Dothraki: Game of Thrones

angry warriors holding weapons while looking at the camera

The vast and arid plains of Essos are home to a fierce and nomadic people known as the Dothraki. These horse-mounted warriors are an integral part of the fantasy world depicted in the renowned television series "Game of Thrones" based on George R.R. Martin's epic novels. In this article, we will delve into the origins, language, culture, military prowess, and impact of the Dothraki on both the show and popular culture.

The Origins of Dothraki

The Dothraki trace their origins back to the Great Grass Sea, a vast expanse of grasslands stretching across Essos. Descendants of nomadic horse riders, the Dothraki developed a distinct culture and way of life. They are known for their exceptional horsemanship, fearsome combat skills, and unwavering loyalty to their leaders.

Dothraki Language and Culture


At the heart of Dothraki culture lies their unique language, also called Dothraki. This constructed language, created by linguist David J. Peterson, adds depth and authenticity to the portrayal of the Dothraki people in "Game of Thrones." The Dothraki language is characterized by its guttural sounds and complex grammar, reflecting the intricate nature of their society.

Nomadic Lifestyle

The Dothraki are a nomadic society, constantly moving across the Great Grass Sea in large groups called khalasars. These khalasars consist of various tribes led by powerful Khals. The Dothraki rely on their horses for transportation, sustenance, and warfare, and their entire existence revolves around the ebb and flow of their migratory lifestyle.

Leadership and Hierarchy

Dothraki society operates under a hierarchical structure led by Khals. A Khal is a revered and feared leader who earns his position through martial prowess and charisma. Khals are followed by bloodriders, an elite group of warriors sworn to protect their Khal at all costs. The Dothraki adhere to a code of honor, valuing strength, bravery, and victory above all else.

Dothraki Customs and Traditions

Weddings and Marriages

Dothraki weddings, known as "weddings with fire," are grand spectacles. The union between a Khal and his bride is celebrated with elaborate rituals, including the exchange of vows and the consuming of a horse's heart by the bride. These ceremonies symbolize the strength, fertility, and unity of the Dothraki people.

Funeral Rites

When a Dothraki warrior dies, their body is burned on a funeral pyre, along with their horse and all their belongings. This ritualistic practice, known as the "taking of the dead," ensures that the deceased warrior can continue their journey in the afterlife and be reunited with their ancestors.

Warrior Culture

The Dothraki are renowned for their prowess in battle. They excel in mounted warfare, using their speed and agility to outmaneuver their enemies. Dothraki warriors are skilled archers and are known to rain down deadly volleys of arrows upon their foes. Their nomadic lifestyle and constant conflicts have molded them into formidable fighters.

Dothraki Military Might

Khalasars and Bloodriders

The Dothraki fight as part of khalasars, large armies composed of thousands of warriors, women, and children. Each Khalasar is led by a Khal and supported by bloodriders, loyal and fearless warriors who are inseparable from their Khal. The Dothraki horde is a formidable force, capable of devastating entire cities and kingdoms.

Horseback Warfare

Mounted on their swift and sturdy horses, the Dothraki engage in hit-and-run tactics, striking with incredible speed and precision. Their mobility gives them a significant advantage on the battlefield, allowing them to outmaneuver their opponents and launch devastating attacks from unexpected angles.

The Art of Archery

Dothraki archers are among the best in the world. They are trained from a young age to master the bow and arrow, honing their skills to deadly perfection. The combination of their expert horsemanship and archery prowess makes the Dothraki a force to be reckoned with on the battlefield.

Dothraki in Game of Thrones

Key Dothraki Characters

"Game of Thrones" introduces several memorable Dothraki characters who play pivotal roles in the series. Daenerys Targaryen, also known as Khaleesi, emerges as a prominent figure as she becomes the wife of Khal Drogo and eventually leads the Dothraki in her quest for power and justice. Other notable Dothraki characters include Jorah Mormont and Ser Jorah, loyal companions to Daenerys.

Influence on the Plot

The Dothraki's involvement in the plot of "Game of Thrones" is significant. Daenerys Targaryen's marriage to Khal Drogo and her subsequent alliance with the Dothraki shape her character development and strategic decisions throughout the series. The Dothraki provide a contrast to the politics and intrigue of Westeros, bringing a raw and untamed element to the story.

The Impact of Dothraki on Pop Culture

The Dothraki have made a lasting impact on pop culture, thanks to the immense popularity of "Game of Thrones." Their fierce warrior culture, unique language, and memorable characters have captured the imaginations of fans worldwide. The Dothraki's influence can be seen in fan art, cosplay, and even the adoption of Dothraki-inspired phrases and expressions in everyday language.


The Dothraki, with their rich cultural traditions, military might, and captivating presence, have become an integral part of the "Game of Thrones" universe. Their nomadic lifestyle, fearless warriors, and unique language have captivated audiences and contributed to the immense success of the series. The Dothraki will forever be remembered as an iconic element of the fantasy world created by George R.R. Martin.

Frequently Asked Question

Are the Dothraki a real historical civilization?

No, the Dothraki are fictional characters created by George R.R. Martin for his "A Song of Ice and Fire" series, which inspired the "Game of Thrones" television series.

How did the Dothraki language come to be?

The Dothraki language was created by linguist David J. Peterson specifically for the "Game of Thrones" TV series. It adds depth and authenticity to the portrayal of the Dothraki people.

What is the significance of the Dothraki weddings?

Dothraki weddings, known as "weddings with fire," symbolize the strength, fertility, and unity of the Dothraki people. They are grand spectacles filled with elaborate rituals.

How did the Dothraki influence Daenerys Targaryen's journey?

Daenerys Targaryen's marriage to Khal Drogo and her subsequent alliance with the Dothraki shape her character development and strategic decisions throughout the series.

What impact did the Dothraki have on popular culture?

The Dothraki's fierce warrior culture, unique language, and memorable characters have made a lasting impact on popular culture, inspiring fan art, cosplay, and the adoption of Dothraki-inspired phrases.