Early on in House of the Dragon, one of the characters that have become quite interesting in the way he approaches the political affairs going on in the kingdom is Corlys Velaryon, who is a member of King Viserys’s Small Council. He had plenty of screen time in the first few episodes of House of the Dragon despite being a secondary character to the Targaryens in the storyline. So, who is Corlys Velaryon in House of the Dragon?
Corlys Velaryon is the head of House Velaryon, which is an ancient Valyrian house that is said to be older than House Targaryen. He is the Master of Ships in King Viserys’s Small Council and commands the largest fleet in the Seven Kingdoms, and has a host of dragons that his wife, Princess Rhaenys Targaryen, commands.
In the first two episodes of House of the Dragon, Corlys Velaryon is quite interesting because of the fact that he has already shown his personal interests in the political happenings of the storyline. Now, with that said, let’s get to know more about Corlys Velaryon and how he has contributed to the greater narrative of House of the Dragon.
Who Is Corlys Velaryon In House Of The Dragon?
It isn’t rare for any story related to Game of Thrones to have supporting characters that have roles that are nearly as important or as vital as the roles of the main characters. After all, these storylines tend to involve a lot of different characters that all have their own personal agenda and parts to play in the greater political game. That is the same case for House of the Dragon, which is a series that has been able to show as early as the first two episodes that there are plenty of different important characters in the background of the main characters.
One such character that has already seen his fair share of screen time throughout the first two episodes of House of the Dragon is Corlys Velaryon, as he seems to be one of the more important secondary characters in a series that follows the Targaryen family. But who is Corlys Velaryon in House of the Dragon?
Corlys Velaryon is the head of the Velaryon family, a house that has existed longer than the Targaryens and has been in Westeros longer than the dragonlords. Like the Targaryens, Corlys Velaryon is of Valyrian descent, and it was this that allowed his house to maintain good relations with the Targaryens for hundreds of years. In fact, House Velaryon is often regarded as the closest ally of House Targaryen.
As a noble of a great family in Westeros, Corlys made his name as a young knight that traveled the seas on his ship called the Sea Snake. He was one of the few people who have traveled as far as east can go in the known world, and this was what allowed him to become one of the most prominent figures in the Seven Kingdoms as he grew to become a legend among seafarers and merchants alike.
After he finally settled down and became Lord of the Tides by inheriting the Velaryon ancestral seat of power of Driftmark, Corlys was able to become so powerful and wealthy due to his expeditions. His power and wealth allowed him to marry Rhaenys Targaryen, who was the only child of Aemon Targaryen, the former heir to Jaehaerys Targaryen. However, Aemon died in a campaign against the Myrish exiles in Tarth, as the title of heir to the Iron Throne was passed on to Baelon instead of Rhaenys.
Nevertheless, Baelon died as well, as the succession to the Iron Throne became a huge problem, especially with Jaehaerys in his final days as king due to his advanced age. In the book, Corlys and Rhaenys pushed for their son, Laenor, to become the new king of the Seven Kingdoms because he was the descendant of Jaehaerys’s first heir. Meanwhile, in House of the Dragon, Rhaenys was the one in contention for the Iron Throne against Viserys, who was eventually named the next heir by the lords and ladies of Westeros.
What Happened To Corlys Velaryon In House Of The Dragon?
Despite losing the chance to see his family rising in power through the Iron Throne, Corlys Velaryon was given a seat at the Small Council as Master of Ships because of his status as the fabled Sea Snake and because his family was the wealthiest in the Seven Kingdoms by virtue of the wealth that the Velaryons had acquired through Corlys’s voyages. That is why the Velaryons own the largest fleet in the Seven Kingdoms.
Still, Corlys’s interests were focused on his family’s wealth and status. As early as episode 1 of House of the Dragons, he was already pushing the crown to send armies to the Stepstones so that they could fight off the Triarchy, which was led by the Crabfeeder. Meanwhile, in episode 2, the problems in the Stepstones escalated because the Crabfeeder was now attacking Westerosi ships, which included a few ships that belonged to Corlys Velaryon’s fleet.
In that regard, he wanted to wage war on the Crabfeeder as this pirate was hampering the Seven Kigndoms’s supply lines while also affecting House Velaryon’s source of wealth, which was merchant trade. But King Viserys didn’t want to wage war with the Crabfeeder because it also meant waging war against the Free Cities that supported the Triarchy.
Corlys, however, turned his attention to another area of interest—the marital status of King Viserys. He and Princess Rhaenys met with Viserys, who had just lost his wife and queen consort about six months before. Corlys wanted to strengthen the bonds between House Targaryen and House Velaryon by uniting the families through marriage, as he was offering his 12-year-old daughter Laena to become the new queen consort of King Viserys.
King Viserys eventually chose Lady Alicent Hightower as his next wife, as he spurned Corlys once again. This led to Corlys storming out of the Small Council meeting, visibly outraged by the fact that the king decided to ignore one of his requests yet again.
Due to this outrage, Corlys approached a spurned Daemon Targaryen, with who he felt he had a lot of things in common due to the fact that they both felt betrayed by King Viserys. And the nature of the meeting was Corlys’s interest in waging war on the Crabfeeder in the Stepstones, as he tried to convince the prince to join him in his cause for the chance of earning glory for himself.
Who Is Corlys Called The Sea Snake?
The series never fully explained why Corlys is often called the Sea Snake, but the book explained that he gave himself the nickname because it was the name of the ship that allowed him to make a name for himself through his many different voyages east of Westeros.
It was the ship called Sea Snake that Corlys spent a lot of time with during his younger years, as his voyages were what allowed him to become as rich and as powerful as he eventually became. In that regard, he began calling himself the Sea Snake as a way of honoring the same ship that helped him reach the height of his wealth and power.