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The Sworn Sword

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The Sworn Sword
TheSwornSword.jpg
Graphic Novel
Author George R. R. Martin
Country United States
Language English
Series A Song of Ice and Fire
Genre(s) Fantasy
Publisher Dabel Brothers Productions
Released 2003 (novella in Legends II anthology)
2 July 2008 (the graphic novel)
Media Type Original novella in Legends II anthology; released as standalone graphic novel; prose novella republished in Legends II: Dragon, Sword, and King
Pages 152
ISBN ISBN 978-0785126508 (graphic novel, 2008 edition, Hardcover)
ISBN 9780007154364 (Legends II)
ISBN 9780345475787 (Legends II: Dragon, Sword and King)
See the References and Notes section for alternate editions' ISBNs
Preceded by The Hedge Knight
Followed by The Mystery Knight

The Sworn Sword is the second in George R. R. Martin's Tales of Dunk & Egg, following the the story of Dunk and Egg a year and a half after the events of The Hedge Knight. It was first published in the Legends II anthology series, a collection of short stories by authors such as Tad Williams, Orson Scott Card, and Neil Gaiman.

As before the story's focus is almost exclusively on Dunk and Egg and their progression through life. The novella focuses on the difficult path of chivalry when taking part in petty feuds and casual injustices are part and parcel of what it means to be a sworn man in the feudal Seven Kingdoms.

Contents

Sources

The Sworn Sword was originally published in Legends II,[1] later also in Legends II: Dragon, Sword and King[2] and as a Graphic Novel.[3]

Some confusion exists because the anthology Legends, where the previous Dunk and Egg novella was published, has on occasion been divided into two or three numbered volumes. It is helpful to focus on the five writers that change between Legends and Legends II: Stephen King, Terry Pratchett, Terry Goodkind, Robert Jordan and Ursula K. LeGuin contribute to Legends but not to Legends II, while Robin Hobb, Neil Gaiman, Terry Brooks, Diana Gabaldon and Elizabeth Haydon have stories in Legends II but none in Legends.

A compilation of the four initial "Dunk and Egg" stories, including The Sworn Sword, is expected to be published by Bantam.[4]

Story

Main article: The Sworn Sword-Summary

The story takes place in the aftermath of the Blackfyre Rebellion and opens a year and a half after the events of The Hedge Knight. The two are in the midst of a terrible summer drought in the Reach (which itself followed the Great Spring Sickness). Dunk has sworn his sword to Ser Eustace Osgrey of Standfast, an old, done knight who dwells on the dual-losses of his family and its ancient honors. Gnawing at the bones of faded glory, Ser Eustace draws Dunk and Egg into a potentially-fatal conflict with his neighbour Lady Rohanne Webber.

Dunk and Egg return to Standfast from a short journey to Dosk to get much needed supplies. They discover a local stream had suddenly dried up while they were gone. Suspicious, and unheeding of Ser Bennis’s warning to leave it alone, they go to investigate. As they follow the riverbed upstream they discover that workmen of Lady Rohanne have built a dam. When the workmen refuse to remove the dam Ser Bennis wounds one of them and drives them away, which sets into motion the outbreak of a long-simmering feud.

The hedge knights return to Standfast and tell Ser Osgrey what has happened. The old man realizes that Lady Rohanne will see the wounding of one of her men as a slight on her honor. He orders Ser Bennis and Dunk to gather men from his three villages and to start training them to fight. Duncan hopes for another solution and is sent to Coldmoat to parley with Lady Rohanne and offer her bloodprice, an ancient form of wergeld.

As they meet Lady Rohanne Duncan realizes that some things are different than he was told. Lady Rohanne is an pretty young woman, to whom he is attracted, instead of an old widow. The river was not Ser Eustace's but was granted by King Daeron II Targaryen to House Webber for its services in the Blackfyre Rebellion. It was taken from House Osgrey in punishment for their support of Daemon Blackfyre.

Dunk and Egg also learn that the lady has to remarry within a short time or lose her lands to a cousin as stated in her father's testament. Her father also tasked Ser Lucas 'Longinch' to protect her against unworthy suitors. Ser Lucas has interpreted this to shield her against all suitors and tries to get her to marry him.

The meeting does not end well. Lady Rohanne refuses to break up the dam or take the bloodprice. She demands that Ser Bennis will be turned over to her or else she will take him herself. Shocked and angered by all the revelations Ser Duncan wants to leave Osgrey's service. However, as he realizes that the villagers will not stand a chance against Lady Rohanne's well-armed soldiers, he decides to stay.

The next morning Ser Osgrey, Duncan and Egg ride to the river where they meet Lady Webber and her small army. Ser Duncan asks and is granted a private parley with Lady Webber. He shows her Egg's ring, proving Egg is a prince of the blood. He cuts his own cheeks to make up for the wounding of her man. Lady Rohanne is impressed but still demands an apology from Ser Eustace, who refuses. The parties decide to settle the matter in a fight between their champions. Duncan fights Ser Lucas and is able to kill him but almost drowns in the process.

When he wakes up Ser Eustace and Lady Rohanne have settled their differences and have married. Duncan is asked to remain at Standfast as their captain of the guard but refuses. Barely recovered he prepares to leave. Lady Rohanne meets him at the stables and offers her finest horse and her apologies. Dunk refuses both, but Rohanne demands that he take something of her. They kiss passionately and Duncan cuts her braid so that he will have something to remember her.

Editions

References and Notes

  1. Legends II, ISBN 9780007154364 (Paperback, 2011 Edition); ISBN 9780007154357 (Paperback, 2004 Edition); ISBN 9780007305094 (Paperback, 2008 Edition); ISBN 9780345456441 (Hardcover, 2003 Edition); ISBN 9780007154340 (Hardcover, September 2003, Voyager, 400 pages)
  2. Legends II: Dragon, Sword and King, ISBN 9780345475787 (Paperback); ISBN 9781435291133 (Library Binding)
  3. The Hedge Knight II: Sworn Sword, ISBN 9780785126515 (2009 TPB); ISBN 9780785126508 (2008 Hardcover)
  4. http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/FAQ/Entry/1974/ The Citadel FAQ, 2.1.9 - Will There Be Any More Dunk and Egg Stories?
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