The news is all over the internet by now. The announcement was made on the 12th, at Warner Media’s big press event for the rollout and rebranding of their new streamer, MAX, coming your way on May 23. I was sworn to secrecy till then, but now that the word is out, I can go ahead and confirm it. Yes, it’s true. There’s another successor show on its way to you.
Dunk & Egg are coming to HBO.
The working title will be A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS: THE HEDGE KNIGHT. Whether that will be the final title, I can’t say for sure… beyond saying that no, it won’t be called TALES OF DUNK & EGG or THE ADVENTURES OF DUNK & EGG or DUNK & EGG or anything along those lines. I love Dunk and I love Egg, and I know that fans refer to my novellas as “the Dunk & Egg stories,” sure, but there are millions of people out there who do not know the stories and the title needs to intrigue them too. If you don’t know the characters, DUNK & EGG sounds like a sitcom. LAVERNE & SHIRLEY. ABBOTT & COSTELLO. BEAVIS & BUTTHEAD. So, no. We want “knight” in the title. Knighthood and chivalry are central to the themes of these stories.
Aside from the title, what else can I tell you?
Not a lot.
HBO has given us a greenlight to film for a full season (not just a pilot), most likely of six episodes… though that is not set in stone, and won’t be until considerably later in the process. To date I have written and published three novellas about Dunk & Egg — “The Hedge Knight,” “The Sworn Sword,” and “The Mystery Knight,” each of them initially published independently in various anthologies before being collected together in A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS.
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.
There is no date set yet for the series premiere, or even for the show to begin shooting… but the writing is well underway. Ira has assembled a small but very talented team, and they are at it already, building on the foundations laid down last year in previous creative summits… and of course on the original novella. The Dunk & Egg novellas are fully-fleshed narratives more like the novels of A SONG OF ICE & FIRE than the imaginary history of FIRE & BLOOD; the stories are right there on the page, and our goal is to produce faithful adaptations of those tales for the screen.
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.
Well, I will worry about that tomorrow. Today, we’re celebrating. Dunk & Egg are coming.
Those of you who have not yet made their acquaintance should pick up a copy of A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS from your favorite local bookshop or online bookseller. (We have autographed copies at Beastly Books in Santa Fe).
You could check out your local comics shop as well. All three of the Dunk & Egg novellas have been done as graphic novels, and done very well, with some great artwork by Mike S. Miller, who captured both characters perfectly.
One more thing before I close…
Way back in the summer of 2016, when HBO first started thinking about GAME OF THRONES spinoffs, I pitched them two ideas: the Dance of the Dragons, which in due time became HOUSE OF THE DRAGON… and Dunk & Egg. That was seven years ago. (I can hardly believe it myself). The lesson there is that development takes time. I see all these stories on the net about other spinoffs being killed or abandoned… no idea where they get this stuff… and it just makes me shake my head. The Nymeria show is still in development. So is the Sea Snake show. Just had a great week on that one, working with writers. And there are others, both live action and animated. How many will get the greenlight like Dunk & Egg? Impossible to say. How long will it take? It depends. No one knows for sure. When I was in grade school, there was a cop show that ended every week with, “There are eight million stories in The Naked City. This has been one of them.” And that was only New York City. Westeros and Essos are a lot bigger, with even more stories. We just need time to tell them.
Current Mood: excited