April 14, 2014

Dunk and Egg Update



Recently George R.R. Martin provided an update for A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms. What follows is a re-post from his own 'Not a Blog'. 

 
 An update on all things Dunk & Egg...
To date I have published three novellas about them.

"The Hedge Knight" was published in Robert Silverberg's anthology LEGENDS, "The Sworn Sword" in its sequel, LEGENDS II.  The third novella, "The Mystery Knight," was part of WARRIORS, the crossgenre anthology I co-edited with Gardner Dozois.

The first two novellas were subsequently adapted into graphic novels, with scripts by Ben Avery and artwork by Mike S. Miller and Mike Crowell.  The GNs have had a complicated publishing history.  Originally they were published by the Dabel Brothers, in partnership with Image Comics and then Devil's Due.  Later Marvel picked them up and had them out in hardcover for a time.  Those editions are all out of print, however.  Last year, Jet City Comics reissued both grahic novels.  Meanwhile, a graphic novel of "The Mystery Knight" is currently in the works from Random House.  Ben Avery has done the script once more, and Mike S. Miller is doing the art.

Turning back to prose, however... it has always been my intent to write a whole series of novellas about Dunk and Egg, chronicling their entire lives.  At various times in various interviews I may have mentioned seven novellas, or ten, or twelve, but none of that is set in stone.  There will be as many novellas as it takes to tell their tale, start to finish.  But only the three mentioned have been published to date.  I did originally plan on including a fourth in DANGEROUS WOMEN, the crossgenre anthology Gardner and I put out last year, but the book was past due and the story was not finished, so I substituted an abridged version of "The Princess and the Queen" instead.

The unfinished novella was indeed set in Winterfell, and involved a group of formidable Stark wives, widows, mothers, and grandmothers that I dubbed 'the She-Wolves,' but "The She-Wolves of Winterfell" was never meant to be more than a working title.  The final title, when I finish the story, will be something different.  There's also another Dunk & Egg novella that I've got roughed out in my head, with the working title "The Village Hero."  That one takes place in the Riverlands.   There's no telling when I will have time to finish either of these, or which one I will write first.  I don't expect I will know more until I've delivered THE WINDS OF WINTER.

My original intent was to publish all the Dunk & Egg stories in a series of anthologies, and then collect them all together in one big book.  But by the time of "The Mystery Knight," it became plain that the stories were just too long, and there were going to be too many of them.  So instead of one big book, the plan now is for a series of Dunk & Egg collections, each comprised of three novellas.  The first one to consist of the three published stories, "The Hedge Knight," "The Sworn Sword," and "The Mystery Knight."   The obvious title would have been THE HEDGE KNIGHT, but there is already a certain amount of confusion between "The Hedge Knight" the novella and THE HEDGE KNIGHT the graphic novel, and we did not want to compound the difficulty, so the first Dunk & Egg collection was titled A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS instead.

Since the collection is comprised entirely of previously-published material, we wanted to add something extra for the fans who might already have read the stories in LEGENDS and WARRIORS.  Some illustrations would be great, I thought (my love of illustrated books is well known by now, I suspect) and my British and American publishers agreed.   We reached out to the amazing GARY GIANNI, who did all the artwork for the stunning 2014 Ice & Fire calendar, not to mention Prince Valiant and those absolutely gorgeous Solomon Kane and Bran Mak Morn collections from Wandering Star.   Gary was interested in the project... but after reading the stories, he decided he did not want to do just a small handful of illustrations.  He wanted to bring the whole book to life with his artwork.  Last year at San Diego Comicon, he presented my editor Anne Groell and myself with a mockup of A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS as he envisioned it, with art on almost every page.  Even as roughs, Gary's sketches were gorgeous.  They blew us away.  Of course we said yes. 

Gary Gianni has been drawing and painting away ever since.  Of course, it takes a long time to do so much artwork.  Bantam Spectra and Harper Collins Voyager still hope to publish their fully-illustrated editions  A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS in 2015, in the US and UK respectively, but the precise pubdate depends on when Gary finishes the art.  Meanwhile, some of my other publishers around the world had acquired the rights to the Dunk & Egg collection, and decided that they did not want to wait.  Which is why A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS has already been published in several foreign languages, and will shortly be forthcoming in others, while the English-language editions won't be out for another year or more.  This is an inversion of the usual publishing pattern, where the American and British editions come out first.  The foreign editions have no artwork.

I am frequently asked whether or not there are any plans for Dunk & Egg movies or television shows.  There has been interest, yes, but the rights situation is complicated.  Film and television rights to the characters and the three published Dunk & Egg stories remain with me at present... but HBO, when acquiring the rights to the SONG OF ICE & FIRE novels, also acquired film and television rights to the world of Westeros.  So if we did Dunk & Egg with anyone else, we would need to remove all the references to House Targaryen, the Iron Throne, etc... not completely impossible, but certainly undesireable.  Whereas if HBO decided they wanted to make a Dunk & Egg miniseries or TV movies, they'd first need to buy the stories.  That's a much more attractive proposition for all concerned, I think... but if it happens, it will happen years from now, not tomorrow, and not next week.

So that's where things stand on all things Dunk & Egg.  Thanks for asking.

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