House of the Dragon's Crabfeeder: the villain's show and book history, explained

The Crab Feeder in House of the Dragon
(Image credit: HBO / Sky)

House of the Dragon episode 2 introduced the Crabfeeder, and the following episode showed his unique reign of terror and crab-based torture in the Stepstones. 

Those who are all caught up with House of the Dragon episode 3, however, will know that the character's fate takes a sudden left-turn, a move which left many disappointed.

Either way, the Crabfeeder is still a character draped in mystery. Below, we've rounded up everything you need to know about who he really is, including how his story tracks with that of George R.R. Martin's books. And it turns out, he's had a long history with the current leaders of Westeros...

Who is the Crabfeeder in House of the Dragon?

Craghas Drahar – or the Crabfeeder – was first mentioned in the opening episode of House of the Dragon. Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint) tried to raise the issue of his domination of the Stepstone islands during the first small council meeting.

The Stepstone islands are a key trade route for Westeros, east of Dorne and west of Essos. They’re monitored by the Triarchy, which is an alliance of three of the Free Cities: Myr, Lys, and Tyrosh. Drahar (Daniel Scott-Smith) is an important part of this group as the Prince Admiral of Myr.

However, problems begin to arise when Drahar takes over the Stepstones to allow the Triarchy easier access to pass goods through without the threat of pirates. This makes for an uneasy alliance with Westeros, as while he is overstepping his territory, it means there are fewer threats blocking the way for trade routes.

The Sea Snake in House of the Dragon

(Image credit: HBO / Sky)

But, as Corlys points out in episode 1, Drahar has begun to enforce enormously high tolls for those using the route, heavily impacting House Velaryon. The Sea Snake wants to challenge Drahar’s clasp for power, but his complaints are largely ignored by King Viserys (Paddy Considine) who does not want to go to war.

By episode 2, which is set six months later, things are getting worse in the Stepstones. So Corlys seeks a new ally in the wayward Prince Daemon (Matt Smith), which is influenced partly by Viserys’ refusal to marry his daughter. 

Episode 3 picks things up a few years later, with Daemon and Corlys battling the Crabfeeder's forces. Back in King's Landing, news has reached Viserys that Daemon is on the brink of defeat, which forces the king to send some reinforcements for his younger brother.

Upon hearing the news, Daemon flies off into a rage and instead concocts his own plan: with the Valeryon family at his side, he pretends to surrender and uses Laenor's dragon Seasmoke to scorch the battlefield.

In the ensuing battle, Daemon and Corlys get the upper hand and Daemon kills Crabfeeder off-screen. He drags the prince's bisected body across the beach, signalling victory and an end to the War of the Stepstones.

In the books, Crabfeeder's arc is broadly the same: he commands the Triarchy's armies, rules the Stepstones (though in the books it's for around a decade), and is eventually defeated by Daemon. The only main differences compared to House of the Dragon is the Triarchy were on a downward trend compared to Daemon, with their armies experiencing several heavy defeats in the interim. Also, Crabfeeder's death is slightly different in the novels, with Daemon actually beheading the prince instead of him being cut in two.

To make sure you don’t miss a moment of the show, check out our House of the Dragon release schedule.

Fay Watson

I’m an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering TV and film for the Total Film and SFX sections online. I previously worked as a Senior Showbiz Reporter and SEO TV reporter at Express Online for three years. I've also written for The Resident magazines and Amateur Photographer, before specializing in entertainment.

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