House of the Dragon is just days away from debuting to take viewers back to the world of Westeros, but the major players will be very different from those in Game of Thrones. When the original show premiered, the major houses in the Seven Kingdoms were Stark, Lannister, and Baratheon, with houses like Tyrell and Martell not entering the game until later seasons and House Targaryen consisting of Viserys and Danaerys in exile on a different continent. House Velaryon will be a major player in House of the Dragon, and Steve Toussaint (who plays Lord Corlys Velaryon) broke down what sets it apart from the others.
Although the main family of House of the Dragon is of course the Targaryens at the height of their power, House Velaryon has a major part to play. Lord Corlys is a famed nautical adventurer, head of a very wealthy family, and husband of a Targaryen. Steve Toussaint (who also weighed in an another upcoming GOT spinoff) spoke with CinemaBlend at the red carpet for the premiere of House of the Dragon about the characteristics of his character’s house and what it brings to the Game of Thrones universe:
One of the abiding things about this house is that he’s a self made man. He went on these legendary nine voyages and made the house wealthy. So that’s a thing he carries like a badge. Everyone around me, they inherited their wealth, and I made mine.
Even in the time period of House of the Dragon (set more than a century before the events of Game of Thrones), the other houses are older with inherited wealth. House Velaryon is built on the fortune that Lord Corlys accumulated with his voyages. The Targaryens are a dynasty that has been ruling in Westeros for 150 years before the series begins; the Velaryons are players who earned their way into positions of power.
Of course, Corlys also made a powerful marriage, as he is wed to the dragonrider and princess Rhaenys Targaryen, the cousin of King Viserys who once was a contender for the throne herself. The main candidates as the next ruler seem to be Princess Rhaenyra (the king’s daughter) and Prince Daemon (the king’s younger brother) as opposed to his cousin, and the trailer suggests that both Corlys and Rhaenys are invested in which Targaryen sits the Iron Throne next.
Corlys and Rhaenys also have several children, so House Velaryon seems set up as a prosperous family in the Seven Kingdoms. Of course, as Game of Thrones showed, prosperous and prolific families don’t necessarily stay that way when the lords and ladies begin warring, so it should be interesting to see how this family’s house stands once the conflict begins to heat up.
Luckily, the wait for House of the Dragon to introduce Corlys, Rhaenys, and the rest is nearly over. The new show premieres on Sunday, August 21 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO and for those with HBO Max subscriptions, inheriting Game of Thrones’ former time slot. There will clearly be similarities between the two shows (including plenty of sex scenes), although fans can rest assured that the sexual violence that was prevalent in Game of Thrones won’t be part of House of the Dragon.
The spinoff will likely also remain truer to the source material than Game of Thrones did, and not just because Fire & Blood has already chronicled the story of this generation of the Targaryen dynasty for House of the Dragon, whereas Game of Thrones outpaced the A Song of Ice and Fire novels. Author George R.R. Martin gave some fitting advice to HOTD creator Ryan Condal, and even had some key details that he wanted included in the show.