In Praise Of The Crabfeeder, The House Of The Dragon Villain Who Deserved More Screentime

This post contains spoilers for the third episode of "House of the Dragon."

The world of "A Song of Ice and Fire" has given us plenty of memorable characters, especially when it comes to villains. From Ramsay Bolton to Walder Frey, and from Cersei to Littlefinger, we've had no shortage of cool and despicable baddies in the world of "Game of Thrones." After all, this was the show that gave us the biggest little s*** in all of Westeros — Joffrey Baratheon

Among the many things "House of the Dragon" is bringing back from the golden age of its parent show — including compelling political intrigue and battle scenes you can actually see — is more good villains. Sure, Daemon Targaryen is being framed as an antagonist, but he is nothing compared to the terrifying, enigmatic, captivating figure that is the Crabfeeder, the pirate that terrorized the Stepstones for three years. Before the show oh-so-cruelly took him from us, the Crabfeeder already imprinted himself in our minds, with a memorable look, and a sadistic knack for feeding actual humans to actual crabs. 

This is our eulogy to the man, the legend, the Crabfeeder. We hardly knew ye.

Behold, the Crabfeeder

We don't know when Craghas Drahar was born, but we know he was a prince admiral from Myr, one of the Free Cities of Essos. We first heard of Drahar after he already gained the moniker "Crabfeeder" from his campaign on the Stepstones, as he started to become a distant yet ominous threat to the rule of Viserys Targaryen. It wasn't until we saw his face (well, mask) in episode two that we realized this guy is different, he is special, and he is one of the absolute coolest characters to step foot in Westeros. Of course, this is in no small part due to the fact that the name Crabfeeder is not a cute joke, but a literal reference to his method of torture where he would stake captured soldiers to the beach and allow them to be slowly eaten alive by crabs before the tide drowns them. 

But that's nothing compared to the look of this magnificent would-be conqueror. The prince that was promised was not in our lives for very long, but he already embodied the emblematic look of a "Game of Thrones"-style pirate, one that felt at home in this expansive and mysterious world. This is mostly thanks to Drahar's spectacularly well-designed mask, which seems to have, at one point, featured twin horns, but one of them has fallen off. That helps sell the idea that the Crabfeeder had a long and adventurous life we didn't get to see, and perhaps he lost the other horn in a gruesome battle.

As if the mask wasn't enough, there's also the fact that the Crab Feeder's skin seems to be either infected with Greyscale, or something straight out of the crew of The Flying Dutchman in "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest." This guy has been places, and he's seen some s***.

Goodbye, sweet prince

While many villains, particularly "Game of Thrones" villains, love to give speeches or appear larger than life, the Crabfeeder is straightforward and to the point ... and more impactful for it. He never gives a speech — he doesn't even talk. He doesn't present any demands, or tries to negotiate with or taunt his opponents — he simply acts and wins.

Indeed, for three years, the Crabfeeder keeps two of the biggest houses in Westeros at bay with nothing but a ragtag crew of pirates, and an army of crabs — not even crab people. Regular crabs! At a time when dragons ruled the world, a single man proved that giant flying lizards aren't the solution to every problem, because he can just hide in caves and evade dragon fire. The Crabfeeder quickly became one of the most formidable military villains in the whole "Game of Thrones" universe. The wildlings and the White Walkers? Both defeated in a single battle. Meanwhile, the Crabfeeder practically ruled in a reign of terror for three whole years.

Sadly, this beautiful crustacean kingdom was not meant to last, as the Crabfeeder underestimated the power of the biggest force in Westeros: the pettiness of Daemon Targaryen. Daemon ultimately decided to stage a suicide charge rather than accept the help from his brother, and in the process our dear Crabfeeder met his downfall.

This is only the beginning of the main conflict in "House of the Dragon," but it's hard not to think that we already lost something with the death of the Craghas Drahar, feeder of crabs, conqueror of Stepstones, wearer of creepy masks. Rest in peace, sweet prince. Gone, but not forgotten.

"House of the Dragon" airs Sundays on HBO and HBO Max.