- "A Khal does not need a chair to sit upon. He only needs a horse."
- ―Drogo to Daenerys. (Translated from Dothraki)
Khal Drogo is a major character in the first season. He is played by starring cast member Jason Momoa, and debuts in the series premiere. He also appears in a cameo in the second season, as part of a vision in "Valar Morghulis". Drogo is a khal, or chieftain, of the Dothraki people and is often referred to with his full title, Khal Drogo.
Drogo is a khal or warlord of the Dothraki, the famed nomadic horse-lords of the eastern continent beyond the Narrow Sea. The Dothraki are fierce warriors, skilled in battle, unrelenting in combat and known for savagery towards non-Dothraki. Amongst their own people they have a code of honor, albeit still a harsh and unforgiving one. Drogo was very young to have his own khalasar, particularly such a large one. He is a legendary warrior and has never been defeated in battle. Drogo desired the most beautiful and exotic woman in the world as his khaleesi or wife, and enlisted Magister Illyrio Mopatis of Pentos to help him find such a woman.
He is guarded by bloodriders including Qotho. Generals or ko in his khalasar include Pono and Jhaqo, men who guard him, follow him in battle and, when Drogo dies, it is their duty and honor to follow him even then to continue serving him.
Illyrio and Prince Viserys Targaryen arrange the marriage of Viserys's sister Daenerys to Khal Drogo in return for Drogo supplying Dothraki troops to support Viserys's play for the Iron Throne of Westeros. Drogo agrees, but does not stipulate a time frame. Viserys notes the length of Drogo's braid: Dothraki have to cut off their hair when they are defeated, but Drogo's long hair suggests that he has never been defeated in battle. Viserys states that Drogo is a "savage" but also "one of the finest killers alive."
Drogo marries Daenerys outside the Free City of Pentos, but is unable to communicate with his new wife due to them not sharing a language. Drogo only appears to understand the word "No," which he repeats often. Ser Jorah Mormont, a Westerosi knight who has Drogo's favor, aids with translation. As a wedding gift, Illyrio gives Daenerys three dragon eggs that have turned to stone due to the passage of time. Drogo gives Daenerys a beautiful white horse. When Daenerys wishes to thank Drogo for his gift, Ser Jorah tells here that there is no word for "thank you" in her new husband's language, a reminder of how unpleasant the Dothraki can be. Drogo is determined to consummate their marriage immediately, which Daenerys finds uncomfortable and frightening. Attempting to make her time with Drogo more bearable, Daenerys begins learning the Dothraki language from her handmaid Irri and seeks advice from another handmaid, Doreah, on how to best please him in bed while establishing her own power over him using her sexuality, which culminates in a closer relationship. Combining these skills, Drogo comes to respect her as an equal. After two months, Daenerys and Drogo are happier together. Drogo expresses satisfaction and joy at the news that Daenerys is with child, and that she thinks it will be a boy.
In King's Landing, King Robert Baratheon's spymaster, Varys, is working with Illyrio in planning the Dothraki invasion of the Seven Kingdoms. However, Drogo is content to wait until his son is born before planning the assault. Varys thinks the situation in Westeros will unravel much more quickly than they anticipated and urges Illyrio to get Drogo to speed up his timetable.
In Vaes Dothrak, the sacred city of the Dothraki, Drogo is pleased when the Dosh khaleen prophesy that his son will be the 'Stallion Who Mounts the World', a prophesied khal of khals who will command the largest khalasar ever seen and lead the Dothraki to dominion over all the lands of the world. He also approves of Dany naming him Rhaego after her slain brother, Rhaegar, a great warrior defeated in battle by "the usurper" Robert Baratheon. However, a drunken and aggressive Viserys petulantly demands that Drogo took Daenerys but never provided the army he promised. Believing he will not be harmed because shedding blood in the sacred city is forbidden, Viserys draws his sword and threatens that unless he is given his army immediately, he will take back his sister, but leave the child, saying he will cut it out and leave for it Drogo. Furious, but careful to control his emotions for the sake of Daenerys and their child, Drogo agrees to give Viserys "a golden crown that men shall tremble to behold." Not understanding the language, Viserys believes he is finally getting what he wants, and lowers his guard, allowing two of Drogo's bloodriders to disarm and restrain him. Drogo melts a gold belt in a pot, then "crowns" Viserys with the molten gold, killing him.
Daenerys asks Drogo to continue with the invasion, but with his obligation to Viserys gone, Drogo is reluctant to attempt to cross the Narrow Sea because of his people's fear of the "poison water" (the sea, which the Dothraki fear, because they distrust any liquid that a horse will not drink) and "wooden horses" (ships). Ser Jorah later saves Daenerys from an assassin sent by King Robert. Learning of the attempt, Drogo rewards Jorah with any horse he desires from Drogo's own herd. Drogo swears a blood oath that he will punish Westeros for their attempt on the life of his wife and child, lead the Dothraki beyond the poison water to invade the Seven Kingdoms and seat his son on the "Iron Chair" of Westeros.
Drogo leads his men to raid and plunder a village of the Lhazareen, peaceful sheep-herders. He plans to take slaves to trade for a fleet to invade Westeros. Daenerys protests when the Dothraki begin raping the women of the village, and has her retinue stop the practice. Mago becomes infuriated at Daenerys' presumption to give him orders and complains to Drogo.
Drogo agrees that this is custom amongst the Dothraki, but out of admiration for Daenerys' spirit, agrees to let her keep the female slaves for herself. Mago accuses Drogo of being at the whim of the "foreign whore", holding his arakh to Drogo's chest. Enraged, Drogo presses the blade into his own flesh to show his contempt for Mago's challenge, causing a small flesh wound, before he fights Mago in single combat, dropping his arakh and his daggers to the ground to show his disdain for Mago's skills. He kills Mago with the reverse edge of his own weapon, and tears his tongue out through his throat. At Dany's pleading, he allows one of her new slaves, Mirri Maz Duur, a godswife and maegi to treat his injury – ignoring warnings from his bloodrider Qotho. The wound festers, poisoning the khal, and Drogo eventually falls from his horse, unable to ride, a great shame within the Dothraki culture, for "a Khal that cannot ride cannot lead." Duur tells Daenerys that he will die soon.
Daenerys commands her to use magic to save Drogo, and Duur agrees, but the Dothraki become agitated at this display of "witchcraft." The khalasar separates. Qotho intervenes to prevent the ritual and is killed by Ser Jorah Mormont. Daenerys goes into labor after being shoved to the ground by Qotho.
The child is stillborn and deformed, with leathery scaled skin like a dragon's, wings, and a stomach filled with grave-worms. Drogo survives but is left in a vegetative state. Duur admits she did this deliberately in revenge for the sacking of her village. The ritual that saved Drogo drew its power from not only the death of Drogo's favored stallion but the death of Daenerys' son, causing the stillbirth and monstrous appearance. Weeping, Daenerys smothers Drogo with a pillow to end his misery. She has her dragon eggs placed beside Drogo on his funeral pyre, then orders Jorah to bind Duur to it as well, and she is burned alive. When the pyre is completely ablaze, Daenerys walks into the flames to the shock of Jorah and the remaining Dothraki. The next morning, Dany is found sitting naked and unharmed among Drogo's ashes, cradling three newborn dragons--the conflagration, along the sacrifice of Duur, triggered the hatching of the eggs, releasing the first dragons into the world in over a century.
Daenerys sees Drogo in her visions when she visits the House of the Undying. She sees him in the tent they once shared, holding a small child in his arms, their son Rhaego. They share an emotional reunion but she chooses to leave, knowing that they are dead and only an illusion.
The news of Drogo's death has spread throughout Essos. While attempting to sell Jorah Mormont to slavers, Malko incorrectly claims that Jorah killed Drogo in single combat (most likely, on purpose to increase the bidding).
After Daenerys is captured by Khal Moro and his khalasar, he implies he intends on raping her. Realizing they don't know who she is, Daenerys tells him that she is the wife of Drogo, the son of Bharbo. Upon hearing this, Moro renounced his intentions, as it is forbidden in the Dothraki to bed the wife or widow of a khal.
In battle, Drogo is known for his savagery, brutality, and lack of relent or remorse to his opponents. The fearsome khal had never been defeated in combat and because of this his braid reached down below his waist. Indeed, Drogo was ruthless in battle and highly skilled, able to kill an armed man in seconds flat with just his bare hands. Initially, he had no problems with rape, slavery or murder, but every action he makes is because of his devotion to the Dothraki and reclaiming what is theirs. He was utterly fearless to the point of recklessness - when Mago holds an arakh to his chest, he does not react, only moving closer to his opponent, deepening the wound, to show his courage and disdain for his opponent, before openly disarming himself and outmatching the mutinous Dothraki effectively unarmed, though the wound eventually caused his excruciating death.
Despite his extremely violent, at times cruel nature within battle, Drogo reveals a completely different compassionate and gentle side which only surfaces around his wife, Daenerys Targaryen. Though he seemed initially unmoved with his betrothal to Daenerys and the rough consummation on the eve of their wedding, he grew to respect her due to her spirit, determination, and role as khaleesi. As Daenerys learned more of Dothraki culture and language, and Drogo learned more about her, theirs grew into a marriage of equals, and they settled happily some two months in. His caring side was visible when he rushed to see if Daenerys was unharmed after an unsuccessful assassination attempt, rather than immediately executing the wine seller who attempted to poison her and her unborn child.
His soft side for Daenerys can also clash with his own savage nature, as noted when he ripped the tongue out of Mago's throat for calling Daenerys a "foreign whore" (although he could have also killed him just for challenging Drogo in the first place), and again when he killed Viserys Targaryen only after the drunken prince threatened to cut Daenerys open and remove her child. He went against years of Dothraki belief and superstition by vowing to take the Iron Throne for his wife and unborn son by travelling across the Narrow Sea, even though the Dothraki have feared salt water for years.
|Season One appearances|
|Winter is Coming||The Kingsroad||Lord Snow||Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things||The Wolf and the Lion|
|A Golden Crown||You Win or You Die||The Pointy End||Baelor||Fire and Blood|
|Season Two appearances|
|The North Remembers||The Night Lands||What is Dead May Never Die||Garden of Bones||The Ghost of Harrenhal|
|The Old Gods and the New||A Man Without Honor||The Prince of Winterfell||Blackwater||Valar Morghulis *|
* vision of Daenerys
Spoken by Drogo
- "You are no king."
- ―Drogo to his brother-in-law Viserys Targaryen.
- "A crown for a king!"
- ―Drogo kills Viserys.
- "And to my son, the stallion who will mount the world, I will also pledge a gift. I will give him the iron chair that his mother's father sat upon. I will give him Seven Kingdoms. I, Drogo, will do this. I will take my Khalasar west to where the world ends and ride wooden horses across the black salt water as no Khal has done before! I will kill the men in iron suits and tear down their stone houses! I will rape their women, take their children as slaves and bring their broken gods back to Vaes Dothrak! This, I vow, I, Drogo, son of Bharbo. I swear before the Mother of Mountains as the stars look down in witness! As the stars look down in witness!"
- ―Drogo swears to cross the Narrow Sea and take the Iron Throne.
- "I will not have you burned. I will not give you that honor. The beetles will feed on your eyes. The worms will crawl through your lungs. The rain will fall on your rotting skin, until nothing is left but bones!"
- ―Drogo while fighting Mago, after Mago insults Daenerys.
- "My horse...blood of my blood...no, I must ride...."
- ―Drogo, delirious from the wound he suffered from his fight against Mago; these would ultimately be his last words.
Spoken about Drogo
- "Do you see how long his hair is? When Dothraki are defeated in combat they cut off their braid so the whole world can see their shame. Khal Drogo has never been defeated. He's a savage of course, but he's one of the finest killers alive. And you will be his queen."
- ―Viserys talking about Drogo to Daenerys.
- "I was wife to Khal Drogo, son of Khal Bharbo."
- ―Daenerys to Khal Moro
In the books
In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Khal Drogo commands forty thousand Dothraki warriors and is a skilled and respected war leader. His bloodriders are Cohollo, Qotho, and Haggo. Ko in his khalasar include Jhaqo, Pono, and Mago. He owns a palace in Vaes Dothrak and a nine-towered mansion in Pentos, given to him by the magisters of the city to buy him off to avoid the Dothraki looting the city.
Of note is his treatment of Daenerys on their wedding night, which is significantly more sensitive than in the TV series, including explicitly asking her permission with the word "No?", to which Daenerys replies "Yes."
Dothraki custom dictates that defeated warriors should shave their heads, but Drogo dies with all of his immensely long hair, having never once been defeated in combat. In the books, the Dothraki adorn their long hair braids with various small bells, adding new ones for each victory. Jason Momoa said the bells weren't included in the TV series because they weren't very scary in real life: the constant jingling noises were somewhat comical, and it was felt they detracted from the performance.
In the Dothraki tradition he has a long moustache, but no beard.
George R.R. Martin has stated that he is a huge fan of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, in which the father of the main character Frodo Baggins is named Drogo Baggins.
- ↑ HBO viewers guide, season 2 guide to houses, House Targaryen - Drogo entry
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Winter is Coming"
- ↑ "The Night Lands"
- ↑ "The Kingsroad"
- ↑ "Lord Snow"
- ↑ "The Wolf and the Lion"
- ↑ "A Golden Crown"
- ↑ "You Win or You Die"
- ↑ "The Pointy End"
- ↑ "Baelor"
- ↑ "Fire and Blood"
- ↑ "Valar Morghulis"
- ↑ "The Gift (episode)"
- ↑ "The Red Woman"
- ↑ Jason Mamoa Q&A