House Velaryon

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House Velaryon of Driftmark
House Velaryon.PNG
Coat of arms Aquamarine, a seahorse rampant argent
Words The Old, the True, the Brave
Seat High Tide
Lord Monterys Velaryon
Region Crownlands, Blackwater Bay
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. High Tide is one of their castles.[1] The head of House Velaryon uses the titles Lord of the Tides and Master of Driftmark.[2] The Velaryons are sworn to Dragonstone.[3]

House Velaryon is an ancient and proud house, with the blood of old Valyria in its veins.[4][5] Velaryons, like the Targaryens, often have the Valyrian features of silver hair and purple eyes. A traditional name of the Velaryons is Jacaerys.[6][5] Their arms depict a silver seahorse on sea green.[4][7] Their words do not appear in the books, but according to semi-canon sources they are "The Old, the True, the Brave".[8]


Targaryen Alliance and the Wars of Conquest

House Velaryon was a closely allied family to House Targaryen in Valyria. Twelve years before the Doom, Lord Aenar Targaryen moved his entire family and their dragons from Valyria to the island Dragonstone. [9] [10] The Velaryons went with them, settling on Driftmark. The House continued to maintain close ties with the Targaryens, and Aegon the Conqueror's mother was Velena Velaryon. When Aegon and his sisters began their Wars of Conquest, Driftmark men followed, and Daemon Velaryon was his Master of Ships. Since then, Targaryen kings have chosen Velaryon wives for three of their princes.[4] Of these princes, two are currently known: Prince Daemon Targaryen, who married Laena Velaryon, and Prince Aenys Targaryen, who most likely married Alyssa Velaryon before his coronation.

The Dance of the Dragons

During the Dance of the Dragons, the Velaryons were major supporters of the blacks against the greens, as Princess Rhaenyra'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 (who all died in the 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. The head of the house, Lord Corlys the Sea Snake, 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.[1]

The death of Lord Corlys's wife Princess Rhaenys 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.[1]

To gain more dragonriders, the blacks recruited several dragonseed smallfolk, among them Addam of Hull and his brother Alyn. 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 Lord Corlys was thrown in the dungeon, costing Rhaenyra the Velaryon fleet.

Later Targaryen Era

After the Dance, a lady of the House became the second wife of King Aegon III, and gave birth to Kings Daeron I and Baelor I. She was also an ancestor of the Blackfyre line through Daena the Defiant. Daena's sister, Elaena Targaryen had a love affair with Alyn Velaryon, her adoptive cousin who had once been Alyn of Hull.[11] Alyn, meanwhile, became a naval hero in the Conquest of Dorne. Their son, Ser Jon Waters, began a line of bastards who still remain in King's Landing, in the person of Rennifer Longwaters, a gaoler in the Red Keep.

During the War of the Usurper, the Velaryons presumably remained loyal to the Targaryens, sending men with Prince Rhaegar of Dragonstone to fight at 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. Lord Velaryon's contribution to Stannis's fleet is the Pride of Driftmark and her three sister ships named Bold Laughter, Harridan, and Seahorse. When Stannis makes public the accusations of Joffrey Baratheon being born from incest, Monford states that only steel will decide the matter.

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. 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. Aurane Waters, the Bastard of Driftmark, is made prisoner during the battle and surrenders to King Joffrey Baratheon. Monford is succeeded by his six-year-old son, Lord Monterys Velaryon.

A Storm of Swords

The seahorse arms of House Velaryon are spotted by Jon Snow during the attack by Stannis on the wildling camp north of the Wall.[12]

A Feast for Crows

Aurane Waters reminds Queen Cersei Lannister of Prince Rhaegar Targaryen when she met him at the Red Keep.[5] 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. When Margaery Tyrell is accused of adultery, Aurane suggests setting the ships on the river to ease the turmoil. 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.

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:

  • Lord {Monford Velaryon}, Lord of the Tides and Master of Driftmark. Burned with his ship at the Battle of the Blackwater.
  • Aurane Waters, "the Bastard of Driftmark", Monford's bastard brother. A young and handsome sellsail, former Grand Admiral turned pirate and self-fashioned Lord of the Waters.

Historical Velaryons

Historical Velaryon tree

Rhaenyra Targaryen
Marilda of Hull
3 Sons
Aegon III Targaryen
Rhaena Targaryen
Baela Targaryen
Jon Waters
Jeyne Waters

References and Notes