‘The Hedge Knight’ Plot, Release Date, Details of HBO’s New ‘Game of Thrones’ Prequel

Everyone get ready for A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight—the story of a knight so legendary, apparently, that you have to say “knight” in the title twice. Announced today by HBO, which we refuse to call by its new name “MAX,” the second Game of Thrones prequel arrives as a bit of a surprise. Two other Thrones spinoffs were already rumored to be in development, including the Aegon the Conqueror series and a Jon Snow sequel. But The Hedge Knight, originally titled The Tales of Dunk and Egg, has actually been in the works for some quite some time.

Back in 2021—two years after Game of Thrones came to an ignoble end—HBO began its search for ways to parlay the streaming juggernaut’s success into another new spinoff. That happened big time with House of the Dragon. So much so, that HBO would be crazy to stop there. A potential avenue up for consideration was The Tales of Dunk and Egg, based on the three-part, same-titled series of novellas by Thrones author George R.R. Martin. That story will now officially be adapted into A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight, written and executive produced by George R.R. Martin himself—as well as House of the Dragon’s Ira Parker, Vince Gerardis, and Ryan Condal.

According to HBO, the series will focus on a time over a century before the events of Game of Thrones. Timeline-wise, that puts it squarely between House of the Dragon and Thrones. According to HBO, The Hedge Knight follows, “a young, naïve 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 await these improbable and incomparable friends.

Luckily, George R.R. Martin’s books provide the road map—and how it all ties back to the action of Game of Thrones. Here’s everything we know so far.

Spoilers ahead. You have been warned!

What Will The Hedge Knight Be About?

Fans of Game of Thrones can look to Martin’s books as a blueprint for what to expect. Set about a century before the Game of Thrones series begins, The Tales of Dunk and Egg novellas follow the adventures of “Dunk” (the lowly knight and future Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, Ser Duncan the Tall), and his squire, “Egg” (the future king Aegon V Targaryen). As Westeros reels from the Blackfyre Rebellion, which pitted Targaryen against Targaryen in a bloody struggle for the Iron Throne, Dunk and Egg travel the sprawling landscape, competing in tournaments to earn their daily bread and often happening upon historical events.

In The Hedge Knight, the first novella in the series, Dunk and Egg are bonded for the first time at a jousting tournament gone wrong. In The Sworn Sword, Dunk and Egg get caught up in regional land conflicts between lords and peasants. In The Mystery Knight, familiar characters like Walder Frey and Beron Stark appear as Dunk and Egg unravel a conspiracy to kill Dunk. Martin intended to write anywhere from seven to twelve entries in The Tales of Dunk and Egg series, but as with The Winds of Winter, his best intentions went awry. Martin previously said that he would refuse to greenlight an adaptation of The Tales of Dunk and Egg until he finished all the installments he’d planned, but clearly, his plans have changed.

Brilliance Audio The Hedge Knight: The Graphic Novel (A Game of Thrones)

The Hedge Knight: The Graphic Novel (A Game of Thrones)

Brilliance Audio The Hedge Knight: The Graphic Novel (A Game of Thrones)

How Does Egg Factor Into the Targaryen Line?

Remember Maester Aemon, the elderly maester at Castle Black and confidante to Jon Snow? He’s Egg’s older brother. When Maester Aemon declined to take up the Iron Throne, as he’d already sworn his maester’s vows, it was Egg / Aegon who became the King of Westeros. In his first official act as king, Aegon exiled Lord Brynden Rivers, who joined the Night’s Watch, got lost beyond the Wall, and later resurfaced as the Three-Eyed Raven. Aegon’s reign ended when he and many other Targaryens perished in an unexplained fire at their summer palace, but Rhaegar Targaryen, his infant grandson, made it out alive. Fans of the series will remember the surprise reveal that Rhaegar Targaryen was Jon Snow’s real father, making Jon Aegon’s great-grandson.

When Will The Hedge Knight Hit HBO?

Your guess is as good as ours. Stay tuned—we’ll update this story as we continue to learn more.

Headshot of Adrienne Westenfeld

Books and Fiction Editor

Adrienne Westenfeld is the Books and Fiction Editor at Esquire, where she oversees books coverage, edits fiction, and curates the Esquire Book Club. 

Headshot of Josh Rosenberg

Assistant Editor

Josh Rosenberg is an Assistant Editor at Esquire, keeping a steady diet of one movie a day. His past work can be found at Spin, CBR, and on his personal blog at Roseandblog.com.

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