Since Dothraki pride their voracity and skill in battle via their hair:

Dothraki warriors wear their hair in a long braid and only cut it when defeated, so the world may see their shame. Very capable warriors therefore often have a very long braid.

-- Dothraki Warrior

If a Khal was to go bald, what would happen to his status as a Khal?


Canon answer to this are preferred but even out of universe answers would be welcome.

  • 5
    That's just repeating the question. What do you mean, "what would happen"? What would happen to his pride? His appearance? His status? His hygiene? His followers? His love life? His fighting prowess? Simply asking "what would happen" seems rather broad and open-ended. – Rand al'Thor Dec 6 at 11:21
  • 3
    @Randal'Thor, His status as a Khal. Feel free to edit if the question feels vague to you – KyloRen Dec 6 at 11:22
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    Probably most Dothraki Khals did not live long enough to become bald from aging... – Loki Dec 6 at 12:50
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    It's pretty rare for anyone to go 100% bald. Even with aggressive pattern baldness, they'd end up with a horseshoe pattern (appropriately enough) and still be able to grow long hair on the back and sides. – AndyK Dec 6 at 16:08
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    It's possible that with hair being such a status symbol in their society, balding men would be shunned by the group and unfavoured by women meaning centuries of genetic selection on this basis mean men are very unlikely to go bald. As another point on genetics, various ethnic groups experience hair loss differently, and maybe the ancestors of the Dothraki just mean they are prone to good hair by default. – Nemon27 Dec 6 at 22:23

There's no example of a naturally bald Khal in the canon so we cannot draw on precedence.

As far as the implications such a condition would have on his status as a Khal, I believe it wouldn't be much of a problem.

Dothraki follow strength, not hair. That's the only thing they look for when choosing a leader.

The hair's importance is merely that it indicates how many battles has that person won. But it is not the only indicator of a Khal's strength and victories. The number of cities he razes, his personal wealth, the number of horses in his herds, the size of the Khalasar surrounding him, they all indicate his strength and victories. As long as they are sufficiently impressive, I do not see why his hair would be a problem.

  • 2
    The Dothraki following strength is a good point, but wouldn't baldness be seen as a sign of weakness? – D. Strout Dec 6 at 15:38
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    Well, as long as his single combat record still proves his strength..... feel free to challenge him if you think you can do better ? – Jacco van Dorp Dec 6 at 16:21
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    Is there any chance that the 'mystic' people in their society (don't know the correct name for them, or if they have them) could say that the baldness is an omen or a sign of them going to fail or lose a battle, thereby making any balding Khal lose their power due to a self fulfilling prophesy? – Nemon27 Dec 6 at 16:44
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    @Nemon27 No. This isn't a Samson situation where the hair is thought to provide power. Instead, it's a form of bragging about successes. – kuhl Dec 6 at 21:30
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    @Nemon27 Of course there's "a chance" the mystics would say that. And there's a chance the mystics would say because "The bald Khal has no hair, his hair can never be cut. He is incapable of being defeated!" Or something else - the mystics are probably very skilled at spinning things however they want.. I don't think putting words into the mouths of Dotrhaki mystics contributes much to the discussion. – Gregor Dec 7 at 4:02

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