Master of ships

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The master of ships is the king on the Iron Throne's advisor charged with commanding the royal fleet and is a member of the small council in King's Landing.[1][2] Duties of the master of ships include arranging for the building and maintenance of warships, obtaining crews for the warships, and commanding naval operations.[1]

The master of ships is sometimes dual-hatted as the lord admiral of the royal fleet. The office was often filled by the head of House Velaryon, as the family provided the bulk of the fleet.[3][4]

History

Targaryen dynasty

During Aegon's Conquest, Lord Daemon Velaryon was named the first master of ships by King Aegon I Targaryen in 2 AC, an award for Lord Velaryon's longtime support and service. He perished shortly after when the new royal fleet was put to the torch in the battle in the waters off Gulltown.[2] Throughout the reign of House Targaryen, the greater part of the royal fleet was formed by the ships of House Velaryon. So many Lords of the Tides served as lord admiral and master of ship that the office was almost considered hereditary.[3][4]

Lord Aethan Velaryon, the son and heir of Lord Daemon, would serve as master of ships and lord admiral to both Kings Aegon I and Aenys I Targaryen. In this capacity, he battled the pirate-lord Sargoso Saan in the Stepstones in 29 AC and 30 AC.[5] Lord Daemon Velaryon, the son of Lord Aethan, would serve as admiral of the king's fleet during the reign of King Maegor I Targaryen. When Lord Daemon turned against Maegor and declared for his nephew Prince Jaehaerys, Maegor soon found that he had lost the entire royal fleet.[5][3] After taking the throne, Jaehaerys raised his uncle Daemon to master of ships and lord admiral.[6] When Daemon became the Hand of the King, Lord Manfryd Redwyne became the master of ships, the first time the admiralty did not go to a Velaryon.[7]

Lord Corlys Velaryon would serve as master of ships near the end of the reign of King Jaehaerys, the royal fleet tripling in size under his administration. However, Lord Corlys angerly resigned from the office in 92 AC when his wife Princess Rhaenys was passed over as heir to the Iron Throne.[4] Ser Tyland Lannister served King Viserys I Targaryen as master of ships, but he became master of coin after the king's death.[8] During the Dance of the Dragons, Ser Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King to Aegon II Targaryen, offered the admiralty to Lord Dalton Greyjoy.[8] The Red Kraken declined Otto's offer, however, and Dalton instead attacked the westerlands on behalf of Aegon II's rival, Rhaenyra Targaryen.[9] Corlys returned to the office when he bent the knee to Aegon II.[10]

After the Dance, Aegon III Targaryen desired for his cousin Lord Alyn Velaryon to serve as master of ships. However, Lord Unwin Peake, the King's Hand and Protector of the Realm, denied Lord Alyn the office and instead gave the admiralty to his uncle, Ser Gedmund Peake. However, after a great victory in the Stepstones, Lord Alyn was raised to the master of ships.[11] Aegon III's regents later returned Ser Gedmund to the office to appease Lord Peake's supporters, though young Lord Velaryon was bemused rather than angry, preferring sailing than the administrative duties that came with the office.[12] Lord Alyn was later master of ships for his cousin, the Young Dragon Daeron I Targaryen, during the conquest of Dorne.[13]

During the Year of the False Spring, Lucerys Velaryon served the Mad King, Aerys II Targaryen, as master of ships.[14]

Baratheon dynasty

Towards the end of Robert's Rebellion, after claiming King's Landing, Lord Robert Baratheon charged his brother Stannis with building a fleet to take the Targaryen fortress of Dragonstone, though much of the Targaryen's royal fleet was destroyed in a great storm.[15] After Robert's coronation as king, Stannis was named to the small council as master of ships. In this capacity, Stannis dealt with smugglers and pirates at the Three Sisters.[16] In 289 AC, Stannis commanded the royal fleet during Greyjoy's Rebellion, smashing the Iron Fleet in a sea battle off Fair Isle.[17]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

Lord Jon Arryn, the Hand of the King, dies in King's Landing. Lord Stannis Baratheon, the master of ships for his brother, King Robert I Baratheon, leaves the capital for his seat of Dragonstone when Robert decides to name Lord Eddard Stark the new Hand.[18]

A Clash of Kings

The royal fleet, divided between the rival kings Joffrey I Baratheon and Stannis, is largely ruined in the Battle of the Blackwater.[19]

A Storm of Swords

After Stannis's attempt to take the capital is defeated by the Lannisters and Tyrells in the Battle of the Blackwater, Lord Mace Tyrell is made master of ships as part of the new alliance.[20]

A Feast for Crows

After the death of Tywin Lannister, Queen Regent Cersei Lannister renames the office grand admiral. She also removes Lord Mace and his bannermen from the council, naming Aurane Waters to the seat.[1] After Cersei's arrest by the Faith, Aurane flees the capital with the new dromonds she had commissioned.[21]

A Dance with Dragons

The new regent, Ser Kevan Lannister, names Lord Paxter Redwyne as the lord admiral and master of ships.[22] He remains away from court after the siege of Dragonstone, and intends to sail his Redwyne fleet back to the Reach to deal with the Greyjoy attacks after the taking of the Shields and the Arbor.[23]

Daenerys Targaryen, Queen of Meereen, names Groleo her lord admiral, but he has no ships as the Meereenese fleet sailed for Yunkai.[24] Groleo is later executed while a hostage of the Yunkai'i.[25]

Masters of ships

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 17, Cersei IV.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 The World of Ice & Fire, The Reign of the Dragons: The Conquest.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Maegor I.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Fire & Blood, Heirs of the Dragon - A Question of Succession.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Fire & Blood, The Sons of the Dragon.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Fire & Blood, The Year of the Three Brides - 49 AC.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Fire & Blood, A Time of Testing - The Realm Remade.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 The Princess and the Queen.
  9. The World of Ice & Fire, The Iron Islands: The Red Kraken.
  10. Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - The Short, Sad Reign of Aegon II.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Fire & Blood, Under the Regents - War and Peace and Cattle Shows.
  12. Fire & Blood, The Lysene Spring and the End of the Regency.
  13. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Daeron I.
  14. 14.0 14.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Fall of the Dragons: The Year of the False Spring.
  15. A Clash of Kings, Prologue.
  16. 16.0 16.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 9, Davos I.
  17. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 26, The Wayward Bride.
  18. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 20, Eddard IV.
  19. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 58, Davos III.
  20. 20.0 20.1 A Storm of Swords, Appendix.
  21. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 43, Cersei X.
  22. 22.0 22.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 54, Cersei I.
  23. A Dance with Dragons, Epilogue.
  24. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 16, Daenerys III.
  25. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 59, The Discarded Knight.

See also