‘A Knight Of The Seven Kingdoms’: Everything We Know About The ‘Game Of Thrones’ Prequel, Including Plot, Premiere Date & Whether George R.R. Martin Is Involved

Updated with the Latest: Five new cast members have joined HBO’s A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms in addition to a new director, and production is underway in Belfast, Ireland.

In April 2023, HBO announced it had ordered the show, tentatively titled A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight. Ordered to series in April 2023, the prequel is based on novellas written by George R.R. Martin. During the Warner Bros. Discovery February, 2024 earnings call, CEO David Zaslov revealed the prequel is currently in preproduction.

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What is A Knight Of The Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight about?

“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,” reads the logline. “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.”

How is A Knight Of The Seven Kingdoms related to Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon?

Chronologically, it is set about 72 years after House of the Dragon and about 100 years before GOT.

The 21 Most Influential TV Series Of The 21st Century
The 21 Most Influential TV Series Of The 21st Century

Is A Knight Of The Seven Kingdoms based on a book by George R.R. Martin?

Yes. There are three Dunk & Egg fantasy novellas, as they are known to fans. The Hedge Knight is the first of them. The first installment had the working title of A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight.

Who has been cast in A Knight Of The Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight?

In his May 21 blog post, the author revealed that “most of the auditions — not all, but most — are done, and we should be able to announce some more cast members shortly.” He listed cast roles as “Tanselle, Steely Pate, Baelor Breakspear, the Laughing Storm, a couple of Fossoways, Aerion Brightflame (boo, hiss), Prince Maekar and the rest.”

June 18 brought the casting news of Finn Bennett (True Detective: Night Country), Bertie Carvel (The Crown), Tanzyn Crawford (Tiny Beautiful Things), Daniel Ings (The Gentlemen) and Sam Spruell (Fargo). Bennett plays Aerion Targaryen, with Carvel as Baelor Targaryen, Crawford as Tanselle, Ings as Ser Lyonel Barotheon, and Spruell as Maekar Targaryen.

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Has A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms found a director yet?

Yes, as of Martin’s May 21 blog. He wrote that Owen Harris who directed Martin’s “all time favorite episode of Black Mirror “San Junipero,” will direct three of the six episodes.

On June 18, 2024, it was announced that Sarah Adina Smith, who recently directed a few episodes of Apple TV+’s Lessons in Chemistry, will direct the other three episodes.

When does production start on A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms?

As of June 18, production on the series had begun in Belfast, Ireland.

Why isn’t the TV series called Dunk & Egg?

Martin explained that: “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.”

Is George R.R. Martin involved in the A Knight Of The Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight series?

Yes. Martin is writing and executive producing. After the show was announced in 2023, Martin said the pilot script had already written. He called it “terrific.”

On his blog, he said the prequel series will be “much shorter” than Game of Thrones or House of the Dragon, “with a much different tone.” In terms of world-building, the author also said, “it’s still Westeros, so no one is truly safe.”

George R.R. Martin
George R.R. Martin

Who is creating A Knight Of The Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight?

Ira Parker, a writer on Season 1 of House of the Dragon, will also write and exec produce — He wrote the pilot script. On House of the Dragon, Parker wrote the fourth episode, titled “King of the Narrow Sea.” According to Martin, “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.”

House of the Dragon showrunner Ryan Condal is also an executive producer, which is a good sign for the show. Condal succeeded where others failed — out of half-dozen or so writers who took a stab at co-creating the first Game Of Thrones prequel with Martin, Condal’s House of the Dragon was the one to make it to series at HBO. Vince Gerardis, Owen Harris, and Sarah Bradshaw will also executive produce.

Will A Knight Of The Seven Kingdoms be true to Martin’s work?

Yes, according to Martin.

“The Dunk & Egg novellas are fully-fleshed narratives more like the novels of A Song of Fire & Ice than the imaginary history of Fire & Blood,” wrote Martin in 2023. “The stories are right there on the page, and our goal is to produce faithful adaptations of those tales for the screen.”

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He posted a video of young star Dexter Sol Antell shaving his head to transform into Egg.

How much will The Hedge Knight cost to produce?

Per Deadline reporting, Season 1 of House of the Dragon cost nearly $200 million and was the subject of HBO’s biggest marketing campaign ever, valued at over $100M in media spend (that’s a combo of ad spot value and hard cash shelled out).

One would expect a similar investment this time around, but Martin said in 2023 that he thought Season 1 of The Hedge Knight might be six episodes. House of the Dragon S1 had 10 episodes, so this latest adaptation of Martin’s work might be a little less costly.

'House of the Dragon'
‘House of the Dragon’

A Knight Of The Seven Kingdoms was announced a year ago, and there was already a pilot script. Why isn’t it further along?

Martin has stressed that the development of the adaptations of his books takes time. He said that back in 2016 he pitched HBO 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.”

What’s more, while Martin said in April, 2023 that writing on the first season was “well underway,” production on Knight of the Seven Kingdoms was shut down for five months last year due to the dual Hollywood strikes.

How can I watch A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms?

It will, of course, be on Max once the series is ready. The service has three price tiers: Max Ad Light, which goes for $9.99 a month or $99.99 a year and allows two concurrent streams; Max Ad Free will be priced at $15.99 a month, or $149.99 a year, and will also allow two concurrent streams; and Max Ultimate Ad Free which costs $19.99 a month, or $199.99 a year, and allows access to four concurrent streams.

In addition, WBD’s other current epic literary adaptation, House of the Dragon, is available not only on the company’s streaming service, but also to cable subscribers on HBO.

RELATED: ‘House Of The Dragon’ Official Trailer Revealed; “F–k Dignity. I Want Revenge’

If you’re in Canada, WBD has struck a multi-year licensing agreement with Crave for the likes of Harry PotterGame of Thronesthe DC Universe and HBO content.

When Will A Knight Of The Seven Kingdoms be released?

Zaslov said on the earnings call that The Hedge Knight will debut on Max in “late 2025.” That gives the streamer with GOT-related series in back-to-back years, with the launch of House of the Dragon Season 2 June 16.

How many episodes are planned for The Hedge Knight?

Martin mentioned six episodes on his blog, meaning the prequel series will be shorter than the 10-episode first season of House of the Dragon as well as the average of the eight seasons of Game of Thrones.

Will the other Dunk & Egg novellas be adapted?

There are two more novellas, The Sworn Sword and The Mystery Knight, that were published in various anthologies. All three of the narratives were later published together under the collective title A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.

There’s no official word on The Sworn Sword and The Mystery Knight from HBO or Time Warner Discovery but, Martin has said, “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.”

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Warner Bros. Discovery is hungry for more. In a November, 2022 earnings call Zaslav stressed, “We’re going to have a real focus on franchises,” before going on to name check the Game of Thrones/House of the Dragon juggernaut as “a big example of that.”

Will there be more Dunk & Egg stories written?

Yes. A lot of them, if Martin has anything to say about it. And we even have titles and some idea of what they’re about.

“Before we reach the end of the published stories,” the author said of production on the TV series, “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 [The She-Wolves of Winterfell w/t], 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.”

“More” includes stories with working titles such as The SellswordThe ChampionThe Kingsguard, and The Lord Commander, according to the author.

As he wrote on his blog, Martin does hope to finish The Winds of Winter before the other Dunk & Egg stories, though.

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