The first novella was originally published August 25, 1998 in the Legends anthology, edited by Robert Silverberg. The story was later adapted to a six issue comic book limited series by Ben Avery, drawn by Mike S. Miller, produced by Roaring Studios (now Dabel Brothers Productions) and published by Image Comics and Devil’s Due between August 2003 and May 2004. Devil’s Due published the complete limited series as a graphic novel in June 2004. Following the termination of the partnership between Dabel Brothers and Devil’s Due, the graphic novel has been republished in various editions.
A hedge knight, Ser Arlan of Pennytree, has died during the night. His squire, a large young man named Dunk, buries him and pays his last respects. After considering several options, Dunk decides to continue his journey to Ashford and compete in the tourney as a knight. He adopts Ser Arlan’s armor as his own, as well as his equipment, three horses, and remaining monies. At
an inn on the road, he meets a boy with a shaved head named Egg, who offers to become his squire. Despite the fact that Dunk, calling himself Ser Duncan the Tall, declines the offer, Egg secretly follows him to Ashford. Impressed by the boy’s spirit, Dunk takes him on as his own squire for the upcoming tourney.
At Ashford, Dunk sells one of his horses so he can commission a suit of armor by the smith Pate. He also befriends Ser Steffon Fossoway’s squire and cousin, Raymun Fossoway. Without proof of his knighthood, however, he is nearly barred from competition until Prince Baelor Targaryen vouches for him. Baelor tells Dunk that as he is not of Ser Arlan’s family, he cannot use his arms, so Dunk commissions a Dornish puppeteer girl to paint a new one. Dunk watches the first day of competition amongst the commoners, with Egg on his shoulders. After several spectacular tilts, the day ends after Prince Aerion Targaryen disgraces himself by killing Ser Humphrey Hardyng’s horse.
That night, when Dunk retires into the Fossoways’ tent to drink with Raymun, Egg informs that a puppeteer girl he had met earlier is being beaten by Prince Aerion. Dunk leaps to her defense and attacks Aerion, striking him in the face. As the royal guard arrests Dunk, Egg reveals himself to be Aerion’s brother, Prince Aegon. Imprisoned, Dunk is visited by Egg, who tells that he was meant to be Prince Daeron’s, his older brother’s, squire. Being a poor warrior, Daeron stole away from the escort, leading Aegon to pose as Egg in order to fulfill his dream of being a squire. After meeting Prince Baelor again, Dunk chooses to take a trial by combat rather than undergo mutilation (the removal of the offending hand and foot which he used to assault a royal prince). Prince Aerion demands the combat to be a Trial of Seven, as his brother, Prince Daeron, the drunkard from the inn, had also accused Dunk of kidnapping Aegon from his charge. The council of lords, including Lord Ashford, Baelor and Aerion’s father, Maekar, have no choice but to accept the demand. Dunk must find six champions to fight with him against seven accusing knights, or he must forfeit.
Steffon Fossoway is the first ally Dunk finds. He promises to bring Dunk more champions, as does Raymun. Egg also promises to bring more champions for Dunk’s cause. Prince Daeron, also called the Drunken, appears in the tent. He confesses Egg’s earlier accusations, and that he fabricated his own charges at the trial as he was embarrassed of losing track of his brother while in drunken stupor.