Comic Book Review: ASOIAF prequel “The Sworn Sword” Graphic Novel

Happy New Comic Book Day! As my nerdy Wednesday post, I’m reviewing the second “Dunk & Egg” tale that has been adopted into a graphic novel. I don’t think I have to explain A Song of Ice & Fire or Game of Thrones to any of you, but you may not be aware that there George R.R. Martin has written other tales set in the same universe. They’re referred to as “Tales of Dunk & Egg”, in reference to Ser Duncan the Tall and his squire Egg, the main protagonists of the novellas. There’s three of them so far and they’ve been published in different anthologies so good luck collecting them. They are planning to collect them into a book after the fourth novella is published, whenever that is. Fortunately, they’ve decided to release them in graphic novel form so while waiting, we can read those. I’ve already reviewed the first one and loved it. Yesterday, I got my hands on the second one, “The Sworn Sword”, and devoured it.
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This is a spoiler-free review since the twists are so fun to discover along the way, just like in ASOIAF, I wouldn’t want to ruin it for anyone. It picks up basically two years after the events of “The Hedge Knight” with Dunk and Egg now serving under Ser Eustace Osgrey. There are basically two storylines we’re following here: the present-day conflict between House Osgrey and neighboring House Webber as well as the First Blackfyre Rebellion, told in flashbacks.

The story is set roughly a hundred years before the events of ASOIAF, so the Targaryens are still ruling Westeros. Just because of that fact, I’m already sold on this series since they’re my favorite House. There are tons of references to various Targaryens that can be traced (thanks to Google and Wikipedia) all the way to Daenerys. I particularly enjoyed the story of the Blackfyre Rebellion, which was mentioned in A Storm of Swords but we’re given more details in this book. If you don’t remember what the rebellion was all about, essentially Aegon IV legitimizes his bastards so when he dies, one of his bastards Daemon Blackfyre tries to seize the Iron Throne from the legitimate son, Daeron. The art is amazing and definitely adds to the story, leaving me wanting to see the Blackfyre Rebellion flashbacks on the show or as a mini-series.
The Sworn Sword
The other plotline with Osgrey and Webber was interesting but nowhere near as exciting as the rebellion. I did like the character of Lady Rohanne Webber or the Red Widow. She reminded me of a mix between Dany and Ygritte, and not just because she’s a widow and has red hair. It’s her fiery spirit and general badassness that made me think of the comparison.
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While I liked “The Hedge Knight” more than “The Sworn Sword”, the second prequel graphic novel is an enjoyable must-read, especially since Season 4 of Game of Thrones still feels so far away. The third novella is being adapted into graphic novel form, but I haven’t heard of a release date yet. I’m very much looking forward to it since I think Dunk and Egg will encounter my second favorite House in Westeros, the Starks.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Comic Book Review: ASOIAF prequel “The Sworn Sword” Graphic Novel

  1. I actually liked the Sworn Sword better than the other 3 short stories. I think that the politics and history of the 2 small houses were pretty good. When you read the tale more and more, you go deeper into this world you truly understand how the local politics work. Dunk grasping the meaning of the word traitor and finally understanding that it’s not all black and white but a matter of a single wrong turn in a crucial time was pretty fun. The rebellion flashbacks were pretty cool as well.
    Anyway I gathered all 3 Dunk and Egg novellas in one place, you are welcome to visit and avoid looking for them all -http://www.coolreviewsrule.com/2013/11/tales-of-dunk-and-egg-sworn-sword-review.html
    I just finished reading the Rogues it was nice, not as good as the Tales of Dunk and Egg. Now I’m reading The Princess and the Queen, you should definitely check them both out.

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