"The Rogue Prince" begins on a beach in the Stepstones, but this shoreline is anything but beautiful. It's covered with the dismembered bodies of numerous dead sailors that have fallen victim to "The Crabfeeder," the pirate whom Lord Corlys Velayron mentioned in last week's episode. We get an idea now of why he's named that because he, well, feeds people to the crabs.
And boy, are those crabs hungry.
Back in King's Landing, the Small Council is discussing who will be the new member of the Kingsguard, bringing their numbers back up to seven. Corlys storms in and demands to know why nothing has been done about the Crabfeeder, with Otto saying he will be reimbursed for anything lost. Corlys doesn't care about what has been lost, only what will be done in the future. His ships are now being targeted, and he wants justice.
Viserys says that since the Free Cities are likely aiding the Crabfeeder, he doesn't wish to risk open war with them. A fight between Westeros and the Free Cities has never happened before, and it would have the potential to be the most violent conflict the world has ever seen.
"What reason does the Crabfeeder have to fear us? The King's own brother has been allowed to seize Dragonstone for over half a year with an army of gold cloaks," Corlys says. It's an indictment of Viserys and the power of his reign, saying that his inaction is causing more problems than he thinks.
Viserys informs Corlys that he has already sent messages to some of the Free Cities and hopes to find common ground with them to settle this dispute. Rhaenyra, present in the meeting as the council's cupbearer, interjects and says that the King's Dragonriders (of which she is one) could head to the Stepstones as a show of force and get the Crabfeeder to back down. Corlys praises her for her plan, but Otto and Viserys quickly shoot her down.
Rhaenyra and Harrold Westerling, the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, head to pick the next member of the order. Viserys says that since this knight will one day also protect her, she should choose.
As Rhaenyra and Harrold look over the potential candidates, Otto arrives, and Rhaenys looks on, with both observing her actions. Rhaenyra wants to know if any of these knights have combat experience, with the only one being Ser Criston Cole, the man with whom Rhaenyra shared a moment at the King's tournament.
Criston served as a footsoldier before becoming a Knight, and Rhaenyra has picked him to be the new member of the Kingsguard. Otto protests this, explaining that choosing a member of houses that are closer allies to the Crown would be the wiser move. Rhaenyra overrules him, to which Otto relents and agrees.
We cut to Alicent visiting Viserys in his chambers again, where he goes into detail over his model of Old Valyria that he worked on in the previous episode. She asks if he wants to help turn Westeros into another Valyria, but he knows that isn't possible. Viserys asks if Rhaenyra is upset with him since she doesn't visit him all that often anymore. Alicent says that Rhaenyra still needs her time to greave for her mother, much like Viserys. They share a moment when Alicent suggests that Viserys should visit her. He asks if she mentions their conversations to Rhaenyra as he worries that she wouldn't understand, to which Alicent says now.
Rhaenyra meets Alicent in the Great Sept of Baelor, with Rhaenyra worrying that since the royals already want Viserys to marry again, she will be replaced as heir. Alicent and Rhaenyra pray, with Alicent saying that when she prays here, she feels closer to her own deceased mother. Rhaenyra laughs it off at first, but it does help her as she prays and sheds a tear remembering her mother.
Alicent comforts her, and Rhaenyra confesses that she wants Viserys to see her as more than just his daughter. Alicent knows that Otto also doesn't see her as anything more than his daughter, and Rhaenyra should speak with Viserys so that he knows what she desires.