Why The Crabfeeder's Mask In House Of The Dragon Looks So Familiar

When I first heard that there was a character on "House of the Dragon" named the Crabfeeder, I was pumped. This guy disposes of his victims by tying them up on the beach and letting a bunch of crabs slowly kill his victims — sounds like a nasty bugger who would make for an interesting antagonist for the series. At the end of episode 2, Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) and Lord Corlys Velaryon (Steve Touissant) decide to go to war with the Crabfeeder, so I fully expected for this character to be a major part of the show. My expectations were for naught.

Basically, the entire war between the two factions takes place off-screen, and the Crabfeeder is unceremoniously dispatched without ever so much as saying a word of dialogue. All we are left with is a pretty cool character design and our imagination. His look does make "Game of Thrones" fans ask a lot of questions. For one, he has Greyscale, the disease we saw plague Ser Jorah Mormont (Ian Glen), Lady Shireen Baratheon (Kerry Ingram), and some unfortunate stone men driven mad.

But the other major factor of his appearance is that broken mask he wears, which is actually a mask that showed up on "Game of Thrones." That is the same mask worn by the Sons of the Harpy, the band of assassins that tried to take down Danaerys during her rule in Meereen. Why does he wear this mask besides it just being a cool design? Well, it just might be a bit of fan service.

The first to wear it

Daniel Scott-Smith was the actor to portray the Crabfeeder and did a wonderful job of establishing a presence I was keen to see more of. The creators were looking to make the Crabfeeder an instant iconographic figure. To do something like that, having an iconography that already existed proved useful when going back to the masks of the Sons of the Harpy. Wearing a mask that ... well ... masks your expressions does wonders for making someone an enigmatic, unpredictable figure. It gives them power, and in such a short amount of screen time, they needed to establish that power. Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Scott-Smith recalled how they arrived at the decision for this mask:

"It was definitely a nod to that for, I guess, the fans, because it's something familiar for them. And we spoke about the idea of him being the first person to wear this mask and it becoming iconic and, therefore, it's built from that [for 'Game of Thrones'] ... Why is he wearing the mask? How does he feel about that? It's a power statement, so he's quite happy wearing it."

I'm not sure there's a direct line from the Crabfeeder to the Sons of the Harpy, but I do like the idea of future generations of people who think what they are doing is righteous going back to symbols of the past to express their desires. People still do this today, for both good (like a raised fist) and bad (like the Confederate flag), and this mask is just a more elaborate version of it, "V for Vendetta" style. I just wish the Crabfeeder had the time to make his mark on "House of the Dragon" the way he apparently did for the history of Westeros and Essos.