Dothraki Tribalism and the Ubermensch

"It is the right of the strong to take from the weak." (Martin, 758)

The sociopolitical structure of the Dothraki people is governed by the strong, with tribal communities gravitating around warriors who have proven their greatness in battle. This is seen most evidently when Khal Drogo’s khalasar is disbanded as soon as his strength begins to falter, prompting several of his strongest subordinates to name themselves new Khals to form new khalasars with whoever will follow. This ideology is the reason why none of the Dothraki had any respect for Viserys, who had no true strength of his own, but felt entitled to the Iron Throne by being a descendant of the old dynasty. Though the Targaryen reign was ushered in by the brute strength of Aegon the Conqueror and his dragons (a method of asserting one’s right to rule much in line with this Dothraki system), the establishment of a monarchy after the victory changed the game (of thrones).
Discuss the differences between these two methods of governance. Which one might prove to be more effective for selecting leaders (both in Westeros and in the real world)? How does the Dothraki reverence for individuals with power reflect the Nietzschean view of the ubermensch? How might it mirror the real-life rises to power of autocratic leaders from Julius Caesar, to Napoleon Bonaparte, to Fidel Castro? In what ways might this need to respect the ruler illustrate a sort of precursor to our modern democracy?

  • This is a fascinating topic! An I think I can closely linked the prevalent political metanarratives regarding the conceptualization of democracy in our post-colonial world. However, I don't think that this sociopolitical structure illustrates a previous system. Instead, I think the khalasar was Martin's way of decrying the weakness a impotence (despite the claims of universality) of the broken Western political system. Between Trump and Khal Drogo, i'll take Drogo any day. – AnaMRuiz 8 years ago
  • Great topic! I think it's important to look at how monarchy has failed repeatedly in Game of Thrones. Even Robert Baratheon used Dothraki methods of taking what was his, he just led a rebellion, stormed in and sat down. Although Baratheon is related to Targaryen it was a non-linear ascension. You'd think people would learn to instill a democracy but once in power prideful houses want to do everything in their power to keep the reign for their descendants no matter how unfit they may be... It's all very "history repeats itself." – Slaidey 8 years ago

Want to write about Literature or other art forms?

Create writer account