I have given up on the Song of Fire and Ice—mostly because I don’t think R. R. Martin will ever finish the books and so am happy that there are fun books to go along with the HBO Series. And tales of Sir Duncan the Tall are certainly that.
In the first season of the Game of Thrones, old nan asks Bran if he wants to hear the stories of Sir Duncan the Tall. He seems to have loved those before his fall. But he tells her no, he wants to hear about the Long Night. A shame for these stories—captured in this lovely book are well worth listening to.
Sir Duncan the Tall was indeed a knight—but he was born on the extremely wrong side of the tracks and got lucky. There had been a (different) rebellion against the Targaryens and a knight lost his nephew and squire. Which is why Ser Duncan (he was called Dunk then) became his squire. Dunk never really got over the guilt of that. He was a squire and a knight because a kid got killed. And that just shows you how decent a man he is.
And being decent was as bad for your health back then as it was in the world the Game of Thrones represents. It was a feudal world and only the well-born could afford honor (literally). A fact made crystal clear to us in one of the stories. But Ser Duncan, who could not afford to sleep inside an inn most nights, insisted on being honorable anyway. In that world, loyalty was never fixed. But Ser Duncan’s was. And Dunk made that world a better place just by being in it.
Maybe he wasn’t the brightest as he keeps telling us (and himself) he isn’t. Or maybe he’s a true knight as the common people say in one novella. You decide.
And I highly recommend you decide (and read these three novellas). They’re well worth it as are the wonderful pictures that appear on almost every page. R.R. Martin may never finish The Game of Thrones. But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t written some other really good books set in Westeros.
This is one of them.
A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms
Product Name: A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms
Product Description: A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George R. R. Martin