For three years, the Stepstones conflict has escalated. Lord Corlys and Prince Daemon battle Craghas Drahar and his pirates without the Iron Throne's support. Meanwhile, King Viserys plans a great hunt to celebrate his and pregnant Queen Alicent's son Aegon's second birthday. Rhaenyra resents her father's excessive attention towards her half-brother, Aegon. The ailing king insists that Rhaenyra, now seventeen, must marry to form a strong alliance and protect their lineage. Among the suitors is Lord Jason Lannister of Casterly Rock, a match Rhaenyra opposes. Even two-year-old Prince Aegon is proposed. Lord Lyonel Strong recommends Ser Laenor Velaryon, Lord Corlys' son, to mend the rift between the two houses. Overcoming his previous doubts, Viserys assures Rhaenyra she will remain his heir and can choose her consort. Meanwhile, brothers Hobert and Otto Hightower secretly scheme to make Prince Aegon the successor, furthering their family's power and prestige. After Ser Vaemond Velaryon pleads for the king's help, Viserys agrees to send aid to the Stepstones. Seeing his brother's support as ending his chance to prove himself, Daemon acts as bait to ambush the Triarchy warriors, killing the Crabfeeder and winning the ensuing battle before the crown's forces arrive.