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Ser Uncle P

Targaryen fleet destroyed...

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Is is safe to assume that the Targaryen ships destroyed by the storm during Dany's birth were actually that of House Velaryon? 

Per the World Book, Lucerys Velaryon was Aerys master of ships during 281 ac, so he must have had a considerable navy to be master of at that time. 

Fast forward to Stannis dismisses the Lord Velaryon of his day as a "paltry bunch" and "Codfish Lords", and most of his ships are either the stolen Royal fleet or Sellsails.  

Presumably the Velaryons bent the knee to Stannis after the storm rather than directly to Robert. 

 

 

 

 

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The bulk of those ships should have indeed been those of House Velaryon. They did not lose all their ships, obviously, but chances are that the sorry shape they seem to be in during the main series has to do with that. In fact, the sorry state of the royal fleet as such - Stannis controlled most of the royal fleet he built for Robert during the main series - compared to the size of the royal fleet in previous times strongly implies that this storm dealt a major blow to all the lords of the Narrow Sea whose ships would make up a huge chunk of the royal fleet in the Targaryen days.

Back during the Dance the Velaryon strength alone, give or take, was enough to take KL. Stannis doesn't have that strength even with the support of his sellsails.

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The Velaryons and other subjects contributed.  But maybe Aerys had a standing royal navy.  To use against the Ironborn if it ever came to blows with the Greyjoys.

 

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Honestly it makes no sense that house Valaryon are currently so weak, they went from one of the top 3 richest houses in ALL of Westeros to bottom feeder lords or "codfish" lords as Stannis puts it. Where is the wealth they accumulated? Did they not invest it at all? There location on the narrow sea should help them at least be able to trade goods with Essos easily. 

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35 minutes ago, Stormking902 said:

Honestly it makes no sense that house Valaryon are currently so weak, they went from one of the top 3 richest houses in ALL of Westeros to bottom feeder lords or "codfish" lords as Stannis puts it. Where is the wealth they accumulated? Did they not invest it at all? There location on the narrow sea should help them at least be able to trade goods with Essos easily. 

They are a de facto cadet branch of the Targaryens in F&B. 

 

I guess someone along the line squandered the Sea Snake's wealth, and the prestige enjoyed up to the days of Alyn Oakenfist and presumably beyond...

 

Aurane Waters pilfering Cersei's Dromods in Feast is probably a comeback of sorts for the house.

 

A bastard inherited Driftmark before, could happen again with Aurane. 

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1 hour ago, Stormking902 said:

Honestly it makes no sense that house Valaryon are currently so weak, they went from one of the top 3 richest houses in ALL of Westeros to bottom feeder lords or "codfish" lords as Stannis puts it. Where is the wealth they accumulated? Did they not invest it at all? There location on the narrow sea should help them at least be able to trade goods with Essos easily. 

I remember reading somewhere their wealth was mostly invested with the Rogare family and when the family went downhill so did the Velaryon’s wealth. I’m not too sure which book said that though.

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1 hour ago, Stormking902 said:

Honestly it makes no sense that house Valaryon are currently so weak, they went from one of the top 3 richest houses in ALL of Westeros to bottom feeder lords or "codfish" lords as Stannis puts it. Where is the wealth they accumulated? Did they not invest it at all? There location on the narrow sea should help them at least be able to trade goods with Essos easily. 

After the Sea Snake brought back all that wealth from his voyages, he invested in building Spicetown which contributed to sustaining their wealth for a time. However, Spicetown was destroyed in the Dance and apparently never rebuilt so presumably their former great wealth would deteriorate over time. The destruction of the royal fleet at the end of Robert's Rebellion was obviously disastrous, but it's possible that House Velaryon was already a shadow of its former self by that time.

One thing we don't know but will find out in part 2 of Fire & Blood, I assume, is their allegiance during the first Blackfyre rebellion. Daemon Blackfyre is related to House Velaryon through his grandmother, Daenaera Velaryon, so based on that I think there's a good chance that they fought on the Blackfyre side which would not have been good for their standing or fortunes.

Notably, the crown had to rely on the Iron Fleet during the War of the Ninepenny Kings which I think indicates that House Velaryon was not the naval power that they had been.

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8 minutes ago, Crona said:

I remember reading somewhere their wealth was mostly invested with the Rogare family and when the family went downhill so did the Velaryon’s wealth. I’m not too sure which book said that though.

Good point, but Alyn Oakenfist was apparently able to partly rebuild that wealth during his time.

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29 minutes ago, Crona said:

I remember reading somewhere their wealth was mostly invested with the Rogare family and when the family went downhill so did the Velaryon’s wealth. I’m not too sure which book said that though.

They lost some wealth there, but it is quite clear that the Velaryons are still both wealthy and powerful after the Dance of the Dragons. The Gullet was a blow, but they could still help Rhaenyra take KL thereafter, and they remained a dagger at Aegon II's throat during the short time of his restoration.

During the Regency Alyn and his mother actually are rebuilding the wealth and fleets of House Velaryon, and they seem to be very successful at that. They will never be as powerful as they were back during the Sea Snake's era - being richer than the Lannisters and Hightowers means extraordinary wealth and power! - but one assumes they will be more powerful again, especially during and after the Conquest of Dorne. Alyn Velaryon plays a crucial role there, and he should be reap very juicy rewards for his role in that war.

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43 minutes ago, Syl of Syl said:

Good point, but Alyn Oakenfist was apparently able to partly rebuild that wealth during his time.

They must have had some prestige and  ships still as late as Mad King's era, for him to confer Master of Ships on a Velaryon. 

There's nothing either way to hint how they fought in the Blackfyre rebellions, but I can't imagine them being too happy about Daereons Dornish connections. 

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One way to gauge the ascendancy and nadirs of powerful houses is their frequency of marrying into the royal family. Between the Targaryen's making Dragonstone their home and the Dance of Dragons, House Velaryon was probably the most frequently paired house to House Targaryen. Blood ties, common Valyrian ancestry, geography and the sheer wealth and power of the Velaryon's were the cause for this. It seems obviously they lost some "stature"points along the way as their wealth and influence diminished and they were no longer favored by the Targaryen's. 

From everything I have read, the "Royal Navy" had always been the Velaryons, or a combination of them and the other Narrow Sea houses, but never a directly administered fleet controlled only by the Iron Throne and not belong in whole or in part to any individual house (or borrowed from the ironborn depending on the relationship with them at the time).

Stannis' building of the "new" royal fleet to assault Dragonstone was the first true "Iron Throne" fleet. This was the same fleet used to put down the first Greyjoy Rebellion. And when Stannis took his ships home after Robert's death in GoT, the Lannister/Baratheon royal family again had no fleet except those few ships Stannis did not take with him, which were presumably the ones he ended up fighting against on the Blackwater. Post-Blackwater, Cersei began building a new royal fleet, which Aurane Waters then absconded with. 

Iron Throne really has no luck with warships haha. 

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5 hours ago, Hammers1895 said:

One way to gauge the ascendancy and nadirs of powerful houses is their frequency of marrying into the royal family. Between the Targaryen's making Dragonstone their home and the Dance of Dragons, House Velaryon was probably the most frequently paired house to House Targaryen. Blood ties, common Valyrian ancestry, geography and the sheer wealth and power of the Velaryon's were the cause for this. It seems obviously they lost some "stature"points along the way as their wealth and influence diminished and they were no longer favored by the Targaryen's.

While it is true that Daenaera Velaryon seems to have been the last Velaryon to marry a king, we have no idea how many princesses from later years had Velaryon husbands. We don't know who Maekar's daughters married, for instance, or Vaella the Simple. The same goes for Prince Maegor or hypothetical children of Duncan and Jenny. Also, there are cousins to consider Elaena Targaryen's Plumm and Penrose children, the children of Maekar's daughters, etc.

5 hours ago, Hammers1895 said:

From everything I have read, the "Royal Navy" had always been the Velaryons, or a combination of them and the other Narrow Sea houses, but never a directly administered fleet controlled only by the Iron Throne and not belong in whole or in part to any individual house (or borrowed from the ironborn depending on the relationship with them at the time).

The Crown themselves has ships, too, and Ser Tyland has them build more during his rule as Hand, but by the time of the Regency the Velaryon fleet still dwarfs the royal fleet - which is pretty odd considering that the Velaryons didn't serve as Masters of Ship for the majority of the reign of Jaehaerys I - he had Manfryd Redwyne in that office. It is rather fun that neither Redwyne nor later Tyland Lannister - who was Master of Ships under Viserys I for a time - were able to build a sizable royal fleet.

5 hours ago, Hammers1895 said:

Stannis' building of the "new" royal fleet to assault Dragonstone was the first true "Iron Throne" fleet. This was the same fleet used to put down the first Greyjoy Rebellion. And when Stannis took his ships home after Robert's death in GoT, the Lannister/Baratheon royal family again had no fleet except those few ships Stannis did not take with him, which were presumably the ones he ended up fighting against on the Blackwater. Post-Blackwater, Cersei began building a new royal fleet, which Aurane Waters then absconded with. 

Iron Throne really has no luck with warships haha. 

Oh, I don't think the Baratheon is the first royal fleet, merely the replacement fleet for the Targaryen ships destroyed during the storm. We do know that there is a royal fleet during the reign of Aerys I, for instance.

In the end it seems clear that the real blow to Velaryon power came with Robert Baratheon. Prior to that they may no longer have been as powerful as they were during Corlys' time - but back then they were insanely powerful, so it is not really strange if they no longer wax as powerful as back then.

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13 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The Crown themselves has ships, too, and Ser Tyland has them build more during his rule as Hand, but by the time of the Regency the Velaryon fleet still dwarfs the royal fleet - which is pretty odd considering that the Velaryons didn't serve as Masters of Ship for the majority of the reign of Jaehaerys I - he had Manfryd Redwyne in that office. It is rather fun that neither Redwyne nor later Tyland Lannister - who was Master of Ships under Viserys I for a time - were able to build a sizable royal fleet.

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From the time of the Sea Snake through to the Dance, Driftmark was particularly prosperous. I think Spicetown was even supposed to have usurped a lot of the trade that had been going to King's Landing. Spicetown brought in the trade and Hull built the ships. Manfryd Redwyne may have been furiously building ships for the crown and still not been able to catch the Velaryon fleet and the House Velaryon would have continued building ships of their own for the purposes of trade at the very least.

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11 hours ago, Syl of Syl said:

From the time of the Sea Snake through to the Dance, Driftmark was particularly prosperous. I think Spicetown was even supposed to have usurped a lot of the trade that had been going to King's Landing. Spicetown brought in the trade and Hull built the ships. Manfryd Redwyne may have been furiously building ships for the crown and still not been able to catch the Velaryon fleet and the House Velaryon would have continued building ships of their own for the purposes of trade at the very least.

Sure, but it really seems that Aegon II doesn't have any chance to even try to challenge Rhaenyra and the Velaryons with his own royal fleet. Which implies that neither Redwyne nor Lannister could have built a lot of powerful ships. The Greens basically seem to have no naval strength whatsoever at KL. Not at the beginning of the Dance, not during it, not at the end of it. 

And this is odd since both Jaehaerys I (during his later years) and especially Viserys I must have been rich as hell due the prosperity of their reigns. Velaryon trade and wealth increasing certainly helped their own ship-building but the Crown should have been building, too, one imagines. Especially under Viserys I later when he was at odds with his Velaryon cousins - which he clearly was until the Rhaenyra-Laenor match. After all, when your potential rivals essentially control the sea around you you cannot really have that if you are the king, right?

Granted, there is a chance that some ships from the reign of Jaehaerys I were taken out of service by the time of the Dance, etc. but since there is no talk of any ships of KL being destroyed during the reign of Viserys I - while some of Corlys' ships definitely must have been destroyed during the wars on the Stepstones - it is difficult to understand why they seem to have pretty much none.

However, Velaryon power is clearly still great - and growing again - during the Regency era. And considering that Alyn is going to play a crucial role during Daeron's Conquest we can safely say it will remain great throughout the reign of Aegon III. Perhaps the Velaryons will suffer crucial losses during that war, and perhaps we'll learn that Alyn's wealth was wasted and squandered by whatever ineffective son or grandson succeeded him as Lord of Driftmark.

But the fact that the Lord Lucerys Velaryon still served Aerys II as Master of Ships in the 280s strongly implies that neither the power nor the wealth and status of House Velaryon dropped very far in the decades after Alyn Oakenfist died.

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There is no doubt that the loyalist houses control the sea lanes, but I don't think we should conclude that there is no royal fleet. In fact the evidence states clearly it is the "Targaryen" fleet that was smashed at Dragonstone., Not the Velaryon fleet; not the Redwyne fleet that was blockading Storm's End, but the Targaryen fleet that likely escorts Rhaella, Viserys, and Ser Willem to Dragonstone. 

It would be surprising if the Targaryens had not built a fleet controlled by the Master of Ships of the small council, regardless of who occupied that post. That Lucerys Velaryon is Master of Ships during Aerys reign doesn't imply there is no Targaryen fleet, or that the ships that are destroyed on the night of Dany's birth were Velaryon. 

 

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Posted (edited)

I'd say yes, the fact that house Velayron is depicted as much more powerful and influential in the world book and FaB, than in the main series, in which they are barely mentioned, suggests such a recent setback is not only possible, but likely 

They go from a family that can challenge the free cities for supremacy in the narrow sea without official support of the IT, to simply one of Stannis' barely significant bannermen, a very big change.

Edited by Back door hodor

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