A Song of Ice and Fire is a story about hurtling foot soldiers loyal to Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) and Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint). A grotesque figure, masked and lumbering with a long, greasy hair, approaches one of these writhing men.
Craghas Drahar (Daniel Scott-Smith) is also known as The Crabfeeder for his tendency to leave his opponents stuck to bloodstained shores in order to die a long, agonizing death as a result of the dragon. And Daemon Targaryen comes through in a burning blaze of glory, but not before his poor, loyal swordsman is caught in a driftwood.
As palace intrigue and pornographic descriptions of feast tables groaning with delectable food are as essential to A Song of Ice and Fire as legends are born. The battlefield is where legends are forged and undestroyed, and the throne's reputations are made and unmade. House of the Dragon is set in a climate that is less like our own: the late days of a decaying dynasty, where those in charge are able to ignore any threats to their power,
The assumption that guerrilla warfare was not practiced in medieval Europe is prevalent, as is Westeros and A Song of Ice And Fire, which tended to consist of lengthy lead times. Craghas and his mercenaries are engaged in a guerrilla war against the Targaryens, who pass through this rocky island chain on their journey to the Free Cities beyond.
The Targaryens' swarm of dragons is the most powerful force in the known world, and centuries of experience have made them arrogant. However, the Crabfeeders strategy has lasted three years, ultimately destroying the Targaryens' most valuable weapon by retreating into the Stepstones' caves.
King Viserys (Paddy Considine) refuses to speak about the conflict during his sons name day celebrations, only to inform concerned envoys that the war has been three years. He is so certain that the Targaryens' military might (i.e. dragonfire) will never be fully challenged, and he dismisses the danger of this threat from within. And, to be fair, a self-proclaimed prince with a crudely fashioned mask and nothing to lose might keep two of
Prince Daemon, who was praised for his wealth, wealth, and most importantly, pride, has all been on the line. It was spite that pushed Daemon to withdraw from the conflict before his brothers could arrive, resulting in the chaotic impromptu skirmish that follows.
The Crabfeeder and his guerrilla forces have weakened House Targaryen and House Velaryon in ways that have yet to be fully manifested. This strategy for securing loyalty in the long run is too busy stumbling between themselves to spare a thought for the people who are dying on their behalf.
The Targaryens have treated this conflict, the men who fought and died in it, and much of the rest of the world as disposable. They have no imagination to imagine a world where someday someone else might sit on the Iron Throne. Nor does it matter that the Crabfeeder is no longer there.