A Song of Ice and Fire is set to premiere in the third episode of House of the Dragon, which begins with a tableau that is roughly the same as Pirates of the Caribbean and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. As fallen foot soldiers loyal to Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) and Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint) lie still in the mud at low tide. A horrifying figure, disguised and worn with long, greasy hair, approaches one of these w
Craghas Drahar (Daniel Scott-Smith), also known as The Crabfeeder, for his tendency to leave his foes stranded to bloodstained beaches so they may die of a long, painful death being slain by sea creatures. He tells him to wait until his prince arrives with a dragon to burn them all to ashes, but not before his poor, loyal swordsman is struck to a piece of driftwood and left to die.
The battlefield is where legends are built, alliances are tested, and the names of kings and queens are made and unmade, at the risk of stating the obvious. The Dragon, on the other hand, takes place in a time when those in charge are so adamant that they will ignore threats to their power, no matter how violent.
The notion that guerrilla warfare was not practiced in medieval Europe is prevalent, as it is in Westeros and A Song of Ice And Fire. And as nomadic bands of Vikings and Mongols raided castle towns throughout Europe, Craghas and his army of mercenaries are wagering a guerrilla war against the Targaryen government. They do so ostensibly for the right to charge tolls to merchant ships passing through this rocky series of islands on their way to
The Targaryens' dragon fleet has made them the most powerful force in the known world, and centuries of experience have made them arrogant. But the Crabfeeders strategy has lasted three years, removing the Targaryens' ability to wipe out his entire force with one whispered Dracarys.
King Viserys (Paddy Considine) refuses to disclose any information on the conflict during his son's name day celebration, claiming that the war has been going for three years. Surely this can wait three days. Theres plenty to keep a king, especially a soft-hearted one who wants to please everyone, busy at court. But what could a larger and better-organized adversary do with those same tactics?
Prince Daemon is in a position to lose much. His status, his wealth, his reputation, and, perhaps most importantly, his pride are all on the line. When Viserys married Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey), rather than his 12-year-old second cousin Laena Velaryon, the episode was sparked by Targaryen pride, which led Daemon to decide to end the war himself before his brothers could arrive, resulting in the chaotic impromptu skirm
Crabfeeder and his guerrilla forces have weakened House Targaryen and House Velaryon in ways that have yet to manifest themselves. Their choice to ignore the people who are dying on their behalf is, after all, a terrible act of defiance. The prince's dragon clings to his mighty foot.
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.