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Game of Thrones Dunk and Egg Prequel Explained
Nearly two years after Game of Thrones came to an ignoble end, HBO is reportedly looking to parlay the onetime streaming juggernaut’s success into another new spin-off. According to Variety, HBO has begun early development on The Tales of Dunk and Egg, a prequel based on a three-part, same-titled series of novellas by George R.R. Martin. Though the project is just beginning to get off the ground, the books provide clues about where the series might go–and how it all ties back to the action of Game of Thrones. Here’s everything we know so far.
What Will The Tales of Dunk and Egg Be About?
With the show only just landing in early development, little is known or confirmed, but fans of Game of Thrones can look to Martin’s books as a blueprint for what to expect. Set about ninety years before the Game of Thrones series begins, The Tales of Dunk and Egg novellas follow the adventures of “Dunk” (the lowly knight and future Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, Ser Duncan the Tall), and his squire, “Egg” (the future king Aegon V Targaryen). As Westeros reels from the Blackfyre Rebellion, which pitted Targaryen against Targaryen in a bloody struggle for the Iron Throne, Dunk and Egg travel the sprawling landscape, competing in tournaments to earn their daily bread and often happening upon historical events.
In The Hedge Knight, the first novella in the series, Dunk and Egg are bonded for the first time at a jousting tournament gone wrong. In The Sworn Sword, Dunk and Egg get caught up in regional land conflicts between lords and peasants. In The Mystery Knight, familiar characters like Walder Frey and Beron Stark appear as Dunk and Egg unravel a conspiracy to kill Dunk. Martin intended to write anywhere from seven to twelve entries in The Tales of Dunk and Egg series, but as with The Winds of Winter, his best intentions went away. Martin previously said that he would refuse to greenlight an adaptation of The Tales of Dunk and Egg until he finished all the installments he’d planned, but clearly, his plans have changed.
The Hedge Knight: The Graphic Novel (A Game of Thrones)
How Does Egg Factor Into the Targaryen Line?
Remember Maester Aemon, the elderly maester at Castle Black and confidante to Jon Snow? Maester Aemon is Egg’s older brother. When Maester Aemon declined to take up the Iron Throne, as he’d already sworn his maester’s vows, it was Egg / Aegon who became the King of Westeros. In his first official act as king, Aegon exiled Lord Brynden Rivers, who joined the Night’s Watch, got lost beyond the Wall, and later resurfaced as the Three-Eyed Raven. Aegon’s reign ended when he and many other Targaryens perished in an unexplained fire at their summer palace, but Rhaegar Targaryen, his infant grandson, made it out alive. Fans of the series will remember the surprise reveal that Rhaegar Targaryen was Jon Snow’s real father, making Jon Aegon’s great-grandson.
Are Other Game of Thrones Spin-Offs in the Works?
After Game of Thrones ended, HBO went all-in on a number of spin-offs. House of the Dragon, a series about the Targaryens set 300 years before Game of Thrones, is moving ahead with Matt Smith and Olivia Cooke attached. An untitled prequel starring Naomi Watts was killed in development in late 2019.
When Will The Tales of Dunk and Egg Hit HBO?
It’s still too early to say when the series might start streaming. Watch this space for updates as we continue to learn more.
Adrienne Westenfeld is a writer and editor at Esquire, where she covers books and culture.
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