Lord Corlys Velaryon is one of the most important characters in House of the Dragon as he plays a huge role in the events that will lead up to the Dance of the Dragons. He also has a huge role to play in the upcoming Targaryen civil war. Of course, as the old saying goes, “all men must die,” and that’s the same case for Corlys, who is also going to die sooner or later in the storyline. So, how does Corlys Velaryon die in House of the Dragon?
Corlys Velaryon dies due to old age after the Dance of the Dragons and during the regency period of King Aegon III’s reign. He was supposed to be executed as one of the conspirators in the assassination of King Aegon II but was ultimately spared by Lord Cregan Stark due to an edict by Aegon III.
One of the few characters that lived to see the end of the Targaryen civil war was Corlys Velaryon, as he was one of the most important figures of the entire Fire & Blood storyline. Of course, despite the fact that he did live to see the end of the war, he was eventually going to die because of his old age in the book. Now, with that said, let’s look at what happens to Corlys Velaryon and how he dies.
What Happens To Corlys Velaryon In House Of The Dragon?
At this point in the storyline of House of the Dragon, you are probably already quite familiar with Lord Corlys Velaryon, who is one of the most powerful men in the Seven Kingdoms and is probably only second to King Viserys Targaryen in terms of his absolute power. Nicknamed the Sea Snake, Corlys Velaryon was able to earn his wealth and fame through his different voyages during his younger years, as there is a good chance that this story will be told in a spin-off series following Corlys himself. And it was due to the connections he made around the world and the trade routes that he opened that House Velaryon was able to flourish under his leadership.
Because of his wealth, power, and fame, Corlys Velaryon married into the Targaryen family and was able to have two children with Targaryen blood in Laenor and Laena. And he also became an important figure during the reign of King Viserys, who was actually quite careful about offending him due to the power and influence that the Sea Snake held.
Of course, we all know that Corlys himself is an ambitious man that wants to increase his power and wealth, and that’s why he will take part in the Dance of the Dragons, which will take place years after the deaths of both Laenor and Laena. Despite the differences that he has with Rhaenyra and Daemon, who were actually suspected in Laenor’s “death,” Corlys sided with the Black faction. And he became the strongest ally of the Blacks, as more than half of Rhaenyra’s army were those loyal to Corlys Velaryon, who had both wealth and power and was already arguably the most powerful man in the Seven Kingdoms at that time, especially with Rhaenyra and Aegon II both cutting the power of the crown into two.
Due to his superiority at sea, Corlys was able to blockade the Blackwater Bay and pressure the Greens to the point that they had to ask for help from the Triarchy, which were enemies of the Velaryons during the War for the Stepstones. The Triarchy broke the blockade.
Corlys also became Hand of the Queen during the time when Rhaenyra was still battling for the Iron Throne. It was Prince Jacaerys who named him Hand because Rhaenyra was too grief-stricken to lead following the death of Lucerys at the hands of Aemond Targaryen. Essentially, throughout a good period of the war, it was actually Corlys who led the Black faction.
Rhaenyra eventually took King’s Landing, and Corlys remained her Hand and adviser. He even gave her a chance to end the war swiftly by offering pardons to those who sided with the Greens and by giving Aegon II the opportunity to join the Night’s Watch. However, Rhaenyra insisted on destroying all of her enemies, and that was what eventually led to her downfall and slow descent into paranoia.
When several of her allies betrayed her, Rhaenyra began questioning all of the other dragonseeds that they were able to win to their side. This included Nettles and Addam Velaryon. Corlys tried to reason with her by convincing her that these dragonseeds wouldn’t betray her and switch over to the Greens. But Addam, who was rumored to be Corlys’s bastard son, escaped on his dragon when Corlys warned him of what the queen was planning to do to him. As such, Corlys was removed from his position as Hand and was arrested.
Corlys’s arrest weakened Rhaenyra’s forces because half of her men were composed of those who were loyal to House Velaryon. This eventually led to the riots in King’s Landing that forced Rhaenyra to flee the city.
Rhaenyra was eventually captured and executed by the Greens, and Queen Alicent offered Corlys full pardon if he were to swear allegiance to Aegon II. Corlys demanded Baela and Aegon the Younger, among others, to be spared in return for his loyalty. As such, Alicent agreed to his demands as Corlys now became one of the Greens.
How Does Corlys Velaryon Die In House Of The Dragon?
Aegon II may have defeated Rhaenyra, but the war was far from mover because there were still allies of the Blacks that were marching on King’s Landing. They wanted to remove Aegon II from the Iron Throne because he was never supposed to be king. During that time, Corlys was one of the advisers that made sure that Aegon the Younger wouldn’t be killed by the king. But he also told the king to submit to the Blacks because the Greens no longer had an army that could match the ones that were marching on King’s Landing.
However, Aegon II refused to surrender, and that was what led to his eventual death as he died on his way to the royal sept. He was presumably poisoned while he was drinking his favorite sweet wine all alone in his carriage. Aegon II’s death ended the war, as Corlys and Aegon the Younger met the forces that were marching on King’s Landing.
After Aegon II’s death, Aegon the Younger was crowned King Aegon III. But there was a regency period during that time because Aegon III was still too young to rule. In that regard, Lord Cregan Stark rose up as Hand of the King and was the one who looked into the matters related to the death of King Aegon II.
Corlys, among others, admitted that he had a hand in the death of the king, although who exactly killed the king remained a mystery. Cregan Stark, who had the stern and disciplined approach of any Stark lord, was supposed to execute Corlys Velaryon. But an edict from Aegon III himself eventually prevented Corlys’s execution, as the lord of Driftmark was once again spared from death.
After he was spared, Corlys served as one of the regents during the regency period of King Aegon III’s reign. He was considered the most powerful man in the Seven Kingdoms at that time but was already too old. At the age of 79 and a year after the end of the Dance of the Dragons, Corlys Velaryon died due to old age. He was one of the few main players of the Targaryen civil war that had the luxury of see the end of the war and die due to natural causes.