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Literature / Tales of Dunk and Egg

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Dunk the Lunk, Thick as a Castle Wall
"This man protected the weak, as every true knight must. Let the gods determine if he was right or wrong."
Baelor Breakspear

Tales of Dunk and Egg is a series of novellas written by George R. R. Martin. It takes place in the same universe and continuity of A Song of Ice and Fire but is set nearly a century before the events of the main series. It features a completely different set of characters and events, some of which were only alluded to as Noodle Incident or Great Offscreen War in the main text but which are explored in fuller detail here.

After burying his mentor Ser Arlan of Pennytree on a meadow beneath a tree, Dunk of Flea Bottom decides to take up the calling of knighthood himself and enters as a poor hedge knight, styled Ser Duncan the Tall, in the Tourney at Ashford. On his travels he comes across a small, curious, bald child called Egg who volunteers to be his squire. Their random meeting leads to a lifelong friendship and several adventures, great and small, as they trudge across Westeros.

The published novellas include:

  1. The Hedge Knight (1998, published in Legends Anthology, edited by Robert Silverberg)
  2. The Sworn Sword (2003, published in Legends II, edited by Robert Silverberg)
  3. The Mystery Knight (2010, published in Warriors, edited by Gardner Dozois)

A fourth novella tentatively titled The She-Wolves of Winterfell was announced but has since been put on hold in favour of completing The Winds of Winter. Martin has announced his plans to publish several future tales, with the stated intention to chronicle the complete adventures of Dunk and Egg. Martin publicly stated that his to-do list involves finishing Winds, She-Wolves, A Dream of Spring, a fifth novella in this series, and a second volume of Fire and Blood — in that order.

The series has led to two well received graphic novel adaptations of The Hedge Knight (2004) and The Sworn Sword (2008) written and drawn by Ben Avery and Mike S. Miller and published by Dark Horse Comics and Marvel Comics respectively. An adaptation for The Mystery Knight will finally be released in 2017's fourth of July, this time published by Random House in a single graphic novel edition. In October 2015, a collected edition of the first three tales was published under the title of A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms with illustrations by Gary Gianni.

Dunk and Egg differs from the main series by being significantly different in tone. The values of knighthood, the codes of chivalry and the honor of friendship, deconstructed in the main series, are here mostly played straight. It's mainly a chronicle of perhaps the most unlikely friendship in the annals of Westeros.

In 2021, HBO was reportedly developing a show based on the series, as a prequel spin-off to Game of Thrones. It was ordered straight-to-series in 2023, with the title A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight.


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  • Badass and Child Duo: Dunk and Egg. Dunk is a giant of a man and a knight, with Egg as his squire.
  • Berserk Button: Egg gets quite angry if anyone insults his father Prince Maekar, who isn't particularly popular in the Seven Kingdoms.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: The Targaryens, natch. Thanks to Massively Numbered Siblings. However there are quite a few good Targaryens to go with the crazy and evil ones. But even then, they hardly get along well.
  • Brutish Character, Brutish Weapon: Dunk, a knight nearly seven feet in height, usually carries a sword in the knightly fashion, but believes that he's virtually peerless with an axe or mace.
  • Call to Adventure: Every tale ends with Dunk and Egg on the open road.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Egg cheers on fighters and jousters by screaming, "Get him! Get him! He's right there!"
    • Dunk is always threatening to clout Egg in the ear (generally when he starts mouthing off more than the ex-stableboy squire he's pretending to be should), which is something of an empty threat.
  • Central Theme: The tales deal with the idea of chivalry and how it confronts problems, both when there are damsels to rescue and villains to kill, and when there aren't.
  • Dark Secret: Dunk will occasionally feel guilty about something unspecified, particularly in reference to his status as a knight. It's strongly implied that Dunk was never knighted by Arlan and has been lying about it to advance his social station.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: Seems to be Dunk's lot in life. He's got chemistry with Tanselle and rescues her from Prince Aerion, but while he's imprisoned for that she leaves Ashford rather than give Aerion another chance to come at her and/or because she doesn't want to stay and see Dunk executed, and he never manages to find her again. Then he's got chemistry with Rohanne and kills her abusive suitor, but by the time he's woken up after the fight she's married Ser Eustace (and will eventually be Tywin Lannister's grandmother). On the bright side, we know Dunk will have descendants (one of whom, hilariously enough, is Brienne of Tarth) so apparently he'll eventually manage to avert this trope at least once.
  • Dumb Muscle: Dunk thinks of himself this way. He's a gigantic man who is constantly accusing himself of being an idiot. In truth, he's smarter than he gives himself credit for.
  • Genre Shift: The main books are Epic Fantasy with a large cast, whereas Dunk and Egg is essentially a medieval romance about a Knight Errant and his boon companion.
  • Gentle Giant: Dunk is a towering giant of a man, but he has a mild personality and always tries to do the right thing.
  • Great Offscreen War: The First Blackfyre Rebellion, specifically the Battle of Redgrass Field which seriously changed the lives of all the characters.
    • There's also several mentions to the ongoing raids on the coastline by Dagon Greyjoy. Dunk and Egg are advised to head either to Winterfell or Lannisport, where both Lord Beron Stark and Tybolt Lannister are gathering forces to deal with the Ironborn.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Dunk is about ten years older than Egg, an adult to a child, but they're good friends. Egg, however, is much better educated than Dunk.
  • Knight Errant: In the minds of Ser Arlan and Dunk, "The hedge knight is the truest kind of knight."
    "Other knights serve the lords who keep them, or from whom they hold their lands, but we serve where we will, for men whose causes we believe in. Every knight swears to protect the weak and innocent, but we keep the vow best, I think."
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Dunk is a straight example, "a knight who remembered his vows," though his actual armor is pretty ratty.
  • Legendary in the Sequel: Readers of A Song of Ice and Fire know that Ser Duncan the Tall becomes the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard and that Egg becomes King Aegon V "The Unlikely", one of the last good kings of the Targaryen dynasty. They also know, sadly, that they die in an event called the "Tragedy at Summerhall".
  • Lighter and Softer: The scope of the stories is smaller than A Song of Ice and Fire and the tone is both more humorous and much less cynical.
  • Nice Guy: Dunk always remembers Ser Arlan as a very kind and mild-mannered man. However, Arlan's gentle chiding of "Dunk the Lunk" seems to have hit Dunk a lot harder than the man probably intended.
  • Odd Friendship: In a time of feudal class divisions, the idea that a poor knight could become a Big Brother Mentor to a prince is a kind of special magic in itself.
  • Posthumous Character: Ser Arlan of Pennytree, Dunk's original master, dies just before the beginning of the first story. Dunk reflects on his time with Arlan from time to time.
  • Recruited from the Gutter: Dunk was a street urchin in the slums of Flea Bottom when Arlan recruited him to be his new squire, which was a substantial jump up in station.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: It tilts closer to the first scale than A Song of Ice and Fire but other characters lean to the other side, especially in The Mystery Knight.
  • Small Steps Hero: Duncan never seeks to do great deeds, rather focusing on the simple principles of protecting the weak, showing loyalty, and seeking out justice. When he does find himself involved in big, historical events, it's entirely by accident, and he still just tries to do the right thing in the moment, often not realizing the greater implications until things are done.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Dunk never received adequate formal training in swordsmanship and jousting. In the first two stories, he's a rather incompetent fighter and jouster. Only when fighting devolves into a grappling match does his superior strength win out. He claims to be a better swordsman than a jouster, and much better with a mace or battleaxe, but rarely gets a chance to prove it. In the third story, we see him win one swordfight, while injured, so that claim may be defensible.

     1. "The Hedge Knight" 
Dunk of Flea Bottom, the squire of the late hedge knight Ser Arlan of Pennytree, takes up his master's mantle and enters the tourney at Ashford as a newly minted knight. On his journey to Ashford, he meets Egg, a curiously bald-headed boy who volunteers his service as a squire.

  • The Alcoholic: Prince Daeron the Drunken makes this look very much like a professional calling, rather than simply a character weakness.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The book ends with Dunk setting off to find work as a hedge knight, with Egg as his squire.
  • Appropriated Appellation: Raymun Fossoway is frequently mocked by his cousin, Ser Steffon Fossoway, for being "green". In the Trial by Seven, the newly knighted Ser Raymun takes a green apple as his sigil after Steffon turns his cloak and fights for Aerion's side. His belief is that "better green than rotten". Readers of A Song of Ice and Fire also know that Ser Raymund would become the founder of the Fossoways of the New Barrel, called "the Green Apple Fossoways" for the same reason.
  • Arc Villain: Aerion Brightflame essentially functions as the Big Bad for this novella, being a cruel tormentor to his own brother, Egg, and setting off the climax of the story when he attempts to assault Tanselle and is repelled by Dunk; this leads to Aerion accosting Dunk on trumped-up charges and the subsequent Trial by Seven, where Ser Duncan defeats Aerion and clears his name. The aftermath of this leads to Aerion being exiled by his father, who has come to a Heel Realization following his accidentally killing his brother during the Trial and who arranged for Ser Duncan to take Egg as his squire.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Played straight by Prince Aerion Brightflame obviously, but also Ser Manfred Dondarrion and Ser Steffon Fossoway. Averted, however, by Prince Baelor, Raymun Fossoway, Ser Lyonel Baratheon, and Egg.
  • Armor-Piercing Response: Prince Maekar initially balks at the idea of Aegon serving as a hedge knight's squire, as a hard life on the road isn't appropriate for a prince of the realm. Dunk points out that Maekar's two older sons were brought up in luxury, with out explicitly pointing out that both turned out to be disappointments (one is a drunkard, the other a cruel sadist).
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Maekar tells Dunk that if he cannot find men to fill his team for the Trial of Seven, it's because he's clearly guilty, as men will support a righteous cause. He's clearly hoping Dunk will fill and have to forfeit, but then his own brother Baelor joins Dunk's team on the grounds that Dunk's side is in the right.
  • Big Good: Baelor Breakspear, Prince of Dragonstone, the Hand of the King.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Dunk wins his Trial by Seven, but it comes at the price of the death of three good men, including Baelor Breakspear who everyone believes was the great hope of the Seven Kingdoms. Tanselle Too-Tall, the Dornishwoman who Dunk crushes on, also lives, but she has to flee without saying goodbye, and Dunk fears that he'll never see her again. On the other hand, Prince Maekar accepts Dunk as a suitable knight and mentor to his young son, Prince Aegon.
  • Boring, but Practical: This is the trade (and apparently the personal philosophy) of the armourer Dunk approaches to equip himself for the tourney, Steely Pate. His work is unadorned and dull to the eye, but extremely functional. Pate claims fancy decorations on top of helmets are just expensive targets for opponents to aim at, and Dunk notices that this does in fact seem to be the case while watching jousts. Pate also thinks that having a visor that you can pull up adds an unnecessary weak point the helmet, and Dunk attempts to use this against Aerion while fighting him in the Trial
  • Bread and Circuses: Discussed. The hostess at the inn that Dunk visits notes that people of the village claim that the Tourney at Ashford will allow them to find jobs and give them something to do, but she has never known of a single instance of tournaments actually cutting down the cost of grain.
  • Broken Pedestal: Downplayed example; Dunk idolizes Ser Arlan, but must quickly come to terms with the fact that Arlan oversold his martial accomplishments and neglected his duties in teaching Dunk how to fight. However he still remembers the old man fondly and keeps his lessons on knighthood close to heart.
  • Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie: Dunk has to bury Ser Arlan by the side of the road. Even if Dunk knew where Pennytree is, he couldn't carry him there.
  • Cain and Abel:
    • Egg hates his elder brother Prince Aerion Brightflame passionately, and even cheers other competitors to kill him.
    • A more tragic example is that of Prince Maekar and Prince Baelor Breakspear. Maekar resented his brother, who was more likable and good-looking than him, and hated the fact that his children would inherit before Maekar's. But even then he never wanted to kill him. In the Trial by Seven, Maekar and Baelor tussle and a poorly timed hit from Maekar's mace damages his brother's brains and kills him.
  • Call-Back: When Thunder falters, Dunk calls, "Up! Up up!" Later, when Baelor stumbles, the delirious Dunk catches him and calls, "Up! Up up!"
  • Combat Pragmatist: Prince Baelor Breakspear. In the Trial of Seven, he has his team use tourney lances rather than war lances because, though weaker, they are longer and will give them an advantage in reach. Also, knowing that the three Kingsguard are the real threats on the other team yet they are oathsworn not to harm him, he makes a point of facing them while the others on his side defend him from the other enemies.
  • Conveniently Unverifiable Cover Story: Implied to be the case for Dunk's knighting. He was allegedly knighted by Ser Arlan on the other man's deathbed, with only the two of them present. Naturally, no one could know if he's telling the truth or not and Dunk is otherwise cagey about his knighthood.
  • Dark Secret: It's heavily implied Dunk is a Self-Proclaimed Knight, lying about Ser Arlan knighting him. Dunk's first thoughts on what to do after burying Arlan are finding another knight to squire for or joining a city watch, odd choices for a newly minted knight. Dunk also spends a lot of the story doubting whether or not he's worthy to be a knight and balks at knighting another squire. After learning Egg, or rather Prince Aegon, was lying about who he was, Dunk thinks that they are similar. After all...
    [Dunk] knew what it was like to want something so badly you'd tell a monstrous lie just to get near it.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Aerion's stock in trade; he brutalizes a puppeteer for a puppet show that features a dragon being killed (in his words, "the dragon ought never lose"), portraying it as a veiled attack on House Targaryen. When Dunk intervenes and loosens one of Aerion's teeth, the vicious prince hopes to have all of Dunk's shattered before gutting him. When the dispute goes to trial, Aerion insists on a trial of seven rather than simply fighting Dunk himself, dragging a dozen other people into the affair.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The next two tales focus heavily on the fallout of the first Blackfyre rebellion and the possibilities of more. The Blackfyres aren't even mentioned in this one.
  • The Good Chancellor: Baelor Breakspear is widely revered for being this, much to the jealousy of his brother Prince Maekar.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Prince Daeron "the Drunk" admits to his own failure in doing right by his youngest brother, apologises to Dunk for leveling his own accusations against him (which he withdraws), and quickly yields during the Trial By Seven—although some of Dunk's allies speculate this might be less out of honor than because Daeron is a terrible fighter.
  • Humble Hero: Dunk is painfully aware of his low birth and shortcomings, but he's drawn to do what's right.
  • Inheritance Murder: Discussed and Subverted; Maekar recognizes that people will say this about him after he kills his brother Baelor, clearing his way to the throne. However, it this case it was a legitimate accident.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Aerion runs on the stuff. Every shown or described instance of his bullying of others comes with tortured leaps of logic to "justify" it "honourable" to himself and/or others. His bullshit finally gets successfully called out for what it is, but at a great price.
  • King Incognito: Dunk doesn't realise the drunk and the boy he meets in an inn are Prince Daeron Targaryen and a young Aegon Targaryen respectively.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: Duncan thinks to himself that Tanselle is not too tall but just the right height for kissing. He nearly says so aloud but manages to catch himself and instead say "puppets."
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Prince Baelor doesn't immediately think much of his fatal head injury, only remarking that it feels "queer". Then his helm comes off, revealing that his head has been split open.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Prince Maekar after killing his brother Baelor. Unlike other examples, he fully accepts his guilt and resolves to make amends as much as he can, first sending his evil son, Prince Aerion Brightflame to Lys and then assigning Dunk as the Hedge Knight and Mentor to his youngest son, and favorite, Aegon in the hopes that he has more humility than his brothers.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Aerion finds himself on the losing end of this during the Trial of Seven, because, while he might be able to vanquish Ser Duncan the Tall, Dunk of Flea Bottom is more than able to beat the stuffing out of him. If it wasn't for his helmet, Dunk would have used Aerion's own shield to smash his head in, and it's only because Dunk gives Aerion the chance to yield (which, in the only wise action Aerion takes all story, he does) that he doesn't reach through Aerion's open visor and crush his eyes with his armored fingers.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Played with. Since he was small, he was always known as Dunk and he's not sure if that was a nickname or his real name. Egg thinks that Dunk's true name is Ser Duncan and he thinks that it sounds nice.
  • Origins Episode: A classic example in that we see Dunk becoming Ser Duncan and Egg becoming his squire, their first meeting. We also see the beginning of the formation of the Fossoway Cadet Branch: The Green Apple Fossoways.
  • Prophecy Twist: Before the Trial of Seven, Daeron (who has the rare Targaryen gift of prophetic dreams) tells Dunk about a dream he had of Dunk trapped but still alive under the corpse of a dragon. At the end of the trial Dunk is relieved to find that his opponents Maekar, Aerion and Daeron have all survived the conflict; but then Baelor Breakspear, who fought on his side, dies in his arms from a wound Maekar accidentally inflicted on him.
  • Riches to Rags: At the end of the book, Egg leaves his life of luxury as a prince to squire for Dunk.
  • Silver Spoon Troublemaker: Maekar's elder two sons; Daeron just wants to drink away his life, Aerion is a cruel sadist.
  • Something Only They Would Say: Indirect example. When trying to prove he truly squired for Ser Arlan, Dunk discusses a particular tourney with a highborn lord who remembers Arlan. When the man says he broke four lances defeating Arlan, Dunk hotly protests Arlan broke seven lances against Baelor Breakspear, only to instantly realize he's talking to the prince. Though he's getting the facts wrong, that he's clearly heard and has personal investment in the tale lends credence to Dunk's words.
  • The Squire: Egg was originally supposed to squire for his brother, Prince Daeron the Drunken, but his love for alcohol led him to forgo going to the Tourney at Ashford. Getting restless, he decides to squire for Dunk simply because he's a knight going the same way. In the end, he tells his father that he would not squire for any knight but Dunk.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Tanselle Too-Tall, the Dornish Puppeteer who catches Dunk's eye, who as Dunk notes is "not too tall for me."
  • Survival Mantra: "Oak and iron guard me well, or else I'm dead and damned to hell."
  • Survivor Guilt: Dunk feels this since Prince Baelor died saving his life, as well as two other good men.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Prince Maekar knows that this is how Baelor will be regarded after his death and he will always be hated across Westeros for being the man who took their Prince and potential Great King away from them. He also tells Dunk that he'll be treated the same and tells him to prepare for it.
  • The Tourney / Tournament Arc: The entire story takes place entirely at the Tournament at Ashford and goes into details in exploring the rituals of competition and chivalry, as well as the atmosphere around it.
  • Working-Class Hero: Dunk of Flea Bottom, a squire for a hedge knight, becomes a knight in service to the royal family. He's loved by the smallfolk for protecting one of them against a deranged prince.
  • You Are Already Dead: Prince Baelor feels strange after helping Dunk win his trial by combat, and asks Steely Pate to help remove his helmet. That's when they discover that the back of his skull has been crushed, and the helmet was basically the only thing holding it together.
  • You Should Have Died Instead: Prince Valarr in his grief wonders why his father, the Hand of the King and hope of Westeros, should die so that a poor hedge knight like Dunk should live. Dunk himself feels guilty about this.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Aerion Brightflame's bullying of others was indirectly responsible for, if not triggering some of the events that led to the severe reduction in the numbers of able Targaryens, then setting them up to hit harder than they might have... Which indirectly led to Aerys the Mad then having nobody of seniority and enough rank to check his follies. Which led to the main series.

     2. "The Sworn Sword" 
Dunk and Egg have entered into service as sworn swords of Ser Eustace Osgrey of Standfast. A grievance over water rights has embroiled Ser Eustace into a feud with his neighbor, the rich and vindictive Lady Webber of Coldmoat. It's up to Dunk and Egg to resolve the dispute before it escalates into bloodshed.
  • Abhorrent Admirer: The Longinch, who's driven off Lady Rohanne's other suitors and whom she fears will eventually claim her by force. Rohanne's father had promised the Longinch his daughter's hand, but fear of her wrath keeps him at bay. For now.
  • Actually, That's My Assistant: As a prank, Dunk is initially made to believe that the gonk Lady Uffering, one of Rohane's attendants is Lady Webber, and believes the lie in part because Lady Uffering looks how he'd expect a nasty multiple-widow to look. He assumes that the actual Lady Webber, a pretty young woman, is one of Lady Webber's attendants.
  • Ambiguous Situation: It's never made clear if the fire that ravages the King's Crown was deliberate; after Dunk accidentally angers her, Lady Rohanne swears to come with "fire and sword" if Ser Bennis isn't surrendered to her, and two days later, the King's Crown forest is ablaze. However, as she herself points out, there has been a long drought on (the kind that can easily result in a forest fire), and given that her own crops are dry, setting the fire could have gone disastrously wrong. She insists to Dunk that it wasn't done on her orders, but the story never confirms if someone in her service set the fire without her knowledge or if it was just a natural occurrence.
  • And the Adventure Continues: Dunk and Egg are back on the road again, planning to go up north to the Wall to find Dunk's Disappeared Dad.
  • Armor-Piercing Response: When Dunk tries to leave, Lady Rohanne maintains her composure and tries to convince him to stay. When he refuses she offers him a well-bred horse, which Dunk turns down as the horse is too good for a peasant like him. Lady Rohanne hearing this breaks down and tries to apologize to Dunk for marrying Ser Eustace.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Lady Rohanne is too highborn, too clever, and too short for Duncan.
  • Asskicking Leads to Leadership: Daemon Blackfyre received a lot of support for his rebellion because he was an accomplished warrior who received the Cool Sword Blackfyre as his birthright, which many believed made him the true heir to the throne, in contrast to the bookish and erudite Daeron.
  • Awakening the Sleeping Giant: Dunk warns Lady Rohanne against this after showing her the ring from Egg's boot, pointing out what would happen to her if House Targaryen got word she'd harmed or killed one of its scions in her dispute with Ser Eustance.
  • Betty and Veronica: Dunk remonstrates with himself for being attracted to Rohanne as opposed to Tanselle.
  • Big Damn Kiss: Dunk gets an education on snogging from the more experienced Lady Rohanne.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Everything works out perfectly for Eustace and Rohanne, with their grudge put squarely behind them and the drought breaking. Duncan, however, is chafed that his crush jumped into marriage while he was unconscious, and he's out of work again.
  • Black Widow: Rohanne is assumed to be this, but all her husbands died in war or natural causes. She does play on the reputation to keep people afraid of her.
  • Book Ends: The story begins and ends with Dunk and Egg passing by two dead men in a crow cage.
  • Braids of Action: Rohanne has a single plait that she plays with coquettishly whenever she's flirting with Dunk.
  • But Now I Must Go: Duncan leaves in a huff despite being offered a position at Coldmoat by a grateful Ser Eustace.
  • Civil War: The Blackfyre Rebellion in the past, whose aftermath and trauma is explored on a smaller scale in the local conflict between Standfast and Coldmoat.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: Much like Ser Jaime Lannister several decades in the future, Ser Duncan experiences this even on the smallest scale. He's sworn his sword to Ser Eustace Osgrey to defend his lands and people from the Webbers, but Eustace is a former supporter of the Blackfyre pretenders and so a traitor, and Lady Rohanne hates him for foolishly entering a conflict that led to his son, her beloved Ser Addam, dying on the opposite side. Moreover, Dunk likes and admires Lady Rohanne. Dunk's real commitment is protecting the common people whom Eustace is forcing into preparing for a battle that will get them butchered.
  • Continuity Nod: Mention is made of Dunk and Egg searching Dorne for Tanselle, apparently without success.
  • Decapitated Army: While riding to confront the Coldmoat forces which greatly outnumber them, Ser Eustace suggests this trope as the only possible way of winning. Dunk is noncommittal, as he's come to admire Lady Rohanne, and tries persuasion instead.
  • Double Entendre: Rohanne notes regarding Duncan the Tall. "I think you must be large all over."
  • The Dreaded: Lady Webber...until we get to meet her. A lot of the rumors about her are technically true, but she takes no pleasure in her actions, and is overall one of the more sympathetic people in the story.
  • Erotic Dream: Duncan dreams of Rohanne naked and shooting him full of arrows.
  • Femme Fatale: A medieval version, but Lady Webber hits all the points - beautiful, manipulative, Belligerent Sexual Tension with the hero, even the sympathetic point-of-view.note 
  • Fiery Redhead: Lady Rohanne Webber is bold, feisty and red-haired.
  • First-Episode Twist: Egg's real identity as Prince Aegon Targaryen.
  • Forbidden Chekhov's Gun: Egg's boot, which contains a ring with Prince Maekar's device, proof of Egg's true identity. Egg is eager to use it to resolve situations but Dunk insists on only using it only when necessary to ensure Egg's safety.
  • For Want Of A Nail:
    • Ser Eustace claims that the Battle of Redgrass Field was a lot closer than the songs would have it, and rattles a Long List of small things that could have turned the tide of the battle into a Blackfyre victory:
    Ser Eustace: If Daemon had ridden over Gwayne Corbray... if Fireball had not been slain on the eve of battle... if Hightower and Tarbeck and Oakheart and Butterwell had lent us their full strength instead of trying to keep one foot in each camp... if Manfred Lothson had proved true instead of treacherous... if storms had not delayed Lord Bracken's sailing with the Myrish crossbowmen... if Quickfinger had not been caught with the stolen dragon's eggs... so many ifs, ser, had any one come out differently it could all have turned t'other way. Then we would be called the loyalists, and the red dragons would be remembered as men who fought to keep the usurper Daeron the Falseborn upon his stolen throne, and failed.
    • Dunk for his part reflects on the fact that if Arlan of Pennytree's nephew, Roger, had not died in battle at the Redgrass Field, Arlan would never have seeked Dunk as his Replacement Goldfish, he would remain a Street Urchin and eventually get caught and sent to the Night's Watch to waste away at the Wall.
  • Fourth-Date Marriage: Despite Ser Eustace claiming that Lady Webber is a Black Widow and a witch, she has little trouble seducing him into marriage. Of course the marriage solves a lot of his problems as well.
  • From a Certain Point of View: Ser Eustace says he fought for the king in the Blackfyre Rebellion. It later turns out he fought for Daemon, the usurper. When Dunk confronts Eustace with this, Eustace claims that as far as he was concerned, Daemon was the rightful heir to the throne, and cites the fact that Aegon IV granted his ancestral sword to Daemon and not Daeron as evidence that Daemon was his intended successor.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: Overall, Ser Eustace is a decent man, but he did support the rebels against a good king and he is still willing to rush into a fight that would get his smallfolk massacred, over a stream that does not even belong to him legally. On the other hand, Lady Rohanne often metes out harsh punishments to those who commit crimes against her holdings and her people-going as far as to drown a man for stealing sheep even though death sentence is not usually imposed on thieves in Westeros. However in her defence, the people she targets are usually guilty and as a woman ruling feels that she has to prove her toughness constantly or risk acts of aggression upon her lands.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Ser Eustace, whose main occupation seems to be brooding on how much better everything was in the old days and how unfairly he's being treated.
  • Hair Memento: After Dunk defeats Longinch, he and Rohanne warm up to each other, with their interaction containing plenty of romance, and ending in Dunk cutting a piece of Rohanne's hair to "remember her by".
  • Honor Before Reason: Egg being the grandson of Prince Daeron, Blackfyre's enemy, asks Ser Eustace if he only supported Daemon to get Coldmoat from the Webbers. Eustace doesn't deny that he expected this, but he clarifies that the real reason is because he believed that Daemon Blackfyre was "the better man" and he had the support of every great knight of the age and to him, Daemon seemed more of a heroic figure than Daeron Targaryen.
    Ser Eustace: You can know a man by his friends, Egg. Daeron surrounded himself with maesters, septons, and singers. Always there were women whispering in his ear, and his court was full of Dornishmen...Daemon, though...Daemon was no more pious than a king need be, and all the great knights of the realm gathered to him. It would suit Lord Bloodraven if their names were all forgotten, so he has forbidden us to sing of them, but I remember. Robb Reyne, Gareth the Grey, Ser Aubrey Ambrose, Lord Gormon Peake, Black Byren Flowers, Redtusk, Fireball...Bittersteel! I ask you, has there ever been such a noble company, such a roll of heroes? Why, lad? You ask me why? Because Daemon was the better man. The old king saw it too. He gave the sword to Daemon. Blackfyre, the sword of Aegon the Conqueror, the blade that every Targaryen king had wielded since the Conquest...he put that sword in Daemon’s hand the day he knighted him, a boy of twelve.
  • Innocuously Important Episode: The first book involved events that had kingdom-wide repercussions; by contrast, this one involves a relatively minor dispute between two unimportant characters. However, the context and circumstances of the Blackfyre rebellion are discussed at length, which becomes very relevant in the third book when there is another rebellion attempt.
  • Ironic Nickname: Played with in the French translation. Septon Sefton points out that Duncan the Tall is humble for calling himself such a euphemism... but "tall" and "great" are the same word in French ("grand"), which is a form of foreshadowing in and of itself.
  • Karma Houdini: Ser Bennis, the robber knight who exacerbates the conflict between Eustance and Rohanne and then bleeds Standfast dry while everyone deals with the fallout. Dunk vows to get him if their paths cross in the future.
  • The Lady's Favor: Played for Belligerent Sexual Tension. Dunk turns down the steed he's offered because he's angry at Rohanne not visiting him while wounded, but cuts off her braid instead so he'll have something to remember her.
  • Mistaken Age: Hearing of the "Red Widow", who has outlived (and is rumored to have murdered) four husbands, Dunk pictures an older woman, and is taken aback to meet Lady Rohanne Webber, a charming and beautiful woman in her mid-twenties.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Whatever Duncan said to mad Lady Vaith to get on her bad side.
    • The nature of Manfred Lothson’s treachery and Quickfinger’s failed theft of the dragon eggs remain a mystery, as well as how either of those events could've altered the outcome of the Battle of Redgrass Field.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted hilariously when Bennis and Dunk gather Ser Eustace's smallfolk with three of them being named Wat, and two of them being brothers.
  • Only in It for the Money: Ser Bennis, a hedge knight who fulfills the "robber knight" stereotype people unjustly hold against Ser Duncan.
  • Running Gag: Egg's fear of being poisoned, due to the rumors of the Red Widow poisoning her husbands.
  • Silly Reason for War: Discussed. Rohanne points out that events like this "pissing contest" over water rights are how nobles judge each others' strength, and worse will happen if she doesn't put up a strong front.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: The chemistry between Lady Rohanne and Dunk is filled with this.
  • Slave to PR: Lady Rohanne has shades of this, being a female leader in Westeros (especially during a period of upheaval)...and she's all too aware of it.
  • The Tease: Lady Rohanne to Duncan, when she's in a good mood.
  • Tragic Mistake: Daemon Blackfyre helping Gwayne Corbray. According to Eustace, that gave Bloodraven the time he needed to get his archers into position to kill Daemon and his eldest sons.
  • Training the Peaceful Villagers: Subverted. Much time is spent by Dunk, Egg and Ser Bennis in training the villagers in use of arms for a proposed battle against the Webbers of Coldmoat. Dunk quickly recognizes that the group is too small and hopelessly unskilled to stand any chance against Lady Rohanne's large, professional force.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Ser Eustace and Duncan risk their lives for Ser Bennis. He repays them by robbing the castle and fleeing once he thinks they're dead.
  • Uptown Girl: Duncan knows Lady Rohanne is out of his league, but desires her anyway. During their confrontation at the river, she admits that she'd marry Dunk if only his pedigree were higher.
  • Uriah Gambit: Rohanne solves her problems by ordering the Longinch to fight Duncan in a Combat by Champion, then marrying Ser Eustace which sorts out her father's will.
  • War Is Glorious: Ser Eustace certainly thinks so, although he also admits that the reverse is also true at the same time:
    Ser Eustace: A great battle is a terrible thing but in the midst of blood and carnage, there is sometimes also beauty, beauty that could break your heart. I will never forget the way the sun looked when it set upon the Redgrass Field...ten thousand men had died, and the air was thick with moans and lamentations, but above us the sky turned gold and red and orange, so beautiful it made me weep to know that my sons would never see it.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Egg gets a soft version of this when he puts down two of Aegon the Unworthy's Great Bastards, Bloodraven and Blackfyre, for being like all bastards, untrustworthy and ungrateful. Dunk replies that as a poor child born in a slum who never knew his parents, it's more than a little likely that Dunk is a bastard and wonders if that means he's untrustworthy. Egg is silent and abashed at this.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Played With. Dunk notes that Egg is so well educated and so observant about political life and his family at the capital that he occasionally says things that should be said by an older man. But at other times he has the emotional maturity and fatigue of the child that he is.
  • Working-Class People Are Morons: Egg comes to this conclusion on meeting the villagers of Standfast, who have absolutely no knowledge or skill in fighting, and many of them share the same rustic names. Dunk reminds him that they merely lack education, and many of them probably possess a wealth of practical skills and knowledge that a certain Prince of Summerhall lacks. After hearing this, Egg is much more open-minded and wonders if the villagers would be willing to teach him some herbalism.
  • Written by the Winners: Although the Blackfyre pretenders are remembered as villainous usurpers, Ser Eustace argues that their cause was just and that Daemon would have made a better king. If any of several events had gone a little differently by chance, they wouldn't have lost the war, and they would be remembered as heroes instead.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: Duncan and Ser Eustace go alone to confront Webber's vastly superior force.
  • You're Insane!: Rohanne's response when Dunk answers her demand for blood price by cutting his face. That and saying she'd marry him if only she could.

     3. "The Mystery Knight" 
Dunk and Egg attend Lord Ambrose Butterwell's Tourney in celebration of Butterwell's wedding to a daughter of Lord Frey. Dunk decides to enter the tourney as a "mystery knight," but Egg realizes that there's more at stake than a simple prize, and they quickly find hints of a conspiracy.
  • Accidental Truth: Turns out there really is an army on its way to arrest the conspirators, just like Egg claimed.
  • Ambiguously Gay:
    • John the Fiddler seems fixated on Dunk from their first meeting, his tone toward him is exceedingly flirtatious and loaded with double entedres. There's also this exchange:
      John: Where are you going, ser?
      Dunk: To my bed, to sleep. I'm drunk as a dog.
      John: Be my dog, ser. The night's alive with promise. We can howl together, and wake the very gods.
    • Also, Alyn Cockshaw, who comes across as a supremely Crazy Jealous Guy for John. He's so enraged by John/Daemon's attention to Dunk that he tries to have Dunk killed, then later tries to do it himself.
  • Ambiguously Evil: Lord Bloodraven is seen as The Dreaded throughout Westeros. His methods are severe, and even the Targaryen dynasty he's supporting is scared and uncertain about him. Yet all of his actions are devoted to protecting the realm and his family (even his enemies admit that he's the one strong presence at court), and in person, he's entirely kind, personable and respectful to both Aegon and Duncan.
  • Arc Villain: Lord Gormon Peake, a rude, crass, vengeful lord who still holds a bitter grudge over the loss of two of his three castles for his previous revolt against the Crown.
  • Arc Words: The riddle "How many eyes does Lord Bloodraven have?" and its answer; "A thousand eyes, and one."
  • An Arm and a Leg: Dunk's duel with Black Tom Heddle ends with the latter getting most of his his sword-arm cut off, followed by Dunk finishing him off by stabbing his sword into his throat.
  • Asskicking Leads to Leadership: The First Blackfyre Rebellion had this as a key feature; disaffected war hawks and aggressive knights flocked to follow Daemon I because they wanted a warrior king who shared their desire to subdue Dorne and other regions through conquest rather than diplomacy. In this story the would-be Second Blackfyre Rebellion stages the tournament both to ingratiate Daemon II to his followers and to try to make the young Daemon look like a great warrior, even though he actually isn't. Despite being exhausted from torture, Flowers easily knocks Daemon II into the mud during their joust and everyone laughs, with someone even mockingly calling him the "Brown Dragon" for the brown mud covering him. So when Daemon II tries to rally his followers against Bloodraven's army, no-one will follow such an inept warrior against such bad odds and the "rebellion" instantly collapses.
  • Big Stupid Doo Doo Head: Bloodraven calls Lord Butterwell "Lord Butterbutt", a surprisingly unsophisticated insult for him. And this is after he's make clear his plans to tear down Butterwell's castle.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Even as a four-year-old, Walder Frey is such an annoying little shit that Dunk is tempted to throw him down a well. Indeed Walder Frey triggered his elder sister's marriage by catching her with a lowborn boyfriend and then finking her to his Lord Father who forced her to marry Lord Butterwell.
  • Call-Back:
    • Dunk advises Ser Glendon to use a tourney lance against Daemon during his trial by combat instead of a war lance, as it is longer and will allow him to unhorse Daemon before Daemon's war lance even touches Ser Glendon. This is the same trick Prince Baelor used in The Hedge Knight.
    • Duncan also goes under a false name at the tourney at Whitewalls, fearing people would recognise him and resent him for his part in the death of Prince Baelor at Ashford.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Dunk says hello to the troupe of performing dwarfs as they leave during the tourney, and notices one of them stinks to high heaven. It is implied he stole the dragon egg by crawling up the privy shaft.
  • Compact Infiltrator: It's heavily implied that The Spymaster had a dwarf circus performer crawl through a narrow space in order to steal a valuable dragon egg.
  • Cruel Mercy: Lord Butterwell gets to keep his head, but has to forfeit nine tenths of his wealth and his castle to the Iron Throne.
  • Darker and Edgier: Not by much, compared to the main series, but a noticeable shift from the earlier two stories.
  • Deconstruction: The Tourney as a display and exhibition of knightly prowess and chivalry. Turns out, it attracts all kinds of crooks, bookies and fixers and is used as a front to stage a conspiracy against the ruling monarch.
  • Dirty Coward: Lord Butterwell sent one son to fight for the king and one to fight for the first Blackfyre in the first Rebellion, hedging his bets. When Dunk interacts with him in person and Lord Butterwell mistakenly thinks Dunk and Egg are agents of Bloodraven he spends all of his time begging for mercy.
  • Don't Create a Martyr: Bloodraven notes that Daemon II Blackfyre is a lot less dangerous as a living hostage than as a dead martyr.
    Bloodraven: Should I be so foolish as to remove his pretty head, his mother will mourn, his friends will curse me for a kinslayer, and Bittersteel will crown his brother Haegon. Dead, young Daemon is a hero. Alive, he is an obstacle in my half brother's path. He can hardly make a third Blackfyre king whilst the second remains so inconveniently alive. Besides, such a noble captive will be an ornament to our court, and a living testament to the mercy and benevolence of His Grace King Aerys.
  • Double-Meaning Title: Like the previous novellas, the title refers to Dunk's role. But it also applies to many of the other knights being more than they appear. Ser John the Fiddler is Daemon II, Ser Uthor Underleaf is an incredibly skilled Tourney Knight, and Ser Maynard Plumm is a spy for Bloodraven (if not Bloodraven himself).
  • The Dreaded: Lord Bloodraven, the Hand of the King, who has "a thousand eyes, and one", a reputation as an evil sorcerer, and has essentially made Westeros a police state where people are afraid of speaking their minds. Considering how much support this attempted Rebellion gains it looks like Jerkass Has a Point.
  • Due to the Dead: When Dunk passes by the head of Gormon Peake after Bloodraven's reinforcements, he closes his eyelids. He does this because Gormon Peake killed Ser Arlan's nephew Roger at Redgrass Field, causing Ser Arlan to recruit Dunk as a replacement.
  • Family Relationship Switcheroo: Egg and Bloodraven are half-grandnephew and half-granduncle, but they call each other "cousin" for the sake of simplicity.
  • Foreshadowing: An awful lot of the people gathering for this tourney supported Daemon in the First Blackfyre Rebellion. One of them even pays a ransom using coins that Daemon minted during his rebellion. None of this seems to strike Dunk as significant, until it's too late.
  • Futureshadowing: Egg mentions that King Aerys I discovered a prophecy in one of his books, possibly related to the return of dragons, which is a two-fold example:
    • This is the very same prophecy concerning "The Prince That Was Promised" that would ultimately doom succeeding generations of Targaryens in A Song of Ice and Fire and become a personal obsession of Prince Rhaegar in particular.
    • We know that Egg will eventually become obsessed with hatching dragons, which is presumably what caused his and Dunk's deaths at the Tragedy at Summerhall.
    • John the Fiddler says that he has seen that Dunk will become a member of the Kingsguard, this indeed does happen in the future.
    • When Ser Uthor Underleaf is trying to convince Dunk to become his professional fall guy, following him from tourney to tourney so Uthor can get good odds betting on himself against someone as big as Dunk, he tells him "The snail may leave a trail of slime behind him, but a little slime will do a man no harm... whilst if you dance with dragons, you must expect to burn." As already mentioned, Dunk would eventually perish in the fires of Summerhall, caused by Egg's attempt to hatch dragons.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: The conspiracy has already taken a major blow because the pretender doesn't have a Cool Sword that belonged to the first Daemon Blackfyre, showing that Bittersteel does not support this rebellion.
  • Heroic Bastard: Ser Glendon Flowers, the bastard son of Quentyn Ball, is a fine knight and decent guy who is unfairly made the Fall Guy for the dragon egg disappearance. He eventually turns against the Blackfyre loyalists for good.
  • Honor Before Reason: After Duncan loses the joust and therefore his armour and horse, it's suggested he either sneak off without paying, or join the winner in a rigged tourney scam. Duncan indignantly turns down both these ideas.
  • Hypocrite:
    • The Blackfyres and their supporters rooted for Daemon Blackfyre because he was Asskicking Leads to Leadership and better fit their ideal of a warlike king, rather than Daeron II, despite being a bastard. Here they try to crown Daemon II/John The Fiddler, who's more of a scholar/minstrel than a warrior; and yet they fix the tourney so he can win. They resort to framing and torturing the genuinely talented bastard Ser Glendon Flowers into making Daemon II look good, when he refuses to be bribed into losing.
    • The Blackfyre supporters repeatedly mock and dismiss Glendon because his birth was illegitimate, insisting that "all bastards are thieves". Considering where the entire Blackfyre line came from, that's an interesting position to take.
  • Inadequate Inheritor: It's implied Daemon II/John the Fiddler was seen as this by Bittersteel, hence why he was not given Blackfyre, his father's Valyrian steel sword.
  • Indy Ploy: When he shows his father's ring, Egg is taken before Lords Butterwell and Frey. He remembers that his father mentioned Bloodraven said "it is better to be frightening then frightened", so he claims he was sent there by Prince Maekar, who is on his way with an army.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Glendon, from his first introduction, pugnaciously insists that he's unbeatable in the joust, and that his victory in the tournament is inevitable, despite his youth, inexperience, and questionable level of training. It's painfully obvious that this self-assertion comes from deep-rooted insecurity about his origins and about the fact that no one is willing to take him seriously. As it turns out, he actually has the skills to back up his boasts.
  • Irony: Ser Glendon Flowers would have joined the conspiracy willingly, if only he'd been asked. Instead the conspirators try to bribe him to throw the tourney, an idea indignantly rejected by Flowers. As a result, he's framed so he won't be a threat to the Fiddler. Likewise Underleaf is set up to lose against a superior opponent, when he was planning to throw the contest anyway.
  • It Began with a Twist of Fate: If John the Fiddler hadn't taken such an interest in Dunk when they met on the road, our heroes wouldn't have gone to Whitewalls and the Second Blackfyre Rebellion may well have been more successful, and certainly more bloody.
  • It Will Never Catch On: When John the Fiddler foresees that Dunk will one day be a knight of the Kingsguard, Dunk scoffs at such a ridiculous prophecy.
  • Jerkass: Ser Uthor Underleaf, Ser Gormon Peake, most of the Blackfyre Rebels save, oddly enough, for John the Fiddler and even Ser Glendon Flowers.
  • Karmic Death: A conspirator who tries to shove Dunk down a well ends up drowning there himself.
  • Kids Are Cruel: It's a bit of a surprise to learn that the mild-mannered Gentle Giant Dunk was a real creep as a street urchin. He recalls his gang and himself playing cruel tricks with a severed head.
  • King Incognito: Daemon Blackfyre goes to the Whitewalls tournaments in disguise as Ser John the Fiddler. Not that he does a very good job of it, since he dresses far too richly to pass as a lowly hedge knight.
  • Lie to the Beholder: It's strongly implied that Ser Maynard Plumm is in fact Bloodraven, using a glamour to disguise his distinctive appearance and go undercover as a spy.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Walder Frey's father is implied to have sold out the conspirators to Bloodraven.
  • Necessarily Evil: Bloodraven's tactics are aggressive and Machiavellian, to the point of being oppressive. But the enemies of the regime agree that he's the only strong presence at court, and it's implied that, without him, the government would have fallen long ago.
  • Not Just a Tournament: Egg calls the Tournament at Whitewalls a "traitor's tourney" noting that most of the families gathered there were former Blackfyre supporters. Dunk realizes, far too late, that he's right.
  • Playing Both Sides:
    • Lord Ambrose Butterwell has long been suspected of this, with some stating that he deliberately sent one of his sons to the Blackfyre side in the hopes that his family would profit either way. He was also suspected of being a saboteur in his tenure as Hand of the King to Daeron II. After his supposedly unwitting involvement in the Whitewalls-Second Blackfyre Rebellion fiasco, Lord Bloodraven, the new Hand of the King, deals with him decisively:
    "I have heard your bleatings, Lord Ambrose, and I believe one word in ten. On that account I will allow you to retain a tenth part of your fortune."
    • Lord Frey either betrays the conspiracy immediately after the maester brings Egg to him and Lord Butterwell...or he was always working for Bloodraven to bring the conspiracy down from the inside
  • Police State: Bloodraven has converted Westeros into one, as several lords complain about how Big Brother Is Watching You with "a thousand eyes, and one."
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Dunk delivers it to Black Tom. "I told you. I'm better with a sword."
  • Prophecy Twist: The Fiddler's prophecy is true, just not in the way he expects. The 'dragon born at Whitewalls' is Egg, coming into his own in matters of statecraft and even impressing Bloodraven. Meanwhile Dunk will become a member of the Kingsguard in due course, but will serve Aegon V rather than Daemon II.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Egg reveals himself to a maester in the hope of sending a raven to ask his father Maekar to lend Dunk money to ransom his things. He is then to his utter surprise and confusion brought right to Lord Butterwell and Lord Frey. Rather than panic, (he is 10 after all) he decides to frighten them and say that they have been sent by Prince Maekar and that an army is marching on them. The lies completely work.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Both invoked and subverted. Bloodraven shows up to end the Second Blackfyre Rebellion, but other characters observe that he's so obsessed with what Bittersteel and the other Blackfyres are doing in the Free Cities, he's pretty much ignoring the fact the Ironborn under Dagon Greyjoy are wreaking havoc on the coastlines, and only Beron Stark and Tybolt Lannister are trying to put an end to the constant raids.
  • Salt the Earth: Bloodraven reveals this is his plan for Whitewalls; he'd rather destroy the castle than risk it becoming a memorial to the Blackfyres like the Redgrass Field.
    Bloodraven: I mean to pull it down stone by stone and sow the ground that it stands upon with salt. In twenty years, no one will remember it existed. Old fools and young malcontents still make pilgrimages to the Redgrass Field to plant flowers on the spot where Daemon Blackfyre fell. I will not suffer Whitewalls to become another monument to the Black Dragon.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: When Egg claims his father Prince Maekar is coming to Whitewalls with an army, Lord Frey leaves Whitewalls. Later Lord Butterwell flees with Egg.
  • Shout-Out: Lord Gormon Peake of the Castle Starpike, whose sigil is a castle of three towers (two of which were stripped from him after the Blackfyre Rebellion), is obviously a reference to Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast, which has a major character named Steerpike.
  • Son of a Whore: Ser Glendon Flowers is the bastard child of the camp follower Penny Jenny and, allegedly, the Blackfyre supporter Ser Quentyn Ball. His mother later established a brothel at King's Landing called Pussywillows and so Ser Glendon is known as the "Knight of Pussywillows" by his enemies and Ser Glendon Ball by his friends and supporters. His sister is also a whore who exchanged her virginity for her brother's knighthood.
  • Sore Loser: One of Ser Glendon's opponents punctures multiple holes in his armour after losing the joust, before handing it over to Flowers.
  • Throwing the Fight:
    • Ser Uthor Underleaf suggests that he does this all the time. He's an incredible jouster, but never wins any tourneys because he bets on himself (with long odds) until he decides to lose (and then he bets on the other guy). If he actually won, he'd become more famous, and he'd never get those long odds again.
    • A hedge knight deliberately loses an easy victory against a lord who's still hungover. He trained the lord when he was a boy and plans to flatter his skill so he can enter his service again. Instead, the lord doesn't even remember him and refuses to employ such an apparently inept knight.
  • Too Dumb to Live: After the Second Blackfyre Rebellion is put down, one of Lord Vyrwel's men starts bragging that he was one of Bloodraven's spies and will be richly rewarded by his which point a knight in service to Lord Costayne promptly slits the guy's throat.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • Between this story and the previous, Dunk has become a much better fighter. He recalls fighting off an Ironborn boarding party and considers himself virtually peerless with an axe or mace. In the end, he handily defeats the villain in single combat. He's still a lousy jouster, however.
    • Also Egg. He improvises a brilliant gambit to sway Lord Ambrose Butterwell back to the Crown. Indeed Lord Bloodraven even notes that John the Fiddler's prophecy about the dragon that would wake refers to the future Aegon V more than anything they hoped to hatch at Whitewalls.
  • Tournament Arc: Much like "The Hedge Knight", only with a much more seedier look at the values it supposedly espouses.
  • Two Aliases, One Character: It's strongly suggested that Maynard Plumm, rather than a spy of Bloodraven's, is Bloodraven himself wearing a glamour. Dunk notes something odd about his appearance, and his descriptions match the use of glamour in A Dance with Dragons.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Walder Frey. Ratting out his sister and her lowborn boyfriend led to the Second Blackfyre Rebellion.
  • Villainous Valor: With more emphasis on the valor. Despite everyone abandoning him and his cause the moment Lord Bloodraven and his army arrive, Daemon II still rides out alone to confront Bloodraven, his Raven's Teeth and his vast army. Challenging him to single combat. He is promptly surrounded by enemy soldiers, dragged down from his horse, disarmed and captured.

Alternative Title(s): A Knight Of The Seven Kingdoms