We heard about the Myrish leader, nicknamed “the Crabfeeder,” a couple of times in the first two episodes of “House of the Dragon.” He was a source of constant worry for Lord Corlys, who wanted Viserys Targaryen to do something about it. Crabfeeder had taken over Stepstones, and his men had been spreading widespread chaos throughout the area. Lord Corlys was incurring huge losses because of this chaos. So let’s see what role the Crabfeeder had to play in the scheme of things and whether Lord Corlys is able to get rid of him or not.
Major Spoilers Ahead
Who Was Crabfeeder? What Was The Triarchy?
Crabfeeder might not have been able to put a significant dent in history directly, but his actions led to the formation of an alliance that changed the course of things. The first time the name Crabfeeder is heard is when Lord Corlys Velaryon brings up the issue, in Episode 1 of “House of the Dragon,” while sitting in the council room and discussing matters of the state. He says that a growing alliance among the Free Cities is now being called the Triarchy. The Triarchy was currently at Stepstones. They had waged war against the pirates and taken place under their control. King Viserys Targaryen didn’t find anything alarming in the developments that had taken place in Stepstones. According to him, it sounded like a blessing in disguise, and the other council members agreed with him too. The Free Cities were freeing themselves from the infestation that had become a source of unnecessary hassle for Kings Landing. It was an important trade route, and the pirates plundered the ships that used to come their way. But then Lord Corlys tells the council about a man named Craghas Drahar, who had emerged as the leader of the alliance that came to be known as Triarchy. Craghas Drahar had these protrusions all over his skin, like crabs had seeped inside it, and he wore a mask at all times. He was given the pseudonym of Crabfeeder. He was given this nickname because he had these unique and terrifying methods of punishing his enemies (by feeding them to the crabs). Nobody paid any attention or gave much importance to what Lord Corlys had to say. He once again told the King that, in his opinion, the crown shouldn’t allow the Triarchy to grow in power and take control of Stepstones. Otto Hightower, the hand of the King, told Lord Corlys that his report would be taken into consideration, and the council deemed it fit to instead discuss the upcoming heir’s tournament.
The Stepstones were situated between Dorne and Essos. From time immemorial, it had been infested by anarchists, pirates, and outlaws who had caused a lot of trouble for the King. Stepstones held a lot of significance because of the trade routes that passed through that area. Whenever fleets of ships passed, they were attacked by the residents of that area, who were mostly pirates. But it was not such a grave issue, and King’s Landing always considered it a trivial matter that could be ignored. They never took active steps to curb the nuisance. A decade ago, three Free Cities, Lys, Myr, and Tyrosh, formed an alliance. The cities did not always share a good relationship. But they had put aside their own rivalry and joined forces to wage war against Volantis. The “Battle Of The Borderland” was fought between Volantis and The Triarchy. The alliance, under the leadership of Crabfeeder, defeated the Volantenes and entered into what they called the eternal alliance. The Triarchy was also known as the Kingdom of Three Daughters. After winning the “Battle of Borderland,” the Triarchy wanted to take over Stepstones. When the seven kingdoms got to know about the intent of the Triarchy, they were kind of supportive of their endeavors. For them, it was a no-profit, no-loss kind of situation. But they were wrong in assessing the situation. Soon, the Triarchy started showing its true colors. They increased the toll, and eventually, they started taking off girls and young boys from the ships that passed through their area.
How Did The Crabfeeder Lead To An Alliance Between Daemon And Sea Snake?
Lord Corlys was taking a special interest in the matter because his ships were being plundered. He was incurring huge losses. Once again, in the second episode of “House of the Dragon,” the Sea Snake brings up the matter. The Crabfeeder had plundered four ships, and one of them belonged to Lord Corlys. He was done negotiating and waiting for the King to take some action. His agenda was very clear. He wanted to seize Stepstones by force and expel Crabfeeder from power. Viserys was very clear. The crown had never waged war against the Free Cities, and he was not ready to bear the expenses that it would incur. Viserys told Lord Corlys that he had sent envoys to Volantis and Pentos, and he hoped that some common ground could be achieved. But Corlys was not satisfied. He wanted control and autonomy over the Stepstones. He was done dealing with the Crabfeeder and wanted to end the Triarchy once and for all. Rhaenyra speaks out of turn in a council that never paid any heed to a woman’s voice. She said that they had dragon riders and the Crabfeeder should know who he was up against. She was of the opinion that there should be a show of force from their end. Her voice was hushed down, and she was subtly asked to not poke her nose in matters she didn’t have any knowledge about. Lord Corlys wanted Viserys to take his daughter, Laena Velaryon, as his second wife. Viserys did give it a thought, but he was smitten by Alicent Hightower, the daughter of Otto Hightower. He chose her instead of Laena, and Lord Corlys made up his mind that he had to change sides if he wanted to tilt the balance of power in his favor. He went to meet Daemon Targaryen. He asked him to combine their forces and wage war against the Crabfeeder.
Sea Snake was a shrewd man. He knew that Daemon could be swayed to act against his brother and help him in the war against the Triarchy. He knew that the man was hungry for power and glory. He had a lot of affection for his brother, but he also wanted to hold a position of some significance in the realm. Daemon was called to Driftmark, where Lord Corlys told him that he had a chance to become King of the Stepstones and the Narrow Sea. Corlys told him that he considered both of them alike, as they had to carve their way in this brutal world, and nothing was handed to them without putting up a fight. Corlys also knew that even if they combined their forces, they were no match for the army of The Crabfeeder, as the latter was more in number. But the Targaryens were dragon lords, and Daemon had Caraxes at his disposal. That gave him leverage over the Crabfeeder’s army. According to the book “Fire and Blood,” the battle of the Stepstones began in 106 AC. Daemon was able to get the better of Craghas Crabfeeder, and he slayed him with his famous longsword made of Valyrian steel, named Dark Sister. Though soon the Triarchy launched a fresh onslaught, for a moment, Daemon felt like he had won the world, and his alliance with Sea Snake molded the narrative for the House Targaryen.