Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Sworn Sword

The second novella in George R.R. Martin's The Tales of Dunk and Egg series is entitled The Sworn Sword. These novellas are considered as prequels to his A Song of Ice and Fire tales, taking place some 100 years before that time. This story takes place about a year after the first novella, The Hedge Knight. There we were introduced to Ser Duncan the Tall, a knight of humble beginnings whose honor and dignity impacted the kingdom and the royal line. We also met the boy named Egg, Dunk's faithful squire. Of course, Egg is more than the clever and resourceful lad that he seems, he is also a prince of the land, yet his true identity is kept a secret. In this story Dunk and Egg have sworn an oath to serve the lord of a small holding. When the source of their castle's water runs dry, Dunk investigates to find that a neighboring castle has dammed up the river for their own survival.

We learn through this tale that there are two ways to approach a conflict. One way is rash, ill considered, and leads to battle. Another way is through respect and honor. Here we see both ways played out with their usual results. Again, Dunk shows how even a low-born, simple man can claim the high road. As the story ends, Dunk and Egg are dismissed from service, a job well done, and move onto their next adventure. The next novella in the series is entitled The Mystery Knight.