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The Two-Faced Hound: On the Existence of Chivalry and Its Relevance to Knighthood in George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire and Tales of Dunk and Egg

Siavash Rohani & Hassan Abootalebi

Jahad Daneshgahi (Isfahan), Iran

Volume 8, Number 4, 2016 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v8n4.13

Received October 21, 2016; Revised December 12, 2016; Accepted December  20, 2016; Published January 14, 2017

Abstract

The current paper deals with the nature of knighthood and its connection with chivalry in George R. R. Martin’s medieval fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire (1996-) and Tales of Dunk and Egg (1998-). Taking place in the fictional world of Westeros, these novels portray a realm in which there is an increasingly growing rift between knighthood and chivalry. On one side of the rift, which is mainly spearheaded by Sandor “the Hound” Clegane, the practice of knighthood solely centers on the skill at swords and horsemanship, with chivalry and honor regarded as expendable decorations. On the other side, exemplary knights like Barristan Selmy and Duncan the Tall hold that, while martial skills are inseparable from knighthood, it is chivalry that distinguishes a knight from a common soldier. With an emphasis on the outlooks of the Hound on knighthood and chivalry, the current study aims to examine the character’s sometimes conflicting attitudes towards his profession in an attempt to determine the accuracy of his claims on the irrelevancy of chivalry and knighthood, as well as the unreality of true knights.

 Keywords: knight, chivalry, George R. R. Martin, A Song of Ice and Fire, Tales of Dunk and Egg.

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