A Song of Ice and Fire is set to premiere in the third episode of House of the Dragon. As the wounded foot soldiers loyal to Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) and Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint) lie flailing in the mud at low tide, a horrifying figure, disguised and adorned with long, greasy hairtufts, approaches one of these wreaking men.
Craghas Drahar (Daniel Scott-Smith) is a masked man known as The Crabfeeder for his tendency to place his foes near bloodstained beaches in an effort to die long, agonizing death as a result of his dragon coming up. And Daemon Targaryen comes through in a fiery blaze of glory, but not before his poor, loyal swordsman gets nailed to a piece of driftwood and left to die.
As palace intrigue and pornographic descriptions of feast tables groaning with succulent food are equally essential to A Song of Ice and Fire. The battlefield is where legends are forged, alliances are tested, and the reputations of kings and queens are built and unmade.House of the Dragon is set in a climate that is more similar to ours: the late days of a decaying dynasty, where those in charge are content to ignore threats to their power, no matter how deadly.
The idea that guerrilla warfare was not used in medieval Europe is widespread, as in Westeros and A Song of Ice And Fire. Craghas and his army of mercenaries are engaged in a guerrilla assault on the Targaryen establishment, which they claim to be armed with.
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 Crabfeeders strategy has stalled for three years, removing the Targaryens' ability to thrash his entire force with one whispered Dracarys.
King Viserys (Paddy Considine) refuses to provide updates on the war during his son's name day celebration, claiming that it has been three years since the conflict began, and he dismisses the threat from the outside. As a rule, the Targaryens are pretty good at dissecting themselves from the inside, so is there anything to keep a king, especially a self-proclaimed prince with a crudely fashioned mask and nothing to lose, from achieving victory in the
Prince Daemon, by comparison, has a lot to lose. His honor, his wealth, his reputation, and, most importantly, his pride are all on the line. When Viserys married Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey), instead of his 12-year-old second cousin Laena Velaryon (Nova Fouellis-Mose), it was spite that pushed Daemon to complete the war himself, leading to the chaotic impromptu skirmish that ends the
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 Old Valyria is too busy defending themselves to pay attention to 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. It does not matter that the Crabfeeder is no longer around. The Stepstones are still alive and well.