Slight spoilers for episodes one, three and 5 of Home of the Dragon.
It’d happen nearly two centuries previous to the occasions of Recreation of Thrones, however HBO’s fantasy prequel Home of the Dragon has included a wealth of allusions to the unique present, most notably within the pilot when King Viserys shared the key of “the tune of ice and fireplace” with Princess Rhaenyra, indicating that the Targaryen rulers have been conscious of the Night time King and the White Walkers generations earlier than anyone else.
Different references have been hiding in plain sight.
Take the short-lived villain Craghas Drahar. Our first glimpse of the so-called “Crabfeeder” in episode one was extremely creepy and ominous, with a face disfigured by greyscale (the identical sickness that bothered Shireen Baratheon and Jorah Mormont in Recreation of Thrones) partially hid behind a masks.
We get one other have a look at Crabfeeder’s masks in episode 5, “We Gentle the Method.” It sits on a pedestal to the left of Lord Corlys Velaryon’s throne within the corridor at Driftmark, a trophy of his and Daemon’s shared victory on the Stepstones. The scene the place Corlys and Rhaenys talk about their son’s betrothal to Rhaenyra begins with a close-up shot of the masks, and it’s clear that that is certainly the identical masks worn by an outdated Targaryen enemy in Recreation of Thrones… the Sons of the Harpy.
Following Daenerys Targaryen’s profitable conquering of the three main cities of Slaver’s Bay—Astapor, Yunkai, and Meereen—the Sons of the Harpy emerged as a major risk to the brand new ruler, predominantly in response to Daenerys’ decree that the proudly owning and buying and selling of slaves be outlawed.
First launched in an episode aptly titled “The Sons of the Harpy,” this group of masked assassins proved to be deadly antagonists in seasons 5 and 6, killing off plenty of Daenerys’ closest allies and really almost defeating her too.
So what does the Sons of the Harpy masks imply in Home of the Dragon?
Actor Daniel Scott-Smith, who performed Crabfeeder, confirmed in an interview with Leisure Weekly that it was the identical masks, saying: “It was positively a nod to that for, I assume, the followers, as a result of it is one thing acquainted for them… And we spoke concerning the concept of him being the primary individual to put on this masks and it changing into iconic and, subsequently, it is constructed from that [for Game of Thrones]… Why is he carrying the masks? How does he really feel about that? It is a energy assertion, so he is fairly blissful carrying it.”
It’s unlikely that we’re going to see the Sons of the Harpy within the flesh on Home of the Dragon, contemplating they’re primarily based all the best way throughout the Slim Sea in Essos. It’s, nonetheless, an attention-grabbing piece of world-building, implying that this cabal has existed on this fictional world for a whole lot of years, and was not merely fashioned because of Daenerys’ colonial rule as beforehand thought.
The presence of the masks on this present can be one thing of an omen. The Sons of the Harpy very almost succeeded in wiping out the Targaryen line in Recreation of Thrones, and that masks, irrespective of how battered and deformed, stays an emblem of violent defiance towards the heirs of the dragon.
In different phrases, battle traces are being drawn, and no person with white hair ought to get too comfy.
Philip Ellis is a contract author and journalist from the UK protecting popular culture, relationships and LGBTQ+ points. His work has appeared in GQ, Teen Vogue, Man Repeller and MTV.