Triarch of Volantis

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For the Kingdom of the Three Daughters, see Triarchy
The triarchs ride everywhere on elephants - by Marc Fishman ©

Triarch of Volantis is the title used by the three elected officials of the Free City of Volantis. The triarchs are neither kings nor princes. Volantis is a freehold, like Valyria of old, and all freeborn landholders, regardless of gender share the rule. The triarchs are chosen from amongst those noble families who can prove unbroken descent from Valyria and serve until the first day of the New Year.[1] The triarchs are considered so elevated that their feet are not allowed to touch the ground during their year of service. Instead, they ride everywhere atop elephants.[1]


An elected triarch shares joint rulership of the city of Volantis with two other triarchs. A triarch's term lasts for one year. However, a triarch may run for re-election for the post as many times as they wish. Each year the freeborn landholders of Volantis can elect a new triarch or re-elect the current one.

The elections last for ten days. Volantis becomes filled with torchlight marches, speeches, mummers and minstrels and dancers, bravos fighting duels for the honor of their candidates, elephants with the names of would-be triarchs painted on their sides. Some candidates have slave girls and boys lay with voters to win votes.

According to Ser Jorah Mormont, there has never been a child triarch, in contrast to the child kings in Westeros. If one of the triarchs ever went mad, as did King Aerys II Targaryen, the other two triarchs would restrict his influence until his year ran out.

Some women of good birth who dwell behind the Black Wall have the ability to vote. Three hundred years ago there was a female triarch, Trianna, Volantis has had no female triarch since. Only those of the Old Blood who can trace their ancestry back to Valyria can be triarch. The triarchs belong to either the elephant or tiger parties.

Political Parties


When the elephants came to power, their followers went on a rampage, knocking the heads from the statues of those they blamed for all the wars and deaths. © Marc Fishman

The tigers are old aristocracy and warriors. They tend to be imperialists and advocate the sword. The tiger party led Volantis in battle and after the failed wars to take control of the world after the Doom of Valyria. The tiger cloaks, the Volantene guards, are named after the militant tiger party.


The elephants are the party of the merchants and moneylenders. The elephants advocate trade. Some of the first elephants were women. When the elephants came to power, their followers went on a rampage, knocking the heads from the statues of those they blamed for all the wars and deaths.[2] The elephant party has held power for the last three hundred years, during which at least two of the three triarchs in power have been elephants.[3] Illyrio Mopatis of Pentos has paid Triarch Nyessos Vhassar of the elephant party enough to own him eight times over.[4]

Past Triarchs

Recent Events

A Dance of Dragons

Elections are being held in Volantis for the triarchs.

The city's incumbent triarchs are:

Candidates to become new triarchs are:

The results of the new elections have not yet been revealed. With the city thirsty for war against Daenerys Targaryen, [2] speculation is rife that two tigers might be elected triarch, something that has not happened for three hundred years.

While sailing toward Meereen, Victarion Greyjoy recalls stopping briefly in Volantis and having seen galleys heading to Slaver's Bay taking on provisions. The whole city had seemed drunk. Sailors and soldiers and tinkers had been observed dancing in the streets with nobles and fat merchants, and in every inn and winesink cups were being raised to the new triarchs. All the talk had been of the gold and gems and slaves that would flood into Volantis once the dragon queen was dead.[5] Moqorro tells Victarion his flames have confirmed that Volantis has sided with the tigers.[6]


“Why Volantis needs three princes when Dorne makes do with one, I will never know.”[1]
– Ser Gerris Drinkwater

References and Notes

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