The title card for the latest Game of Thrones in the works at HBO, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight

Another ‘Game of Thrones’ Prequel Rises To Power With ‘A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms’

I love that we're getting live-action Dunk and Egg!

Around mid-April 2023, HBO announced that it had officially ordered another Game of Thrones prequel—the success of the first season of House of the Dragon having assured the powers that be that the horrid garbage fire that was the two final seasons of GoT miraculously did not kill the franchise. The latest prequel series is A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight.

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Just like George R.R. Martin, the creator of A Song of Ice and Fire, HBO realized that focusing on the three centuries of Targaryen rule that happened before all the events we saw in Game of Thrones is both very fun and really entertaining. That’s what happens when you take a family riddled with incestuous tendencies and god complexes and put them on the throne of a fantasy realm.

So, even though news about A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms is still sparse, let’s recap what we know so far—both from HBO’s announcements and from what the ASOIAF canon can tell us.

What is A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms about?

The new prequel is titled A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight. It will be set almost a century before Game of Thrones, and about 80 years after House of the Dragon (and the devastating Dance of the Dragons the show is readying to unleash upon our television screens).

The two main characters, as the caption of HBO’s announcement post says, are “Ser Duncan the Tall and his squire, Egg.” The two have been mentioned a couple of times in the main A Song of Ice and Fire books and have also gotten their own little trilogy of novellas, the Tales of Dunk and Egg—The Hedge Knight, published in 1998; The Sworn Sword, released in 2003; and The Mystery Knight, published in 2010. The three novellas were also collected in a single illustrated edition in 2015, released under the title A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.

This new show’s official synopsis, as reported by a 2024 The Hollywood Reporter article, goes as follows: “A century before the events of Game of Thrones, two unlikely heroes wandered Westeros… a young, naive but courageous knight, Ser Duncan the Tall, and his diminutive squire, Egg. Set in an age when the Targaryen line still holds the Iron Throne and the memory of the last dragon has not yet passed from living memory, great destinies, powerful foes and dangerous exploits all away these improbable and incomparable friends”.

We can guess the plot will follow the story of the first novella and then continue with the other two—maybe while also taking a peek at what’s happening in the wider world beyond Dunk and Egg’s adventures.

Of course, the fact that the novellas exist obviously means that readers can easily pinpoint the major plot points of A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms and which characters will appear around the two leads. If you want to go into the show completely spoiler-free, skip the next three paragraphs—otherwise, here’s what the existing ASOIAF canon can tell us.

An illustration of Ser Duncan the Tall and Egg in one of the print editions of The Hedge Knight
While nothing has been released yet about the plot of this new prequel, we can safely guess it’s going to follow what has been laid down in the three novellas about Dunk and Egg (Subterranean Press)

Ser Duncan the Tall and Egg are pretty well-known figures in the history of Westeros: a hedge knight turned Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, and his squire, who is secretly a Targaryen prince—one who everyone assumes will never inherit the crown (being the fourth son of a fourth son), which is why they allow him to follow a knight of little importance around the realm. We, of course, know that Egg will grow up to become King Aegon V the Unlikely—Daenerys Targaryen’s great-grandfather.

The plot of A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms depends on how many seasons they intend to develop. The most obvious of answers seems to be three, maybe even with a reduced number of episodes compared to the usual 10, with each tackling one of the three novellas. We’re bound to follow the whole series of complicated events at the tourney at Ashford Meadow at the start, with Dunk and Egg actually meeting for the first time and the Trial of the Seven.

With a focus on Dunk and Egg, this new prequel is definitely going to be less intrigue-filled and more like that chunk of Game of Thrones season 3 where Arya and the Hound were trotting around the realm and exploring the typical “grumpy man and his feisty surrogate daughter” trope. Still, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms is set in a particular period of Westerosi history that definitely allows for some venture into politics—we are in the middle of the Blackfyre rebellions, after all.

Who will star in A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms?

Despite the fact that a new rumor about Henry Cavill playing this or that ASOIAF character surfaces regularly every couple of months—and it’s never young, Rebellion-era Robert Baratheon, which is objectively the only correct answer—absolutely nothing has been announced yet when it comes to the casting of A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.

Considering how Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon have been cast, we can expect a mix of established names, especially for the older characters, and newcomers—Egg in particular, being around 10 at the time the story starts, will probably be cast in the same way that the younger Stark children were, for example.

The younger versions of Baela and Rhaena Targaryen as they appeared in House of the Dragon
The same thing happened for the younger version of the children in House of the Dragon, so we can expect the actor portraying Egg to be a previously unknown name (HBO)

What about the team behind the scenes?

We know a bit more about the people who will take up the roles of executive producers in A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms. The people listed in the HBO announcement are George R.R. Martin (always a good sign) and Ryan Condal, who is also part of the team behind House of the Dragon. The other executive producers are Ira Parker and Vince Gerardis.

When is A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms coming out?

According to a February 2024 statement by Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav, reported by The Hollywood Reporter, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms is set to premiere sometime in late 2025.

It definitely makes sense, considering that the second half of 2024 will be entirely dedicated to the second season of House of the Dragon—while the release date is yet to be announced, we know it’s going to be in the summer of 2024 just like season one took up the months between August and October of 2022.

According to the same The Hollywood Reporter article, A Knight of the Seven Kingdom is set to start principal photography very soon. If both productions can stay on track, it could potentially mean a new ASOIAF show every year—for however long they both run.

(featured image: HBO)


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Author
Benedetta Geddo
Benedetta (she/her) lives in Italy and has been writing about pop culture and entertainment since 2015. She has considered being in fandom a defining character trait since she was in middle school and wasn't old enough to read the fanfiction she was definitely reading and loves dragons, complex magic systems, unhinged female characters, tragic villains and good queer representation. You’ll find her covering everything genre fiction, especially if it’s fantasy-adjacent and even more especially if it’s about ASOIAF. In this Bangtan Sonyeondan sh*t for life.