House Velaryon

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

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][N 1][N 2] Their words do not appear in the books, but according to semi-canon sources they are "The Old, the True, the Brave".[6]



House Velaryon is of Valyrian descent, and its members often have Valyrian features, such as silver-gold or silver hair and purple eyes.[7][8] Some Velaryons have blue eyes.[9]


A traditional name of the Velaryons is Jacaerys.[10][11]

It is traditional for the sons of House Velaryon to be given a taste of a seafarer's life when young. The positions of master of ships and lord admiral are often filled by a member of House Velaryon, as the family provides most of the royal fleet.[11]



House Velaryon is an ancient and proud house, with the blood of old Valyria in its veins.[4][7] A noble house with a storied Valyrian lineage, the Velaryons had come to Westeros even before the Targaryens, if their family histories can be believed, settling in the Gullet on the low-lying and fertile isle of island of Driftmark (so named for the driftwood that the tides brought daily to its shores) rather than its stony, smoking neighbor, Dragonstone.[11] The castle of Driftmark housed their ancient high seat, the Driftwood Throne, which according to legend had been given to them by the Merling King to conclude a pact.[1]

Though never dragonriders, the Velaryons had for centuries remained the oldest and closest allies of the Targaryens. The sea was their element, not the sky. During the Conquest, it was Velaryon ships that carried Aegon’s soldiers across Blackwater Bay, and later formed the greater part of the royal fleet. Throughout the first century of Targaryen rule, so many Lords of the Tides served on the small council as master of ships that the office was widely seen as almost hereditary.[1][11]

Their close proximity to the Gullet enabled the Velaryons to fill their coffers from the passing trade in the narrow sea and Blackwater Bay. They allied with House Targaryen from Dragonstone and House Celtigar from Claw Isle, both houses of Valyrian descent; while the Velaryons and Celtigars dominated the middle reaches of the narrow sea with their ships, the Targaryens ruled the skies with their dragons.[12]

Aegon's Conquest

The close relations between Houses Velaryon and Targaryen resulted in multiple marriages between the houses, both before and after the Wars of Conquest. From one such marriage was born Valaena Velaryon.[12] She married Aerion Targaryen, the Lord of Dragonstone, with whom she had three children: Visenya, Lord Aegon, and Rhaenys.[12]

House Velaryon allied with the Targaryens at the start of Aegon's Conquest. Lord Daemon Velaryon was made master of ships by Aegon the Conqueror after the mouth of the Blackwater Rush had been secured. Daemon died fighting for Aegon I in the battle in the waters off Gulltown, however.[12]

Early Targaryen reign

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

House Velaryon kept an influential position at the court of the Targaryen kings during the first two centuries of the Targaryen reign. In 10 AC Ser Corlys Velaryon became the first Lord Commander of the Kingsguard.[13] His elder brother, Lord Aethan Velaryon became master of ships for Aegon I.[14] Lord Aethan thus succeeded his father as the Admiral of the Royal Fleet, and in turn was succeeded by his own son Lord Daemon Velaryon.[8] Lord Aethan fought against Sargoso Saan, a pirate-lord, in the Stepstones.[15][8]

Aethan's daughter, Alyssa, was married to Prince Aenys Targaryen, heir to the throne, in 22 AC, with whom she had six children (Rhaena, Aegon, Viserys, Jaehaerys, Alysanne, and Vaella).[14] Alyssa became queen at her husband's coronation. She outlived Aenys I and became a prisoner of his brother, Maegor I Targaryen, on Dragonstone, when Maegor claimed the throne over Aenys's sons by Alyssa. In 44 AC Alyssa fled in the confusion that followed the death of Dowager Queen Visenya Targaryen. Her last surviving son by Aenys, Jaehaerys, put forward his claim for the throne. Lord Daemon Velaryon, Maegor's admiral of the fleet, who had previously supported Maegor, turned against the cruel king, and many of the great houses of Westeros joined with him.[16]

Alyssa's son Jaehaerys became king at the age of fourteen, and Alyssa ruled as his regent, aided by Lord Rogar Baratheon.[1] After Jaehaerys reached the age of majority, the regency ended, and Alyssa married Rogar,[17] giving birth to two more children: Boremund and Jocelyn Baratheon.[18] The Velaryons of the Old King's reign were a house even more influential than House Lannister.[19]

The Sea Snake

After Daemon Velaryon eventually died he was directly succeeded as Lord of the Tides by his grandson Corlys Velaryon, also known as the Sea Snake, who rose to fame with his many voyages across the seas of the world. Corlys became the first man from Westeros to sail to Yi Ti, returning rich with spices, silks, and other treasures. He accumulated so much wealth that House Velaryon became the richest house in the realm, and himself the wealthiest man in the Seven Kingdoms, waxing even greater than the Lannisters or Hightowers. Because their ancestral castle, Driftmark, was damp and crowded, Corlys constructed a new seat for the Velaryons, High Tide.[1]

Alyssa's daughter Jocelyn was eventually wed to Alyssa's grandson, Prince Aemon Targaryen, at the time the heir to the throne. Their child, Princess Rhaenys, was in turn wed to Lord Corlys, and gave birth to two children by him: Laena and Laenor, both of whom became dragonriders. During the Great Council of 101 AC, Laenor's claim to the throne was presented before the lords of the Seven Kingdoms. Although primogeniture favored him, and his father's wealth, fame and reputation resulted in much support for Laenor, in the end he lost to Prince Viserys Targaryen,[1] causing a rift between the Velaryons and the Iron Throne.[10] After Queen Aemma Arryn died, King Viserys I's Grand Maester, Runciter, suggested Corlys's twelve-year-old daughter Laena as a new bride, but House Velaryon was passed over once more. In response, Corlys and his family shunned Viserys's wedding to Alicent Hightower.[10][11]

Corlys eventually befriended Prince Daemon Targaryen, with whom he invaded the Stepstones in 106 AC. When Daemon's wife, Rhea Royce, died in 115 AC, Corlys happily agreed to wed Laena to Daemon, following the death of Laena's betrothed. Laena's brother, Laenor, had married Rhaenyra Targaryen, the Princess of Dragonstone, the year before. Although that marriage resulted in three sons, it was rumored that all three boys were bastards of Ser Harwin Strong, as they looked nothing like Rhaenyra and Laenor.[10][11] Laena gave birth to twin girls for Daemon, but died in childbirth several years later, in early 120 AC. Laenor was killed shortly after by Ser Qarl Correy.[10][11]

The Dance of the Dragons

Rhaenyra Targaryen's personal sigil was the Targaryen dragon heraldry, quartered with the Velaryon seahorse and the Arryn falcon.
Rhaenyra Targaryen and her family receive the news of Prince Lucerys Velaryon's death at the hands of Prince Aemond Targaryen. Screencap from Game of Thrones, Complete Guide to Westeros.

Corlys and his wife, Rhaenys, were major supporters of Rhaenyra Targaryen during the Dance of the Dragons, in which Rhaenyra's half-brother Aegon II Targaryen claimed the Iron Throne, despite Rhaenyra having been the proclaimed heir of the late King Viserys I. Prince Jacaerys Velaryon flew to Winterfell and negotiated the Pact of Ice and Fire.[20] Prince Lucerys Velaryon traveled as an envoy to Storm's End, where he was killed by Prince Aemond Targaryen,[21] and Corlys grew furious with Rhaenyra when Rhaenys died at Rook's Rest. Lord Velaryon was brought back into the fold by Rhaenyra naming him Hand of the Queen.[21]

When Prince Jacaerys offered the people of Dragonstone to attempt and claim a dragon, to increase the number of dragonriders, Addam of Hull and his brother Alyn made their attempt. Addam succeeded in claiming the dragon Seasmoke, who had previously been ridden by Ser Laenor Velaryon. According to their mother, Marilda, Laenor had fathered the two boys, which many found a dubious claim, as Laenor had preferred men. The court fool Mushroom suggests that Addam and Alyn had actually been fathered by Corlys, who had kept them far away from his fiery-tempered wife. With his wife now dead, and the paternity of his son Laenor's children in question, Corlys agreed to adopt both boys into House Velaryon, petitioning Rhaenyra to remove the taint of bastardy from them, enabling him to name them his heirs.[21]

Corlys used his fleets to blockade Blackwater Bay. However, Jacaerys was killed and the blockade was broken in the Battle of the Gullet. The Velaryons lost nearly a third of their ships and the Triarchy sacked Spicetown and High Tide, with Spicetown never rebuilt.[21]

When Rhaenyra became paranoid following the betrayal of the new dragonriders later on in the war, she ordered Addam's arrest. Corlys objected, and when ignored, warned Addam, allowing him to flee King's Landing. Addam later fought at the Second Battle of Tumbleton, proving his loyalty to Rhaenyra by defeating her foes at the cost of his own life. Meanwhile, Corlys was thrown in the dungeon, and so the Velaryon fleet abandoned Rhaenyra's cause.[21] Prince Joffrey Velaryon fell to his death during the Storming of the Dragonpit.[21] Rhaenyra fled the capital, but was fed to Sunfyre after the fall of Dragonstone.[21]

Corlys was freed when Aegon II took King's Landing after the Moon of the Three Kings.[22] In exchange for a pardon,[22] Corlys used his wealth and power to support Aegon II. However, he refused to accept the execution of Rhaenyra's surviving son, Prince Aegon the Younger, and insisted the boy should be betrothed to Aegon II's only remaining child, Princess Jaehaera, as a requirement for his support.[23] Corlys served on Aegon II's small council until the king's death.[22] Corlys acted quickly by sending envoys to Aegon II's main supporters, but was arrested on the charge of poisoning Aegon II by Lord Cregan Stark. He was freed by his granddaughters and Lady Alysanne Blackwood, however, and served the new king as a regent until his death in 132 AC.[24]

The Oakenfist

Following the death of his first wife, Jaehaera Targaryen, King Aegon III Targaryen married Lady Daenaera Velaryon, the daughter of Daeron Velaryon, a cousin to Lord Alyn Velaryon. Daenaera gave birth to five children: Daeron, Baelor, Daena, Rhaena, and Elaena. Although both of her sons would rule as kings, both died childless. Through her daughter Daena, however, Daenaera is an ancestor of House Blackfyre.[18]

Alyn Velaryon, formerly Alyn of Hull, became of Lord of Driftmark upon the death of Corlys the Sea Snake. During the regency of Aegon III, Alyn was the greatest rival to Lord Unwin Peake, then Hand of the King. 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. Lord Unwin had hoped that Alyn would fail, but instead, this expedition became the first of Alyn's six great voyages.[24] Alyn later played an important role in the return of Aegon III's brother, Viserys, having negotiated his release from captivity in Lys.[24]

In 157 AC, Alyn Oakenfist took a decisive part in King Daeron I Targaryen's conquest of Dorne as master of ships.[25] He commanded a fleet that broke the Planky Town, and swept halfway up the Greenblood river while the main Dornish strength was engaged with Daeron in the Prince's Pass.[26] Alyn returned to subdue the Planky Town and the Greenblood in 160 AC after the Dornishmen rebelled.[25]

Alyn had an unknown number of children with his wife, Lady Baela Targaryen, the eldest daughter of Prince Daemon Targaryen and Lady Laena Velaryon.[18] Although he was married, he loved the Princess Elaena Targaryen,[27] and had two bastards by her, the twins Jon and Jeyne Waters.[28][29] Elaena hoped to marry Alyn, but he disappeared at sea.[28] Their son Jon earned knighthood, married, and had a son of his own who began House Longwaters.[27]

Robert's Rebellion

The Velaryons frequently served as master of ships—so often that at times the office had seemed hereditary—and provided much of the Iron Throne's royal fleet.[1] Lucerys Velaryon served as master of ships for King Aerys II Targaryen, being one of the king's bigger supporters against his son Rhaegar, the Prince of Dragonstone.[30]

After Robert's Rebellion, the new king, Robert I Baratheon, granted the castle Dragonstone to his brother Stannis. The Velaryons have been sworn to House Baratheon of Dragonstone ever since.[31]

Recent Events

A Clash of Kings

Lord Monford Velaryon answers Stannis Baratheon's summons when he crowns himself king and calls his banners. Stannis expects Monford will threaten to take his levies home unless they attack at once.[31] Monford's contribution to Stannis's royal fleet includes the large ships Pride of Driftmark, Bold Laughter, Harridan, and Seahorse.[32] When Stannis makes public the accusations of Joffrey Baratheon being born from incest, Monford states that only steel will decide the matter.[33]

When Stannis besieges Storm's End during the War of the Five Kings, Lord Monford urges him to storm the castle walls as soon as possible.[33] Monford burns with his ship at the Battle of the Blackwater.[34] Before sinking, the Pride of Driftmark manages to take down two ships of the royal fleet. When leading his sortie, Tyrion Lannister finds himself surrounded with Ser Balon Swann and Ser Mandon Moore by a circle of Velaryon spearmen.[35] Monford's half-brother, Aurane Waters, the Bastard of Driftmark, is made prisoner during the battle and surrenders to King Joffrey.[36]

A Storm of Swords

Monford is succeeded by his six-year-old son, Monterys.[37] Despite Stannis's defeat at the Blackwater, the Velaryons are still counted among his supporters.[38]

The seahorse arms of House Velaryon are spotted by Jon Snow during the attack by Stannis on the wildling camp north of the Wall.[39]

A Feast for Crows

Aurane Waters wins the favor of Queen Cersei Lannister, who finds that Aurane reminds her of Prince Rhaegar Targaryen due to his Valyrian appearance.[7] Regardless of his youth and Ser Jaime Lannister's objections, Cersei names Aurane as the new master of ships. In that position, Aurane proposes the construction of dromonds and also suggests to crew them with thieves and poachers.[40]

When Queen Margaery Tyrell is accused of adultery, Aurane suggests setting the new ships on the Blackwater Rush to impose order and be an unspoken threat against Margaery's father, Lord Mace Tyrell.[41] Once he receives notice of Cersei's imprisonment, however, Aurane flees to sea and disappears. Grand Maester Pycelle believes the Bastard of Driftmark has the idea to set himself up as a pirate in the Stepstones.[41]

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:


Historical Velaryons

Family tree

Aenys I
(at least four)
Son of Lord
of Hull
3 Sons
Aegon III


He was a scion of House Velaryon: a family of old and storied Valyrian heritage who had come to Westeros before the Targaryens, as the histories agree, and who often provided the bulk of the royal fleet.[1]

—writings of Yandel

Tonight I am to sup with my lords bannermen, such as they are. Celtigar, Velaryon, Bar Emmon, the whole paltry lot of them. A poor crop, if truth be told, but they are what my brothers have left me.[31]


  1. "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.
  2. When asked if the device of the Velaryon coat of arms is a real seahorse or an heraldic one, George R. R. Martin answered the real one.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 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 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 10, Davos I.
  5. Citadel. Heraldry: In the area of the King's Landing.
  6. The Citadel. House Mottoes
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 12, Cersei III.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 Fire & Blood, The Sons of the Dragon.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Fire & Blood, Under the Regents - War and Peace and Cattle Shows.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 10.7 The Rogue Prince.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 Fire & Blood, Heirs of the Dragon - A Question of Succession.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 The World of Ice & Fire, The Reign of the Dragons: The Conquest.
  13. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon I.
  14. 14.0 14.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aenys I.
  15. The Sons of the Dragon.
  16. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Maegor I.
  17. The World of Ice & Fire, The Stormlands: House Baratheon.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 The World of Ice & Fire, Appendix: Targaryen Lineage.
  19. The World of Ice & Fire, The Westerlands: House Lannister Under the Dragons.
  20. The World of Ice & Fire, The North: The Lords of Winterfell.
  21. 21.00 21.01 21.02 21.03 21.04 21.05 21.06 21.07 21.08 21.09 21.10 21.11 21.12 21.13 21.14 The Princess and the Queen.
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon II.
  23. Aegon II and Aegon III (April 23) - post 1
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon III.
  25. 25.0 25.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Daeron I.
  26. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 17, Jon IV.
  27. 27.0 27.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 8, Jaime I.
  28. 28.0 28.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Baelor I.
  29. So Spake Martin: Three Maidens in a Tower, June 27, 2006
  30. The World of Ice & Fire, The Fall of the Dragons: The Year of the False Spring.
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 A Clash of Kings, Prologue.
  32. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 58, Davos III.
  33. 33.0 33.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 42, Davos II.
  34. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 25, Davos III.
  35. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 61, Tyrion XIV.
  36. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 65, Sansa VIII.
  37. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 36, Davos IV.
  38. A Storm of Swords, Appendix.
  39. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 73, Jon X.
  40. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 17, Cersei IV.
  41. 41.0 41.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 43, Cersei X.
  42. Fire & Blood, Aegon's Conquest.
  43. 43.0 43.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon I.
  44. Fire & Blood, The Year of The three Brides - 49 AC.
  45. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Maegor I.
  46. Fire & Blood, A Time of Testing - The Realm Remade.
  47. The Rise of the Dragon, The Reign of Jaehaerys I.
  48. Fire & Blood, Birth, Death, and Betrayal Under Jaehaerys I.
  49. 49.0 49.1 49.2 49.3 49.4 Fire & Blood, Under the Regents - The Hooded Hand.
  50. Fire & Blood, The Long Reign - Jaehaerys and Alysanne: Policy, Progeny, and Pain.
  51. Fire & Blood, Birth, Death, and Betrayal Under King Jaehaerys I.
  52. Fire & Blood, The Sons of the Dragons.
  53. The World of Ice & Fire, The Fall of the Dragons: The Year of the False Spring.