According to Dothraki culture, a bloodrider can share everything with a Khal except his horse. When Daenerys learns Khals sometimes share their wives with their devoted bloodrider, she gets agitated and hopes it is not the case for Khal Drogo. Before becoming the Khaleesi of Drogo’s Khal, Daenerys gets terrified of the barbaric customs of the Dothraki. On her wedding day, Cohollo, Haggo, and Qotho, Drogo’s bloodriders, give her an Arakh chased in gold, a large leather whip with a silver handle, and a double-curved dragonbone bow. However, she begins learning about the culture and starts properly fitting in.
A blood rider has many duties, but the most important is serving and protecting the Khal like a guard. He accompanies the Khal daily and partakes in everything he does. Because of the brotherly bond between a Khal and his bloodrider, they share everything except a horse. There were sometimes when they shared the wives of the Khal. However, this never happened with Drogo.
There is no stipulated amount of bloodriders a Khal can have. Though Drogo had only three, other Khals were known to have as many as six, and the number could even be as high as seven. Besides being protectors, the fiercest friends, and the shadows of the Khal, they also served as leaders in charge of Khalasar subdivisions; this role got known as Ko. A Ko could sometimes lead a military regimen on orders of the Khal.
As the Dothraki were a barbaric tribe, there were no ranks except for strength and fierceness. Because of the lack of order, a Khal could choose any man to be his bloodrider; this got done with the Khal asking in an oath-like fashion:
I ask your oath, that you will live and die as the blood of my blood, riding at my side to keep me safe from harm.
Once accepted, the man gets promoted to the second-highest rank in the Khalasar.
When a Khal dies or gets killed, tradition says his bloodriders must go with him as a last service. If the Khal got killed by a rival, his brothers could avenge him and escort his wife to the Dosh Khaleen in Vaes Dothrak. After that, they must meet their Khal in death.
Relevance in A Song of Ice and Fire
A Game of Thrones
After Magister Illyrio Mopatis fixes a date, Daenerys and Khal Drogo get married. During the wedding ceremony, Drogo’s bloodriders give Dany a gift each. The new Khaleesi then learns that sometimes, a Khal shares his wives with his closest men. After the wedding, Dany and her husband consummate their marriage. After a while, she gets pregnant and travels with her husband to Vaes Dothrak.
While at Vaes, Viserys breaks down and gets killed for breaking the law. Though a pregnant woman, Dany travels to the Western Market in Vaes. Dany gets accompanied by four warriors assigned to her by her husband, Aggo, Rakharo, Jhogo, and Ser Jorah Mormont.
When Drogo realizes that King Robert Baratheon placed a bounty on his wife, he promises to give her child his heritage, Westeros. To get slaves, he begins destroying others and capturing their people. He levels a Khalasar belonging to Khal Ogo but gets injured. Refusing to allow his wounds to heal, Drogo falls from his horse.
To save her husband from dying, Dany employs the help of Mirri Maz Duur. However, Drogo’s men refuse to allow their Khal to get subjected to blood magic. A fight breaks out, and the Khal brothers get killed. Dany loses her unborn child, and the Khalasar disintegrates. With only a few people left, Dany asks her three guards to become her closest men. They cave in when she enters the fire of her husband’s pyre and comes out with three dragons.
A Clash of Kings
After her husband’s death, Dany reaches Vaes Tolorro. She orders her men to scout for nearby towns, and Jhogo returns with merchants from Qarth. Dany travels to the city, where she visits the House of the Undying. She gets many hallucinates, but after Drogon, her dragon, comes to her aid, a fight breaks out. One of her men disarms Pyat Pree, who tries to murder Dany. She later gets ships from Magister Illyrio Mopatis and travels to Astapor.
A Storm of Swords
On getting to Astapor, Dany’s men protect her while she negotiates the Unsullied at the Plaza of Pride. After getting the army, she orders the sack of the city. During the battle, Rakharo and Jhogo protect the rear and kill many Good Masters. The city falls, and Dany ends slavery. After Astapor, Dany marches to Yunkai. Along the way, she makes her bloodriders Kos. She also notices Rakharo gaining the true stature of a warrior as his ferocity, muscles, and horseback riding skills increase.
After dealing with the Wise Masters of Yunkai, Daenerys heads for Meereen. Her riders lead a faction of the Dothraki during the sack, and they almost fight over who will face Oznak zo Paul, the hero of Meereen, in combat. The city falls.
A Dance with Dragons
After becoming Queen of Meereen, Dany orders her men to use her Khalasar and end slavery in the hinterlands of Meereen. They succeed in the mission and arrive in time to help the survivors of the siege of Astapor. After signing a treaty with Dany, one of her men becomes a hostage of Yunkai.
Bloodrider: A Brother and Friend
Though the Dothraki were among the barbarian tribes of Essos, they had some sensible practices. The bloodrider is one such. The role showed how much they valued brotherhood and loyalty. Even though they were brutal, they served their Khal with no iota of doubt. They fought by his side and even died for him.
What happened to the men of slain Khal?
When the Khal got killed, his brothers died too. If the Khal got killed in battle, they could live long enough to avenge his death. After avenging their Khal, they will join him in the afterlife.
How many bloodriders get chosen in the Dothraki community?
There is no law stipulating the number of men a Khal could have. Drogo had three, but Khal Pono had about six. The highest number recorded is seven.
What happened to Drogo’s bloodriders?
When Drogo’s wounds festered, he fell from his horse, and Dany begged Mirri Maz Duur to save her husband. However, his brothers rejected the idea, and a fight broke out; this led to their death.
What happened to Rakharo in Game of Thrones?
After becoming Dany’s bloodrider, Rakharo followed her into the Red Waste. However, he got killed by a rival while scouting the region for his Khaleesi.