ICYMI, no person successfully swore off the Game of Thrones franchise after the huge letdown with the original series finale (especially me).
House of the Dragon is finally here, it’s a hit, and I’m absolutely obsessed with the white-haired dragon family drama and their shady struggle for the iron throne.
**WARNING: TV SPOILERS AHEAD**
While the entire new series cast is SERVING a masterclass in acting, I’m focused on the dreaded Lord of the Tides, Master of Driftmark — Corlys “the Sea Snake” Velaryon.
Like in the book Fire and Blood, the Velaryon bloodline is one of the wealthiest in Westeros and holds extreme power over the seas as Lord Corlys is the world’s greatest seafarer.
And his status in Westeros makes him one of the King’s greatest threats, and here’s why.
First, we watched Lord Corlys’ wife, Princess Rhaenys Targaryen, the next in line, get passed up for succession just for being a woman.
Then we watched Lord Corlys be ignored by the Small Council after addressing his concerns for growing threats.
Then the Small Council completely shut him down when he asked once more for the king to protect his naval routes.
Next, he and Princess Rhaenys offered their preteen daughter’s hand in marriage to the king to give their family a second chance at the throne.
But, the king ignored his proposal and instead chose his rival Otto Hightower’s daughter to wed.
So with nowhere else to turn, Lord Corlys teamed up with the king’s biggest nuisance, his younger brother, Prince Daemon.
Lord Corlys is portrayed by actor Steve Toussaint — a standout amongst the cast. What’s the reason? He’s Black, a departure from his literary counterpart.
Game of Thrones took major liberties with the characters’ age (for good reason, i.e. graphic sexual themes), so the ethnicity of the actors should hold even less weight.
I believe Toussaint’s Lord Corlys is imperative to changing the landscape of fantasy storytelling since it’s normally “monocultural” and lacks diversity.
And while some fans agree with me:
Unfortunately, there are trolls and some misguided fans who disagree.
The haters are big mad, and WE-DO-NOT-CARE! House of the Dragon is moving in the right direction, and so far, Toussaint’s Lord Corlys has given us nothing but Emmy-award winning side eye and one-liners.
Toussaint clapped back to the haters in a New York Times interview. “I guess some people live in a different world,” he said. “I’m very lucky that I have friends who are of all persuasions. I’ve got Caucasian friends, East Asian friends, South Asian friends, Black friends. That’s my world, and I want to be in programs that reflect that world.”
Toussiant told Men’s Health, “for every toxic person that has somehow found their way into my timeline, there have been so many others who have been so supportive.”
Steve’s right. Lord Corlys Velaryon is a boss and deserves nothing but respect. We support him and can’t wait to see how his journey on House of the Dragon plays out.