There are two reasons why I decided to buy and read The Hedge Knight.
- I follow Game of Thrones, the TV show, religiously. [I haven’t read the books. Don’t bash me. I intend to.]
- I’ve been wanting to start reading graphic novels for a while now.
And since The Hedge Knight seemed like a convergence of these two, it seemed like a safe bet to start 2018 on!
So technically, The Hedge Knight, the first in the Tales of Dunk and Egg, is my first book and first review of 2018. Going by how I feel after reading it, I can say it looks like this is going to be a great year book-wise.
George R. R. Martin’s relentless killing in Game of Thrones gave me no hope for this one. I’m not sure I was in my senses when I built an expectation for The Hedge Knight to be different. It is dark, witty, and funny. And it has all the twists that a Game of Thrones fan would expect of GRRM’s writing. For a short graphic novel, the twists are big. I gasped when I read the first one; almost had a coronary when I read the last one. So that’s how it goes.
Try as it might, The Hedge Knight will always be compared to its older brother, the Game of Thrones. Tyrion Lannister might be an intelligent, shrewd dwarf but in this graphic novel, it seems like he has taken on a taller form. This time, of Ser Duncan, who describes himself as being tall and thick as a castle wall. His wit doesn’t desert him, though it seems like it comes out at the most unexpected of places. But isn’t that being witty is all about? And when I read this particular line that Dunk says, I couldn’t get the image of Tyrion out of my head, try as I might:
“I had a second tankard of ale with the meal, third to wash it all down, and a fourth because there was no one to tell me I couldn’t.”
Dunk knows who he is, where he comes from, and how he feels among the elite as well as the common folk. On one occasion where he is asked for a drink by a Lord or the like he says in the narration:
“I was uncomfortable with the notion of accepting hospitality I could not return.”
Then there is Egg. Oh, the boy is such a lovable character with his wisecracks and sarcasm! When his origins are revealed, the feeling is as good as watching any evil character die in the TV show. He’s the absolute embodiment of the sense that Dunk needs so often. And it is he, as Dunk’s squire, who comes in handy the most. [Anything further that I say will mean I’m being a SPOILsport.]
The Hedge Knight is fun till a certain point in the story. And then the definition of fun changes. You are entertained all the same, but it brings a familiar anticipation and twisting of the stomach. There is only so much you can do to avoid the tumult within you as you get acquainted with Dunk, Egg, and their story, both individually and collectively.
The grandeur of the Game of Thrones universe, coupled with minutely detailed graphics and excellent dialogue, The Hedge Knight proved easily why picking it up for my first graphic novel was a great decision. What a way to start off the year!
Highly recommended for fans of Game of Thrones as well as those of graphic novels!
Rating: 5/5 stars
Picture Courtesy: Amazon.com!
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