|Alias||The Sea Snake|
Lord of the Tides|
Master of Driftmark
Hand of the Queen
|Spouse||Princess Rhaenys Targaryen|
|Book(s)||The Princess and the Queen|
Appearance & Character
Though he had grown old, he liked to say that he was clinging to life “like a drowning sailor clinging to the wreckage of a sunken ship.”
Lord Corlys Velaryon sat on the black council; he was the greatest lord to pledge his strength to Rhaenyra Targaryen’s cause. More than half of Rhaenyra’s army was made up of men sworn to House Velaryon. His fleets also gave her superiority at sea.
When Lord Bartimos urged the princess to fly to King’s Landing at once and reduce the city to ash and bone, Lord Corlys demanded to know how that would serve them, telling him “we want to rule the city, not burn it to the ground.”
The Sea Snake commanded the Velaryon fleet when it closed off the Gullet and sailed back and forth from Dragonstone and Driftmark blocking all shipping entering or leaving Blackwater Bay thereby choking off trade to and from King’s Landing. Eventually the Velaryon blockade was broken by the Battle of the Gullet.
On Dragonstone, after receiving the news that his wife had fallen at Rook's Rest trying to come to the aid of Lord Staunton, angry words were exchanged between the queen and Lord Velaryon. Lord Velaryon blamed Rhaenyra for his wife Rhaenys’s death. He told Rhaenyra that it should have been her who died, that “Staunton sent to you, yet you left it to my wife to answer, and forbade your sons to join her!” All the castle knew that Jace and Joff had been eager to fly with her to Rook's Rest with their own dragons.
Not long after, one of the riderless dragons, Seasmoke, took onto his back a fifteen year old boy known as Addam of Hull. Lord Corlys went so far as to petition Queen Rhaenyra to remove the taint of bastardy from him and his brother. The queen complied and Addam Velaryon became his heir to Driftmark.
After the queen took King's Landing, as Lord Ormond Hightower’s host advanced slowly on King's Landing, with Prince Daeron scouting ahead on the Blue Queen, Lord Corlys suggested to Her Grace that the time had come to talk. He urged the queen to offer pardons. He proposed to let the Faith take charge of Queen Alicent and Queen Helaena, so that they might spend the rest of their lives in prayer and contemplation. He suggested the Princess Jaehaera Targaryen be made his own ward, and in due time married to Prince Aegon the Younger, binding the two halves of House Targaryen together once again.
Rhaenyra demanded to know what of her half brothers. Lord Corlys suggested they be spared and sent to the Wall. When Lord Corlys mentioned the sacred vows of the Night’s Watch Rhaenyra asked what are vows to oathbreakers? “Their vows did not trouble them when they took my throne.” Prince Daemon echoed the queen’s misgiving and suggested a very hard line. The queen decided to steer a middle course.
After the Two Betrayers switched sides, Lord Corlys was the only person on the black council to speak in defense of the dragonseed. He remarked that Ser Addam and his brother Alyn were “true heirs” and worthy of Driftmark and that Netty had fought valiantly in the Battle of the Gullet.
The Hand’s impassioned protests were in vain as by this time the queen had been betrayed so often, by so many, that she was quick to believe the worst of any man. Queen Rhaenyra commanded Ser Luthor Largent to arrest Addam Velaryon in the Dragonpit. Ser Addam, who had been forewarned, managed to make his escape flying away with Seasmoke.
When the balked and angry, Ser Luthor returned from the Dragonpit he accused Lord Corlys of treachery. Lord Corlys did not deny it. Bound and beaten, but still silent, he was taken down into the Red Keep’s dungeons and thrown into a black cell to await trial and execution. This action lost Rhaenyra her fleet.
When it became known that Lord Corlys was languishing in a dungeon under the Red Keep, the army that had sailed from Dragonstone to seize the Iron Throne began to abandon Rhaenyra’s cause by the hundreds. The ones that remained could not be trusted.
- Lord Corlys Velaryon