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Characters: Game Of Thrones Essos

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The Free Cities

Frankly, the nine of them are more alike than they care to admit. They hire the same soldiers to fight the same wars for the same rulers -- the Rich, be they called magisters or archons or what have you!
Ser Jorah Mormont History and Lore: The Free Cities

Volantis, Pentos, Braavos, Norvos, Qohor, Myr, Lys, Tyrosh and Lorath are nine merchant city-states located on the western part of the continent of Essos. Originally, these cities were colonies, offshoots and outposts of the Valyrian Freehold but after the Doom of Valyria consumed the famous capital, these cities became the only remains of a great civilization. Since the Doom, the Free Cities have involved themselves in numerous petty wars against each other seeking to install a new hegemony to replace the Freehold.

    General Tropes 

  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Of Medieval and Renaissance Italy (the extinct Valyrian Freehold is itself a Roman Republic analogue).
  • Merchant Cities: To the point that some of these cities are only known for a special article or product. Myr is famous for its lenses, Tyrosh is renowned for its coloured dyes, Qohor for its blacksmiths who can reforge Valyrian steel, though some craftsmen in Volantis also seem to have this skill. Two of them were invited by Lord Tywin Lannister to re-purpose the Stark family's greatsword into two Lannister longswords.
  • Private Military Contractors: Like the Italian city-states it derives from, the Freehold lack the numbers to a field a regular, disciplined, standing army leading many of them to depend on mercenary companies and sell-swords to fight their wars.
  • Puppet Prince: The Prince of Pentos rules In Name Only, it is the Magisters who hold all the power though they use the Prince as The Scapegoat and sacrifice him if a crop fails or a war is lost.
  • The Remnant: Of the Valyrian Freehold, except for Braavos, which was not a colony but a city founded by runaway slaves.
  • Vice City: Lys.

    Magister Illyrio Mopatis 
"What good is war now? We are not ready."
Played By: Roger Allam

A wealthy magister of the free city of Pentos. Illiyrio was the host of the Targaryens after their escape from Westeros. He arranged Daenerys' marriage to Khal Drogo. He conspires with Lord Varys for the returning of the Targaryens to the Iron Throne.

Braavos

The Titan and City of Braavos

"Braavos is the strangest, a city erected not by the Freehold, but against it. A labyrinth of illusion and deceit to hide the refugees from Valyria's slave-lords. After the Doom, the city emerged from the shadows to become one of the greatest banking centers in the world."
Ser Jorah Mormont, History and Lore, "The Free Cities".

Braavos is the richest of the Free Cities, located North of Essos across the Narrow Sea from the Vale of Arryn. Syrio Forel, Jaqen H'ghar and Mero the Titan's Bastard all come from Braavos. Its feared Iron Bank is also making its presence felt in Westerosi politics. It is a City of Canals that is guarded by a massive statute, the Titan of Braavos.

    The Iron Bank of Braavos 

The Iron Bank of Braavos

Across the Narrow Sea, your books are filled with words like "Usurper", "Madman" and "Blood-right". Here our books are filled with numbers. We prefer the stories they tell. More plain. Less open for interpretation.
Tycho Nestoris

We all live in it's shadow, and almost none of us know it. You can't run from them, you can't cheat them, you can't sway them with excuses. If you owe them money and you don't want to crumble yourself, you pay it back.
Tywin Lannister

The Iron Bank is an almost-incalculably wealthy banking organization based in the Free City of Braavos. It is perhaps the single largest economic force in the known world. As a result of the War of the Five Kings and mysterious transactions by former Master of Coin, Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish (and, more generally, the post-Targaryen Kings of Westeros), the Iron Throne is tens of millions in debt to the Bank.

Tropes:

  • Adaptational Badass: The Iron Bank of Braavos make their presence felt in Book 4 and Book 5 and have a similar reputation and sense of mystery. But while they are regarded as a dangerous force, the kind of hushed tones and faux-religious awe that Tywin regards them in, considerably raises their profile From the Books .
  • Artifact Title / Meaningful Name: The Iron Bank was formed when Braavos was still a "secret city" of slaves fleeing their Valyrian masters. The original bank comprised of an abandoned iron mine that was used to store gold from which it derived its title of "Iron Bank". Since the bank became a major financial institution, the original mine has become one of its reserve deposits and a historical site in Braavos.
  • The Dreaded: The Lannisters, of all people, are afraid of the Iron Bank.
  • Expy: Of Florence's Medici Bank, which funded both sides of the War of the Roses, though Braavos itself evokes Venice more than any other city.
  • Impartial Purpose-Driven Faction: The Iron Bank doesn't care who sits on the Iron Throne - or any throne. Their only concern is who owes them, how much and if they can pay them back or not.
    Cersei: There must be someone at the Iron Bank you can speak to. Come to some arrangement.
    Tywin: The Iron Bank is the Iron Bank. There is no someone.
    Cersei: Someone does work there. It is comprised of people.
    Tywin: And a temple is comprised of stones. One stone crumbles and another takes its place and the temple holds its form for a thousand years or more. And that's what the Iron Bank is, a temple. We all live in its shadow and almost none of us know it.
  • Loan Shark: The Iron Bank is essentially a loan shark that owns several states, including the one it is nominally loyal to. You really don't want a kneecapping from them, as they are totally without sentiment and no one's beyond their reach, not even Tywin Lannister (a man who, it should be emphasized, has an entire continent in his grip):
    Lord Tywin: You can't run from them, you can't cheat them, you can't sway them with excuses. If you owe them money and you don't want to crumble yourself. You pay it back.
  • Morally Bankrupt Banker: Are willing to lend out money to anyone as long as they are sure that their client is likely to repay the debt owed.
  • Mega Corp. / N.G.O. Superpower: To the point where they're large enough to threaten the whole of Westeros, and especially the Lannisters. Indeed, they essentially own Braavos. Davos tells Shireen about a run-in he had with the First Sword to the Sealord of Braavos, but doesn't mention the Sealord at all. Rather, Davos emphasizes that he worked for the Iron Bank, despite being the Sealord's chief bodyguard and one of his most important subordinates.
  • Playing Both Sides: The Iron Bank is fully willing to back enemy factions to a ruling party if the latter defaults, as noted by Tyrion to Bronn. Indeed, Ser Davos manages to successfully convince the Iron Bank that Stannis is far more likely to pay them than the Lannisters are, since Tywin is old and has no heir that they can rely on, while Stannis has a reputation for integrity and battle prowess despite having the weaker strategic position.

    Tycho Nestoris 
"Across the Narrow Sea your books are filled with words like 'usurper' and 'madman' and 'blood right'. Here our books are filled with numbers. I prefer the stories they tell."
Played by: Mark Gatiss

Nestoris: "And you feel your blood gives you a claim on our gold?"
Stannis: "More than any man living."

A representative of the Iron Bank of Braavos, with whom Stannis negotiates for a loan to fund his efforts against his enemies.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Lacks his book counterpart's more distinctive features, such as a multi-tiered Nice Hat and a waist-length skinny beard, and instead is played as more conventionally attractive by the quite handsome Mark Gatiss.
  • Awesome Mc Cool Name: Just listen to it roll off the tongue.
  • Badass Beard: Despite being a fairly mild-mannered banker, considering the power he wields as an executive at the Iron Bank, he definitely qualifies as a Badass, and he sports a impressively large red beard.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: He speaks softly, but you'd better believe he carries a big stick.
  • Culture Clash: Tycho has barely disguised contempt for Westeros' obsession for titles and bloodlines and regards their wars as fairly petty. He also resents addressing Davos as "Ser" despite being a former smuggler who once tried to rob their bank.
    Nestoris: I am not a lord, "Ser" Davos Seaworth. You would not be either, here. In Braavos, thieves are not rewarded with titles.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Gets in some digs at Stannis' expense.
  • Insistent Terminology: Refers to Stannis as Lord Stannis, despite Davos' protestations of Stannis being the King of Westeros. Tycho, to his credit, refuses to be called "Lord" himself. He's a merchant banker that's part of a rising middle-class in a City State, thank you very much.
  • Hates Small Talk: Nestoris wastes no time in getting down to business and matters of real importance. Stannis Baratheon is much the same, and unsurprisingly Davos manages to win him over.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Nestoris has perfectly astute reasons for being skeptical of Stannis' claim and capacity to repay the loan. In banking terms, he has serious liabilities of lacking the men and supplies to continue a war, while the Lannisters have both.
  • Morally Bankrupt Banker: Played with. He's fairly clerical in temperament and tends to look down on Westerosi's feudal leaders as serious liabilities but he's also logical and honest about the Bank's legitimate reasons for not wanting to engage any further than they have to with Westerosi's Succession Crisis, namely about whether the person on the throne is legitimate or not.
  • No Sell: He isn't impressed by Stannis's claims to the Iron Throne, at least not on the basis of birthright. He only cares about his ability and skill to win a war and reliability to repay a large debt. To him, Stannis is just another supplicant coming for a loan, and one less reliable than King Tommen Baratheon and his wealthy Hand, Tywin Lannister.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Despite riding a hard bargain and having contempt for Davos as a former smuggler, when he presents a solid argument in favor of Stannis, Tycho and his fellow bankers come around and offer him a loan.

    Syrio Forel 

Syrio Forel was the former First Sword of Braavos to the Sealord. After completing his service, he arrived at King's Landing in Westeros where former Hand of the King Ned Stark invited him to train his daughter Arya in the Braavosi fencing technique.

See House Stark Household and Retainers for more details.

    Jaqen H'ghar 

One of the feared Faceless Men who are headquartered in Braavos, Jaqen H'ghar ended up imprisoned in the Red Keep. He was being transported to the Wall to serve in the Night's Watch when the convoy was attacked, after which he was released. During his travels, he made the acquaintance of fellow fugitive Arya Stark.

See the Independent Characters page for more details.

Slaver's Bay

Nobody remembers if the waters around Ghis had names before the Empire, but ever since they have been known only as Slaver's Bay and the Gulf of Grief. Of Ghis, however, nothing remains but ruins where end all great civilisations.
Ser Jorah Mormont, History and Lore: Old Ghis and Slaver's Bay.

A great bay in south-eastern Essos, littered with cities where slave trading and training is the main business. The main three cities of the eastern Slaver's Bay: Astapor, Yunkai, and Meereen, still cling to the culture of their Ghiscari ancestors who were conquered by the Valyrians

    In General 
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: In the books, Ghiscari characters (particularly nobles) are frequently described as having their hair dyed and sculpted into various shapes which would look ridiculous on screen. The show omits this along with all the various large and small plot points which result.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: After taking over Meereen, Daenerys announces her victory by draping a Targaryen Flag over the Harpy at the Great Pyramid of Meereen. She subsequently uses the Pyramid as her Keep and holds court in its chambers.
  • Animal Motifs: The harpy.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Of the Barbary Pirates. The Unsullied's Training from Hell and equipment is based on Ancient Sparta (if blown Up to Eleven) and them being enslaved foreigners turned brainwashed, highly disciplined eunuch soldiers is based on Mamluks and Janissaries. Finally, the stepped pyramids are taken from the Ancient Mesopotamia.
    • The Ghiscari Empire's rivalry with the Valyrian Freehold — and its subsequent destruction — mirrors the Punic Wars between the Roman Republic and the Carthaginian Empire.
    • The notion of independent city-states sharing a similar cultural identity is a reminder of the Greek city-states.
  • Patriotic Fervor: Even worse than Qarth's.
  • Proud Merchant Race: They consider themselves to be naturally above other peoples due to their great wealth and cultural posturing.
  • Slave Mooks: The Unsullied. See the Targaryen sheet for more tropes.
  • Starfish Language: Each city in Slaver's Bay speaks a dialect of Valyrian. Like the Dothraki language, these dialects were created for the show by David J. Peterson taking as base the few words that appear in the books.
  • Training from Hell: Every slave gets this.

Meereen

Meereen is the largest of the three cities that give Slaver's Bay its name. It is renowned for retaining much of the ancient Ghiscari architecture and culture and has a skyline dominated by large pyramids.

     Hizdahr zo Loraq 
"Your Grace, I cannot defend the actions of the masters. I can only speak to you as a son who loved his father."
Played By: Joel Fry

"Is it justice to answer one crime with another?"

One of the Great Masters of Meereen.
  • Blue Blood: He's the son of one of Meereen's oldest families, one devoted to preserving and restoring its architecture beauty and cultural traditions.
  • Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie: He asks for proper funeral rites for all the Meereenese Great Masters, including his father. Daenerys only allows his father's bones to be buried properly.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: In "Breaker of Chains", he's among the Great Masters gathered over the walls of Meereen. If you've read the books and seen fanart, it's easy to tell who he is, since the camera pans over him quite a few times.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: His father spoke out against crucifying the slave children. And he decries Dany's eye-for-an-eye retaliation as brutal and unnecessary.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Grieves the loss of his crucified father, and requests that Dany allow him to give his father's remains proper rites.
  • Token Good Teammate: How he presents himself and his father to Daenerys, insinuating that not all of Meereen's Great Masters were child-murdering sadists.

     Oznak zo Pahl 
Played By: Daniel Naprous

A Meereenese nobleman sent by the Great Masters to challenge Daenerys.

Other Cities

    Astapor 

Kraznys mo Nakloz

"Tell the Westerosi whore she has until tomorrow."
Played By: Dan Hildebrand

A "Good Master" of the city of Astapor, one of the three cities of Slaver's Bay. He's a slaver that trains and sells "Unsullied", fanatically loyal eunuch slave soldiers praised for their lack of humanity.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: In the books, he is described as extremely fat (with epic man-boobs) and has a large red and black beard. In the TV series he's a thin bald man with a normal-looking mustache and goatee.
  • Ambition Is Evil: His desire to own a dragon blinds him to the clear problems that come with it.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: He's one of the "Good Masters", the rulers of Astapor.
  • Bad Boss: Horribly mistreats The Unsullied he owns.
  • Bald of Evil: He's very bald.
  • Beard of Evil: A van dyke beard.
  • Brutal Honesty: He uses his language as a shield to insult Jorah and Daenerys, but makes no attempt to hide the brutal conditions in which the Unsullied are raised and trained.
  • Jerkass: He keeps insulting Daenerys (referring to her as a "stupid bitch" and an "ignorant Westerosi whore") and Ser Jorah ("Tell the old man he smells of piss"). Note that he believes that neither of them understand him because he's speaking Valyrian.
  • Catch Phrase: "Tell the Westerosi whore/bitch that..."
  • Death by Materialism: Too blinded by the prospect of owning a dragon to see the several holes in his plan.
  • Kick the Dog: He pointlessly cuts of an Unsullied soldier's nipple despite Daenerys' objections, just to prove that the Unsullied are unfeeling meat-robots and completely obedient to their master.
  • Man on Fire: He is incinerated by Drogon's dragon breath.
  • Oh Crap: When he sees that Dany speaks Valyrian, then even more once Dany orders the Unsullied to attack.
  • Patriotic Fervor: He seems to despise Westeros. Maybe with good reason, given that he is a slaver and slavery is illegal and considered taboo there.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Besides being a slave-trader, he's also a misogynist and xenophobe. He constantly insults Daenerys, both for her gender and for being a "Westerner".
  • Smug Snake: Kraznys certainly considers himself the smartest person in the room, confidently strutting about with all the charm of a used car salesman. In reality, he's no salesman: Missandei is the one who really sells the Unsullied, since Kraznys simply gives vague instructions amid disgusting insults in his own language. Which Dany understands perfectly well. And, relatedly, he might just qualify as the dumbest person in the room; see "Too Dumb to Live", below.
  • Straw Misogynist: He constantly calls Daenerys a whore and treats Missandei like something he found growing in his shower.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Where the hell do we even start? Selling the woman who's told you she's intent on conquest, and is also disgusted by slavery, a huge army of unquestioningly obedient elite soldiers who are already armed and inside your city's walls? Thinking a dragon is something that can be traded like a horse and immediately tamed like one? Assuming the Valyrian-descended noblewoman doesn't speak Valyrian, and constantly insulting her in that language? It almost gets to the point that you wonder how he came to his position if he's that thick.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Loses it when Dany orders the Unsullied to kill the masters and free the slaves, screaming "Kill her!" over and over again before Dany has Drogon put him out of everyone's misery.

Greizhen mo Ullhor

"If [the Unsullied] fail in battle, they will shame Astapor."
Played By: Clifford Barry

Another "Good Master" of Astapor.

Cleon

A "butcher", either literal or figurative, who sets himself up as King of Astapor following Daenerys' liberation of the city.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: From a lowly butcher to the King of Astapor - assuming Ser Mormont didn't mean "butcher" in the other way.
  • The Ghost: Hasn't appeared onscreen yet - which leads to a little confusion as to whether or not Ser Mormont was being literal or slightly more "figurative" when describing him as a "butcher".
  • Rags to Riches: Used to be a butcher... in one way or another.
  • The Usurper: Overthrew the council Daenerys set up to rule Astapor, and installed himself as King.

    Yunkai 

Razdal mo Eraz

"Our Empire was old before dragons stirred in Old Valyria. Many an army has broken against our walls."
Played By: George Georgiou

One of the Wise Masters of Yunkai.
  • Adaptation Name Change: In the books, his name is Grazdan mo Eraz.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: He's part of a culture that thrives on cruel slave labor, although it's unclear how 'evil' he is. It could be argued that he's merely protecting his home and doing his job, but you don't get to be a 'Wise Master' by being the nicest guy in the room.
  • Badass Boast:
    Razdal: "Our Empire was old before dragons stirred in Old Valyria. Many an army has broken against our walls."
    Razdal: "If blood is your desire, blood shall flow."
  • Bullying a Dragon: Literally, when he tries to threaten Daenerys while her dragons and guards are present. He is naturally put in his place.
  • Guy Liner: Like many of the aristocratic Essos types.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: He meets with Daenerys hoping to settle things peacefully, offering gold and enough ships to get her army to Westeros if she agrees not to attack Yunkai. He doesn't become hostile until Daenerys makes her intentions clear.
  • Mouth of Sauron: To the Wise Masters of Yunkai.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!/Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Tries to bribe Daenerys with larges amounts of gold and ships to leave Yunkai alone. When that doesn't work, he warns that he has very powerful friends.

Mero, the Titan's Bastard

"Take your clothes off and come sit on Mero's lap... and I may give you my Second Sons."
Played By: Mark Killeen

Mero: "The Second Sons have faced worse odds and won."
Jorah: "The Second Sons have faced worse odds and run."

A mercenary captain in charge of the Second Sons when it was under contract to Yunkai.
  • Asshole Victim: Mero is betrayed and murdered by his comrade, but no one's going to mourn a psychotic self-promoting wanker like him.
  • Composite Character: With Sallor the Bald. He's killed by Daario alongside Prendahl na Ghezn.
  • Death by Adaptation: Type 2. In the books he survives further into the storyline.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: A nasty one below his right eye.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: He has them.
  • In Universe Nickname: "The Titan's Bastard", in reference to the Titan of Braavos, a huge statue similar to the Colossus of Rhodes.
  • Jerkass: Oh, where to begin? With a big smug grin, he insults Daenerys to her face, harasses Missandei, demands sexual favors for his Second Sons and threatens to rape/gang-rape them both. This happens in a single scene.
  • Lecherous Licking: To Daenerys. He lustily licks the air as if going down on her.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: He sounds Estuary/SE London for some reason, even though he's supposed to be a Braavosi like Syrio Forel.
  • Off with His Head!: Daario kills him and presents his head to Daenerys as a sign of loyalty.
  • Perma Stubble Of Evil: Mero has the usual unshaven rogue look, although he's less a rogue and more an opportunistic psychopath.
  • Perverted Sniffing: When Missandei approaches to pour him wine, he quickly puts his nose close to her crotch.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Acts derisively towards Daenerys because she's a beautiful woman.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Dies off-screen in his first appearance. We don't even get to see him fight Daario.

Prendhal na Ghezn

"That dragon bitch, talks too much."
Played By: Ramon Tikaram

Another captain in charge of the Second Sons, during its contract to Yunkai.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Because the modern Ghiscari are a mongrel race.
  • Number Two: To Mero.
  • Off with His Head!: Daario kills him and presents his head to Daenerys as a sign of loyalty.
  • Perpetual Frowner: As opposed to the constantly smirking Mero and Daario, Prendhal seems irritated about everything in general.
  • The Quiet One: He doesn't speak much during the meeting with Daenerys, although this is later subverted when he's shown to have more input between the three of the Second Sons leaders.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Dies off-screen in his first appearance. We don't even get to see him fight Daario.

The Dothraki Sea and the Red Waste

Horselords

Daenerys Targaryen: "My brother used to say the only thing the Dothraki knew how to do was steal things better men had built."
Jorah Mormont: "It's not the only thing. They are quite good at killing the better men."

Tribal horse nomads inhabiting the great steppe of central Essos, the "Dothraki Sea". They plunder settled peoples for resources (although some times the mere threat of force will suffice and they will be paid to leave) and follow people for their physical strength only, not bloodline. One Dothraki horde or Khalassar is lead by a Khal, and his wife is known as Khaleesi.

    In General 
  • Ambiguously Brown: The Dothraki characters are played by actors of all kinds of ethnicities.
  • Anti-Magical Faction: All the Dothraki have a deep hate of "Maegi" (witches). Subverted later when they bow to Daenerys after she performs a miraculous act: the witches that they do hate might be just poisoners.
  • Armor Is Useless: They think so. Jorah proves them wrong in his duel with Qotho.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: The Dothraki follow only the strongest among them.
  • Barbarian Tribe
  • Beard of Barbarism
  • Braids of Barbarism: A Dothraki only cuts off his hair when he is defeated in combat, as a sign of shame. Undefeated warriors keep their long hair in braids.
  • Born in the Saddle: When a Khal can't ride, he is no longer Khal.
  • Cannot Cross Running Water: The Dothraki have no ships and mistrust the sea, which they call "poison water". When Daenerys gets her small khalassar in a ship for the first time ever they don't take it well.
  • Demoted to Extra: The Dothraki feature less in Dany's storyline in Season 2. By Season 3, they are just part of the background.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Of the nomadic steppe peoples of Eurasia like Huns, Mongols, Turks, etc, with some elements of Native American thrown in for flavor. The show tones down the more overt Mongolian depiction of the books, however, which might come as too stereotypical and offensive on screen.
  • Global Ignorance: They don't believe in the existence of lands beyond the poison water.
  • Holy City: Vaes Dothrak is the only city of the Dothraki. They are forbidden to spill blood there.
  • The Horde/Hordes from the East
  • Horse Archer: The Dothraki learn to use bows from horseback at 4.
  • Language Equals Thought: There are over 10 words for "horse" in Dothraki and none for "thank you".
  • Modest Royalty: The Dothraki as a whole don't have a great deal of attraction to luxury and shiny objects. Drogo for instance has trouble understanding the importance and value of the Iron Throne regarding it as a mere chair and for him the horse saddle is the only throne he needs. Indeed, the Dothraki had absolutely zero interest in invading Westeros until King Robert Baratheon and his assassin tried to kill Daenerys, pissing them off.
  • No Woman's Land: Dany's khalassar is an attempt to change this.
  • Proud Warrior Race
  • Race Lift: From East Asian in the book to Ambiguously Brown in the show.
  • Rape, Pillage, and Burn: What their culture can be summed in.
  • Starfish Language: The Dothraki language, created for the show by David J. Peterson using the few words included by Martin in the books as a base.
  • Tribal Face Paint: Blue (Woad), like the one used by the Celts in real life.
  • Zerg Rush: They draw their strengh from numbers and mobility have no use for fortifications or complex battle tactics.

    Khal Drogo 
Played By: Jason Momoa

The "Khal" or leader of a nomadic Dothraki tribe or "khalasar" and a renowned warrior. He contracts to marry Daenerys in exchange for a promise to win Viserys the crown of Westeros.
  • And I Must Scream: Ends up with Locked-In Syndrome thanks to an intentionally botched healing ritual.
  • Anti-Villain: Type I. As long as you don't piss him off or question his rule, he's a Reasonable Authority Figure...in charge of a tribe that practices, among other things, rape and slavery, and he considers this perfectly acceptable.
  • Anyone Can Die: Built-up as an upcoming Big Bad, from a Westerosi perspective. Dies without even touching the Narrow Sea.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: There's a reason he's the leader of his khalasar, as demonstrated in "The Pointy End".
  • Badass: In "The Pointy End", Mago challenges his authority, and Drogo fights him one-on-one without a weapon, dodging every one of Mago's strikes before slicing his throat with his own sword. Word of God is that Jason Momoa asked a scene like this be included, as in the books Drogo is never seen fighting and his battle prowess was an Informed Ability.
  • Badass Boast: Khal Drogo is the master of these; first, his declaration of his intent to invade Westeros and later the dressing-down he gives a tribesman who challenges his authority.
    "I will not have your body burned. I will not give you that honor. The beetles will feed on your eyes. The worms will crawl through your lungs. The rain will fall on your rotting skin until nothing is left of you but bones."

    "And to my son, the stallion who will mount the world, I will also pledge a gift. I will give him the iron chair that his mother's father sat upon. I will give him Seven Kingdoms. I, Drogo, will do this. I will take my Khalasar west to where the world ends and ride wooden horses across the black salt water as no Khal has done before! I will kill the men in iron suits and tear down their stone houses! I will rape their women, take their children as slaves and bring their broken gods back to Vaes Dothrak! This, I vow, I, Drogo, son of Bharbo. I swear before the Mother of Mountains as the stars look down in witness! As the stars look down in witness!"
  • Berserk Button: Threatening Daenerys or their unborn child is a good way to get yourself killed, as Viserys Targaryen learns. It also prompts him into invading Westeros, after previously being ambivalent, so he can take revenge on Robert for an assassination attempt. Even simply insulting Daenerys is enough for Drogo to rip your tongue out.
  • Braids (And Beard) Of Barbarism: The mentioned custom of the Dothraki only cutting their braid off when they're defeated? Drogo has never been defeated, and his hair reaches to his thighs for it.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Normally a rather taciturn fellow, but when he makes a speech, then by the Mother of Mountains, a SPEECH will be made. The sprays of saliva and wild flexing gesticulations are just icing on the cake.
  • Death Is Dramatic: The attempts to save him escalate, then he passes away, gets burned with his killer and has dragons reviving from his funeral pyre.
  • Defrosting Ice King: He starts off as brutish and stoic, but overtime his heart is softened by Daenerys.
  • The Dragon: How Viserys sees him. Drogo, on the other hand, ignores Viserys entirely whenever possible and has little interest in his agenda.
  • Eloquent In My Native Tongue: Speaks only enough Westerosi to, say, diss Viserys, but he is an intelligent and charismatic war leader, and yes, extremely well-spoken in Dothraki.
  • Empty Shell: After the ritual performed by Mirri Maz Duur to save his life.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Of the "Anti-Hero across the eye" variety. Though, it has to be noted that the scars are real. Actor Jason Momoa got them after being attacked with a broken bottle in a bar.
  • Guy Liner: He has copious amounts.
  • Hidden Depths: He's a barbarian murderer-rapist, but he's capable of love and mercy, can be reasoned with, and is open to constructive criticism (from his wife, at least).
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: With Daenerys.
  • I Am X, Son of Y: "I, Drogo, son of Bharbo..."
  • Lightning Bruiser: Is revealed to be one during his fight in "The Pointy End", when his speed and agility allow him to spend most of it weaponless and unarmored, dodging any and all blows that come his way.
  • Loophole Abuse: He can't shed blood in Vaes Dothrak, so he killed Viserys in a brutal but bloodless way.
  • The Lost Lenore: A rare male example. Daenerys still loves and misses him deeply, as shown when she encounters a vision of him in the House of the Undying.
  • Mercy Kill: Tearfully followed through by Daenerys after he's reduced to a catatonic state.
  • Noble Demon: While the Dothraki he leads use Rape, Pillage, and Burn as their standard lifestyle and he embraces it, he genuinely falls in love with Dany, and is capable of mercy and kindness at times.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: A possibility, and one that is acknowledged in the commentary to "A Golden Crown", is that Drogo is perfectly capable of speaking the common tongue but hides it. He knows enough to understand Viserys in "A Golden Crown" and taunt him in the same language, and his repeated use of "No" to Daenerys on their wedding night mostly fits as responses to what she's asking him. It's likely that Daenerys taught him some common as she learned Dothraki, but how much if she did, and if he knew any beforehand, is not clear.
  • Papa Wolf: Threatening his unborn child is a really, really bad idea.
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage: He and Daenerys eventually end up happy together, once they've managed to defeat the language barrier.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Comes with being Dothraki.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Justified. Dothraki only cut their braids when they are defeated, and Drogo has never been defeated.
  • Rated M for Manly: As expected from a khal of the Dothraki.
  • Reality Ensues: An ultimate badass doesn't get away with Only a Flesh Wound from an otherwise one-sided fight. An infection and less than stellar field medicine may kill you, even without one of your victims compounding the matter.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Or in this case lots of eye makeup. Also, as Jason Momoa put it on the comentary:
    "The one with the largest braid is the biggest pimp. So... mine's the largest!"
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Drogo showed little interest in conquering Westeros until an assassin is sent to kill Dany. He subsequently decides he's going to fuck Westeros UP in revenge.
  • The Stoic: He rarely shows much in the way of emotion, favouring instead a cold stare.
  • This Means War!: Up until "You Win or You Die", the politics and power struggles surrounding the Iron Throne of Westeros don't mean much to Drogo. Then, things get personal.
  • Tranquil Fury:
    • In contrast to Viserys' frothing rage, he is perfectly calm and composed when he kills Viserys for threatening Dany's life.
    • Again in "The Pointy End", when he remains calm as Mago attacks him with a sword, and he makes a point on killing him with nothing but his bare hands, all while telling Mago what he is going to do with his corpse.
    • Not so much in "You Win or You Die", where an enraged Drogo delivers a speech seemingly seconds away from frothing at the mouth.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Every single scene. Drogo has no use for shirts.

    Qotho 
"This must not be."
Played By: Dar Salim

One of Khal Drogo's bloodriders.

    Cohollo 
Played By: N/A

One of Khal Drogo's bloodriders.

    Haggo 
Played By: N/A

One of Khal Drogo's bloodriders.

    Mago 
"A khal who takes orders from a foreign whore is no khal."
Played By: Ivailo Dimitrov

One of Khal Drogo's bloodriders.

    Khal Jhaqo 

A former ko in Drogo's khalasar. Named himself Khal and took off with part of Drogo's khalasar after Drogo was incapacitated.

Lhazar

Lhazar is a peaceful, semi-nomadic nation of shepherds that live between the Dothraki Sea and the Red Waste. They are often a raid target of the Dothraki.

General Tropes

     Mirri Maz Duur 
"Why don't you take a look at your Khal? Then you will see exactly what life is worth, when all the rest is gone."
Played By: Mia Soteriou

A healer and wise woman of the Lhazareen, taken as a slave by Drogo's khalasar. Daenerys takes her under her protection.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Invites tons of it, both in-universe and out. For a start, Drogo's catatonia and Rhaego's death may have saved hundreds of thousands of lives, and she has a point when she chews Daenerys out. Most of the fandom seem torn between seeing her as Good Is Not Nice or as Good Powers, Bad People.
  • Anti-Villain: Genuinely believes that killing Rhaego and rendering Drogo helpless is for the greater good, and may be right.
  • Blood Magic: Employs this to save Drogo's life, at Daenerys' request.
  • Breaking Speech: May be a What the Hell, Hero?, depending on your outlook, but either way it's a doozy.
    Mirri Maz Duur: Saved me? Three of those riders had already raped me before you saved me, girl. I saw my god's house burned. There, where I had healed men and women beyond counting! In the streets I saw piles of heads. The head of the baker, who made my bread. The head of a young boy, that I had cured of fever just three moons past. So tell me again exactly what it was that you saved.
    Daenerys: Your life.
    Mirri Maz Duur: Why don't you take a look at your Khal? Then you will see exactly what life is worth, when all the rest is gone.
  • Cool Old Lady: Whether she falls into this or Evil Old Folks depends on your viewpoint.
  • Defiant to the End: Vows to not scream when Dany orders her thrown onto Drogo's funeral pyre. She fails to keep this promise.
  • Evil All Along: Hates the Dothraki, and had a hand in the catatonia of Khal Drogo and the death of Daenerys' unborn son. Of course, this is a group that just wiped out her community to enslave them.
  • Kill Her With Fire: her punishment for the death of Rhaego and saving Drogo's life but leaving him brain dead.
    • Burn The ''Maegi'': Though it's less because she's a witch and more because she betrayed Dany.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Invoked.
  • Rape and Revenge: Raped four times and her town is razed. Her response is to bring Dany's khalasar down and scatter its remains.
  • Screw Destiny: She wants to avert the prophecy of The Stallion Who Mounts The World, aka Daenerys' unborn son Rhaego, having seen first-hand the destruction wrought by a Dothraki horselord who isn't prophesied to be the worst ever. She succeeds by murdering Rhaego in Daenerys' womb.
  • Unwanted Rescue: A variant; Dany saved her, but Mirri Maz Duur has good reason to wish her (and her son) harm all the same.
  • Wicked ''Maegi'': Inverted; she features some of the physical traits, but she's a healer, and did a great deal of good in her hometown but she's still an enemy of the protagonist.

Qarth

Possibly the richest and most populous city in the world, dubbed "the Greatest City that Ever Was or Will Be" by its inhabitants. Qarth is strategically placed in a narrow strait between continents, south of the Red Waste, and is dominated by a council of merchants.From the Books... 

    In General 
  • Deadly Decadent Court: According to Xaro Xhoan Daxos in "Histories & Lore: Qarth" feature, the Thirteen can be this to merchants who are not Pureborn or the Warlocks' representative: a merchant only remains in the Thirteen if he can keep the other twelve too afraid to deny him (re: kill him).
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Part Ancient Carthagenote , part Medieval Constantinople. The show's depiction uses motifs from Ancient Babylon, Persia and India.
  • Merchant City
  • Patriotic Fervor: The Qartheen look down on all foreigners and close their doors to let anyone they don't like die in the Red Waste, the grounds around the city is called the Garden of Bones where the unfortunates likely die.
  • The Proud Elite: The Qartheen consider themselves the pinnacle of civilization
  • Proud Merchant Race: Their society is built on their skill as businessmen and traders.
  • Qurac: The "rich, but arrogant and morally decadent Orient" version.
  • Race Lift: In the books the Qartheen are all of pale complexion. TV!Qartheen are played not only by actors of different ethnicities.

    Xaro Xhoan Daxos 
"A man is what others say he is and no more."
Played By: Nonso Anozie

"Do you think the path from poverty to wealth is always pure and honorable? I have done many things, Khaleesi, that a righteous man would condemn. And here I am. With no regrets."

A merchant prince of Qarth and member of "The Thirteen", the ruling oligarchy of the city. Originally a native of the Summer Islands that "hit the docks as cargo", he is now reputed to be the richest man in the city.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: From the books... 
  • Adaptational Badass: From the effimenate Ambiguously Gay merchant to a sword wielding Summer Islander. His first instinct when surrounded by Dany's Khalasar (while naked and in bed) is to growl and reach for his sword.
  • Adaptational Villainy: While in the books he's hardly a nice guy and Dany is constantly suspicious of him, here he's far more proactive and ambitious.
  • Affably Evil: Polite to Dany even as he murders members of her khalasar and his own guards and kidnaps her dragons.
  • Adaptational Sexuality: While in the books Xaro remains Ambiguously Gay — being served by pretty boys in silk — and not paying any attention to Daenerys in typical Qartheen garb (which leaves one breast exposed), TV Xaros is clearly heterosexual and later takes Doreah as his mistress.
  • Agent Scully: So Pyat Pree just performed bilocation in your home and surrounded by a bunch of people. Sure it's a parlor trick. Subverted: Pree and Xaro are actually in cahoots and the doubting of Pree's skills/animosity was mutual Obfuscating Stupidity. Xaro later makes use of Pree's duplication ability in order to kill the other members of the Thirteen.
  • Alliterative Name: Xaro Xhoan, but averted with Daxos. Still, that's a lot of Xs.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Not necessarily evil, per se, but it certainly forces one to do things that "a righteous man would condemn," as Xaro tries to elucidate to Dany.
  • Arranged Marriage: Offers it to Daenerys.
  • Bad Boss: Has some his Civic Guard bodyguards killed in his plot to steal Daenerys' dragons
  • Blood Oath: Cuts his hand and shows the blood as part of his oath to stand for Daenerys and her people.
  • Character Death: Dany has him and Doreah locked in his vault, from which there is no escape. By now, he's certainly suffocated or starved to death.
  • Death by Adaptation: Unless he somehow manages to escape from his impenetrable vault before he starves or runs out of air. Word of God states he's dead.
  • False Flag Operation: He stages the robbery of the dragons at his manse, which includes killing several of his bodyguards.
  • The Farmer And The Viper: Played with. He is legitimately grateful to the leaders of Qarth for letting him enter the city as a boy, but since he thinks Qarth should open its doors to the world, he has the other members of the Thirteen (minus Pree) killed.
  • Klingon Promotion: Murdering the rest of the Qartheen leadership to install himself as King. It only lasts for a fortnight however.
  • Karmic Death: Dany seals him and Doreah inside his impenetrable vault.
  • Merchant Prince: He's richest man in Essos (or so he likes others to think) and member of "The Thirteen," the ruling council of the city.
  • Mock Millionaire: He's not nearly as wealthy as he appears. His impenetrable vault is actually empty. That being said, he has a lot of golden statues and valuables inside his mansion — it seems as if Xaro spent all his actual money on appearing rich. In the Histories & Lore featurette, Xaro explains that the Thirteen do this is to make the Qartheen proud of the city, and to make the other twelve doubt to remove a member of the council. Dany loots his house and uses the money to buy a ship, which she uses to get to Astapor, the setting for her storyline of Season 3.
  • Non-Action Guy: For all his Othello-like look and sword-wielding he never gets his hands dirty.
  • Not So Different: Xaro decides to stand for Daenerys because they are both foreigners. Or so it seems.
  • Race Lift: In the books, he's just like the rest of the Qartheen, that is pale-skinned (the Dothraki call the Qartheen "Milk Men"). In the series, Xaro handwaves his being the only member of the Thirteen who is not white by explaining that he is originally from the Summer Isles. From the books... 
  • Rags to Riches: His parents never owned a single pair of shoes. Xaro himself arrived at Qarth with nothing. Now he's the richest man in the richest city in Essos... but only as far as appearances go.
  • Rags to Royalty: Accomplishing this is his reason for wanting to marry Dany. In "A Man Without Honor", he has Pyat Pree assassinate the other eleven members of the Thirteen, allowing him to become the King of Qarth.
  • The Resenter: With regards to the Thirteen, particularly the Pureborn.
  • Sealed Room in the Middle of Nowhere: Not quite the middle of nowhere, but Dany does lock him in a sealed room with no possible method of escape.
  • Self-Made Man: The image he likes to project.
  • The Starscream: Has Pyat Pree murder all the rest of the Thirteen to crown himself the King of Qarth.
  • Token Minority: And it actually becomes something of a plot point.
  • Treacherous Advisor: He helps Pyat Pree capture Dany's dragons in return for his help assassinating the other eleven members of the Thirteen so he can become King.
  • Visionary Villain: He seems to want to open Qarth to the world instead of keeping it secluded.
  • Xanatos Gambit: By making an alliance with Pyat Pree and proposing marriage to Daenerys, he will accomplish his Rags to Royalty plan either way; either Dany refuses to marry him, so he betrays her and Pree makes him king of Qarth in exchange for her dragons, or she accepts, in which case he would presumably screw over Pree and get her dragons for himself. Unfortunately, his plans failed to account for one important thing: The dragons.

    Pyat Pree 
"The Mother of Dragons will be with her babies. She will give them her love and they will thrive by her side. Forever."
Played By: Ian Hanmore

A Qartheen warlock loyal to the "Undying Ones" and a member of The Thirteen.
  • Adaptational Badass: His Me's a Crowd ability doesn't show up in the books.
  • Affably Evil: Courteous, amiable, and surprisingly eager to take Dany's side in an argument...albeit for extremely dark and clandestine purposes.
  • Alliterative Name: Pyat Pree.
  • Bald of Evil: Looks like a carbon copy of Nosferatu, all he lacks is the posture.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Turns out that telling Dany he plans to keep her imprisoned there forever while his vulnerable original form is standing right in front of her fire-breathing dragons is a bad idea.
  • Composite Character: Taking the place of his own masters, the Undying Ones.
  • Death by Adaptation: Takes the place of the Undying Ones.
  • The Dragon: To Xaro Xhoan Daxos.
    • Dragon with an Agenda. Xaro being the wealthiest man in Qarth is a lie, but Pyat's magic is very real and with it he is very dangerous, ultimately posing more of a threat than the "King of Qarth". And his agenda, of course, is to imprison Dany in the House of the Undying, so that Dany and her dragons will sustain his magic forever.
  • Evil Sorcerer: A warlock, but the principle's the same.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: His cold blue eyes are part of what makes him Obviously Evil.
  • Guy Liner: Pyat appears to be wearing purple lipstick and eyeshadow, although Xaro claims that this is due to the massive amounts of "Shade Of The Evening" that warlocks drink.
  • Just One Little Mistake: If only Pyat had summoned magic *muzzles* rather than chains...
  • Karmic Death: He wanted the power of Dany's dragons ... he got it.
  • Kill It with Fire: Burned to death with dragonfire at Daenerys' command.
  • Lean and Mean: He's the thinnest of the Thirteen, who are all well-fed merchants.
  • Looks Like Orlock: He might not suck blood but damn if he doesn't look the part.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Xaro Xhoan Daxos dismisses his so-called powers as parlor tricks. It's actually Obfuscating Stupidity on his behalf as Xaro and Pree are in cahoots.
  • Me's a Crowd: He can create copies of himself. Initially, the copies don't seem to be able to do that much apart from stand around and talk, but it later turns out that they are able to kill on command. When "killed" they collapse into nothingness, leaving behind clean clothes.
  • No Ontological Inertia: After Dany's dragons burn him to a crisp, his copies disappear entirely.
  • Obviously Evil: Despite how polite he is, Pree is creepy from the start. He's unnaturally thin, demonstrates his magic in a creepy way, never seems to blink and has odd-coloured lips.
  • Oddly Small Organization: The "Warlocks of Qarth" apparently consist entirely of a single guy: Pyat Pree. Averted in Season 3 when another Warlock appears.
  • Uncertain Doom: His Me's a Crowd ability means that the watcher can't be 100% sure that he is dead everytime he is "killed" on screen because it can be just a duplicate. In "Valar Dohaeris", an assassin sent either by Pyat Pree or an unknown warlock in league with him attempts to kill Daenerys in the docks of Astapor, so even if Pree is really dead his legacy is very much alive.
  • The Unsmile: And a creepy, creepy, creepy one at that.

    The Spice King 
"My name is quite long and quite impossible for foreigners to pronounce. I am simply a trader of spices."
Played By: Nicholas Blane

"Unlike you I do not have exalted ancestors. I make my living by trade and I judge every trade on its merits."

Another member of the Thirteen. Second richest man in Qarth after Xaro Xhoan Daxos and owner of its biggest merchant fleet.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Very polite and very condescending.
  • Brutal Honesty: He nicely deconstructs Daenerys' self image; pointing out that she hasn't got an army, she hasn't got any allies in Westeros, despite what her advisors have been telling her... and she hasn't got his ships either.
  • Canon Foreigner: There's no Spice King in the books, just the Ancient Guild of Spicers, a trade guild rival to the Thirteen, who are also a trade group and not the rulers of Qarth. However, his appearance and tone are quite similar to the way Xaro Xoan Daxos is described in the book, including the mention of a difficult to pronounce name, to the point that some readers may have assumed he was Xaro when he first appeared.
  • Composite Character: Of several of the Pureborn (the ruling elite of Qarth) and the book version of Xaro.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He's quite witty and even self-deprecating at times.
    Daenerys: I am not your little princess. I am Daenerys Stormborn of the blood of old Valyria and I will take what is mine. With fire and blood, I will take it.
    The Spice King: Yes, My Lady, but not with my ships.
  • Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: To quote the man himself, "I am merely a trader of spices."
  • Fat Bastard: He's extremely overweight and very smug.
  • Faux Affably Evil: The Spice King might be polite and flattering to guests, but the affability is largely superficial and readily vanishes when displeased.
  • Insistent Terminology: Referring to Qarth as �the greatest city that ever was or will be.� Likewise, calling himself a �trader of spices.�
  • Jerkass Has a Point: His reluctance to fund Daenerys' campaign is entirely justified; the crown was never hers, but her father's, she has no known allies in Westeros, no army, and no resources other than "three dragons the size of cats." From his own point of view, giving Daenerys ships to go to Westeros is simply a bad investment.
  • Loophole Abuse: When the Thirteen begin to turn her away, Daenerys indignantly points out that they promised to �receive� her and her people. The Spice King deftly counters this, saying they have indeed received (met with) her.
  • Merchant Prince: It's right there in his name.
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis: His 'villainy' consists exclusively of knocking Daenerys off her high horse, which really needed doing.
  • Overly Long Name: Apparently it's impossible for foreigners to pronounce.
  • Proud Merchant Race Guy: The Spice King is extremely proud of the power he wields, despite having no 'exalted ancestors'.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: He gives a highly accurate and incisive one to Daenerys.
  • Sissy Villain: His somewhat preening nature meant many viewers mistook him for the show's version of Xaro Xhoan Daxos at first, who was heavily implied to be gay in the books.
  • Slashed Throat: Pyat Pree opens his throat at the behest of Xaro Xhoan Daxos, along with the rest of the Thirteen.

    Quaithe 
"I am no one."
Played By: Laura Pradelska

A shadowbinder from Asshai, like Melisandre, now residing in Qarth.

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