It is unknown if Dragonstone and Driftmark are close enough to see the other island from land. However, when sailing in between the islands it is possible to see both islands at the same time. Settlements on the island have included the castles of Driftmark and High Tide, the towns Hull and Spicetown, and shipyards.
Driftmark was settled by House Velaryon prior to the arrival of House Targaryen at Dragonstone. Ships from Driftmark allowed the Velaryons to control the middle of the narrow sea prior to Aegon's Conquest.
Shortly after the death of her husband, King Aenys I Targaryen, Queen Alyssa Velaryon brought her children to Castle Driftmark. When King Maegor I Targaryen lay comatose after a trial of seven, Alyssa proclaimed on Driftmark that her son, Prince Aegon Targaryen, was the true king. After the Poor Fellows were defeated by Maegor at the Great Fork of the Blackwater, Alyssa and her Velaryon kin left Driftmark and submitted to Maegor in King's Landing.
Many merchants traded at Driftmark instead of King's Landing to avoid the taxes of Lord Edwell Celtigar, the master of coin for King Jaehaerys I Targaryen. When Ser Lucamore Strong was disgraced from the Kingsguard, his second wife and her children were sent to Driftmark to be fostered with Lord Daemon Velaryon.
Because the ancestral castle Driftmark was damp and cramped, Lord Corlys Velaryon constructed a new castle on the opposite side of the island to house the Driftwood Throne: High Tide, so-called because it was built on a tidal island only linked to Driftmark at low tide. As the island prospered from Lord Corlys's wealth, two large port towns grew on up the coasts of Driftmark: Hull beneath Castle Driftmark and Spicetown beneath High Tide. When King Viserys I Targaryen brought his court to Driftmark for the funeral of Ser Laenor Velaryon in 120 AC, the number of dragons gathered on the island led Septon Eustace to call it the new Valyria.
During the Dance of the Dragons, Lord Corlys, the Sea Snake, launched black ships from Hull and Spicetown to block access to Blackwater Bay. High Tide and Spicetown were burned in the Battle in the Gullet, the latter so severely it was not rebuilt. Hugh Hammer and Ulf White were given small lands on Driftmark after the fall of King's Landing, but the two new knights felt they deserved greater rewards. Driftmark became hostile to Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen, the leader of the blacks, after she imprisoned Corlys. Since Lord Corlys had not yet reconciled with the Queen Dowager Alicent Hightower on behalf of her son, King Aegon II Targaryen, the leader of the greens, Alyn Velaryon prepared the Velaryon fleet at Driftmark to attack Aegon on Dragonstone. Conflict was avoided when Corlys was pardoned by Alicent.
Lord Corlys served as a regent for King Aegon III Targaryen. After his death in the Red Keep in 132 AC, Corlys's body was first sailed to Driftmark by Marilda of Hull and Lord Alyn aboard Mermaid's Kiss, then buried at sea near Dragonstone aboard Sea Snake. Daemion and Daeron Velaryon reconciled with Alyn in return for lands on Driftmark.
Lady Baela Targaryen lived on Driftmark after wedding Alyn. After learning that Alyn Oakenfist was sailing to the Sunset Sea to end ironborn raiding, Dalton Greyjoy, Lord of the Iron Islands, desired to slay Alyn and then conquer Driftmark for himself. Dalton was slain by Tess at Faircastle in 133 AC, however.
In 138 AC, the bones of Addam Velaryon, who had died fighting for the blacks at Second Tumbleton despite having been denounced by Rhaenyra, were sent from Raventree Hall to Driftmark. For the epitaph on his older brother's tomb, Lord Alyn put only the word "LOYAL".
A Storm of Swords
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 10, Davos II.
- The Lands of Ice and Fire, Westeros.
- asoiaf.westeros.org: Two Weeks Until The Rise of the Dragon – Comment by Ran (November 4, 2022)
- Fire & Blood, Heirs of the Dragon - A Question of Succession.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Jaehaerys I.
- Fire & Blood, A Surfeit of Rulers.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Reign of the Dragons: The Conquest.
- Fire & Blood, The Sons of the Dragon.
- Fire & Blood, Jaehaerys and Alysanne - Policy, Progeny, and Pain.
- Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - The Red Dragon and the Gold.
- Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - Rhaenyra Triumphant.
- Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - Rhaenyra Overthrown.
- Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - The Short, Sad Reign of Aegon II.
- Fire & Blood, Under the Regents - The Hooded Hand.
- Fire & Blood, Under the Regents - War and Peace and Cattle Shows.
- Fire & Blood, Under the Regents - The Voyage of Alyn Oakenfist.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon II.