A khalasar is a Dothraki clan or tribe. Khalasars can be quite small but can expand to encompass tens of thousands of riders and many more than that in women and children. Khalasars are spread across the Dothraki sea and frequently raid surrounding regions.
Khalasars which meet on the plains usually engage in battle, except at Vaes Dothrak where no weaponry is permitted due to the illegality of bloodshed within the city. However, that does not mean that violence in the city is unheard of, with Dothraki devising cunning means to kill without the use of steel or shedding of blood.
Khal Drogo's khalasar numbered about 40,000 riders, but was considered unusually large compared to others.
Khalasars sometimes differentiate themselves by decorating themselves and their horses with different colors of paint. For example, Khal Drogo's khalasar used blue paint, Such dyes are expensive so they often only use them for special occasions. For example, Khal Drogo's khalasar used blue paint, but Khal Jhaqo's khalasar uses red paint.
In the booksEdit
Dothraki khalasars have no names, nor do any have particularly long-lasting or deep histories and affiliations. Khalasars frequently dissolve on the death of their khal into new, smaller khalasars. In contrast, some khalasars are conquered and absorbed by other khalasars. The actual number of extant khalasars in any one generation is therefore fluid.
Khalasars are subdivided into khas, each of which is commanded by a captain known as a ko (plural, kos).
Leadership of a khalasar is not strictly hereditary. Often when a khal dies his khalasar will break up into new smaller ones led by his surviving kos. The Dothraki follow strength, so if the son of the current khal is weak or underaged, they have no reason to follow him (i.e. Daenerys carrying Drogo's unborn son was no reason for his khalasar to continue to follow her). This way the Dothraki never have a weak child leader inherit rule, which might imperil their survival (such as when the eight year old Tommen Baratheon inherited the Iron Throne in Westeros). Other times, however, the son and heir of an older and successful khal may have himself grown to young adulthood and become a strong and revered warrior in his own right - in which case leadership of the entire khalasar will indeed pass to the son of the khal, instead of breaking up upon his death. In such cases the adult son and heir of the current khal is known as a khalakka.
According to the TV series official pronunciation guide developed for the cast and crew, "Khalasar" is pronounced "KHAL-uh-ssar".