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InformationHorder t1_j3z18gb wrote

Sounds like the inspiration for the Dothraki in GoT. They just wanna raid and pillage and move on.


KwisatzHaderach38 t1_j3z2bl2 wrote

GRRM based the Dothraki on the Mongols and other nomadic horse cultures, but yeah similar fighters, similar lifestyle.


Spacefungi t1_j40zkbr wrote

GRRM based the Dothraki on stereotypes about nomadic people, not on the nomadic horse cultures themselves and is often even as far as from the truth as you could be.

Some notable examples: Dothraki hate sheep to the point of killing them and not eating them and only care about horses, while for nomads livestock is their literal sustenance. Dothraki culture also seems to revolve strongly around rape and murder and other barbaric acts that would not be condoned in true historical nomadic cultures.

This wouldn't even be that bad if GRRM just said it was fantasy. Instead he claims it is realistic worldbuilding based on real cultures with a dash of fantasy.


trowawufei t1_j4211i7 wrote

I will say that he paints a picture of the Dothraki “horde” as an extremely complex system that requires excellent communication and coordination processes. Daenerys didn’t get raped by Khal Drogo in the books, but maybe you’re referring to other incidents.


Irichcrusader t1_j411du8 wrote

I suppose you could argue that this view of the Dothraki in GRRM's works comes from the fact that we're usually getting an outsider's perspective on them. Of course they seem utterly barbaric to more "civilized" peoples because all they ever see is the violence and rape, never what goes on in the quieter moments.

That said, surly it can't be denied that nomadic tribes on the warpath could be utterly brutal. There's a reason why groups like the Mongol's had a fearsome reputation, they tended to make terrible examples of cities that defied them.


Spacefungi t1_j41200a wrote

The problem is that GRRM gives us an insider view, which confirms all these outsider stereotypes to be true.

If we would only learn about the dothraki culture from outsiders and hearsay in his books it would indeed be more realistic, but instead we witness ourselves that the dothraki do indeed murder/rape people of their own ingroup, senseless killing of sheep and other nonsense ourselves when we follow characters inside a dothraki group.


Irichcrusader t1_j416j4g wrote

Fair point, been a while since I read the books so I thought most of what we get are outsider perspectives. The killing of sheep and their whole thing about them only eating horse meat is definitely stupid when you stop to think about it.


failsafe07 t1_j3z9u84 wrote

Although it is worth noting that as far as AGOT/ASOIAF goes there are some pretty robust critiques of the way the show/books portray steppe and indigenous American peoples. It’s more of a deeply problematic caricature than an authentic portrayal of we’re being honest


KwisatzHaderach38 t1_j3zbbqp wrote

Doesn't really pertain to where he took the inspiration from, but sure, they're basically a faceless deus ex machina in the show, not much different from the green, scrubbing power of the Army of the Undead in the LOTR films. The ASOIAF books have a lot more nuance, but we'll see how that plays out if he ever finishes the final two.


failsafe07 t1_j3zbzz9 wrote

The book Dothraki are definitely better than the show, although they still have major issues. Bret Deveraux had a great series of articles on the subject over on his blog.

I’m a big fan of GRRM and I really hope he’s able to finish the series, because I badly want to read them, but I also like to acknowledge where he falls short in certain areas


leb0b0ti t1_j3zt7lk wrote

I mean.... It is a work of fiction after all. Why should we judge the historical accuracy of a story about dragons, undeads and magic ?


Redingold t1_j40wuj3 wrote

Because Martin directly claims they're an amalgam of real historical cultures with only a dash of fantasy. He makes a direct claim to historical accuracy and it doesn't hold up in the least. Martin has consciously cultivated the appearance that his series is "how it really was" and that in turn distorts what people think about real history.


leb0b0ti t1_j41dgn2 wrote

Ah ok, didn't know he was making such claims.. Must've been a sales pitch because it doesn't make any sense to claim there's any historical accuracy in a fantasy story about dragons lords.


OisforOwesome t1_j40e3nr wrote

This is one of those cases where historical accuracy would have made the show better.

If the showrunners had cared at all about making the Dothraki a credible threat, a few scenes of them doing actual Mongol horse archery stuff would have gone a long way to establishing why everyone in Westeros was frightened of them instead of that being an informed attribute.


leb0b0ti t1_j41cys8 wrote

I agree that actual horse archery would've been really cool to see on screen !


69SadBoi69 t1_j4098sn wrote

I think he is saying not that they're inaccurate historically but that they are too much of a one-dimensional charicature to take seriously


KwisatzHaderach38 t1_j3zfxva wrote

Sure, GRRM can't have it both ways. He's specifically mentioned the Mongols, Huns, the great plains nations, all as inspirations because it's a good talking point to sell the pseudo-authenticity of the books, but was very lazy at best in his depictions because he envisioned them functioning as the trope of "barbarians" without actually putting much thought into what that reveals about his own perspective. He's tried to smooth it over with the "mixed with fantasy" qualifiers, but that's pretty weak. Love the books and the show both, but as far as history goes, it's all much more telling about the stereotypes held by the western mind than anything real.


KwisatzHaderach38 t1_j400f02 wrote

In George's defense, at some time in the early 90's this man thought to himself, I want to see ice zombies attacking a gigantic medieval fortress with dragons overhead. I'll always love him for that.


mangalore-x_x t1_j41k27z wrote

The same could be said about how he portrays European medieval culture.

It is the typical "Medieval Europe being brutish and unsophisticated" Well, in true medieval Europe you could be sued for that.


Devoidoxatom t1_j3zp90s wrote

Yeah. The difference is we barely seen horse archers in the show which was the horse nomad specialty.


Antisocialite99 t1_j3zt8w9 wrote

It was also the thing that made them victorious in battle.

Same with the Sessanid empires horse troops.

Instead dothraki had those stupid sickle things. The fight scene with Jonah Mormont in full armor just not even having to try to trap the guys sickle and easily kill him is it's own demonstration for how useless those are.

And that's key... because they aren't envisioned as having enemies they face in battle that would define their own tactics weapons etc in reaponse to them.


KombuchaBot t1_j4081o4 wrote

Yeah fighting against someone in armour necessitates a stabby weapon not a cutting one.

Matt Easton of Scholagladatoria on YouTube is quite informative on this


Devoidoxatom t1_j3zun81 wrote

Yeah, afaik those sickle type blades were used against cavalry, not by them


meneldal2 t1_j40fysd wrote

They didn't have the best guys for making the fights a bit more realistic.


srgonzo75 t1_j43lxk1 wrote

The khopesh (closest thing you’ll see to a Dothraki arakh) wasn’t steel, when it was in use, and it wasn’t used against heavily armored opponents. It was handy for slashing an opponent while one was in a chariot and moving at a good pace. Scimitars and samshirs operate on a similar principle, using a single edge for greater efficacy when riding past an opponent to slash at them or their mount.