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  • Between the Free Cities and the Bones, between the Shivering Sea and Slaver's Bay, spreads

  • the Dothraki Sea.

  • Named not for its waters but for how freely its conquerors roam upon it.

  • A traveler on the Dothraki Sea will find few villages and no farms.

  • Because the Dothraki view it as a sin to cut into their Mother Earth with plows and shovels.

  • And the Dothraki know only one punishment.

  • The closest the Dothraki approach to civilization is Vaes Dothrak.

  • Though to outsiders, it doesn't look like a city.

  • There are no walls, because the Dothraki believe only cowards hide behind them, instead of

  • facing an enemy blade in hand.

  • But the Dothraki couldn't do that here either.

  • Within the bounds of the city, no one, not even the mightiest khal, may carry a blade,

  • by order of the priestesses of the Dosh khaleen.

  • Not that any enemy would be foolish enough to attack the sacred city of the Dothraki

  • in the first place.

  • Two giant bronze stallions rear over the entrance to the city, their hooves meeting in the air

  • to form an arch.

  • The famous Horse Gate.

  • Through it is the Godsway, where the Dothraki drag the sacred idols of the cities and peoples

  • they've broken.

  • Along one side, stone gods look down on you from cracked thrones with chipped and stained

  • faces, their names lost to time.

  • Across the road, monsters watch you pass.

  • Black iron dragons with jewels for eyes, roaring griffins, manticores with barbed tails poised

  • to strike and other terrible beasts from every corner of Essos.

  • But there is nothing to fear.

  • If these gods and devils had any power, they would never have ended here.

  • Not all foreign gods in Vaes Dothrak are broken.

  • In the Eastern and Western Markets, merchants worship their god of trade with the sufferance

  • of the Dothraki, who themselves don't understand buying and selling.

  • The Western Market is a great square of beaten earth filled with animal pens, drinking halls

  • and a maze of stalls and crooked aisles.

  • Even goods from Westeros find their way here.

  • Though the merchants who sell them wouldn't know a Lannister from a Frey.

  • The Eastern Market is, fittingly, a stranger place.

  • The elders of the Dosh khaleen view it with suspicion and most Dothraki stay away.

  • They aren't wrong.

  • The great elephants, the basilisks in silver cages and the striped black-and-white horses

  • of the Jogos Nhai are harmless enough.

  • But I can see how the elders wouldn't want their younger members to see the warrior maids

  • of Hyrkoon, who wear iron rings in their nipples and rubies in their cheeks.

  • Or listen to the Shadow Men, who cover their bodies with tattoos and hide their faces behind

  • masks and whisper dark secrets for a price.

  • This is all of Vaes Dothrak that foreigners ever know.

  • For only Dothraki are permitted in the inner city where the Dosh khaleen live out their

  • lives.

  • A bloodrider, drunk on fermented mare's milk, once told me that the Dosh khaleen are stewards.

  • They prepare for the day when every rider of every khalasar shall return to the city.

  • And the Dothraki truly will be one blood and one khalasar again, under the greatest khal

  • of all, the Stallion Who Mounts the World.

  • He will ride to the ends of the earth and grind nations into dust, and take the whole

  • world as his herd.

  • Or so the prophecy goes.

  • Yet the world is vast, with many places a horse can't go.

  • The Stallion Who Mounts the World couldn't rear above a mountain range.

  • Or leap across the sea.

  • Still, the world has been conquered before.

  • Just not with stallions.

Between the Free Cities and the Bones, between the Shivering Sea and Slaver's Bay, spreads

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Game of Thrones Season 6 Histories & Lore: Vaes Dothrak

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    Keira Wang posted on 2017/08/06
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