The Mystery Knight-Summary
|The Mystery Knight|
|Dunk and Egg novella|
|Previous||The Sworn Sword|
|Next||The She-Wolves of Winterfell|
Some time after returning from Dorne by way of Oldtown, Dunk and Egg are on their way from Stoney Sept to the North, where they hope to sell their services to Lord Beron Stark of Winterfell, who needs swords to repel the Ironborn attacks led by Dagon Greyjoy on the northern coast.
On the way they encounter a septon who was beheaded for preaching treason; Dunk remembers that Lord Brynden Rivers 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.
The wedding is set at Whitewalls and after noticing the guest list, Egg informs Dunk of his suspicions that this was a traitor's wedding and the majority of the nobles attending had fought for the Blackfyres. Dunk tells him to keep his suspicions quiet and keep his head down. 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 joust 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 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 can't 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 continues 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 tells him where to find his squire.
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.
Dunk meets Brynden "Bloodraven" Rivers inside his pavilion outside of which the head of Gormon Peake along with Black Tom Heddle are displayed on spears. Rivers 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. Rivers, in gratitude to Dunk, gives him the gold to ransom his armor back at Egg's request. Dunk then asks Rivers what became of the dragon egg. Rivers 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 wouldn't have fit in those shafts. Rivers replies a child would have. Or a dwarf, Dunk thinks as he remembers the performing dwarfs at the wedding.
References and Notes
- Early on the story we learn that Egg is riding a palfrey named Rain. Dunk still has Thunder and Maester, with no mention of a fourth steed. It is therefore implied that Rain is the same palfrey that Egg was riding at the close of The Sworn Sword and that was a gift from Lady Rohanne Webber.
- Maynard Plumm is not seen in the last part of the story. It is strongly implied that he is in some way an agent of Brynden "Bloodraven" Rivers, since he tells Dunk outright that Bloodraven is well aware of the plot to start the Second Blackfyre Rebellion. Some readers speculate that Maynard was Rivers himself, glamoured, as the glamoring of Mance Raydar in A Dance with Dragons are described in a similar fashion as sthe description Dunk gives Maynard towards the end of the novella.