Tales of Dunk and Egg
A Prequel to ASOIAF
In the midst of his ongoing epic fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire, George R. R. Martin has released prequel novellas, dubbed as the “Tales of Dunk and Egg” after the main protagonists.
While none of the characters from the main series are present in these A Song of Ice and Fire prequels, the timeline is near enough for the readers to relate to the characters and events. Ser Duncan the Tall, otherwise known as “Dunk” is a humble hedge knight who will later become Lord Commander of the Kingsguard and will escort Master Aemon and Brynden Rivers to the Wall. His companion, “Egg” is actually Aegon V Targaryen, who will eventually rule as King of the Seven Kingdomsand will be the great-grandfather of Daenerys and Viserys Targaryen.
There are three published prequel novellas to date:
- The Hedge Knight (1998)
- The Sworn Sword (2002)
- The Mystery Knight (2009)
The setting of A Song of Ice and Fire prequels takes place during the reign of King Daeron II Targaryen. His rule is just and popular, more so because he managed to secure an alliance with Dorne, the only kingdom that did not give in when Aegon “The Conqueror” Targaryen conquered Westeros and unified its kingdoms. During this peaceful period in the history of Westeros, soldiers and knights passed the time by participating in tourneys.
The story of the The Hedge Knight, the first in the series of prequel novellas, begins when Ser Arlan of Pennytree dies on his way to a tourney in Ashford. Ser Arlan’s squire, “Dunk”, decides to take his former master’s armor and compete in the tourney himself. On the way he meets a spirited boy named “Egg”, who he takes on as his squire. They participate in the tourney, but soon find themselves at odds with the princes Aerion and Daeron Targaryen. Captured by the royal guards, Dunk chooses to go through a trial by combat. He succeeds with Egg’s help, but suffers great losses. Although Dunk is offered a position in the Targaryen household to formally train Aegon V, he requests that he be allowed to travel with “Egg” as his squire. What follows is a series of adventures to learn more about knighthood and chivalry as Dunk and Egg travel around Westeros.
In the The Sworn Sword, Dunk and Egg will find their chivalry sorely tested amidst petty feuds and injustices.
In The Mystery Knight, they attend a wedding so that “Dunk” can participate in the joust celebrating the union between the Butterwell and Frey families. The two find themselves entangled in a conspiracy involving the groom, Lord Ambrose Butterwell.
A fourth novella, The She-Wolves is forthcoming, as is an omnibus collection of A Song of Ice and Fire prequels. Dabel Brothers has also published the first two novellas in graphic novel format.
These prequels serve as an entertaining diversion while waiting for the release of subsequent novels in the main series. The continuity is shown through Egg’s descendants, which include popular figures such as Aerys II “The Mad King”, Prince Rhaegar, Viserys, and Daenerys. For reasons yet unexplained, a shield with Dunk’s original arms will be found in the armory of Lord Selwyn of Tarth. His daughter, Brienne “The Lady Knight”, sported a copied version while traversing the Riverlands.