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Khal Drogo

Game of Thrones
by yo go re

Nerds, by nature, are an obsessive bunch. We want everything to fit together perfectly, with a logical sense and consistency. Show them a few space ship sets, and they'll extrapolate a full set of blueprints. Give them a snippet of imaginary language, and they'll spin it into a full lexicon. So now creators try to get ahead of that, try to make everything "real" from the beginning, to keep the fans happy. The point is, we could probably write this entire review in Dothraki, but we're too lazy.

Drogo is a khal of the Dothraki, the famed nomadic horse-lords of the eastern continent beyond the Narrow Sea. The Dothraki are fierce warriors, skilled in battle, unrelenting in combat and known for savagery towards non-​Dothraki. Amongst their own people they have a code of honor, albeit a harsh and unforgiving one. Drogo was very young to have his own khalasar, particularly such a large one. He is a legendary warrior and has never been defeated in battle. Drogo desired the most beautiful and exotic woman in the world as his khaleesi, and enlisted Magister Illyrio Mopatis of Pentos to help him find such a woman.

The Dothraki are basically dirt-Klingons: the warlike "enemy" race that serves as something of a Cold War threat to the main characters, and also they have beards and tan skin. So, you know, original series Klingons instead of the good ones.

Khal Drogo is played by Jason Momoa, who also played Ronon Dex on Stargate Atlantis, and was in the recent Conan reboot, as well - basically, he's Hollywood's go-to guy for stong, silent types (which is why he turned down the role of Drax). The likeness on the toy seems fine, but it's easy to look right when you have a distinctive beard and about a pint of eyeliner to do all the hard work.

Since the Dothraki live in a vast desert/grassland, Drogo is not wearing a shirt - keeps him from overheating. The Dothraki ride horses everywhere they go, so Drogo is wearing long pants - keeps him from chafing. His pants flare out at the ankle, and he has a fancy belt made of golden discs with horse silhouettes. From the belt hangs a loincloth - yes, despite the fact that he's wearing long pants - and above it is an ornate... corset? Girdle? Bustier? Some kind of complicated leather garment that covers everything below the nipple. he has leather wrapped around his forearms, and cloth around his hands. Edward Mosqueda did a great job sculpting all this stuff.

Dothraki men cut their hair when they are defeated in battle, which is why Drogo's long ponytail reaches down below his butt. It's held together by three golden rings spread down its length. He has blue slashes over his shoulders. Do they mean something? Probably. Do we know what? No. But they're on the actor, so they're on the toy, as well. They're not tattoos, they're just paint: blue is the color of royalty in Drogo's khalasar, and they dye their bodies on special occassions (such as a wedding).

When we first saw photos of the Khal Drogo prototype, it didn't look like he had any articulation - if we wanted Game of Thrones figures without any articulation, we'd... well, we wouldn't want that. But Dark Horse already has that market segment all sewn up, thanks to their disappointing small-scale statues. But there was no need to worry, the final product has all the joints we expect from this line: ankles, knees, hips, thighs, waist, wrists, elbows, shoulders, and neck. A few of them were stuck - one of his knee joints, a hip, and his left wrist swivel - but I've been boiling so many ravens lately that dipping Drogo in the water to get things moving was no hassle.

Drogo's got some great accessories, as well. First are the two small daggers he keeps tucked in the sides of his cummerbund. They have curved silver blades and curved black handles, separated by golden crossguards. They fit perfectly in his hands when they're not tucked at his sides. His other gear are two arakhs, the curved weapon that is the trademark of Dothraki warriors. In the book they're described as "half-sword and half-scythe," which was just George RR Martin's way of describing a scimitar without using the word "scimitar," but the prop designers for the show took that literally and created a weapon that comes straight up from the hilt, then cuves like a sickle. He comes with two, in different sizes, but you have to cut his thumb apart from his fingers before you can get either of them into his hands.

Khal Drogo is, in theory, the "big" figure of Series 2, but he stands just over 6⅛" tall - nowhere near as big as Sandor, and actually a skosh shorter than Brienne. Jason Momoa is 6'4" in real life, so this Drogo figure should be a little bit taller than it is. Still, it's not noticeably too small, and he looks spectacular paired with the Series 1 Daenerys.

-- 01/24/15

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