The Hedge Knight – Game of Thrones Comic Books Series
This six issue limited series is based on the short story written by Game of Thrones creator George R. R. Martin. It is no longer available but has been collected into a graphic novel book. The original short story is part of a three part novella series called The Tales of Dunk and Egg. For those who are familiar with the television series Game of Thrones, the story takes place 89 years before the current storyline in Game of Thrones and doesn’t have any crossover or share any characters. There is sometimes a mention of the character Dunk or Ser Duncan in reference from time to time amongst the soldiers at The Wall, however. The books that the show is based on actually touch on the history of Ser Dunk more frequently.
That said this is a story that really has very little fantasy in it, but lots of character development. The graphic novel adaptation might seem a bit “chatty” to anyone used to the normal sparse language of any graphic novel. But here it fits, as we follow this almost traditional sword and knight’s tale.
Dunk and Egg
The story is actually one of many from a series of short stories usually referred to as The Tales of Dunk and Egg. Dunk is a squire to a knight, on their way to a tournament when his knight dies along the way. He is a Hedge Knight, in other words a Knight without an allegiance because he is currently unemployed. Unwilling to forgo the opportunity to make a bit of money and perhaps prove himself worthy of being a knight, Dunk takes on the armor and horses of his knight, and decides to try his luck at the tournament.
Along the way he meets Egg, a young man with a shaved head (hence the name) who offers to act as his squire. He follows Dunk despite being turned down and in the end Dunk takes him on, impressed with his spirit.
Lessons at the Tourney
Alas Dunk discovers that without proof of his knighthood he cannot enter the tourney. When a local Prince vouches for him, he finds he will need a new coat of arms. His new shield is created by a local puppeteer and he is allowed to tilt for the honor of knighthood and chivalry. But when he interferes with the beating of the young puppeteer girl by a local royalty, he is thrown in prison.
Egg’s efforts to help Duncan be released from prison are just the beginning of this set of adventures. The two are destined to go on the road, have yet more adventures, and I am sure they will rescue plenty of fair maidens. It is a great epic tale of how knights come to be made and why they are so important to the world of chivalry that is Fire and Ice. If you have seen Game of Thrones and felt a pang of loss when Ned Stark is killed, then you will appreciate the lessons in The Hedge Knight. Here is a knight as Stark believed one should be.
For those who might not want to fork out close to a hundred dollars for the graphic novel The Hedge Knight (but a great buy if this is a gift for a real fan) there is still the original short story that is part of the Legends anthology where it first appeared. That book is a bit more reasonably priced and is available in both Kindle and paperback format.