A Song of Ice and Fire is set to premiere in the third episode of House of the Dragon, which features injured foot soldiers loyal to Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) and Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint). The mud begins with a tableau that resembles Pirates of the Caribbean and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, where wounded foot soldiers loyal to Prince Daemon (Matt Smith) lie howling in low tide, before a ruthless figure
Craghas Drahar (Daniel Scott-Smith) is also known as The Crabfeeder due to his tendency to leave his enemies buried on bloodstained beaches in order to die a long, painful death of being eaten alive by sea creatures. He advises him to wait until his prince arrives with a dragon to burn them to ashes, but not before his poor, determined swordsman gets nailed to a piece of driftwood and left to die.
As palace intrigue and pornographic descriptions of feast tables groaning with delicious food are equally important to A Song of Ice and Fire. The battlefield is where legends are born, alliances are tested, and the reputations of kings and queens are made and unmade.House of the Dragon is set in a more benign environment: The late days of a decaying dynasty, where those in charge are able to ignore any threats to their power, no matter how violent.
Craghas and his army of mercenaries are wagering a guerrilla war against the Targaryens in medieval Europe. Their motivation, as is the basis for Westeros and A Song of Ice and Fire, is legendary.
The Targaryens' dragon fleet has made them the most powerful force in the known world, and centuries of experience have made them arrogant. However, the battle in the Stepstones has dragged on for three years. The Crabfeeders strategy is to retreat into the caves that dot the rocky shoreline of the Stepstones, eliminating the Targaryens' ability to wipe out his entire force with one whispered Dracarys.
King Viserys (Paddy Considine) refuses to divulge anything about the war during his sons name day party, declaring that it has been three years since the conflict began. He is so sure that the Targaryens' military might (i.e. dragonfire) will never be defeated, and he dismisses the dangers of the Targaryens from the outside. And, to be fair, the Targaryens are quite adept at tearing themselves apart from the inside, too
Prince Daemon, by comparison, has a lot to lose. His title, his wealth, his reputation, and, perhaps most importantly, his pride are all on the line. When Viserys married Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey), he was forced to put an end to the conflict before his 12-year-old second cousin Laena Velaryon (Nova Fouellis-Mose) the episode came to a halt, thanks to Valyrian steel and his fiery Tar
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 winning loyalty is too busy fighting among themselves to spare a thought for the people who are dying on their behalf. The prince's dragon swoops over the battlefield incinerating Craghas Drahar's allies and ships.
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. Whether they tear each other apart from within, or are ambushed by enemies from outside, it doesnt matter. Nor does it matter that the Crabfeeder is no longer a fixture on the Stepstones.