Khal Drogo is a fictional character in the A Song of Ice and Fire series of fantasy novels by American author George R. R. Martin and in the first two seasons of its television adaptation, Game of Thrones.

Khal Drogo
A Song of Ice and Fire character
Game of Thrones
Khal Drogo-Jason Momoa.jpg
Jason Momoa as Khal Drogo
First appearance
Last appearance
Created byGeorge R. R. Martin
Portrayed byJason Momoa
  • Great Rider
  • Great Khal
FamilyHouse Targaryen (by marriage)
SpouseDaenerys Targaryen
ChildrenRhaego (stillbirth)
  • Bharbo (father)

Introduced in 1996's A Game of Thrones, Drogo is a khal, a leader of the Dothraki, a tribe of warriors who roam the continent of Essos. He is regarded to be the strongest and most feared of all of the khals. Daenerys Targaryen is sold into marriage to him by her older brother Viserys in order to secure an alliance with the khal. Her ensuing relationship with him, and her introduction to the brutal world of the Dothraki, prove to be fundamental to her growth as both a ruler and a conqueror.

Drogo is portrayed by Jason Momoa in the HBO television adaptation.[1][2]


Drogo is a powerful khal, or warlord, of the Dothraki people, a tribal nation of horse riders in the steppes beyond the Free Cities. He is an accomplished warrior and has never been defeated in battle.

Drogo is not a point of view character in the novels, so his actions are witnessed and interpreted through the eyes of his wife Daenerys Targaryen.


A Game of ThronesEdit

In A Game of Thrones, Viserys Targaryen and Illyrio Mopatis marry Daenerys Targaryen to Khal Drogo to get his support and warriors for the invasion of Westeros. He rapes her on their wedding night[3] but he nevertheless proves a kind, sensitive, and loving husband. After there is a failed attempt on Daenerys's life, he vows to invade Westeros, but is wounded in a subsequent battle. He begins developing a severe case of sepsis. Daenerys unwittingly sacrifices their unborn son to save him with blood magic. While this saves his life, he is left in a catatonic state. Daenerys smothers him with a pillow. At his funeral pyre, she walks with her dragon eggs into the flames and emerges unscathed with three baby dragons. He is the namesake of her favorite dragon, Drogon.

Khal Drogo is not a point of view character in the novels, so his actions are witnessed and interpreted through the eyes of Daenerys Targaryen.[4]

Television adaptationEdit

Jason Momoa plays the role of Drogo in the television series.

Khal Drogo is played by Jason Momoa in the television adaptation of the series of books.[5] At his audition for the part of Drogo he performed the Ka Mate haka.[6] Momoa related his experience in reading for the role:

When I read that Khal Drogo role, I was blown away. I couldn't believe it was happening, I had to have that role. I was like, "Nobody is going to take that role from me." ... People say it's easy [to play the role]—"You're just sitting there!" But it's extremely hard to be extremely intimidating, and say everything but not say anything.[7]

Momoa contributed his own ideas to his portrayal. For example, in one scene, Drogo cements his position as the lead khal by ripping out the tongue of a dissenter, Mago. The scene was not in the script, but was suggested by Momoa after he made the observation that Drogo, who is said to be a great warrior, had never been shown demonstrating his prowess as a warrior onscreen.[8]

Remarking on the character's early exit:

I was reading it and I was like: "Holy shit! Fuck, I'm dead!" ... It's amazing what [George R. R. Martin] sets up. Here's your lead characters, you're supposed to think about them one way, and you hate them, then you love them, and then they're killed and it's a whirlwind of emotion. All the little kids and even the smallest of characters just grow and grow and grow. He built a beautiful world. I'm bummed I'm not going back. To play Khal Drogo was phenomenal and I wished there was more stuff he could have done, I'm going to miss that character.[7]


Season 1Edit

Khal Drogo is a warlord of the Dothraki people. He is to marry Daenerys Targaryen, as arranged by her brother Viserys. He is undefeated in battle. Viserys Targaryen conspired with Magister Illyrio to marry Daenerys to Drogo in order to get his support in an invasion of Westeros. Though Daenerys was initially unhappy with the arrangement, Drogo proves to be a sensitive husband and lover despite his fearsome behavior with his men. After a failed poisoning attempt on a pregnant Daenerys' life, he promises to invade Westeros to reclaim the Seven Kingdoms as a gift to his unborn son, but is wounded by one of his men, Mago, before he could begin the invasion. The wound festers, owing to ‘treatment’ from a resentful witch enlisted as healer by Daenerys, and Drogo becomes so sick that he is unable to ride his horse, a sign of weakness to the Dothraki. Most of his khalasar abandons him, but Daenerys unknowingly sacrifices their unborn child for a spell to revive him. The spell works, but leaves him in a catatonic state. Daenerys smothers him out of pity, and the flames of his funeral pyre ultimately hatch her dragon eggs.

Season 2Edit

As Daenerys walks through a stronghold in Qarth, she is struck with visions of places such as a ruined and snowbound Red Keep, and the Haunted Forest. She encounters her deceased husband, Khal Drogo, and their stillborn son Rhaego, both apparently alive and well. Although unsure whether she is dreaming, Daenerys leaves when she hears her dragons.


Momoa received positive reviews for his portrayal of the character.[9]


  1. ^ "Khal Drogo played by Jason Momoa". HBO Game of Thrones. Home Box Office Inc. Archived from the original on 25 October 2017. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  2. ^ "From HBO". Archived from the original on 2016-03-07.
  3. ^ Lindsay, Kathryn (July 31, 2017). "Daenerys' Speech In Last Night's Game Of Thrones Finally Addressed Her Controversial Marriage". Refinery29. Retrieved November 13, 2019.
  4. ^ "Game of Thrones Viewer's Guide". HBO.
  5. ^ Lambie, Ryan (4 April 2011). "Jason Momoa interview: Game Of Thrones, playing Conan and more". Dennis Publishing Limited. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  6. ^ Whitney, Erin (19 October 2014). "Jason Momoa's 'Game Of Thrones' Audition Tape Is Better Than You'd Imagine". Huffingtonpost. Verizon Media. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  7. ^ a b Walken, Selina (21 June 2011). "'Game of Thrones' actor Jason Momoa was "blown away" by Khal Drogo". Hypable. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  8. ^ Jennings, Mike (February 29, 2012). "46 things we learned from the Game Of Thrones Blu-rays". Den of Geek!. Dennis Publishing Limited. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  9. ^ Hibberd, James (20 June 2011). "'Game of Thrones' warlord Jason Momoa talks season finale". Entertainment Weekly. Meredith Corporation. Retrieved 15 April 2019.