The Mystery Knight
|The Mystery Knight|
|Author||George R. R. Martin|
|Series||A Song of Ice and Fire|
March 16, 2010 (novella)|
August 8, 2017 (graphic novel)
|Media Type||novella in Warriors anthology edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois|
ISBN 978-0765-32048-3 (Warriors)|
ISBN 978-0-7653-6026-7 (Warriors 1)
|Preceded by||The Sworn Sword|
|Followed by||As yet unpublished novella, tentatively named The She-Wolves of Winterfell|
The Mystery Knight is a novella published in 2010 as part of the Warriors anthology, edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois. It is the third in the series of "Dunk and Egg" stories. Previous stories are The Hedge Knight and The Sworn Sword. It is also available in pages 251-394 of Warriors 1.
A compilation of the three initial "Dunk and Egg" stories, including The Mystery Knight, was expected to be published in 2014, but was finally published as A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms in 2015. The graphic novel edition, The Mystery Knight: A Graphic Novel, was released in August 2017.
It's the year 212 AC, and Ser Duncan the Tall and his squire, Egg, are traveling through the riverlands. They are on their way to the North to take up service with Lord Beron Stark, who has sent a call for men to help fend off Greyjoy raids on the northern coast. On their way, they a lord's train led by Lord Gormon Peake of Starpike. Additional members of the party are Lord Alyn Cockshaw and a well dressed and richly garbed man who introduces himself as Ser John the Fiddler, a hedge knight. Although Duncan is insulted by Peake and Cockshaw, the Fiddler treats him courteously and invites Duncan to join them at the wedding of Lord Ambrose Butterwell to a daughter of House Frey at Whitewalls. Seeing Peake's coat of arms, Duncan realizes he was the lord who during the First Blackfyre Rebellion had slain Roger, the former squire of Duncan's old master, Ser Arlan of Pennytree. Claiming to Egg that they need to pass Whitewalls in order to reach the kingsroad anyway, Duncan decides to attend the feast.
While waiting for the ferry to cross the river, Duncan meets and befriends Ser Maynard Plumm, Ser Kyle the Cat of Misty Moor, and Ser Glendon Ball, three other hedge knights traveling to the wedding. From them, he learns that there is to be a joust to celebrate the wedding, and that the victor's prize is to be a dragon egg. While at Whitewalls, Egg becomes suspicious about the fact that most of the attendees are men whose families fought for Daemon I Blackfyre during the rebellion sixteen years past. However, he later overhears, Lord Peake speaking with another man. Peake speaks of a dragon hatching from an egg, as the "prince" had dreamed would happen, while his companion wonders whether the boy is his father's son. Later that evening, Duncan steps out onto the roof of Whitewalls, where he is approached by the Fiddler, who claims that he had recognized Duncan on the road because he had once dreamed of him. He states that in his dreams, Duncan wore the all-white armor of the Kingsguard. The Fiddler claims his dreams always come true, informing Duncan that his dreams had predicted the deaths of his brothers. He also tells Duncan that he has dreamed of a dragon hatching at Whitewalls.
Duncan enters the tourney as a mystery knight, but loses his first tilt to Ser Uthor Underleaf. In quick succession, he learns that Underleaf had been paid to kill Duncan during the joust and that Lord Peake had offered Ser Glendon Ball a place in his garrison in exchange for losing to the Fiddler. While searching for Egg, Duncan speaks with the Fiddler, and reveals that he has realized that "John" is not the Fiddler's real name. Lord Gormon confirms to Duncan that they conspire a second rebellion in the name of House Blackfyre. During the next joust, Peake reveals to the crows that the dragon's egg has been stolen, and Ser Glendon Ball is blamed and arrested. When Duncan moves to interfere, Lord Alyn Cockshaw lures Duncan away by claiming to know where Egg can be found. However, he brings Duncan to a deserted courtyard and attempts to kill him. Duncan manages to kill Cockshaw instead, but is wounded in the process. Ser Maynard Plumm suddenly comes to Duncan's rescue, and reveals that Egg can be found with Lord Butterwell in the castle's sept.
In the sept, Duncan finds Egg and discovers that the boy had informed Lords Butterwell and Frey of his true identity, claiming that Prince Maekar was already aware of the plot and on his way to Whitewalls with an army. Lord Ambrose's son-in-law, Tommard Heddle, shows up and attempts to take Egg hostage, but Duncan kills him. He sends Egg to accompany the fleeing Lord Ambrose, while he himself confronts the Fiddler by calling him by his true name: Daemon II Blackfyre. Duncan accuses Gormon Peake of falsely charging Ser Glendon with the theft of the dragon egg. In turn, Daemon insists that Ball is allowed to prove his innocence and fight him in a trial by combat. Despite his grave injuries from torture, Ser Glendon easily defeats Daemon. As soon as the combat is over, those present at Whitewalls are alerted to the fact that the castle is surrounded by a large army, led by the King's Hand, Lord Brynden Rivers. Daemon goes forth alone to confront them and is arrested, while most of the present lords and knights surrender without a fight, or flee the scene.
Afterwards, Duncan meets Brynden Rivers inside his pavilion. Lord Rivers strips Lord Butterwell of most of his wealth, and decrees Whitewalls is forfeit to the throne and to be torn down. Once they are alone, Lord Rivers informs Duncan and Egg that the dragon Daemon had seen hatch in his dreams was Egg. At Egg's request, Rivers gives Duncan the gold to ransom his armor back. He allows them to continue their travels. Before they leave, Duncan inquires after the fate of Daemon, while Egg asks what became of the dragon's egg. Although Rivers confirms nothing, his answer makes Duncan realize who had most likely stolen it.
- George R.R. Martin's Not A Blog, Jul. 2nd, 2011, "Stuff and Nonsense"
- http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/FAQ/Entry/1974/ The Citadel FAQ, 2.1.9 - Will There Be Any More Dung and Egg Stories?
- George R.R. Martin's Not A Blog, Jan. 22nd, 2013, "A Dangerous Delivery", GRRM Comment from Jan. 23rd