Author Topic: Mini book klub; GRRM's "The Hedge Knight" -with questions, no spoilers past AGOT  (Read 2497 times)  

Offline jason10mm

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How about a book klub mini-read of GRRM's first Dunk and Egg novella, "The Hedge Knight"? This short story takes place in Westeros about 100 years or so before the events of "A Game of Thrones", so if you want to see a world where the Targaryens still rule and warfare doesn't stalk the land, join us!

Unfortunately I think the only kindle version of this story is in the second collection of GRRMs short stories, entitled "Dreamsongs: Volume II". I believe it was released in print as a part of the "Legends" collection. There is also a graphic novel of the story published by the Dabel Brothers. Dreamsongs II is $14 so I will understand if folks don't participate, but for those of us with a copy I thought it might be fun to take a quick dip into Westeros while on break from the main ASOIAF books.

Dreamsongs: Volume II: 2

The print version of this book is around $10 for the hardback, IIRC.

NEWS! I just found Legends on the Kindle for $10! So now you have a choice. The legends collection which has a lot of fantasy stories in it, including a King Dark Tower one, or the GRRM specific Dream Songs 2.

Legends: Stories By The Masters of Modern Fantasy

If you buy Legends in paperback just check to see that you get the one with Hedge Knight in it. They split the hardback into three paperback volumes. The one you want is Legends Vol 2. However, Legends II is the second compilation of stories with "The Sworn Sword", a tale we will discuss in a few months. Clear as mud, eh?

Anyway, I think we can discuss the entire story in just one post, so next week I'll post some questions and we can discuss the story throughout December.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2011, 04:39:09 am by jason10mm »

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    Offline jason10mm

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    Re: Mini book klub; GRRM's "The Hedge Knight"
    « Reply #1 on: December 08, 2011, 04:38:29 am »
    This is a pretty straightforward story, I think, but I had some questions about it and it raises some interesting tidbits about ASOIAF. I'm basing everything on just having read AGOT so folks starting the series with us won't get anything spoiled. I've not read the other Dunk and Egg stories yet, so if there are any major connections I've missed then feel free to mention them, but try not to spoil the story (if, for example, Aerion turns out to be Dunks best friend).

    1.   One of the themes of this story seems to be that knightly virtues can be found in anyone and certainly not all knights live by their oath. How does this theme play out in the story?

    2.   Location 11344, ..it was commonly said that Daeron II and his sons left it (the Targaryen lineage) secure for all time. They are talking about Viserys and Daenerys great-great-great-grandfather. Amazing how in just 80 years the entire family can be almost wiped out.

    3.   Location 11448 there is an extensive explanation for how the tourney would work, with 5 defenders and a series of challengers, with the winner declaring a fair maid would keep the crown of Love and Beauty. I wonder if this was basically the same deal at the tourney of Harrenhal where Prince Rhaegar bypassed his own queen to make Lyanna Stark the Queen of Beauty. If so, it shows just how momentous and scandalous such a move would have been since his wife (or his mother/aunt Rhaella) was probably the initial maid being defended.

    4.   Dunk raises 6 knights to fight with him. His purpose there is noble, he was defending a woman from assault. Are any of the other knights standing with him really there for a noble reason, or are they all motivated by baser desires?

    5.   Ser Steffon (the red apple Fossoway) initially seems to pledge support for Duncan, but ends up fighting with Aerion. What happened? Was he always going to defect or did he get a better offer?

    6.    Prince Baelor takes a mortal wound. Did Prince Maekar do it intentionally, or was it an accident? Does his remorse about this event influence his decision to allow Aegon to stay with Dunk on the road?

    Overall I liked this story. It had a lot of GRRMs characteristic flair and it was nice to see Westeros "at peace" a bit and to see that the Targaryens were not total psychos. Note that the Mad King Aerys II is Egg's grandson and Egg does eventually become king (somehow, given that he is the 4th son of the second son of the king, which I guess is why he is called "The Unlikely" :) so something bad must happen to Baelors kids eventually. Wonder how Westeros 80 years later could have been different had Baelor survived and his lineage remained the kings.

    Offline DYB

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    The stories sound fascinating!  But I don't have the collections yet, though Martin's collection is on my Kindle Watch list for when the price drops.

    Offline Neekeebee

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    I have this one in graphic novel; read it in both formats a few years ago.  I remember referring back to the Appendix in my books a lot when I was reading it, to figure out where Egg and his father and uncle fit into the Targaryen dynasty.  Time for a re-read soon!

    N :)

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