‘House of the Dragon’: Crabfeeder, Triarchy, Stepstones explained

The second episode of House of the Dragon ended with Lord Corlys Velaryon forging an alliance with Prince Daemon Targaryen to free the Stepstones from Crabfeeder and his forces.

Since the HBO series premiered, the only person affected by this crabfeeder being allowed to take over the Stepstones and build his power base has been the master of Driftmark – known as Sea Snake.

Based on his appearance and reports from Lord Corlys, Crabfeeder appears to be the first apparent “villain” of House of the Dragon. But who is he? And what are the stepstones? Is Lord Corlys exaggerating or should the others be worried about him too? Why would renegade Prince Daemon agree to team up with Driftmark?

Who is the crab eater?
First mentioned by Lord Corlys in Episode 1, the Crab Eater is the alias of Craghas Drahar, the self-proclaimed Prince-Admiral of the Triarchy. Drahar is nicknamed the crab eater because of his favorite method of punishing his enemies – he stakes them on the beach and leaves them to the tide and crabs.

What’s up with his face?
Crabfeeder wears a mask that covers most of his face. The reason for this appearance isn’t explained, but it could be because Crabfeeder appears more intimidating, or because he’s shy, or to hide his scars; it’s clear that Crabfeeder has some a type of skin disease, but what exactly caused it remains unclear. (One such condition, introduced in Game of Thrones, is grayscale, a mysterious disease that leaves sufferers’ flesh scaly and stone-like, but this seems different.)

a man with long white curls

Steve Toussaint as Lord Corlys Velaryon in The House of the Dragon.

(Ollie Upton / HBO)

What is the triarchy?

The Triarchy, according to the books, is an alliance of three of the Free Cities of western Essos: Myr, Lys, and Tyrosh. There are nine Free Cities in Essos – including Pentos and Volantis, as mentioned by King Viserys Targeryen in Episode 2 – and most are former colonies of the ancient Valyrian Empire.

Why is it a threat to Westeros?
As King Viserys mentioned in Episode 1, the Triarchy doesn’t pose much of a threat to Westeros if they merely rid the Stepstones of pirates. But according to Lord Corlys, Crabfeeder and the Triarchy are also attacking Velaryon ships, creating a problem for Westerosi trade and travel.

What are the stepping stones?
The Stepstones are an island chain lying on the southern edge of the strait between the east coast of Westeros and the west coast of Essos. The name is apt because on a map they look like stepping stones leading from Westeros to Essos. The largest of the islands is called Bloodstone. Control of these areas is often disputed, and they tend to be a favorite base for pirates as important shipping routes must pass through the islands.

What are the consequences of this conflict?
The Stepstones are a strategic place for trade and travel and would provide a crucial advantage in any war. For Lord Corlys, a seafaring adventurer with a powerful navy, control of the Stepstones would allow him to wield the full power of his house. For Prince Daemon, who seems to be proving he doesn’t need King Viserys’ permission or approval to become ruler on his own terms, the Stepstones would be additional territory to claim as his own. Or, if the Crabfeeder prevails, it could give the Triarchy or the other Free Cities a boost of confidence in their plans to invade Westeros.

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/tv/story/2022-09-04/house-of-the-dragon-crabfeeder-triarchy-stepstones-explained ‘House of the Dragon’: Crabfeeder, Triarchy, Stepstones explained

Sarah Ridley

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