Chestnut

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Arlan of Pennytree.svgChestnutDunk.svg
Owners
Species Horse (stot)
Gender Uncertain[N 1]
Died In 210 ACDorne
Books

Chestnut was a horse, a stot owned by Ser Arlan of Pennytree, and later Ser Duncan the Tall.[1]

Appearance and Character

Chestnut was old, and swaybacked.[1] The stot was too old to be worth much,[1] but he was patient, and never bucked or bit.[2] The horse's gait was less easy than the palfrey Sweetfoot.[1]

History

When Dunk became Ser Arlan's squire, he would ride the hedge knight's stot Chestnut,[2] while Arlan rode his palfrey Sweetfoot. (Arlan's destrier, Thunder, was not ridden except in tourneys and battle.) Arlan frequently told Dunk that a knight should never love a horse, since they might die under him, but he loved his horses anyway. Arlan often spent his last copper on an apple for Chestnut, or oats for Sweetfoot and Thunder.[1]

In 209 AC, the aged Arlan died from a chill on the way to Ashford Meadow, and Dunk took ownership of Chestnut, along with Thunder and Sweetfoot. At first Dunk debated selling Thunder and Chestnut, and keeping Sweetfoot, but then he decided to attend the tourney at Ashford Meadow as the knight Ser Duncan the Tall. To afford a suit of armor, Dunk reluctantly decided to sell Sweetfoot, as Chestnut was not worth much, and Thunder would be needed for the joust.[1]

Dunk rode Sweetfoot to Ashford, finding her gait easier than Chestnut's, but still tiring. On the way, he stopped at an inn, where Dunk first met Prince Aegon Targaryen, disguised as "Egg", when he asked the (assumed) stableboy to rub down Sweetfoot and feed his horses. On the tourney grounds, Dunk was arrested when he attacked Prince Aerion Targaryen, who was assaulting a girl that Dunk had met earlier. While Dunk was imprisoned, Egg and their friend Raymun Fossoway took care of Chestnut and Thunder.[1]

After Prince Maekar Targaryen allowed his son Aegon to officially become Dunk's squire, Egg rode Chestnut when they traveled, while Duncan rode Thunder.[1]

Chestnut died in Dorne, during the desert crossing between the Prince's Pass and Vaith. Dunk wanted to bury his old friend, but their Dornish companions would not wait, and so Chestnut's corpse was left to the sand dogs. Afterwards, Dunk and Egg rode double on Thunder, until Egg's brother gave them Maester the mule.[2]

Later, at Standfast, Dunk dreamed of burying Chestnut in the sands while crying, as the Dornish knights and others stood by and mocked him.[2]

Quotes

Egg: My lord father says I am to serve you.
Dunk: Serve you, ser. You can start by saddling the horses. Chestnut is yours, treat her kindly. I don't want to find you on Thunder unless I put you there.[1]

Chestnut, his name was Chestnut, and he bore me on his back for years, and never bucked or bit. The old stot had looked a sorry thing beside the sleek sand steeds that the Dornishmen were riding, with their elegant heads, long necks, and flowing manes, but he had given all he had to give.[2]

—thoughts of Duncan the Tall, in his dream

Weeping for a swaybacked stot? Why, lad, you never wept for me, who put you on his back.[2]

—"Arlan of Pennytree", in Duncan's dream

Notes

  1. Chestnut's gender switches between The Hedge Knight and The Sworn Sword. In The Hedge Knight, Dunk calls the horse "her" (in both the original short story and in A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms), but in The Sworn Sword, Chestnut is called "him".

References