Besides the hunt, the other main thread of “Second of His Name” involves Corlys Velaryon and Daemon’s fight against the villainous Crabfeeder. Their quest to take back the Stepstones results in House of the Dragon‘s first real battle, including Prince Daemon’s mad sprint to glory and Corlys’s son Laenor swooping in on his dragon Seasmoke.
As epic as this battle is, Daemon and Corlys’s campaign in the Stepstones is most glossed over in Fire & Blood. Presumably, Archmaester Gyldayn cares more about the intrigue at court. He writes:
It is not our purpose here to recount the details of the private war Daemon Targaryen and Corlys Velaryon waged on the Stepstones. Suffice it to say that the fighting began in 106 AC… In 108 AC, when at last [Daemon] came face-to-face with Craghas Crabfeeder, her slew him single-handed and cut off his head with Dark Sister.
So far, House of the Dragon‘s best adaptation choices come from the fact that it knows when to take moments that Fire & Blood simply summarizes and tease them out into full-blown set pieces. The Stepstones battle sets a high bar for the show’s action sequences and gives Laenor a worthy introduction. Remember him — he’ll be important later.