House Of The Dragon Actor Unearths Craghas Drahar’s Secrets

Craghas Drahar, the Myrish prince-admiral dubbed the Crabfeeder by his enemies, receives scant attention in Fire and Blood, George R.R. Martin’s compilation of Targaryen history that served as the basis for HBO’s House of the Dragon. This character’s biography, as told in the section of the book titled “Heirs of the Dragon: A Question of Succession,” doesn’t even take up a whole page. Because of this, the creators of the TV series decided to broaden the character’s arc, as they had done with other House of the Dragon plot points.

Daniel Scott-Smith, who plays the Crabfeeder in episodes 2 and 3, discusses some of that character development with Entertainment Weekly (EW), including information that might not have been clear from the amount of screen time he received on the program. He is a foul person. It’s a dream for an actor, Over Zoom from the UK, Scott-Smith, who has had minor roles in Men in Black: International and Dune, speaks. “It’s wonderful to know specifics, but it’s also nice when everything is open. That provided us the creative license to experiment with the character however we saw fit. It was fantastic for the directors and me since it let us create our interpretation of Crabfeeder.”

According to Fire and Blood, Craghas oversaw the Triarchy, an alliance formed by Lys, Myr, and Tyrosh, three of the Free Cities across the Narrow Sea. The Stepstones, a crucial commerce route between Westeros and Essos, was claimed by these armies during his watch. But as he grew avaricious, he began to demand hefty fees from passing ships in exchange for their safety. Sometimes, human trafficking was part of those costs. Craig had earned the moniker “Crabfeeder” for his inventive method of getting rid of pirates, which involved burying them in the sand on the Stepstones beach and letting the crabs eat them when the tide came in.

House Of The Dragon Actor Unearths Craghas Drahar's Secrets
House Of The Dragon Actor Unearths Craghas Drahar’s Secrets

Some of the more recent features of Craghas that appeared in House of the Dragon are confirmed by Scott-Smith. To begin with, the sickness that affected Shireen Baratheon (Kerry Ingram) and Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen) on Game of Thrones is visible in his left arm.

According to Scott-Smith, “Craghas Drahar is viewed as the villain, but with any villain, there’s always had to be a story of how they got to that place.” They started to explore the character through conversations with Greg Yaitanes, the director of episodes 2 and 3. He wanted people to keep in mind that he had two sides. We discussed the possibility that he was a royal or that he calls himself a prince, indicating that he came from a higher House, “The performer explains. We discussed his progressive slide to where he is and the potential medical and emotional effects of the greyscale.”

The prosthetics and hair gave the skin around the greyscale more details, and makeup teams made it appear more unfinished. Then they added a layer of psoriasis visual on top of it. Scott-Smith explains We wanted to convey the princely, regal side, but then we tried to show the wild side, which came through when he held the hammer. “We wanted the idea that the hammer would make him more of a ferocious character,” the author said. Another critical component of the character was the mask. According to Scott-Smith, it is the same style of show that the Sons of the Harpy wore in Meereen in Game of Thrones. After getting the part, he and Yaitanes also talked about that matter. He had seen the first series and remembered it.

It was undoubtedly a tribute to it since, I believe, it’s something familiar to the fans, according to Scott-Smith. “And we discussed the notion that because he was the first to wear the mask, it became iconic, and the foundation [for Game of Thrones] was constructed on that. Why is he hiding his identity? What does he think of that? He is content to wear it since it makes a powerful message.”

Many of these character details might not be immediately apparent to someone who only sometimes watches House of the Dragon. Craghas first appears in episode 2, and in episode 3’s depiction of the War of the Stepstones’ decisive battle, Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) kills him. (Scott-Smith claims he hasn’t yet met Smith because their parts were shot on entirely different days from the seasoned Doctor Who actors. Off-screen in the Stepstones’ caves, Daemon kills Craghas.) Crags and his mask are never taken off, and neither speaks. However, minute details like the mask and the greyscale were included to appeal to viewers who pay attention to such things.

Scott-Smith was attending an audition in 2021, but he had no idea for what part. He now realizes that “CF” meant for Crabfeeder and that the manufacturer was known by its secret name, “Red Gun.” The audition didn’t have any dialogue. He remembers, “It was all extremely tactile.” “They were curious to witness my bodily reaction to the persona.” It stated, “Ideally if you had a mask to wear, that would be ideal,” in the breakdown. I [thought] maybe I won’t get it because I don’t have a mask. However, they were asking me how I would physically represent the hammering. They wished to observe my animalistic tendencies as I consumed food. So there were numerous small pieces.

He makes it clear that, at the audition, he was not required to consume anything; instead, “it was pretty much just pulling things off the bone and that kind of stuff.” He quips, “I doubt Crabfeeder gives a damn about dinner manners.” A complete base casting of Scott-body Smith’s was taken a few weeks later in 2021, marking the start of the project. This was also used to create a cast of the Crabfeeder’s severed torso from the last moments of the Stepstones conflict so that the mask and prosthetics would fit perfectly.

Scott-Smith would come seven hours before filming on House of the Dragon started so the crew could complete all the necessary makeup and costumes, including a partial wig to convey the character’s deteriorating condition’s final remaining strand of hair and different effects for a greying eye. The actor claims, “They got it down very well, and by the end, I think it just took about four or five [hours].”

The last image of the Crabfeeder that we see is not of Scott-Smith, but instead of the mold created for him at the start of the procedure. The Triarchy and Corlys Velaryon’s men are engaged in combat on the shore when Daemon drags his opponent’s corpse from the caves. (A decapitation of Craghas’ head by Daemon is depicted in Fire and Blood, but it appears that was also altered for the show.)

Scott-Smith says, “it’s a strange experience” to gaze upon his dead body — even if it is just a prosthetic. “I don’t think many people would experience that normally, but it was quite surreal,” he says. “It was cool, though.” HBO and HBO Max broadcast House of the Dragon on Sunday nights.

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