house of the dragon‘s first episode had a lot to prepare. There are current and former kings, a whole host of possible heirs, a battle for succession, and a prince so sad he couldn’t even have fun at an orgy. So it’s excusable that the pilot didn’t have much time to devote to Corlys Velaryon and Rhaenys Targaryen, the largest and smallest couple in the realm.
In fact, if any of the characters in house of the dragon might deserve their own prequel shows, it’s these two. In case the show never finds time for its backstory, here’s a little more about Corlys Velaryon and Rhaenys Targaryen and why they’re both so damn cool.
Who is Corlys Velaryon?
Ser Corlys Velaryon is a member of House Velaryon, one of the oldest and most staunch allies of the Targaryens, and one of the few houses in Westeros that can lay claim to Valyrian blood—despite not being dragon riders. Despite the house’s vaunted place in Westeros, it was not among the wealthiest or most important houses in the Seven Kingdoms until Ser Corlys took over. The Velaryons have always been known for their seafaring skills (they often served as captains of ships for their Targaryen kings), but Lord Corlys took seafaring further than anyone in his family.
In his younger days, long before he became master of Driftmark, the family seat of House Velaryon, Corlys sailed the seas on a ship known as the Sea Snake – earning the nickname he wore for the rest of his life should keep. Aboard the Sea Snake, Corlys sailed throughout the known world. These adventures were later mythologized as “The Nine Voyages” and took him to the strangest and most superstitious corners of the world. In the end, however, Corlys’ main takeaways from these voyages were 14 ships full of treasure and gold from Essos, which helped make his house one of the richest in Westeros.
After his travels, becoming Master of Driftmark – a position also known as Lord of the Tides – Corlys married Rhaenys Targaryen and began his service on the Iron Throne, including supporting Rhaenys father Aemon in waging war against the Myrish lead, and eventually served as Master of Ships on the small council, where we join him house of the dragon.
Who is Rhaenys Targaryen?
Rhaenys Targaryen is the daughter of Aemon Targaryen, granddaughter of Jaehaerys Targaryen and once one of the heir presumptive to the Iron Throne. However, during the Great Council of 101, the realm decided to place her cousin Viserys on the throne instead, setting the precedent for male succession in Westeros and dooming Rhaenys to forever “The Queen That Never Was” to be called.
Aside from Rhaenys harboring justifiable anger at having her claim to the Seven Kingdoms denied, Rhaenys is also a fierce dragon rider whose dragon is Meleys, and she is as at home in armor as she is in dress at court.
The couple also have two children, Laenor and Laena, who are both Dragon Riders. Without getting into spoilers for the upcoming story, all four will play very important roles house of the dragon marches towards its inevitable and violent end.
https://www.polygon.com/23322198/house-dragon-corlys-rhaenys-explained-hotd The House of the Dragon power couple got a proper introduction in Episode 2