An Arakh is a traditional fighting weapon used by the Dothraki in Essos. As a half sword and half scythe, it gets used by riders on horseback.

The Definitive Glossary for Game of Thrones

The Arakh has a deep history intertwined with the Dothraki as they used it for many religious and ceremonial events. Besides being an integrated part of the Dothraki culture, the Arakh is a battle-used sword. After Daenerys and her brother, Viserys Targaryen, traveled to Essos, they met Magister Illyrio Mopatis of the Free City of Pentos. Upon taking them in, Illyrio devised a plan with Viserys to reclaim the seven kingdoms. However, due to his inability to be patient, Viserys causes his downfall.


The Arakh is a unique scimitar-like sickle-sword used by the Dothraki. It has long razor-sharp blades with a multifaceted structural build. The first part of the blade is a long straight sword, but towards the middle, it arches into a moon-like crescent, making it look like the Egyptian Khopesh. Besides having a unique look, Arakhs are very sharp and rarely dull out due to their owners constantly using whetstones and red oil for sharpening. Though the vast majority of the blades are from steel, there are some Arakhs made from Valyrian Steel; this art form is only possible by the blacksmith masters of the Free City of Qohor.


The Arakh is a weapon used by the Dothraki in many activities that go from cultural to religious events. As the Dothraki is a warrior-rooted culture, many relics, including horses and weapons, are sacred. Although the Arakh is a blade held high, there are places where using it is forbidden. Among such is Vaes Dothrak, the holy land of the Dothraki. Using an Arakh or any other blade in such a place is punishable by death.

Relevance in A Song of Ice and Fire

A Game of Thrones

After meeting Illyrio Mopatis, Viserys Targaryen agrees to wed his sister, Daenerys Targaryen, to Khal Drogo, the warlord of the biggest khalasar in Essos. During the wedding ceremony, Daenerys meets Jorah Mormont and gets gifts of books from him. Cohollo, one of Drogo’s bloodriders, gifts her an Arakh coated with gold. At the wedding ceremony, Daenerys watches as two men fight over a woman. One of the men dies. Later, Jorah fights a Dothraki who insults him. Though the man uses an Arakh and Jorah a longsword, the warrior falls to Jorah’s blade.

When Daenerys escapes an assassination attempt, her husband, Drogo, promises to place their child on her father’s throne, the Iron Throne. To fulfill his promise, Drogo attacks Khal Ogo and kills him. He captures Khal Ogo’s people to order ships for sailing to Westeros. However, he gets injured, and his wounds fester.

When Daenerys asks Mirri Maz Duur to heal her husband, his bloodriders try to halt the process. Qotho, one of the bloodriders, fights Jorah with his wickedly sharp scythe-sword and lands a blow on him. However, Jorah kills the fat Dothraki after his curved Arakh sticks to the knight’s bone.

After the ritual, Khal Drogo dies, and Daenerys ties Mirri to his funeral pyre. She walks into the flames and returns with three dragons.

A Storm of Swords

When Catelyn Stark learns of Bran and Rickon’s death, she releases Ser Jaime Lannister and orders Brienne of Tarth to take him to King’s Landing in exchange for Arya Stark and Sansa. When Lord Rickard Stark learns of Catelyn’s deeds, he orders Jaime to get captured. When Edmure Tully returns from battle and hears what his sister did, he sends out messages offering rewards to anyone who could capture the knight.

When Vargo Hoat gets word of Jaime’s escape, he leads a search and eventually captures him. He then orders Zollo, a Dothraki in the Brave Companions, to cut Jaime’s sword hand off with his Arakh. Meanwhile, Daario Naharis, the leader of the second sons and a wilder of the Arakh, joins Daenerys’s cause. 

A Dance with Dragons

When Daenerys’ Dragons go out of hand, she cages them. Later, after the fighting pits of Meereen get reopened, she flies away on Drogon, leaving her city without a queen. Ser Barristan Selmy, the Hand of the Queen, tries to arrest Hizdahr zo Loraq but gets confronted by Khrazz, a fighter in the pits of Meereen. Ser Barristan kills the Arakh-wielding warrior.

Relevance in Adaptations

In HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones, Arakh played an intricate role. One of the most prominent users of the weapon was Khal Drogo, one of the greatest horselords of the Dothraki. The blade construction was unique and excellent for fighting at close range. When Daenerys orders Mirri to help Drogo, his bloodriders refuse, and fighting begins in the blink of an eye. Qotho tosses aside his knife and uses his sword but gets killed in battle.


As the Arakh is an imaginary weapon created by George R. R. Martin, 2500 pieces got constructed as a limited edition. The limited edition blades got made from high-carbon steel and featured a carved wooden handle. They have a black oxide finish and feature a silk-screened wooden display plaque. Though the collectible has a blade, it is for display purposes only as a tribute to the official Game of Thrones.

Arakh: A Deadly Weapon with A Flaw

Though the Arakh is a weapon that can deliver an excruciatingly painful blow to an opponent, it is not y fail-proof weapon. Because of its curved nature, the blade is terrible when used at close quarters; this was evident when Ser Barristan Selmy fought Khrazz.


Was the Arakh an invincible weapon?

No, the Arakh was an excellent weapon on horseback, but in close combat, it had limitations. The curvature of the blade made it terrible for fighting in duels.

Does Daenerys have an Arakh?

Daenerys got gifted an arakh coated with gold by one of Khal Drogo’s bloodriders on her wedding day. However, she never used the blade as she was not a Dothraki warrior.

What is the Arakh?

The Arakh is a scythe-sword. Its curved blade made it an excellent weapon for fighting on horseback. Though most Arakhs got made with steel, some were with Valyrian steel.

How strong was Khal Drogo?

Khal Drogo was the strongest Dothraki ever. He was never defeated in battle and was fearsome. If he knew how to fight those clad in armor, Drogo would have been one of the strongest, if not the strongest, in A Song of Ice and Fire.

Copy link
Powered by Social Snap