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.
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 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.
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.