- "Not a Queen, a Khaleesi."
- ―Daenerys Targaryen
Khaleesi is a Dothraki title referring to the wife of the khal. A khaleesi's status varies greatly from khalasar to khalasar. She could be very influential, riding next to the khal, or she could be worth practically less than the khal's horse, since the khal's bloodriders would sometimes share the khaleesi, but never share the khal's horse.
It is Dothraki tradition that if a khal dies, his khaleesi must retire to join the crones that rule Vaes Dothrak, known as the dosh khaleen. Daenerys Targaryen, however, refused to do this, instead declaring herself a khaleesi in her own right and forming her own khalasar from what few of Drogo's people hadn't abandoned her.
- Daenerys Targaryen, called "Daenerys Stormborn" and "Mother of Dragons", self-styled "Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea".
In the books
According to the TV series official pronunciation guide developed for the cast and crew, "khaleesi" is pronounced "khal-EE-see". However, professional linguist David J. Peterson, who developed the Dothraki language for the TV series, states that the word's proper pronunciation is "KHAH-lay-see". The supports the "KHAH-lay-see" pronunciation.