creed games.
And, of course, there would be the main quest, the assassination of everyone on her list: Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, Meryn Trant, The Hound, Walder Frey and more. Once they’re all dead the main quest is over, but one would still be free to complete other side quests in the manner of Grand Theft Auto and Skyrim.
There could also be downloads/mods where you could play the game as Ned Stark, Sansa, the Khaleesi, Jon Snow (he’s still alive, you know) or perhaps even Tyrion.
And for lovers of big battle simulations like Total War, imagine fighting the Battle of the Blackwater or taking on giants and wildlings in the Battle of Castle Black.
Sure, it’s a dream at this stage … but what a dream.
And imagine what a huge crossover audience there must be between gamers and Game Of Thrones devotees: huge, I reckon.
So game developers, please take heed of the secret desires of gamers everywhere and commission an Assassin’s Creed: Westeros edition.
Because we all know it would be epic.
My ebook military thriller, The Spartan, is out now on Amazon.