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In Game of Thrones S1E06, Viserys gets his promised crown. Before doing it, it shows Drogo consulting with some others.

Is this some common practice for the Dothraki, which was used before to punish arrogant outsiders, or is it unique practice Drogo invented by himself?

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  • Crowns are a foreign concept to the dothraki, so it was unique to him.
    – A.bakker
    Mar 14 at 13:58
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    I've just watched the scene again, and I don't know what you mean by 'consult' here. Viserys is waving a sword around and threatens to rip the baby out of Danaeys unless he gets the crown he bargained for. Drogo motions to his men who move to defensive positions, he has the conversation with Viserys through the translator and then instructs the men to hold Viserys and empty the cooking pot.
    – iandotkelly
    Mar 14 at 22:02
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    Like Tetsujin's answer I really don't see how you can get the idea that this is some custom of the Dothraki and not just a 'poetic' punishment meted out by a barbaric man when he threatens to kill his wife and unborn child. It strikes me as an impulsive action.
    – iandotkelly
    Mar 14 at 22:03
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    What you refer to as consultation is either the instructions to his men, or his conversation with Viserys through the translator.
    – iandotkelly
    Mar 14 at 22:05
  • @i I'll watch again and try taking screenshot, I might also misremember it myself. Mar 15 at 7:11
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May contain cynicism[1]

I'm not sure what could give you the idea that it would be a long-standing tradition to melt down everybody's jewellery to present a crown [at any temperature] to any passing claimant who's been promised one in exchange for his sister & keeps on nagging about it like a 12-year-old promised a weekend at DisneyLand.

I think it's fairly safe to say this particular punishment was thought up on the spot.

Think of it as the Dothraki equivalent of being shot in the head for saying "Are we there yet?" once too often. They are never portrayed as being particularly patient or tolerant.

I would consider the prior discussion as one of method rather than end result. The crown would amuse the Dothraki [and shock the audience] as being a fitting punishment, far more than just chopping his head off.

[1]Similar to the warning, "May contain nuts". Doesn't bother most people, though some may find it detrimental;)

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  • My feeling too, but the way he consulted with others before doing it might have been some hint. Mar 14 at 14:20
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    It also helps sell the idea that the Dothraki don't care for the gold or the title they could claim, i.e. as a way to prove how they don't care about the things Vyserys keeps nagging on about.
    – Flater
    Mar 16 at 0:57
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    I think it's also worth mentioning that this scene takes place in Vaes Dothrak, where by Dothraki tradition no blood is to be spilled. The "golden crown" was a way of killing him without breaking that tradition.
    – atirit
    Mar 18 at 22:26
  • It's also a commentary on Viserys claiming to be a "dragon": if he's a dragon, how can he be killed by fire? Mar 19 at 18:19
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No, this was not a traditional punishment.

While it is never stated on the show that pouring molten gold on someone's head was not something the Dothraki had ever done before, there are two facts that strongly weigh against it being a traditional punishment. The first is that it was never described as such in the book. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire books are extremely rich in detail about the various cultures in that fantasy world and had the author intended for this to be some Dothraki tradition, it is near certain that he would have provided that background. The second is that Ser Jorah was there to advise Vyserys, he seemed to be quite well versed in Dothraki culture, and he did not say anything about it to Vyserys. Had this been something that the Dothraki were known to do, Jorah likely would have warned Vyserys about it the minute Khal Drago promised him a "crown of gold." He would have used the knowledge to rein in Vyserys's impatience and impudence long before it got to the point where Drago had had enough.

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