In episode 10 of “House of the Dragon” season 1, Corlys Velaryon returns after his severe injuries. He wants to go to war with Rhaenyra Targaryen. What else is in store for the Sea Serpent in House of the Dragon season 2?
Corlys Velaryon is one of the most influential and interesting protagonists in House of the Dragon. What adventures does the Lord of the Tides have in the first season and what is still in store for him in the second?
Brought back by the tides and love
In episode 10 of “House of the Dragon,” we see Corlys’ return. After going to war with the Stepping Stones following the deaths of his children Laenor and Laena, the Lord of Driftmark had to spend a long time recovering from serious injuries.
Much has happened in his absence, and his wife Rhaenys enlightens him that Vaemond, Corlys’ brother, was beheaded by Daemon for an insult before an assembled court. But a new storm is gathering over Corlys, Rhaenys convinces the aged captain and lord to join Rhaenyra’s cause and support her claim to the throne.
Captain by sea, advisor by land
Although Corlys actually wanted to renounce great ambitions, Rhaenys convinces him of the importance and rightness of supporting the “black” Queen Rhaenyra. Her claim is the legitimate one, since she was appointed by her father, Viserys I Targaryen, as his heir. Besides, Rhaenys fears that otherwise her grandchildren will be killed by the Greens.
Now Corlys seems to be fully in favor and assures Rhaenyra of his full support and the fleet of Velaryons. In the hall with the illuminated tablet on Dragonstone, Rhaenyra’s allies hold a war council. Corlys’ proposal is about to cut off King’s Landing from all maritime trade by a naval blockade at the Throat and the Stepping Stones.
A brilliant as well as important idea. For in this way Rhaenyra can quickly win over the conflict before it degenerates into a continental war. It quickly becomes clear that Corlys is willing to give everything and support Rhaenyra fully. His advice and strategic maneuvers are to prove extremely important for her yet.
Where does Corlys’ journey lead in season 2?
Season 2 of “House of the Dragon” is where the dance of the dragons really breaks out. Both sides, the Green and the Black, King Aegon II and Queen Rhaenyra will vie for supporters and fight their first battles. Corlys plays a crucial role in Rhaenyra’s war council.
Thus, it is conceivable that in the future we will see him mainly as an advisor and later hand of the queen. You could clearly see his injuries already in the last episode of season 1. Corlys is dependent on a cane, fighting is out of the question for him for now.
Reconciliation for a common cause
A discussion with his former comrade-in-arms Daemon, about the murder of his brother Vaemond, should also be on Corlys’ agenda. While he should understand that Vaemond’s own words of betrayal and scorn towards Rhaenyra provoked this reaction from Daemon, he should still not be happy about it.
The relationship between Corlys and his granddaughters of Laena, Baela and Rhaena, and with the sons of Laenor and Rhaenyra, Jacaerys and Gottfrid, should also be exciting.
Finally, we will see Corlys in Season 2, as one of Rhaenyra’s leading advisors and in forging battle plans and exchanges and reconciliations with his family. He will also be present at the upcoming “Seed of the Seeds,” a selection of new dragon riders, and may already be confronted by the eventual new Velaryon heirs.
Because the Black faction needs more dragonriders, non-noble ones should also get a chance to mount riderless dragons on Dragonstone and Driftmark. Two of them, Addam and Alyn, turn out to be the illegitimate sons of Corlys’ deceased son Laenor. Although it is strongly implied in the book that Corlys himself fathered them.
Rhaenyra legitimizes Addam and Alyn as a favor to Corlys. However, the Blacks are betrayed by two Dragonseeds (the name given to bastards of Valyrian blood) during the course of the war. Now Rhaenyra doubts the loyalty of all the Dragonseeds, but Corlys warns Addam about Rhaenyra. In return, Rhaenyra throws Corlys into the dungeons of the Red Keep.
The aged sea serpent then changes sides and tries his luck with the Greens, who in the meantime have retaken King’s Landing. However, they turn out to be no less cruel and incompetent rulers. It is rumored that Corlys poisoned Aegon II because of this, but it was never clearly clarified, at least in the books, who was behind the poison attack.
But the story of Corlys Velaryon does not end here either, for he is to serve yet another king. After the Dance of Dragons is over and Rhaenyra’s youngest son ascends the throne as Aegon III Targaryen, peace slowly returns to the realm.
By him and his short-lived Hand Cregan Stark, Corlys is pardoned for the suspected regicide and from then on even serves on the council of the child king. His death at a ripe old age appears to have been non-violent, though in the world of Ice and Fire and Westeros, one can never say for sure.
Who will become ruler of Driftmark after Corlys?
After most of Corlys’ family perished in the Civil War, the Driftmark throne is first to go to Laenor’s first bastard son, Addam. However, after he too fell in the last great battle of the Dragon Dance, only Laenor’s second bastard Alyn remained. Legitimized as Velaryon, he was able to take up his inheritance. His claim to Driftmark, the name Velaryon, and title of Lord of the Tides would also be strengthened by his marriage to Baela Targaryen.
Corlys Velaryon has successfully brought his house and heritage through the Targaryen Civil War and secured the Velaryons’ prosperity for another generation. For as he rightly said, it is not the blood that counts, but the name. How his fate will be further revealed in the “House of the Dragon” series, however, remains to be seen. Perhaps this will also address the theory that Addam and Alyn are not Laenor’s, but Corlys’ bastards.