Who are Dunk and Egg in A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight?

Peter Claffey and Dexter Sol Ansell will play lead characters Dunk and Egg in the new Game of Thrones prequel A Knight of the Seven Kingdom: The Hedge Knight.
"Wreck" Season 2 Special Screening – Arrivals
"Wreck" Season 2 Special Screening – Arrivals / Tristan Fewings/GettyImages

We've known for a while that HBO was working on a Game of Thrones prequel show in addition to House of the Dragon, which will air its second season starting this June. A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight will be set decades after House of the Dragon but decades before Game of Thrones. There are no more dragons left in Westeros at this time, but there are still people around who remember them. The Targaryens remain on the Iron Throne, but their position is more precarious than before. Into this environment step a knight named Dunk and his squire, named Egg. These are our heroes, to be played on the show by Peter Claffey and Dexter Sol Ansell.

Obviously there's more to these characters, but I don't want to say anything else just yet for fear of spoiling the story. Below, let's talk a closer looks at Dunk and Egg. Beware SPOILERS!

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A Knight Of The Seven Kingdoms. (L-R) Peter Claffey and Dexter Sol Ansell. Image courtesy HBO /

Who is Dunk in A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight?

Dunk's full name is Ser Duncan the Tall. This new series is based on the Dunk and Egg novellas by George R.R. Martin, the author behind A Song of Ice and Fire (adapted as Game of Thrones) and Fire & Blood (adapted as House of the Dragon). Martin has written three Dunk and Egg novellas so far: The Hedge Knight, The Sworn Sword and The Mystery Knight. He would like to write more, but considering how spotty he is with deadlines, we'll believe it when we see it.

Anyway, at the beginning of The Hedge Knight, Dunk is serving as squire to the elderly hedge knight Ser Arlan of Pennytree (a hedge knight is a wandering knight; they get their name because they sleep under hedges). Ser Arlan dies, so Dunk takes his armor, horses and remaining money, calls himself Ser Duncan the Tall, and sets off on his own career as a hedge knight.

Dunk is thought of as a bit dim-witted by people who encounter him, although he can be intelligent in the right circumstances. He's also unfailingly loyal, good-natured and brave.

Also he is very tall, seven feet to be exact. It's very doubtful that Peter Claffey will scale those heights, but as a former Rugby player, he looks like a sturdy guy, which is important; despite his friendly demeanor, Dunk is a warrior and is supposed to look like someone you don't want to mess with.

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A Knight Of The Seven Kingdoms. (L-R) Peter Claffey and Dexter Sol Ansell. Image courtesy HBO /

Who is Egg in A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight?

While Dunk is a huge dude, Egg is a small little kid. We love contrasts. He'll played by Dexter Sol Ansell. Despite only being 9 years old, Ansell already has a lot of credits to his name, including playing a young Coriolanus Snow in The Hunger Games prequel movie The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

One of the big reveals of The Hedge Knight is that Egg is, in reality, Aegon V Targaryen, a Targaryen prince who's distantly in line for the Iron Throne, although he's so far back in the line of succession that most of his Targaryen relatives don't take him seriously as a threat to their ambitions. Egg also shaves his head, so it's harder to identify him as a Targaryen by his silver-blonde hair.

At the end of The Hedge Knight, after Egg has helped Dunk through a conflict with Egg's extremely unpleasant older brother Aerion Targaryen, Egg decides to accompany Dunk on his adventures around the Seven Kingdoms, serving as Dunk's squire. Egg is faster on the uptake than Dunk, the brains of this "brains and brawn" partnership. They have further adventures together in The Sworn Sword and The Mystery Knight. If Martin has his way, there will be more adventures after that, but again, coming from the guy who's taken over a decade to finish The Winds of Winter at this point, I'm not holding my breath.

Beyond The Mystery Knight

That said, if Martin ever does get around to writing more Dunk & Egg novellas, there are some extremely interesting things in their future. (There's another big SPOILER coming.) Because Egg eventually becomes King Aegon V Targaryen, known as Aegon the Unlikely on account of how many people ahead of him in the line of succession had to die or abdicate in order for him to be in a position to assume the Iron Throne. Once he takes his place as king, Egg names Dunk as the Lord Commander of his Kingsguard, and their adventures continue.

Egg was actually briefly mentioned on Game of Thrones. Maester Aemon Targaryen, whom Jon Snow and Sam Tarly met while at the Wall, was Egg's brother. With his dying breath, Maester Aemon spoke to his brother, who by then had been dead many years. "Egg, I dreamed I was old."

Aemon was actually ahead of Egg in the line of succession, but opted to go to the Wall instead of become king, figuring that Egg would make the better ruler. During his time as king, Egg was a champion for the smallfolk, which ruffled the feathers of many powerful lords.

Whether A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight will get to these parts of the story is anybody's guess. The first season, which will run for six episodes and premiere in late 2025, will likely cover the events of The Hedge Knight. After that there are two more novellas to adapt, neither of which ends with Egg on the Iron Throne.

What does HBO plan to do with A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight?

At that point, HBO can decide what it wants to do. George R.R. Martin is part of the producing team, so in theory he could outline the remaining adventures of Dunk and Egg and let the writers run with it. Although that's basically what he did for the final few seasons of Game of Thrones, and that produced polarizing results.

For now, HBO's plan with A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms seems clear. The second season of House of the Dragon will air this summer, and then it will probably take another two years before season 3 starts airing. The first season of A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms can air in that gap. The two shows can switch off, year by year, until they come to the end of available source material.

Although I don't want HBO to spread the Game of Thrones universe too thin, the Dunk & Egg novellas are very well-regarded and could make for great TV.

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