House of the Dragon: 5 things to know about Lord Corlys Velaryon

House of the Dragon: 5 things to know about Lord Corlys Velaryon (Image via HBO)
House of the Dragon: 5 things to know about Lord Corlys Velaryon (Image via HBO)

On Sunday, August 21, 2022, HBO premiered House of the Dragon, a spin-off of their hugely popular Game of Thrones franchise. The series comes 3 years after GoT concluded its eight-season run, and is set as a prelude to the original storyline.

House of the Dragon tells the story of the fall of House Targaryen, and the events that led to the infamous Dance of the Dragons civil war. The series is based on George R.R. Martin's book Fire and Blood.

In this article, we take a closer look at the character of Lord Corlys Velaryon, the head of House Velaryon.

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Corlys was husband to Princess Rhaenys Targaryen and served as a Hand to Queen Rhaenyra Taragaryen during the Targaryen civil war. The character is played by Steve Toussaint in the series adaptation on HBO.

Here, we delve into some more details about Lord Corlys Velaryon.


Achievements, alliances and more: Key highlights about House of the Dragon character Lord Corlys Velaryon

1) His early expeditions at sea

A still from House of the Dragon (Image via HBO)
A still from House of the Dragon (Image via HBO)

Corlys Velaryon was born in 53 AC (After the Conquest) to the House of Velaryon, a naval power that ruled the island of Driftmark, the largest island on Blackwater Bay. Corlys took to the sea from his very early years and crossed the narrow sea with his uncle when he was just six. He eventually started voyaging across the seas as part of his uncle's crew, and became a captain by the time he turned 16.

One of his many achievements was designing and building the Sea Snake, a ship which he took on nine great voyages to Essos. These voyages proved to be extremely beneficial for House Velaryon and helped in establishing it as one of Westeros' most powerful and rich houses. Corlys was also the first Westerosi to navigate the Thousand Islands of the Shivering Sea on the northern coast of Essos.


2) Husband to Rhaenys Targaryen

A still from House of the Dragon (Image via HBO)
A still from House of the Dragon (Image via HBO)

Lord Corlys became the Lord of the Tide after his grandfather passed away. He then created a new seat, High Tide, to store the treasures he had gathered during his voyages. Being richer than Houses Lannister and Hightower, he held a lot of power and took Princess Rhaenys Targaryen as his wife.

Rhaenys was the only child of Prince Aemon Targaryen, the eldest son of King Jaehaerys I Targaryen.

A still from House of the Dragon (Image via HBO)
A still from House of the Dragon (Image via HBO)

Corlys Velaryon and Rhaenys Targaryen had two children, Laena and Laenor, both of whom were dragonriders. Laena rode the she-dragon Vhagar, while Laenor rode Seasmoke.

Corlys lost Rhaenys when she fell in battle while extending support to Lord Staunton of Rook's Rest, which had been besieged by King Aegon II. Corlys blamed Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen for his wife's death, stating that she was the one who had forbidden her sons to fly alongside Rhaenys.


3) His alliance with Daemon Targaryen

Steve Toussaint and Matt Smith at Comic-Con for House of the Dragon (Image via Getty)
Steve Toussaint and Matt Smith at Comic-Con for House of the Dragon (Image via Getty)

After King Viserys I Targaryen lost his first consort, Queen Aemma Arryn in 105 AC, it was suggested that he take Corlys' daughter, Laena Velaryon, as his wife.

But when he took Alicent Hightower as his wife, Corlys felt betrayed and allied himself to Prince Daemon Targaryen, the younger brother of King Viserys, who was also staunchly against his brother's decision to marry.

Daemon Targaryen in House of the Dragon (Image via HBO)
Daemon Targaryen in House of the Dragon (Image via HBO)

The allied forces of Corlys and Daemon waged war on the Stepstones which had been under the rule of the Triarchy. Both of them held exceptional power and were easily victorious, winning most of the area within three years since the fighting first began in 106 AC. Soon after, Daemon declared himself the King of the Stepstones and the Narrow Sea.

He later also married his daughter, Laena, to Daemon. Lord Corlys got two more grandchildren from this marriage, the twin sisters Baela and Rhaena Targaryen.


4) His support to the blacks and how it shifted the balance of power

When a suitable partner for Rhaenyra Targaryen was being looked for, King Viserys I Targaryen and his small council fixed on Lord Corlys Velaryon's son, Laenor. Corlys hence successfully wed his two children to Targaryen's and also received three grandchildren from their wedding. All three of these children were again dragonriders.

Jacaerys, the eldest son, rode Vermax. Lucerys, the secondborn, rode Arrax. And Joffrey, the youngest of the siblings, rode Tyraxes.

A still from House of the Dragon (Image via HBO)
A still from House of the Dragon (Image via HBO)

Rhaenyra Targaryen was nominated to be the heir of King Viserys I Targaryen and the heir apparent of Westeros. But after the death of King Viserys, when her younger half-brother, Aegon II, challenged her claim to the throne, Lord Corlys Velaryon came to her support and constituted the majority of her army.

The factions supporting Rhaenyra's ascention to the throne were called the 'blacks' and the ones who extended their support to Aegon II became known as the 'greens'. Lord Corlys played a pivotal role in the Dance of the Dragons with his support for the blacks, which ultimately won Rhaenyra Targaryen the throne of King's Island.

However, after he let Addam Velaryon escape even though Rhaenyra had asked for the latter to be arrested, Corlys was imprisoned for treachery. This in turn thinned out the army and support for Rhaenyra, as most of her faction was made up of those loyal to the House Velaryon. Corlys thus proved to have played a key role in determining who sat on the Iron Throne during his era.


5) His lifelong achievements and graceful end

A still from House of the Dragon (Image via HBO)
A still from House of the Dragon (Image via HBO)

Lord Corlys Velaryon was well versed in the art of warfare and was also respected as one of the wisest men of Westeros. He gave sound advice to Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen and brought a ton of support to her cause. Owing to his numerous achievement, Corlys was deemed to be wise in peace and valiant in war.

A still from House of the Dragon (Image via HBO)
A still from House of the Dragon (Image via HBO)

Other than acting as the Hand to the Queen during the Dance of the Dragons, he also subsequently became the most prominent regent for King Aegon III Targaryen from 131 AC until his death in 132 AC. After his death, as a mark of respect for him, his corpse was kept under the Iron Throne for a week before he was buried at sea aboard his own ship, the Sea Snake.

It was believed that he even received a flying salute by the most powerful wild dragon, Cannibal, who flew over his burial in the east of Dragonstone.


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House of the Dragon released on HBO and HBO Max on August 21, 2022 and will air ten episodes for its first season, with its second episode set to be released on August 28, 2022 at 9 pm E.T.

The series has already been greenlit for a second season.

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Edited by Upasya Bhowal