- "Got a lot of fight in you, huh?"
- ―Malko to Jorah Mormont
Malko is the captain of a slaving ship operating in Slaver's Bay and the Summer Sea. He speaks the Common Tongue of Westeros and appears to be knowledgeable of Westerosi history, such as Robert's Rebellion and the Siege of Pyke.
Malko's ship anchors on the shoreline while on a voyage to Volantis so that the slavers can replenish their water supply. The slavers, led by Malko, discover Jorah Mormont and Tyrion Lannister and capture them. Malko plans on using Jorah as a galley slave and orders Tyrion to be killed and his penis cut off, as dwarfs' penises are believed to be magic. Tyrion warns Malko that no merchant will believe him unless he sees the source of the penis. Then he attempts to convince Malko to take them to Meereen to the fighting pits where Jorah can prove his worth. After hearing Jorah killed Qotho, a Dothraki bloodrider, Malko becomes impressed and agrees to take them to Meereen.
Once he has arrived in Slaver's Bay, Malko proceeds to auction off Jorah while changing details to make his story sound more impressive (and to get a higher price), including Jorah killing Khal Drogo (instead of Qotho) and taking part in the attack on "Spike" while wielding a flaming sword (instead of Thoros of Myr). He manages to sell Jorah to Yezzan zo Qaggaz, a Meereenese Great Master for 20 of an unspecified coin. As Yezzan leads Jorah away, Tyrion desperately attempts to also be sold to Yezzan. Malko scoffs at this, saying that at least Tyrion is funny. Tyrion proceeds to gain control of his chain and beat the slaver who was holding him. Yezzan, intrigued with Tyrion, ends up buying him for a single gold honor because he's funny.
|Season Five appearances|
|The Wars to Come||The House of Black and White||High Sparrow||Sons of the Harpy||Kill the Boy|
|Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken||The Gift||Hardhome||The Dance of Dragons||Mother’s Mercy|
In the books
In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, there is no character by the name of Malko: he is a condensation into one role of half a dozen separate slaver characters from the books. At Volantis, Jorah and Tyrion board the Selaesori Qhoran, a merchant ship bound to Qarth, since they are told by the widow of the waterfront that the Red Priest Benerro has seen in his flames the ship will reach Slaver's Bay instead. The ship is captured by unidentified Yunkish slavers. Unlike in the show, Jorah fights the slavers and kills three of them before he is overcome. As a result, he is chained to an oar, beaten very severely, starved, and branded with a demon’s mask on his cheek. Tyrion and the rest of the passengers do not resist, and the slavers do not harm them. None of the slavers seeks to castrate Tyrion or kill him. Jorah and Tyrion are offered on a slave auction block set up before the gates of Meereen by the Yunkish Wise Masters.
The slavers have no idea who Jorah and Tyrion are. Jorah is introduced by the auctioneer simply as "big and strong" man, without any exaggerated descriptions of his deeds; Tyrion and the other companion are introduced as "A pair of dwarfs, well trained for your amusement". When the price offered for them increases to 5,000, Tyrion yells that it is an insult and he is worth much more, and implies that he is a Lannister.
In the books, instead of making peace with Daenerys, the Yunkai'i decide to lay siege to Meereen with their slave soldiers and along with three mercenary companies - the Long Lances, the Company of the Cat, and the Windblown - as well as forces of Mantarys, Tolos, Elyria, Qarth, and New Ghis, and remain outside the walls after Daenerys announces her marriage to Hizdahr zo Loraq to make peace with the besiegers and stop the attacks of the Sons of the Harpy. While slavery remains forbidden in Meereen, it is openly practiced outside its walls, while Daenerys also gave leave for adults to sell themselves into slavery if they so desired.
One of the slavers who bids on Tyrion and then Jorah is Zahrina, a crone who purchases cheap slaves for the fighting pits, "meat" for the more competent and formidable fighters. After Tyrion and his other companion are bought by Yezzan zo Qaggaz, he persuades Yezzan's overseer Nurse to buy Jorah too.
As for Malko in the TV show, the Basilisk Isles south of Valyria and Slaver's Bay are a major location of pirate dens, even worse than the Stepstones, preying on ships trying to round the Valyrian Peninsula and selling their crews into slavery. The Basilisk Isles are just off the north coast of Sothoryos (the narrative's fantasy analogue to Africa), and many of its inhabitants are notably dark-skinned. Malko probably isn't from the Summer Islands, which are further west than the Basilisk Isles and whose inhabitants are also black, because the Summer Islanders abhor slavery.