Crabs Are Coming
Daniel Scott-Smith in House of the Dragon

We Need To Talk About HOTD's Mysterious Masked Villain

He's bringing crustaceans to a dragon fight.

by Ani Bundel
Ollie Upton / HBO

Going into House of the Dragon, Game of Thrones fans probably felt pretty confident they knew the leading players. There’s Viserys Targaryen, the king of Westeros, his daughter, Rhaenyra, and her half-brother Aegon II. The latter two battle for the throne in the Dance of Dragons. But history has a way of glossing over the details, including other threats of the era, such as the Crabfeeder. Here’s what to know about House of the Dragon’s Craghas Drahar, and why he matters.

Warning: Spoilers for House of the Dragon Season 1, Episode 2 follow. After the opening credits played for the show’s first time, House of the Dragon Episode 2 opened with a ghastly scene: a beach full of people being eaten alive by carnivorous crabs. As viewers learned in the Small Council session, these are Lord Corlys’ men; theirs was the fourth ship taken down by pirating marauders led by Craghas Drahar.

Audiences may not have caught Lord Corlys mentioning Drahar in the series premiere (as is standard in Westeros, a lot was going on). But the image of those crabs, just one part of the faithful crew Drahar controls, immediately made for an unforgettable threat. It also brought home how disconnected those running things in King Landing are from the horrors being perpetrated by the man known as the Crabfeeder.

Ollie Upton / HBO

However, Viserys was correct that taking on these pirates was equivalent to taking on the Free Cities. For all the Crabfeeder looks like something that rose from the ocean depths with his horror mask, his ships and cash did come from people in high places.

Warning: Explaining the Crabfeeder’s backstory from the books may spoil future House of the Dragon events, so don’t read on if you want to be unspoiled. Known as Craghas Crabfeeder, the man Corlys referred to as a “pirate” is actually a Prince Admiral. He serves an entity known as the Triarchy, an alliance of three Free Cities, Drahar’s homeland of Myr, along with neighbors Lys and Tyrosh. According to the books, the three came together as a unit in 96 AC, only a few years before the Great Council that put Viserys on the throne. It collapsed into feuding again in 130 AC, not long after his passing.

But during Viserys’ reign, the “Kingdom of the Three Daughters” was a thorn in Viserys’ side. As viewers witnessed, Drahar’s actions and the Triarchy’s greed eventually led to Corlys and Daemon banding together to spearhead a fight to control the area known as the Stepstones. But having seen what Craghas has waiting for them, Corlys’ attempt to woo the prince to his side may falter. However, fans have seen Daemon fight as well. And crabs are pretty tasty after being roasted by dragon fire.

House of the Dragon Season 1 continues with new episodes every Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on HBO and HBO Max.