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Duncan the Tall

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Kingsguard mini shield
Duncan
Kingsguard mini shield
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Kingsguard mini shield
Duncan
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Death
259 AL
Perished in the Tragedy at Summerhall
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Joffrey: "Four pages for Ser Duncan! He must have been quite a man."
Jaime: "So they say."
Joffrey Baratheon and Jaime Lannister discuss Ser Duncan's entry in The Book of Brothers.[src]

Duncan the Tall is an unseen character in Game of Thrones. He is long deceased when the events of the series begin. Duncan the Tall is a legendary knight and the subject of several popular songs and stories.

BiographyEdit

BackgroundEdit

Ser Duncan the Tall was a great knight in the history of Westeros, a famous warrior and a great friend to King Aegon V Targaryen. He lived roughly between 105 and 40 years before the events of the series, and was Lord Commander of the Kingsguard when Ser Barristan Selmy started his rise to prominence. He is immortalized in many songs and stories.

Season 1Edit

Old Nan asks Bran Stark if he wants to hear a story and proposes one about Ser Duncan the Tall, saying those were always his favorites, but Bran wants a scary story.[1]

Season 4Edit

Shortly before his wedding, King Joffrey Baratheon finds Ser Duncan's entry when looking through The Book of Brothers. Joffrey is surprised that Ser Duncan had four whole pages devoted to his exploits, much more than is usual, and says that he must have been quite a man. Jaime agrees that everyone says he was.[2]

In the booksEdit

Ser Duncan the Tall and his unusual friendship with King Aegon V Targaryen are the subjects of the Tales of Dunk and Egg, a series of novellas written by George R.R. Martin set roughly ninety years before the events of the main books. These stories are The Hedge Knight, The Sworn Sword, and The Mystery Knight, the first two of which have been reprinted as graphic novels. A fourth short story, The She-Wolves of Winterfell, was intended to be published in 2012, but was postponed until an unknown time.

In these stories, Duncan is revealed to be an orphan boy from the poor quarter of King's Landing, the area known as Flea Bottom. He attracted the attention of a hedge knight called Ser Arlan of Pennytree, and squired for the old man, accompanying him to many tournaments and on at least one major campaign, an incursion into the Red Mountains of Dorne led by House Dondarrion to root out a bandit king. Ser Arlan died on his way to a great tournament at Ashford. Taking up his sword, armor and horses, Dunk competed in the tourney as a knight and was joined by a young boy called "Egg", who asked to become his squire, though Egg was later revealed to be the young Aegon Targaryen in disguise.[3]

The pair had many famous adventures. This included a visit to Dorne, where they were nearly killed by the apparently insane Lady of Vaith, as well as resolving a decades-long dispute between the houses Osgrey and Webber in the Reach.[4] They also helped foil the Second Blackfyre Rebellion[5] before undertaking a lengthy journey north to visit Winterfell.[6] Many years later Egg ascended the Iron Throne as King Aegon V Targaryen. Ser Duncan the Tall became a member of the Kingsguard, and later its Lord Commander. Duncan was one of the heroes of the Fourth Blackfyre Rebellion. Egg and Dunk faced their last adventure together at Summerhall, on the night of the great fire there.[7]

There is widespread speculation that Brienne of Tarth and/or Hodor may be descendants of Ser Duncan. There are three pieces of evidence that Brienne might be Duncan's descendant. First, Martin actually said that a descendant of Duncan would appear in the fourth novel, but he never indicated who it was. Second, during the fourth novel, Brienne mentions in passing while selecting a new shield that she recalls an old shield from her youth which was present in her family's armory at Evenfall Hall, and the description she gives matches Ser Duncan's personal sigil (a green shooting star over a green elm tree, on a sunset-orange field). Third, though most general, is that "Ser Duncan the Tall" was famously a very tall man, nearly seven feet in height, and Brienne is unusually tall for a woman by Westerosi standards. There is also speculation that Hodor may be a descendant of Ser Duncan, as Hodor is also extremely tall, over seven feet in height, and the upcoming fourth prequel novella, The She-Wolves of Winterfell, reveals that Ser Duncan traveled to Winterfell. At one point Bran Stark has a greensight vision of the past, and sees a very large man "as tall as Hodor" in the Winterfell godswood, being kissed by a slender young woman - who might have been Old Nan. If all of this turns out to be true, it would mean that Brienne and Hodor are second cousins.

Potential adaptationEdit

On 10 February 2013, George R.R. Martin confirmed that he had been in discussion with HBO over a possible adaptation of the Tales of Dunk and Egg short stories, though in what format (TV movies, theatrical movie, or a spin-off TV series) was not made clear.[8]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. "Lord Snow"
  2. "Two Swords"
  3. The Hedge Knight
  4. The Sworn Sword
  5. The Mystery Knight
  6. The She-Wolves
  7. A Storm of Swords
  8. Westeros.org

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