The Mystery Knight
|The Mystery Knight|
|Author||George R. R. Martin|
|Series||A Song of Ice and Fire|
|Released||March 16, 2010|
|Media Type||novella in Warriors anthology edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois|
|ISBN|| 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|Followed by||As yet unpublished novella, tentatively named The She-Wolves of Winterfell once to be published in an anthology named Dangerous Women but now postponed|
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.
Main article: The Mystery Knight-Summary
The story begins with Dunk and Egg leaving Stoney Sept. They are moving north to try and 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 the way they encounter a septon who was beheaded for preaching treason; Dunk remembers that Brynden Rivers, the Hand of the King known as Lord Bloodraven, has spies everywhere. On route Egg and Dunk encounter a lord's train led by Lord Gormon Peake of Starpike, whose arms are three black castles on a field of orange. Also in the party are a lord named Alyn Cockshaw and a well dressed and richly garbed man who claims to be a hedge knight named Ser John the Fiddler. Dunk is challenged and insulted by Peake and Cockshaw but the Fiddler treats him courteously. Before they ride off, Ser John invites Dunk to attend the wedding of Lord Ambrose Butterwell. There is to be a joust to celebrate the wedding of Butterwell to a Frey of the Crossing, the victor's prize is to be a dragon egg.
Dunk takes a dislike to Gormon Peake; Ser Arlan to whom Dunk was squired claimed his previous squire Roger of Pennytree was slain by Gormon in the Battle of the Redgrass Field. Egg tells Dunk that Peake's arms of three castles on an orange field is because the Peake family used to own three castles, but two were forfeited to the Crown when Peake sided with House Blackfyre.
Dunk decides to go to the wedding. During the journey Dunk befriends three fellow hedge knights, Ser Maynard Plumm, Ser Kyle the Cat of Misty Moor and a young hedge knight named Ser Glendon Ball who claims he is the bastard son of the famous knight Quentyn "Fireball" Ball, a renowned warrior who fought for Daemon Blackfyre.
The wedding is set at Whitewalls and Lord Frey arrives with his four year old heir (Walder Frey) and his fifteen year old daughter, who weds Lord Butterwell. Egg tells Duncan that Lord Butterwell took no part in the Blackfyre Rebellion, but one of his sons fought for the Red Dragon and one for the Black. In that way his house was guaranteed to be on the winning side, but both his sons died on the Redgrass field. Egg becomes increasingly suspicious at the wedding and points out to Duncan that many of the banners and sigils he sees are of men who fought for the Black Dragon. Dunk tells Egg that Redgrass was over a decade ago, and the past is the past. At the wedding a troupe of dwarfs entertain the guests. During the bedding Dunk is drafted by John the Fiddler to carry the bride to the bedchamber. Dunk does so and later when he goes for a breath of air, John the Fiddler talks to him saying that he recognized Dunk on the road. Dunk appeared to him in a dream in which Duncan wore the all white armor of the Kingsguard. The Fiddler says his dreams always come true, as he dreamt his brothers dead once and also a dragon hatching from an egg at Whitewalls.
Dunk decides to enter the first match of the Whitewalls tourney as a mystery knight known as the Gallows Knight (due to a new shield that once belonged to a knight of House Trant that Dunk had to buy as his old shield was damaged in his duel with Lucas Longinch) in case anyone heard of a knight named Ser Duncan the Tall from Ashford, but Dunk is defeated in his first tilt by Ser Uthor Underleaf, known as the the Snail Knight due to his sigil. Underleaf's lance hits Duncan upon the helm, knocking him out and nearly killing him. Dunk recovers later and goes to give the Underleaf his armor and horse as forfeit. Since Dunk cannot ransom it back he is in a glum mood. Dunk talks to Underleaf and Underleaf informs Dunk that someone bribed him to try and kill Dunk in the final tilt. Underleaf states that if they paid more he might have completed the task, but tells Dunk he has an enemy. Before the jousting can continue, word spreads through the castle that the dragon egg is missing and the blame is placed on Ser Glendon Ball, who is imprisoned by Peake.
Dunk notices that Egg is missing and sets out to find his squire. Whilst searching he is almost killed by Alyn Cockshaw who tells Dunk he bribed Underleaf to kill Dunk because he was jealous of John the Fiddler's obsession with Dunk and that dream. Dunk manages to defeat him by throwing him down a well, though he takes a wound in return from Cockshaw's knife. Maynard Plumm comes to Duncan's aid, and it is discovered that Plumm is one of Bloodraven's many spies, and that John the Fiddler's real name is Daemon, after his father Daemon Blackfyre. Plumm tells Dunk "he would be surprised how many Lords want their king to be brave and stupid".
Dunk finds Egg in the sept with the cowering Lord Butterwell, who on discovering Egg's true identity is terrified for his life. Egg told Ambrose (falsely) that he and Dunk were spies sent to investigate the tournament and that his father Prince Maekar is on the way with an army. Lord Ambrose's good son (son-in-law) Black Tom Heddle shows up and tries to harm Egg but is slain by Dunk. Dunk tells Egg to flee with Ambrose. To buy time for Egg's escape Dunk confronts Daemon II Blackfyre, accusing Gormon Peake of falsely charging Ball with the theft of the dragon egg. Deamon is enraged by the implication and allows Ball to prove his innocence in trial by combat. Ser Glendon soundly defeats Daemon and knocks him into the mud causing some of the spectators to mockingly call Daemon "the Brown Dragon". By this time a large army under the King's Hand, Lord Bloodraven, encircles Whitewalls and Daemon is captured as most of the present lords and knights surrender without a fight.
Dunk meets Bloodraven inside his pavilion outside of which the heads of Gormon Peake and Black Tom Heddle are displayed on spears. Egg is there as well and demands that Bloodraven reward Ser Glendon Ball, Dunk and all the other hedge knights. Bloodraven notes that Egg is much more fierce and confident now and that he was the dragon Daemon saw in his dream being born at Whitewalls. Lord Butterwell cowers in Bloodraven's presence and is allowed to keep a tenth of his wealth. Whitewalls, however, will be forfeit to the Iron Throne and torn down. Bloodraven, at Egg's request, gives Dunk the gold to ransom his armor back. Dunk then asks Bloodraven what became of the dragon egg. Bloodraven tells Dunk it was taken by an agent of his who crawled up the privy shaft of the castle to take the egg from its guarded chamber, and is now safe. Dunk remarks that a man would not have fit in those shafts. Bloodraven replies a child would have. Or a dwarf, Dunk thinks as he remembers the performing dwarfs at the wedding.
The Mystery Knight was originally published in Warriors, ISBN 978-0765-32048-3
The Mystery Knight is also available in Warriors 1, ISBN 978-0-7653-6026-7, an inexpensive mass market paperback
References and Notes
- ↑ George R.R. Martin's Not A Blog, Jul. 2nd, 2011, "Stuff and Nonsense"
- ↑ George R.R. Martin's Not A Blog, June 23rd, 2012, "Monkeys on My Back"
- ↑ George R.R. Martin's Not A Blog, Jan. 22nd, 2013, "A Dangerous Delivery"
- ↑ 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
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