What is this, you may ask? No, it is not another novel. George announced on his Not a Blog a few days ago that his three, already-published Dunk & Egg short stories would be collected into a single hardcover titled A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, with beautiful illustrations by artist Gary Gianni.
While most of the world is under the thrall of A Song of Ice & Fire, many of us readers have been aware of a little known series loosely titled Dunk & Egg. George has written three stories that take place about 100 years before A Game of Thrones and the tales involve a hedge knight named Dunk and his trusty but smart-mouthed squire, Egg. Of course, these two tie into the current Westeros mythology—albeit in a very loose way—but they are a wonderful addition to the history of one of the biggest fantasy series of all time.
George has been adamant for years that Dunk & Egg would be comprised of seven to twelve short stories/novellas, as many tales it took to tell their tale fully. The third novella, The Mystery Knight published in the anthology Warriors in 2010. The fourth novella, to be set in Winterfell with many Stark women, has been in the works since that time.
From his Not a Blog, here is George discussing how things have evolved:
The unfinished novella (fourth in the set) was indeed set in Winterfell, and involved a group of formidable Stark wives, widows, mothers, and grandmothers that I dubbed ‘the She-Wolves,’ but “The She-Wolves of Winterfell” was never meant to be more than a working title. The final title, when I finish the story, will be something different. There’s also another Dunk & Egg novella that I’ve got roughed out in my head, with the working title “The Village Hero.” That one takes place in the Riverlands. There’s no telling when I will have time to finish either of these, or which one I will write first. I don’t expect I will know more until I’ve delivered THE WINDS OF WINTER.
There are several bits of good news here. First, that George is focused on The Winds of Winter rather than Dunk & Egg. While there are a small contingent of us who would rather have the next Dunk & Egg story before The Winds of Winter, we are few and far between and the fact that George is writing on the novel rather than the novella speaks to how dedicated he is on the book front.
Second, George let us know the tentative title and setting of the fifth Dunk & Egg tale. The Riverlands. That’s pretty awesome!
You can read the entirety of his thoughts HERE.
A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms will be a welcome addition to my library. I know I’m not the only one who feels that way. Like George, I love fully illustrated books. And taking three of my favorite tales and giving them a beautiful new publication makes me happy.
To read these great additions to Westeros before A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms publishes, get your hands on Legends edited by Robert Silverberg, Legends II edited by Robert Silverberg, and Warriors edited by George R. R. Martin & Gardner Dozois. All three are anthologies packed with fantastic writers and better stories.
And by reading these Dunk & Egg stories, you just might find a new favorite writer too!
A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George R. R. Martin is coming…
… like winter.