The graphic novel adaptation of the first of George R.R. Martin’s Dunk & Egg novellas, not only stays true to the originally written story but gives it life with fantastic renderings of all the characters, the locales, and the action. Drawn by artist Mike S. Miller and livened by colorist Mike Crowell, The Hedge Knight gives both Game of Thrones book and show fans a great look into the history of the Seven Kingdoms by seeing the beginnings of two individuals, Ser Duncan (Dunk) the Tall and the future King Aegon (Egg) V, who impact the series even a century later.
The story begins with Dunk burying his mentor Ser Arlan Pennytree before taking his arms and horses to the Tourney at Ashford Meadow in an attempt to win a place in a lord’s house by winning a tilt and becoming a champion if only for a little while. Unfortunately Dunk finds himself broiled in a family feud, but this family happens to be the dynasty of the dragonkings–the Targaryens. Not only does Dunk find his temporary squire to be a Prince, but he punches and kicks Egg’s older (cruel) brother Aerion which could either leave him dead or maimed. Dunk’s fate comes down to a unique form of trial by combat, which has ramifications not only for him but knightly families and the realm itself.
Of the work surrounding the graphic novel itself, I can only praise the work of Miller and Crowell who not only brought into visual life Dunk and Egg but so many other historically important characters in very consistent way throughout the entire book. It is hard to find fault with the work of these two men save with pointing out a few continuity errors, which unfortunately happen in every graphic novel. If anything after viewing their work I’m tempted to find more graphic novel either man has worked on given the good quality of work each put in this book.
If you’re a fan of the A Song of Ice and Fire world and haven’t gotten this book yet I recommend you get it; if you’re a television fan of Game of Thrones I highly recommend you get this book to see how the ancestors of some of your favorite and least favorite characters interacted while also seeing the Targaryens on the throne.