‘House Of The Dragon’ Episode 3: Recap And Ending, Explained – How Did Daemon Defeat The Crabfeeder?


Episode 3 of “House of the Dragon” makes a significant time jump. Previously, at the end of Episode 2, we saw that King Viserys had chosen Alicent Hightower as his second wife. Lord Corlys took it as an act of disrespect and formed an alliance with Daemon Targaryen and decided to wage war against the Crabfeeder. Three years had passed since Daemon Targaryen and Lord Corlys Velaryon had waged war against Craghas Dahar, a.k.a. The Crabfeeder. They had made their base at Stepstones itself and had been fighting the war ever since. The series “House of the Dragon” has taken a more detailed look at the ‘Battle of the Stepstones’ as compared to the accounts mentioned in the book, “Fire and Blood.” More than the war, there was a clash of egos. Daemon wanted a victory, but he wanted it on his own terms and conditions. There was a moment in the battle when everything seemed to be favoring the army of the Triarchy. But then again, Daemon was not somebody who would let go of his aims and aspirations so easily.

Meanwhile, in King’s Landing, Alicent Hightower had given King Viesrys a son, Aegon, named after Aegon the Conqueror, the first lord of the seven kingdoms. Young Aegon was approximately two years old when Alicent was once again pregnant. There was speculation being made by the lords and ladies throughout the seven kingdoms that maybe, after the arrival of a potential candidate who had a solid claim to the Iron Throne, Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen would be replaced as the heir. More than the battle, it was the palace politics that was making the walls of the Targaryen kingdom hollow from the inside.

Spoilers Ahead

The Birth Of A Male Heir: Why Does Rhaenyra Lose Her Temper?

In the third episode of “House of the Dragon,” we see that there is an ongoing cold war between Alicent Hightower and Rhaenyra Targaryen. Alicent wanted to resolve the matter. She wanted to give a justification, as once she shared a close bond with Rhaenyra. But the Princess of Dragonstone didn’t want to have any sort of conversation with her. She was disheartened by the fact that Alicent had kept it a secret that she was going to marry her father. She didn’t tell her that she used to spend time with the King, and they had developed a bond. Rhaenyra felt betrayed. They shared everything about their lives, and with Alicent taking a new position, somewhat superior in stature to Rhaenyra, it had brought about a change in their equation.

It was Aegon II Targaryen’s name-day, and his father Viserys had thrown an enormous party commemorating the event. Many believed that soon Viserys would name him the heir, as they still found his decision to make his daughter, Princess Rhaenyra, the heir, to be outlandish and against the traditions and customs. Together with Alicent, Rhaenyra, and the others, Viserys made his way to Kingswood, a forest near Kings Landing. He knew that his daughter had some unresolved issues with him. He was trying his level best to resolve those issues. He wanted to talk to his daughter and make her understand that he only wanted her to be happy, but Rhaenyra wasn’t giving him an opportunity to do so. She scorned him, as she had already made her judgments. A lavish camp had already been set up to welcome the King. Viserys knew that Rhaenyra had come of age, and that is why he had started looking out for probable matches for her. He wanted the best for his daughter, and to follow the traditions of the Targaryen household, but Rhaenyra saw it in a very different light. She thought that her father wanted her to get married because she served as a roadblock for Aegon II, whom many people wanted to become the heir. 

Jason Lannister, the Lord of Casterly Rock, expressed his desire in front of Viserys to enter into a matrimonial alliance with his family. He wanted to marry Rhaenyra, but she had no interest in him. He was too boastful and arrogant for her. Also, she had developed a fondness for Criston Cole which was quite evident in her mannerisms. Apart from that, she had various other issues on her mind, and marriage was the least of her concerns at the moment. Viserys enters into a heated argument with Rhaenyra in front of the gathering. Otto intervenes in between so that they both do not create a scene in public and give the people something to gossip about. Rhaenyra, fuming with anger, goes into the woods with Ser Criston Cole following her. They light a bonfire and spend the night in the forest. They are attacked by a wild boar but somehow manage to evade it and kill the beast. Rhaenyra mercilessly stabs the boar multiple times, and the blood splashes on her face, making her look like an angry warrior who was on the brink of losing control of her emotions.

The Hunt For A White Hart: What Does It Represent?

Viserys went on the hunt alone. A White Hart was spotted in the woods. Viserys is told that before the dragons ruled Westeros, White Hart was an animal that was considered to be royalty. It was a good omen, and it gave hope to Viserys that his realm would flourish in the years to come. Otto Hightower was a shrewd man. He knew how to subtly fill the ears of his King and make him act according to his own interests. He tells him that spotting the White Hart on the name day of his son, Aegon, was not only auspicious but also indicative of the fact that the young Prince has a bright future. Obviously, he wanted his grandson to sit on the Iron Throne one day, but he couldn’t say it so freely, because it would mean annulling the claim of Rhaenyra. Viserys loved both his children and he did not want to differentiate between them and make them a part of the palace politics. He had promised Rhaenyra that she would be the heir, not because she was the only option he had, but because he knew that the girl always had potential, maybe more than other male counterparts of hers. Rhaenyra was also getting swayed by what others had to say, and in the process, she too started believing that Viserys just wanted to get rid of her by getting her married and sending her away from King’s Landing. Otto Hightower, in his desperation bizarrely suggested getting Rhaenyra and Aegon II, married. Kings Landing had seen some condemnable matrimonial alliances, but this was an appalling suggestion from their standards also. Otto believed that not making his grandson the heir to the throne meant going against the laws of gods and men. Only Lord Lyonel Strong had a proposition, that was devoid of any greed, made some sense, and aimed at strengthening the alliances of the Crown. He suggested that firstly, Viserys should consider getting Rhaenyra married to Laenor Velaryon, Lord Corlys’ son. Lord Lyonel Strong was the one who had advised him earlier to accept the offer of Lord Coryls and get married to his daughter Laena Velaryon. Viserys rejected that offer, but once again he had the chance to unite house Targaryen with one of the wealthiest houses in the seven kingdoms.

Viserys isn’t able to find the White Hart. Instead, it was spotted by Rhaenyra and Ser Criston Cole when they were on their way back after killing the wild boar. In my opinion, it validated the worthiness of Rhaenyra to sit on the Iron throne. She had the nerve to do it. Unlike her father, she was not somebody who would get swayed by the opinions of others. She was steadfast in her decisions and had firm beliefs. She was a strong woman, one who believed that she truly belonged on the battlefield among the knights and soldiers. It was a surreal moment. The white deer looked her in the eye before running back in the woods. She returned to camp, smeared in blood, like a valiant fighter. She finally had a conversation with her father. He cleared up all the doubts his daughter had. Viserys told her that he still believed in the fact that Rhaenyra was destined to sit on the Iron Throne and, unlike others, didn’t question her abilities. He saw something extraordinary in her and assured her that he had no intention of replacing her as the heir to the Iron Throne.

How Did Daemon Defeat The Crabfeeder?

Daemon was on the ground fighting the forces of Tricarchy and trying his best to capture Stepstones. The others were not able to provide him much help because of the nature of the terrain. The Crabfeeder and his forces were hiding in the caves, where dragons couldn’t go. It also provided them an advantage as they could clearly aim at the enemy soldier from far away, without being spotted. The dragons were also getting injured and losing their strength. Daemon’s men were starting to feel that they didn’t have any way out. They were fatigued and devoid of any hope. Lord Coryls, his brother, Ser Vaemond Velaryon, and his son, Laenor Velaryon, knew that unless and until they devised a plan to bring the Crabfeeder’s army out from the caves, they didn’t stand a chance against them. Then Laenor, who was himself a dragon rider, proposed a plan. He said that if they sent a man as bait and tricked them into believing that they had surrendered, then the army might come out and in turn give them an opportunity to attack them. Vaemond said that nobody would go on this suicidal mission, though Laenor believed that Daemon might agree to do so. 

Daemon had gotten no support from Kings Landing until then. It had filled him with anger that his own brother had left him to die. Alicent Hightower convinced the King to help Daemon in the battle, though the King was of the opinion that it wouldn’t send the right signal since all this while, Kings Landing had taken a neutral approach. For the betterment of his kingdom, Alicent tells him that it is necessary to kill an evil person like Crabfeeder. Viserys agrees and finally sends a message to inform Daemon and Lord Corlys that reinforcements would be sent from the King’s landing. Daemon was a proud man. His ego was bruised. He didn’t want the others to perceive him as a weak man. For three years, he had fought the battle alone, and he could very well finish it alone without the help of his merciful King. In a fit of anger, he assaulted the messenger. He went to the choke point, in front of the caves, where Crabfeeder and his army were hiding. He waved a white flag and made it look like he was surrendering. The forces came out of hiding, and that’s when Laenor emerged out of nowhere on his dragon, Seasmoke. Crabfeeder knew that he had been tricked. He went inside one of the caves, and Daemon followed him. There was no doubt that Daemon was probably the best warrior in the Targaryen clan. The Crabfeeder couldn’t withstand the might of his Valyrian sword, the Dark Sister. The rogue Prince dragged the severed body of the Crabfeeder out of the cave. His face was smeared in blood, and his eyes spoke of the savagery he was capable of. Those who questioned his potential had gotten an answer. He might not be the King or heir to the Iron Throne, but he was a dragon lord, and by killing Crabfeeder, he sent a strong message to Viserys and the Lords who had influenced him to go against him.

In the upcoming episodes of “House of the Dragon,” we will get to know if Rhaenyra Targaryen agrees to marry Laenor Velaryon, which would, in turn, lead to the alliance of the two strongest families in the seven kingdoms. We will also get to know if Daemon is given the dignity and respect he had always aspired for and whether he is able to mend his relationship with his brother, King Viserys I Targaryen.

See More: ‘House Of The Dragon’ Episode 2: Recap & Ending, Explained – Whom Did Viserys Choose As His Wife? & Why?

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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