George R.R. Martin has posted to his “Not a Blog” to discuss the big news that HBO has ordered A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight (a working title, GRRM notes, that is not finalized) straight to series. George goes into some more detail about the project, pointing out that he first floated the Dunk & Egg stories for adaptation seven years ago, so things can move slowly… until they don’t. He also notes that despite reports (spurred by his own remarks that some things had been shelved, and some shifts of the Starling Inc. website that we reported on here), both the 10,000 Ships and Sea Snake shows remain in development. But more on that later.
On A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, George has some particular new details to share:
Our premiere season will be an adaptation of the first of the three published novellas, “The Hedge Knight,” the tale of how Dunk & Egg first met during a tournament at Ashford Meadow. The pilot script is already written, and I think it’s terrific. It was written by Ira Parker, who is no stranger to Westeros. He was part of Ryan Condal’s writing staff for the first season of HOUSE OF THE DRAGON, and wrote the fourth episode of Hot D’s first season, “King of the Narrow Sea.” That’s the one where Prince Daemon returns to King’s Landing after conquering the Stepstones, and takes Princess Rhaenyra down into the stews of Flea Bottom. Ryan Condal is on board as well, as an Executive Producer. So am I.
If THE HEDGE KNIGHT turns out as well as we hope it will, our hope would be to go on and adapt THE SWORN SWORD and THE MYSTERY KNIGHT as well. That will take a few years. Then comes the hard part. Before we reach the end of the published stories, I will need to find time to write all the other Dunk & Egg novellas that I have planned. There are… gulp… more of them than I had once thought. There’s “The Village Hero” and the Winterfell story, the one with the She-Wolves, and maybe I need to write that Dornish adventure too to slip in between “The Hedge Knight” and “The Sworn Sword,” and after that there are… ah… more. I just need to finish THE WINDS OF WINTER, and then do either A DREAM OF SPRING or volume two of FIRE & BLOOD, and slip in a new Dunk & Egg between each of those in my copious spare time… and that will keep me ahead of Ira and his merry crew… for a few more years.
Interestingly, George would prefer to write the future novellas before adapting, though I admit I have often thought that maybe there’s no reason Dunk & Egg need to have their story told on the page if HBO is willing to produce these original stories straight to screen, with George having a very heavy input (writing treatments and outlines, maybe even collaborating on key scenes and moments he’s always had in mind, while letting other screenwriters fill in the rest) in a way that would maximize output. And I suspect HBO would love to have some true originals in the World of Ice and Fire. But of course, GRRM is an author and novelist first and foremost, so it stands to reason that that’s his preference. Still, all very exciting, especially his notion of perhaps filling in the gap of the “Dornish adventure” he alludes to, referred to in “The Sworn Sword”.
For those who are very curious about reading the stories, the obvious recourse is A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, which collects the three published novellas. For those who are more visually minded, though, George rightly refers to the excellent comic book adaptations from writer Ben Avery, artist Mike S. Miller, and letter Bill Tortolini (RIP). We are not unbiased, though, having consulted on both The Hedge Knight and The Sworn Sword comics, when they were originally produced by the Dabel Bros Production; The Mystery Knight was published as a graphic novel by Bantam. Avery’s scripts are very faithful to the source material, and find the right narrative beats for where to break each issue, while Mike S. Miller’s art was a terrific fit for the stories.
And for the stories beyond the novellas, written and unwritten, that George has referred to? Our own The World of Ice and Fire has sections on the reigns of Aerys I, Maekar I, and Aegon V that include a number of details hinting at where the stories of Dunk & Egg go… and where they end. George was quite forthcoming about his plans, some of them at least, so there’s already something of a roadmap readers may be interested in.