Though he had never learned the magic of reading or writing, the old man had been relentless when it came to teaching him heraldry, often drilling him as they rode. The nightingales belonged to Lord Caron of the Marches, as skilled with the high harp as he was with a lance. The crowned stag was for Ser Lyonel Baratheon, the Laughing Storm. Dunk picked out the Tarly huntsman, House Dondarrion purple lightning, the red apple of the Fossoways. There roared the lion of Lannister gold on crimson, and there the dark green sea turtle of the Estermonts swam across a pale green field. The brown tent beneath red stallion could only belong to Ser Otho Bracken, who was called the Brute of Bracken since slaying Lord Quentyn Blackwood three years past during a tourney at King Landing. Dunk heard that Ser Otho struck so hard with the blunted longaxe that he stove in the visor of Lord Blackwood helm and the face beneath it. He saw some Blackwood banners as well, on the west edge of the meadow, as distant from Ser Otho as they could be.
^ Love how it says he magic of reading and writing I definitely think this is literal, we just take it for granted language enables use to bridge the gap between the temporal and the eternal forms, and to quite literally ring them forth into the fourfold to quote one German philosopher of the Continental tradition, in order to have them dwell.
Quite so, quite so 🙂
The Blackwoods and Brackens, of course, are carrying on with their millennia long rivalry.
This is also a bit of foreshadowing what Ser Otho did to Lord Quentyn visor is similar to what Maekar will do to the back of Baelor helm 🙁
Marbrand, Mallister, Cargyll, Westerling, Swann, Mullendore, Hightower, Florent, Frey, Penrose, Stokeworth, Daffy, Parren, Wylde; it seemed as though every lordly house of the west and south had sent a knight or three to Ashford to see the fair maid and brave the lists in her honor.
^ This is going to be a monster of a tournament one that comes maybe once in a lifetime no one from the Reach or the Westerlands is keen to miss it.
Yet however fine their pavilions were to look upon, he knew there was no place there for him. A threadbare wool cloak would be all the shelter he had tonight. While the lords and great knights dined on capons and suckling pigs, Dunk supper would be a hard, stringy piece of salt beef. He knew full well that if he made his camp upon that gaudy field, he would need to suffer both silent scorn and open mockery. A few perhaps would treat him kindly, yet in a way that was almost worse. A hedge knight must hold tight to his pride. Without it, he was no more than a sellsword. I must earn my place in that company.
^ All of this is very true and shoes that even without learning to read and write, Duncan is still very wise.
A hedge knight belongs in the hedges, until proven otherwise. Going someplace you are not wanted will never do you any favors best to hone your skills alone and then let them speak for themselves when the time is right.
Such a contrast in social classes it is very palpable. And audy is a great word for the tent display, with whores and grand dishes running back and forth between tents, festival music everywhere.
Suffering politeness as a means for alms is very humiliating. Besides, he takes away his element of surprise, if he first mingles with all the knights we will be up against in the joust.
If I fight well, some lord may take me into his household. I will ride in noble company then, and eat fresh meat every night in a castle hall, and raise my own pavilion at tourneys. But first I must do well. Reluctantly, he turned his back on the tourney grounds and led his horses into the trees.
^ Nothing sweeter in life than earning something even if you are Prince Aegon, it still feels good to earn being a squire.
Princes Baelor and Maekar are fine examples of this as well.
On the outskirts of the great meadow a good half mile from town and castle he found a place where a bend in a brook had formed a deep pool. Reeds grew thick along its edge, and a tall leafy elm presided over all. The spring grass there was as green as any knight banner and soft to the touch.
^ The best things in life are always free sounds like the setting of pastoral novel 😉
It was a pretty spot, and no one had yet laid claim to it. This will be my pavilion, Dunk told himself, a pavilion roofed with leaves, greener even than the banners of the Tyrells and the Estermonts.
^ Sounds a bit like a Steinbeck character right here.
The High Lords and whores have no idea what they are missing out on the silence and seclusion of Nature pure bliss.
His horses came first. After they had been tended, he stripped and waded into the pool to wash away the dust of travel.
true knight is cleanly as well as godly, the old man always said, insisting that they wash themselves head to heels every time the moon turned, whether they smelled sour or not. Now that he was a knight, Dunk vowed he would do the same.
^ Dunk was brought up right not only in the ritual of a daily bath, which is a spiritual practice to use water, our most vital elemental compound, to wash away one day and begin another anew, but by putting the care of animals before himself.
A man who first makes sure the esser creatures have their concerns met, is one worthy of the label rue knight
A contrast to Aerion Targaryen, who takes pleasure in mutilating animals (and Joffrey Baratheon, and some others of that ilk).
Dunk Recalls Ser Arlan Account of A Dragon
Dunk had heard the story half a hundred times, how Ser Arlan had been just a little boy when his grandfather had taken him to King Landing, and how they’ seen the last dragon there the year before it died. She’ been a green female, small and stunted, her wings withered. None of her eggs had ever hatched.
ome say King Aegon poisoned her, the old man would tell. he third Aegon that would be, not King Daeron father, but the one they named Dragonbane, or Aegon the Unlucky. He was afraid of dragons, for he’ seen his uncle beast devour his own mother. The summers have been shorter since the last dragon died, and the winters longer and crueler. /p>
^ This is something else left ambiguous for Fire and Blood how he dragons died out after the Dance, during Aegon III reign.
It not too difficult to imagine them being poisoned Aegon III certainly had no love for them, but Viserys II as well, who was the boy Hand he was a prudent man, even before he became king, and would have realized the troubles which come from living, breathing dragons.
I don’s believe we know who this green female dragon is, but she apparently was the last, even after Silverwing had died at the Red Lake.
Duncan Goes In Search of Armor, Runs Into Tanselle the Puppeteer
– Wants to first look like a knight before entering his name in the lists and getting permission to joust.
In normal times the meadow served as a commons for the folk of Ashford town across the river, but now it was transformed. A second town had sprung up overnight, a town of silk instead of stone, larger and fairer than its elder sister. Dozens of merchants had erected their stalls along the edge of the field, selling felts and fruits, belts and boots, hides and hawks, earthenware, gemstones, pewterwork, spices, feathers, and all manner of other goods.
Jugglers, puppeteers, and magicians wandered among the crowds plying their trades… as did the whores and cutpurses. Dunk kept a wary hand on his coin.
^ It like King Landing, but in a forest, and without walls.
The archetypal medieval gathering in the nighttime meadows.
When he caught the smell of sausages sizzling over a smoky fire, his mouth began to water. He bought one with a copper from his pouch, and a horn of ale to wash it down.
^ The exuberance of being financially independent nothing but market participation.
Nowadays we have many false markets, starting with getting people in debt at age 18 even in backwards medieval times, at least a young man could earn an honest pay for an honest work and be at worst neutral in the coffers.
Being financially independent is what allows one to move freely through every type of market 😉
As he ate he watched a painted wooden knight battle a painted wooden dragon. The puppeteer who worked the dragon was good to watch too; a tall drink of water, with the olive skin and black hair of Dorne. She was slim as a lance with no breasts to speak of, but Dunk liked her face and the way her fingers made the dragon snap and slither at the end of its strings.
He would have tossed the girl a copper if he’ had one to spare, but just now he needed every coin.
^ My perfect woman a thin, dark skinned beauty, with dark hair and small breasts cute, cute, cute.
And she knows how to work her fingers 😮
There were armorers among the merchants, as he had hoped. A Tyroshi with a forked blue beard was selling ornate helms, gorgeous fantastical things wrought in the shapes of birds and beasts and chased with gold and silver. Elsewhere he found a swordmaker hawking cheap steel blades, and another whose work was much finer, but it was not a sword he lacked.
The man he needed was all the way down at the end of the row, a shirt of fine chain mail and a pair of lobstered steel gauntlets displayed on the table before him.
need armor for the tourney, Dunk told him. suit of good mail, with gorget, greaves, and greathelm. /p>
The old man halfhelm would fit his head, but he wanted more protection for his face than a nasal bar alone could provide.
The armorer looked him up and down. ou’e a big one, but I e armored bigger. He came out from behind the table. neel, I want to measure those shoulders. Aye, and that thick neck o yours. /p>
Dunk knelt. The armorer laid a length of knotted rawhide along his shoulders, grunted, slipped it about his throat, grunted again.
淟ift your arm. No, the right. He grunted a third time.