Cover art from a deluxe illustrated edition of 2015 A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms. Art by Gary GianniImage: Subterranean Press
We know HBO has been working on several Game of Thrones-related spinoffs for years. The first to get the go-ahead was House of the Dragon—based on author George R.R. Martin’s extensive history of the Targaryen civil war that erupted some 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones. That history was published as Fire & Blood back in 2018. Now a second prequel has been officially announced, and it shouldn’t be surprising that it’s based on the only other material GRRM has written set in the world of Westeros: The Dunk and Egg novellas.
Set about 90 years before Game of Thrones, the stories follow Ser Duncan the Tall and his young squire Egg as they travel through the countryside. The twist is that Egg is secretly Aegon V Targaryen, who later in life becomes the Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Daenerys’ great-grandfather. The reason a Targaryen prince is allowed to wander around Westeros and serve a lowborn knight is because Aegon V was only the fourth son of Prince Maekar Targaryen, who was himself the fourth son of King Daeron II Targaryen, making Egg very far removed from the Iron Throne at the time.
In the three novellas, Egg watches Duncan joust, duel, and embroiled in noble politics, Targaryen rebellions, and more. But mainly Egg sees how badly the feudal system treats the smallfolk as they travel through Westeros, which inspires him to be a more egalitarian king once he takes the throne. Over the last decade, Martin has announced he’s outlined two more Dunk & Egg novellas—The Village Hero and the intriguingly titled She-Wolves of Winterfell—and has ideas for four more, but he’s set them all aside to work on The Winds of Winter.
While there had initially been reports that HBO might develop Dunk & Egg as an animated series, Deadline states that the show will be live-action and helmed by Steve Conrad, who will write and executive produce the show. Conrad’s work includes the under-the-radar but acclaimed Amazon series Patriot, as well as AMC+’s doll-laden, noir-comedy series Ultra City Smiths.
Since House of the Dragon, which started filming months ago, still only has a release date of “2022,” it will likely be a long time before we see Ser Duncan and Egg coming down the pike. More as it eventually develops…
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