Fans of the Game of Thrones franchise will want to pay very close attention to the 'Sea Snake', Corlys Velaryon, when he appears on House of the Dragon – as we could be seeing a lot more of him in the future.
In March 2022, it was rumoured his famous nine voyages could be the subject of another spin-off to the George R R Martin series – but we'll meet him after them in House of the Dragon. It's all a bit timey-wimey at the moment.
Played in this instance by Steve Toussaint, Corlys made House Velaryon a powerful seat, richer than the Lannisters could dare to be, and he is the owner of the largest navy in the Westerosi world.
Corlys is an interesting fellow, as Toussaint explains to The Hollywood Reporter: "He's unlike just about every other high-born man we meet as he's a self-made man who's seen about 14 battles. He made these legendary nine voyages when he was very young and made his fortune that way. Now he's wealthy and he likes people to know it."
So who exactly is Corlys? And what's his claim to the Iron Throne? Read on for all you need to know about The Sea Snake.
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Who is Corlys Velaryon?
Corlys Velaryon started traversing the seas when he was just a boy and was considered to be an excellent, and natural, sailor.
He first captained a ship when he was just 16 and was revered at the age of 23.
Corlys's nickname the 'Sea Snake' came from the ship he designed and built which sailed on nine voyages to Essos. It was during these famed trips that he increased his wealth when he brought new goods back to Westeros.
After gaining his wealth, he married Rhaenys Targaryen, the granddaughter of the Old King Jaehaerys Targaryen.
According to Toussaint, the pair are actually very much in love, unlike other marriages in the franchise which are often done out of convenience.
He told The Hollywood Reporter: "The other thing Eve [Best, who plays Rhaenys] and I were discussing the other day is that [Rhaenys and Corlys] are the only couple together purely for love. He also listens to her. He doesn’t always pay attention, but he seeks her advice."
When Rhaenys's father died and Jaehaerys lost the next heir to the Iron Throne, the Great Council called by the Old King saw Princess Rhaenys passed over for the throne in favour of Viserys.
Despite this, Lord Corlys faithfully serves King Viserys I as his Master of Ships.
**Warning: The following contains spoilers for the book and possibly TV series**
When Viserys is encouraged to take a new wife, Corlys suggests uniting both of their houses.
However, House Velaryon once again is scorned by House Targaryen.
Corlys soon takes matters into his own hands, uniting with Viserys's hot-headed (and equally scorned) brother Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith).
Will they be able to get what they believe is rightfully theirs?
Who is Steve Toussaint?
It might be easier to list things Steve Toussaint hasn't appeared in. The renowned actor is perhaps best known for his roles as Seso in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Captain John McGuire in Mutant Chronicles, and Hunter Squad Leader in Judge Dredd.
In terms of TV, Toussaint appeared in Before We Die alongside Lesley Sharp, It's a Sin, Small Axe and In the Long Run.
He also starred as Feekat in Doctor Who's Ascension of the Cybermen and played Roger Mendez in Our Girl.
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