- "Their blades are more scythe than sword... the better to cull the infantry ranks without breaking stride."
- ―Ser Jorah Mormont
The arakh is the standard weapon used by Dothraki warriors. It has a crescent moon-shaped, curved blade about two and a half feet long and a thick handle almost the same length, making it half-sword and half-scythe. Although unable to penetrate armor, the arakh gives the wielder tremendous maneuverability of wrists.
Jorah Mormont notes that while the sweeping blade is effective and indeed necessary for a warrior on horseback, the arakh pales in comparison to the Westerosi double-edged sword for battling without a mount or at penetrating armor.
In the books
The weapon overall is an original invention of George R.R. Martin , but does bear some similarity to ancient "sickle-swords" such as the khopesh and the falx. Martin's description of arakhs in the books (A Game of Thrones, chapter Daenerys II) is: "...in the blink of an eye the arakhs were out, long razor-sharp blades, half sword and half scythe."
Martin's conception of arakhs, however, actually differs from the arakhs produced for the TV series. When Martin described arakhs as "half-sword and half-scythe", he meant a curved blade similar to a scimitar. The TV series took his description literally, making a blade that starts out as a straight sword before turning into a circular, curved scythe-shape halfway through.According to the TV series official pronunciation guide developed for the cast and crew, "Arakh" is pronounced "Ah-rock", as opposed to "Ah-RACK".