The Mystery Knight, by George R. R. Martin

With all the hype and thinkpieces and merchandising tie-ins, I sometimes wonder if I should be watching Game of Thrones, even though I have thoroughly disliked the bits of the books that I've read and I can't stomach depictions of sexual violence. Still, the fan reaction to the show is so enthusiastic and thoughtful that I almost caved—but then I was sent a copy of The Mystery Knight, and it was a helpful reminder of why I've bowed out.

The Mystery Knight is Ben Avery's adaptation of George R.R. Martin's novella of the same name, included in his A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms collection. It's an adventure (a gory, violent adventure) featuring “Dunk” (Sir Duncan the Tall, future Lord Commander of the Kingsguard) and "Egg" (future king Aegon V Targaryen). It is set roughly 100 years before the events depicted in Game of Thrones, and eagle-eyed fans will be able to see several references tying the two storylines together.

To be fair, The Mystery Knight features solid writing and excellent artwork, and is quite easy to follow, even for someone like me, who knows little about the series. But I was thoroughly grossed out by the second page, and the story features no female characters, apart from a fifteen-year-old girl who has no lines, and is depicted stark naked before being married off to a pudgy man old enough to be her grandfather. So while I'm not exactly sorry I read it—it was actually pretty interesting—it hasn't changed my overall opinion of the series. Sorry, HBO. I hope you'll be okay without me.

Review based on publisher-provided copy.
Posted by: Julianka


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