The Sworn Sword
|The Sworn Sword|
|Author||George R. R. Martin|
|Series||A Song of Ice and Fire|
|Publisher||Dabel Brothers Productions|
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|
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 story of the hedge knight Duncan the Tall and his squire 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.
The Sworn Sword was originally published in Legends II. Later, it was also published in Legends II: Dragon, Sword and King and as a graphic novel. 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.
A compilation of the four initial "Dunk and Egg" stories, including The Sworn Sword, was expected to be published by Bantam. Ultimately, a collection of only the first three stories was released in 2015 in A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.
A year and a half after The Hedge Knight, the Seven Kingdoms are suffering from a terrible summer drought, which in turn had followed the Great Spring Sickness. Dunk has sworn his sword to Ser Eustace Osgrey of Standfast in the Reach. Eustace is an old, done knight who dwells on the dual-losses of his family and its ancient honors.
Dunk and Egg return to Standfast from a short journey to Dosk for supplies. Upon their return, they discover that a local stream has dried up while they were gone. Suspicious, and unheeding of the warning by fellow sworn sword Ser Bennis of the Brown Shield, Dunk sends Egg ahead to Standfast and goes to investigate. Upstream Dunk and Bennis they discover that a dam has been built on the order of Lady Rohanne Webber of Coldmoat. When the workmen refuse to take down the dam, Ser Bennis cuts one of them with his longsword.
At Standfast, Dunk and Bennis find Ser Eustace cleaning the shield of Ser Wilbert Osgrey, who lived in the time of King Gyles III Gardener and King Lancel IV Lannister. When Eustace is done telling the hedge knights the story of Ser Wilbert, they inform him about the dam. When Eustace hears how Bennis taught one of the workers a lesson, he is quick to realize that Lady Rohanne will not suffer such an insult. He orders Bennis and Dunk to gather men from his three villages and train them to fight. However, they only manage to find eight men. After a day of training Bennis tells Dunk that the peasants will not be able to stand against Rohanne's knights.
Discussing the situation with Egg, the young boy suggests "using his boot", in which he has hidden a ring with his father's personal sigil on it. Dunk tells him that, although it is honorable for Egg to wish to safe the smallfolk serving Eustace, his identity has to remain a secret. That night, Dunk dreams about burying his horse Chestnut in Dorne. He digs the grave while Ser Arlan of Pennytree, Prince Baelor Targaryen, and Baelor's eldest son Valarr comment. More and more people of Standfast appear, and eventually Egg is buried alive underneath the sands of the Dornish dessert.
The next morning, Eustace witnesses a training, which does not go well. Eustace compares Bennis and Dunk training the men to the time his sons trained their fathers before marching to war in the First Blackfyre Rebellion. Still mindfull of his dream from the previous night, Dunk asks Eustace if there truly is no other way, and the knight suggests a bloodprice, an ancient form of wergeld. Eustace refuses to break a vow he had taken decades before, never to set foot on Coldmoat's grounds again, and so Dunk offers to go in Eustace's stead.
Dunk arrives at Coldmoat, where he realizes that the terrible stories he has been told about Rohanne are not completely true. Rohanne is an pretty young woman, to whom he is attracted, instead of an old widow. He is informed that the river does not belong to Ser Eustace, but had been granted by King Daeron II Targaryen to House Webber for its services in the Blackfyre Rebellion. It had been taken from House Osgrey in punishment for their support of Daemon I 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.
This is another hardcover edition of Legends II, from Del Rey, December 2003, ISBN 978-0345456441. Both editions contain the exact same eleven stories in all. Authors include Robin Hobb, Neil Gaiman, Terry Brooks and Elizabeth Haydon. The Sworn Sword is found in pages 73 to 152 of this edition, after an introduction two pages long.
The Sworn Sword (Graphic Novel), ISBN 978-1477849293
References and Notes
- 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)
- Legends II: Dragon, Sword and King, ISBN 9780345475787 (Paperback); ISBN 9781435291133 (Library Binding)
- The Hedge Knight II: Sworn Sword, ISBN 9780785126515 (2009 TPB); ISBN 9780785126508 (2008 Hardcover)
- http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/FAQ/Entry/1974/ The Citadel FAQ, 2.1.9 - Will There Be Any More Dung and Egg Stories?
- Not a Blog: Dunk and Egg Ride Again (February 25, 2015)
- Not a Blog: Dunk & Egg are HERE (October 6, 2015)
- Westeros forums: ASOIAF Bibliography: Where You Can Find All Of Those Dunk & Egg Stories
- A Read of Ice and Fire: The Sworn Sword, Part 1. Analyses and summary of the chapter by Leigh Butler.
- A Read of Ice and Fire: The Sworn Sword, Part 2. Analyses and summary of the chapter by Leigh Butler.
- A Read of Ice and Fire: The Sworn Sword, Part 3. Analyses and summary of the chapter by Leigh Butler.