Since the series premiere on the 21st of August 2022, House of the Dragon has been on everyone’s lips as they are trying to take in every detail possible about the series, and savour every moment of the first season’s 10 episodes. Of course, the first villain to crop up in the premiere episode of House of the Dragon, the Crabfeeder (played by Daniel Scott-Smith), is one of the most talked about topics, trying to understand the mesmerising and illusive character.
But what exactly was that vision? Luckily, Daniel Scott-Smith was more than happy to share some of the truth behind his character with Entertainment Weekly.
Starting with his macabre appearance, Daniel Scott-Smith broke down all the elements of the look that made the House of the Dragon‘s Crabfeeder so memorable. Spending most of his time hiding in a cave, without even having to utter a word, the Crabfeeder had audiences mesmerized, wanting to know the story behind his very memorable look, a broken gold mask, his decaying skin and withering hair (that was a partial wig) that makes his scull look like the flat back of a crab.
What is the story behind the gold mask? Those who are continuing off from the Game of Thrones diving board will remember a similar gold mask being worn by the Sons of the Harpy, the underground group that tried to oppose Daenerys Targaryen’s rule over the Slave City of Meereen. The Crabfeeder himself is not a member of the insurgency group, meaning he would have taken it from one of them. When asked about the mask, the Jungle (2022) actor shared, “Why is he wearing the mask? How does he feel about that? It’s a power statement, so he’s quite happy wearing it.”
The decaying skin covering his left arm will also look familiar to GoT fans as it is the same disease, that Sir Jorah Mormont contracted, greyscale. In GoT, the only two known survivors of greyscale were Princess Shireen Baratheon whose left half of her face is disfigured by the scars of surviving, and Sir Mormont, who miraculously made a full discovery. In the time of GoT, the people infected with greyscale are often exiled from society to live in the ruined cities in Essos. “We spoke about that and the gradual decline to where he is, how the greyscale might affect him physically, even mentally,” Scott-Smith shared about the decision to afflict the character with the disease.
Altogether, it initially took the hair and makeup team seven hours to get House of the Dragon‘s Daniel Scott-Smith fully made up as the Crabfeeder and, in his costume, but the process eventually became smoother. “They got it down quite a lot, and by the end, I think it just took about four or five [hours].”
Although not a particularly well-guarded secret, a refresher is always nice. The Crabfeeder’s real name is Craghas Drahar, and he is a Myrish Prince-Admiral and the commander of the armies of the three allied free cities, known as The Triarchy. He used his forces and tactics to take control of the trade route between Westeros and Essos, known as the Stepstones.
He earned his title “the Crabfeeder” by staking pirates in the sand of the beaches (as shown in House of the Dragon), leaving them for crabs to slowly snip away at their bodies and flesh with their pincers.
A good villain cannot exist without an awesome back story and an even more epic look and House of the Dragon delivered. Considering what happened at the end of the first episode (not spoiling) we can’t wait to see what the series has to offer next in terms of a villain.
Megan Oosthuizen is a talented writer hailing from East London, South Africa. With a passion for literature, video games, movies, and TV shows, Megan brings a wealth of knowledge and insight to her work as an entertainment journalist.
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