Heavily featured in the books and TV show, the Dothraki are a fierce civilisation that intimidate any other society they come across. With a unique culture, history and society, they are an interesting bunch. There is so much information about their lifestyle, here’s 10 facts about the Dothraki!
A Khal is a leader of a Khalasar which is a large collection of Dothraki civilians and warriors. To become a Khal is no easy feat, you need to be a legendary warrior but also smart enough to not get caught out by skirmishes or assassination attempts. Khal’s are among the most feared warriors in the world. Each Khal also has Bloodriders, sworn brothers who must die if the Khal dies.
9. Dothraki Sea
The Dothraki Sea is a very large stretch of land which rival Khal’s constantly fight over. The land is mostly just grass, any cities or settlements are almost instantly demolished by raids. Because of the warring history here, any previous civilisations have long been wiped out and their remains removed. It consists mostly of horses, wild dogs and lions.
The horse is everything to the Dothraki, their whole lives revolve around this large animal. Dothraki learn to ride as soon as they can walk, their name “Dothraki” literally means “riders”. Because of this obsession, a Khal who cannot ride is no Khal at all, and will soon be abandoned regardless of how great a Khal they once were.
Their society is almost completely based around their horses. As these animals provide food, cavalry, transportation and their pelt can be used as clothing or shelter. Dothraki spend the majority of their time on the move, they do not settle, instead preferring to raid Free Cities or other Khalasars. They do not believe in currency, only giving and receiving gifts, usually slaves.
6. Vaes Dothrak
This is the only city the Dothraki have, it’s a sacred place with many rules that definitely would not be in place anywhere else. It’s the only location where rival tribes are peaceful, all Dothraki must act as brothers, no blood shall be shed. It contains markets where the only Dothraki trade takes place, traders from the free cities are unharmed if they come here.
5. Khalar Vezhven
The Khalar Vezhven is an event that takes place at Vaes Dothrak, it’s a gathering of all the Khals and their Khalasars. Here they discuss important matters like which cities, lands and settlements they will each target. They can also gather for ceremonies or other events. It’s a rare occurrence that doesn’t have a set date or time frame.
Any civilisation needs to get by, the Dothraki don’t have a ‘normal’ economy with currency, they simply make give and take gifts. The two resources they have in abundances are horses and grass, anything else is scarce. So they get most of their other resources via raiding and tribute from cities that decided it was easier to give the Dothraki tribute instead of trying to defend against them.
The Dothraki religion is, as expected, all about horses. Specifically the Great Stallion which is a horse god, Dothraki will actively destroy any other shrines or idols for any other gods. They acknowledge the existence of other gods but they believe the Great Stallion is the only one they should worship.
Dothraki warriors are among the fiercest in the world, often intimidating their opponents into giving them tribute rather than fighting. The bulk of their forces are light cavalry, they are master horse-riders, far better riders than anyone in Westeros. They wield arakhs, bows and whips with no armor, as they see it as cowardly. They respect those who put up a good fight, especially unsullied, while condemning those who are weak, taking them as slaves. No army could match them on an open field.
Dothraki first emerged from the Bone Mountains in the East of Essos. They lived there rather unhindered before emerging from the mountains to sack the Free Cities, they destroyed much in their wake, defeated numerous kingdoms. Due to this, the red waste is plastered with century old ruins and conquered monuments. They were led by a legendary Khal Temmo, before eventually being defeated by a small army of Unsullied, despite having a force of nearly 50,000. The remains of that army retreated and are the ancestors of the current Dothraki generations.