House Velaryon

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House Velaryon of Driftmark
House Velaryon.svg
Coat of arms A silver seahorse on sea green
(Aquamarine, a seahorse argent)
Words The Old, the True, the Brave
Seat Driftmark
Current Lord Monterys Velaryon
Region Blackwater Bay, the crownlands
Title Lord of the Tides
Master of Driftmark
Overlord House Baratheon of Dragonstone
Founded prior to 114BC

House Velaryon of Driftmark rules the island of Driftmark, the largest island of Blackwater Bay in the crownlands. Their castles include Driftmark and High Tide.[1] The head of House Velaryon is titled Lord of the Tides and Master of Driftmark.[2] The Velaryons are sworn to Dragonstone.[3] Their arms depict a silver seahorse on sea green.[4][5] Their words do not appear in the books, but according to semi-canon sources they are "The Old, the True, the Brave".[6] A traditional name of the Velaryons is Jacaerys.[7]


Before the Conquest

House Velaryon is an ancient and proud house, with the blood of old Valyria in its veins.[4][8] House Velaryon was a closely allied family to House Targaryen in Valyria. Velaryons, like the Targaryens, often have the Valyrian features of silver hair and purple eyes.[8]

The Velaryons traveled to Westeros before the Targaryens, having settled on the island of Driftmark, and they claim that they received the Driftwood Throne from the Merling King to conclude a pact. The Velaryons filled their coffers by gaining monopoly over the passing trade and Velaryon ships dominated the middle reaches of the narrow sea while their allies, the Targaryens, ruled the skies with their dragons.[9]

The House continued to maintain close ties with the Targaryens after the Doom of Valyria, as evidenced by the marriage of Aerion Targaryen and Valaena Velaryon, the parents of Aegon the Conqueror and his sisters Visenya and Rhaenys. When Aegon and his sisters began their Wars of Conquest, Driftmark men followed, and the lord of the house, Daemon Velaryon, became Aegon's master of ships. Daemon was killed near Gulltown during Aegon's Conquest, however. The first Lord Commander of the Kingsguard was Ser Corlys Velaryon.

Between the Conquest and the Dance

Since the Wars of Conquest, Velaryons have intermarried with the Targaryens several times. Three Targaryens had a wife from House Velaryon and three Targaryens married into the house: Aenys Targaryen, who most likely married Alyssa Velaryon before his coronation, Daemon Targaryen, who married Laena Velaryon, Aegon III who married Daenaera Velaryon, Corlys Velaryon who married Rhaenys Targaryen, his son Laenor Velaryon who married Rhaenyra Targaryen and his rumored bastard and legitimated heir Alyn Velaryon who married Baela Targaryen.[4][10] The Velaryons often served as master of ships and provided much of the Iron Throne's royal fleet.[1]

Among the most famous scions of the house was Lord Corlys Velaryon, known as the Sea Snake, whose fame did not come from his skill with the sword but rather from his many voyages across the seas of the world. The wealth Corlys accumulated made House Velaryon the richest in the realm—for a time, even richer than the Lannisters and Hightowers—and himself the wealthiest man in the Seven Kingdoms. Because their ancestral castle, Driftmark, was damp and crowded, Corlys constructed a new seat for the Velaryons, High Tide.[1]

The Dance of the Dragons

A Velaryon bannerman serving at Dragonstone. Illustrated by Even Mehl Amundsen. © Fantasy Flight Games.

During the Dance of the Dragons, the Velaryons were major supporters of the blacks against the greens, as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen's first husband had been Laenor Velaryon and Rhaenys Targaryen, the Queen Who Never Was, was wed to Lord Corlys Velaryon. Dragonriders from the house during the civil war included Laenor's sons Jacaerys, Lucerys, and Joffrey Velaryon, although accusations persisted that Harwin Strong was actually the father. Even without these champions (all of whom died in the civil war), the House's wealth and fleets at the time made them a significant power of Westeros, with only the Greyjoys able to match them at sea. Corlys used these fleets to blockade Blackwater Bay. However, Spicetown and High Tide were sacked after the blockade was broken in the Battle in the Gullet, with the Velaryons losing nearly a third of their ships and Spicetown never rebuilt.[10]

The death of Corlys's wife, Princess Rhaenys, at Rook's Rest angered the Sea Snake against Rhaenyra, who had refused to send her sons at Rhaenys's side. Rhaenyra brought Corlys back into the fold by making him her Hand.[10] To gain more dragonriders, the blacks recruited several dragonseed smallfolk, among them Addam of Hull and his brother Alyn. According to their mother, Marilda of Hull, the two boys were fathered by the late Ser Laenor Velaryon, Rhaenyra's first husband, but Mushroom hinted that Addam and Alyn were actually fathered by Lord Corlys himself. Corlys had spent many of his days at the shipyards of Hull where Marilda's father was a shipwright, and Mushroom claimed the boys were kept far from court and away from the fiery-tempered Princess Rhaenys.

Addam was able to bond to the dragon Seasmoke, though Alyn failed in his own attempt. Lord Corlys adopted both boys into the House, petitioning Rhaenyra to remove the taint of bastardy from them, making them his heirs. Later, as Rhaenyra grew paranoid, she suspected the boys of treachery. Corlys spoke in their defense and warned Addam in time for him to flee King's Landing. Addam went on to fight at the Second Battle of Tumbleton, defeating Rhaenyra's foes at the cost of his own life. Meanwhile, Corlys was thrown in the dungeon, costing Rhaenyra the Velaryon fleet. He was eventually pardoned by King Aegon II Targaryen. During the Hour of the Wolf after the war, Alysanne Blackwood agreed to marry Lord Cregan Stark in exchange for allowing the pardoning of Corlys to stand. After Corlys died in 132 AC, his body lay in state beneath the Iron Throne for seven days and the realm wept.[11]

After the Dance

Upon the death of Queen Jaehaera, Lady Baela and Lady Rhaena presented Lady Daenaera Velaryon to the court of King Aegon III. Daenaera was the daughter of Daeron Velaryon, a cousin to Alyn who died fighting in the Stepstones. The young king was taken with the Lady Daenaera who was described as a surpassingly beautiful girl and she became the king's second wife and gave birth to Daeron, Baelor, Daena, Rhaena and Elaena. Daenaera was an ancestor of the Blackfyre line through her daughter Daena.

Alyn Velaryon, formerly Alyn of Hull, became of Lord of Driftmark upon the Sea Snake's death. During the time of regency for the young King Aegon III, Lord Velaryon was the greatest rival to Lord Unwin Peake, then Hand of the King. Alyn had already thwarted Unwin's plans to marry his own daughter of the young king by having him marry his niece, Lady Daenaera Velaryon. Lord Alyn was refused his grandfather's place as regent for the young king, and then was made to sail against the Stepstones where he won a great victory at sea and earned the name Oakenfist. Alyn was later dispatched to the westerlands to defeat Dalton Greyjoy, the Red Kraken and he achieved glory in Daeron I Targaryen's conquest of Dorne.

Lord Alyn took to wife his cousin, the Lady Baela Targaryen, daughter of Prince Daemon Targaryen and Lady Laena Velaryon. Despite being married to Baela, Alyn also had a love affair with his cousin, Princess Elaena Targaryen, sister to Daeron the Young Dragon, Baelor the Blessed and Daena the Defiant. Elaena and Alyn had two children together, Jon and Jeyne Waters[12] Their son earned knighthood, and was married, beginning a line that still remains in King's Landing to this day, in the person of Rennifer Longwaters, a gaoler in the Red Keep.

Recent History

Lucerys Velaryon served as master of ships for Aerys II Targaryen.[13] During the War of the Usurper, the Velaryons presumably remained loyal to the Targaryens, sending men with Aerys's heir, Rhaegar Targaryen, Prince of Dragonstone, to fight in the Battle of the Trident.

Recent Events

A Clash of Kings

Lord Monford Velaryon answers Stannis Baratheon's summons when he crowns himself king and calls his banners. Stannis comments to Davos Seaworth his disgust about having to sup with his lords, among them Velaryon, whom he expects to threaten to take his levies home unless they attack at once.[14] Lord Velaryon's contribution to Stannis's fleet is the Pride of Driftmark and her three sister ships named Bold Laughter, Harridan, and Seahorse.[15] When Stannis makes public the accusations of Joffrey Baratheon being born from incest, Monford states that only steel will decide the matter.[16]

When Stannis besieges Storm's End during the War of the Five Kings, Lord Velaryon urges him to storm the castle walls as soon as possible. Monford burns with his ship at the Battle of the Blackwater.[17] Before sinking, the Pride of Driftmark manages to take down two Lannister ships. When leading his sortie, Tyrion Lannister finds himself surrounded with Ser Balon Swann and Ser Mandon Moore by a circle of Velaryon spearmen.[18] Aurane Waters, the Bastard of Driftmark, is made prisoner during the battle and surrenders to King Joffrey Baratheon.[19]

A Storm of Swords

Monford is succeeded by his six-year-old son, Lord Monterys Velaryon.[20] Despite Stannis's defeat at the Blackwater, the Velaryons are still counted amongst his supporters.[21]

The seahorse arms of House Velaryon are spotted by Jon Snow during the attack by Stannis on the wildling camp north of the Wall.[22]

A Feast for Crows

Aurane Waters reminds Queen Cersei Lannister of Prince Rhaegar Targaryen when she met him at the Red Keep.[8] Regardless of his youth and Ser Jaime Lannister's objections, Cersei names the Bastard of Driftmark the new master of ships. In that position, Aurane proposes the construction of dromonds and also suggests to crew them with thieves and poachers.[23]

When Margaery Tyrell is accused of adultery, Aurane suggests setting the ships on the Blackwater Rush to impose order and be an unspoken threat against Margaery's father, Lord Mace Tyrell. Once he receives notice of Cersei's imprisonment he flees to sea and disappears. Grand Maester Pycelle believes that he has the idea to set himself up as a pirate in the Stepstones.[24]

House Velaryon at the end of the third century

The known Velaryons during the timespan of the events described in A Song of Ice and Fire are:

Aurane Waters

Historical Velaryons

Historical Velaryon tree

Marilda of Hull
Rhaenyra Targaryen
5 sons
Baela Targaryen
Alyn "of Hull"
Addam "of Hull"
House Velaryon
Aegon III Targaryen

References and Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Jaehaerys I.
  2. A Feast for Crows, Appendix.
  3. A Game of Thrones, Appendix.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 10, Davos I.
  5. Citadel. Heraldry: In the area of the King's Landing. "Sea green" can actually refer to a range of colors from teal to dark green, and George R. R. Martin has not specified through official artwork which exact shade he intended.
  6. The Citadel. House Mottoes
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 The Rogue Prince.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 12, Cersei III.
  9. The World of Ice & Fire, The Reign of the Dragons: The Conquest.
  10. 10.00 10.01 10.02 10.03 10.04 10.05 10.06 10.07 10.08 10.09 10.10 The Princess and the Queen.
  11. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon III.
  12. So Spake Martin: Three Maidens in a Tower, June 27, 2006
  13. The World of Ice & Fire, The Fall of the Dragons: The Year of the False Spring.
  14. A Clash of Kings, Prologue.
  15. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 58, Davos III.
  16. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 42, Davos II.
  17. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 25, Davos III.
  18. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 61, Tyrion XIV.
  19. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 65, Sansa VIII.
  20. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 36, Davos IV.
  21. A Storm of Swords, Appendix.
  22. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 73, Jon X.
  23. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 17, Cersei IV.
  24. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 43, Cersei X.
  25. 25.0 25.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon I.
  26. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Maegor I.

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