GAME OF THRONES Dunk and Egg Spinoff Casts Peter Claffey and Dexter Sol Ansell

The House of the Dragon is about to get a lot bigger. Warner Bros. Discovery’s next Game of Thrones prequel will also take place during the Targaryen dynasty. The series, based on George R.R. Martin’s collection of novellas A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, will bring the beloved duo of Dunk and Egg to life. Now we know who will play the beloved pair of wanderers whose story brought them to the Iron Throne. HBO has announced Peter Claffey will play the legendary Ser Duncan the Tall and Dexter Sol Ansell will play his young squire, the secret Targaryen prince Aegon in A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight.

HBO’s second Westeros spinoff, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight, will follow a famous twosome from the Realm’s history: Ser Duncan and “Egg,” whose real name is Aegon. (Yup, another Aegon.) The show has been in development since at least 2021. Martin and Ira Parker will write and executive produce the show. Ryan Condal and Vince Gerardis will also serve as executive producers.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, The Hedge Knight spinoff will run for six episodes. Additionally, it was just announced that Owen Harris, who directed Black Mirror‘s “Be Right Back” and “San Junipero” has come aboard The Hedge Knights‘ first three episodes. Harris will set the tone of the series with his directing work since he will be directing half of the first season..

HBO has now picked its eponymous pair. The 6’4″ tall Claffley (Bad Sisters, Vikings: Valhalla) will play Brienne of Tarth’s honorable ancestor. Sol Ansell (The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes) will star opposite him as the fiery and determined Targaryen prince who wanted to see the Seven Kingdoms as Duncan’s squire.

The red and yellow cover, with a shield adorned with a tree, from A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms book
Random House

According to a previous Variety report, HBO CEO Casey Bloys originally said the series would begin production in spring 2024. However, that was dependent on the end of the Hollywood strikes. With their two main stars onboard now, though, filming could start sooner than later. Don’t buy snacks for your premiere party just yet, thought. Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav has also the series is eying a “late 2025″ premiere.

The series does have an official logline, at least. From HBO:

A century before the events of Game of Thrones, two unlikely heroes wandered Westeros… 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.

Martin has released three novellas about Dunk and Egg’s adventures together, which came in the immediate aftermath of the Blackfyre Rebellion. That was the second famous Targaryen civil war in Westeros, the one fought after dragons went extinct. The three stories were later collected in the book that lends its name to the show’s title.

Image from The Sworn Sword
Jet City Comics/Mike S Miller

While we know the fate of Dunk and Egg many years later ( which you can read about here if you don’t mind spoilers), there’s so much of their earlier time together we do not. Beyond the three stories Martin has published, he has long said he had/has plans for many more entries. Even if he never writes them, he can now use those ideas as a basis for storylines on the show.

HBO’s head of drama Francesca Orsi noted more about how the series would structure itself. She offered that it would run “ideally year-to-year and arcing out a three-season series, which maps out the three novellas that George wrote… Of course, we’d like more beyond that, and George is continuing to think about the remaining novellas that he still wants to write, but at this point, we have our eye on three seasons that would map out each book, each novella.”

A tall knight on the cover of the graphic novel adaptation of The Hedge Knight
Mike S. Miller/Jet City Comics

Even if we simply get adaptations of the three released stories and nothing else, they will provide a fascinating look at the Seven Kingdoms during an important era in its history. The first Blackfyre Rebellion split the Realm in two. But the end of a war does not guarantee peace. And while House Targaryen did not have dragons during this time period, they did have magic.

Also, the actions of family members also had major implications on their ancestors 100 years later during the events of Game of Thrones. A couple of them were still around then, too.

Three-Eyed Raven with his eyes closed in a tree on Game of Thrones

Maester Aemon of the Night’s Watch was Egg’s brother. (He called out to Egg while dying.) And the Three-Eyed Raven (known as the Three-Eyed Crow in the novels) was one of the most important figures before, during, and long after the Blackfyre Rebellion. Long before he became part of a tree far beyond the Wall he was an infamous sorcerer and political figure. Just getting to see him in his heyday will make this spinoff worth watching.

Originally published on April 12, 2023.

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