Part guardian, brother and companion, the bloodriders guard and accompany the khal in his daily routine. They share what is his, sometimes even his wives, but never his horse. Sometimes a bloodrider may also be a ko, one of the leaders in charge of the khalasar's subdivisions. The bloodriders and their khal refer to each other as "blood of my blood".
The number of bloodriders a khal can have at any given time is unknown, it may number as high as seven.[N 1]
Only a khal can ask a man to become his bloodrider, by saying "I ask your oath, that will live and die as blood of my blood, riding at my side to keep me safe from harm."
Ancient traditions proclaim that when a khal dies, his bloodriders die with him. Should the khal die in battle, the bloodriders live only long enough to avenge him. Once done, the last service the bloodriders must perform is to escort the khaleesi to Vaes Dothrak to join the dosh khaleen, and then they are to join their khal in death.
A Game of Thrones
Traditionally only a khal may have bloodriders. After the deaths of Khal Drogo and Rhaego and the disintegration of Drogo's khalasar, Daenerys Targaryen asks Aggo, Jhogo, and Rakharo to be her bloodriders, asking for their oaths, using the same words that a khal would. At first all three refuse, but after witnessing the extraordinary birth of her three dragons they swear allegiance to her, declaring her "blood of my blood" just before Daenerys rises amidst the ashes cradling her three newly-hatched dragons.
- Aggo, Jhogo, and Rakharo, bloodriders to Khaleesi Daenerys Targaryen
- Cohollo, Haggo, and Qotho, bloodriders to Khal Drogo
- Mago and six others, bloodriders to Khal Jhaqo[N 1]
—thoughts of Daenerys Targaryen
- In A Game of Thrones, Daenerys IX, Jhogo reports to Daenerys Targaryen the following : "Mago seized her, who is Khal Jhaqo's bloodrider now. He mounted her high and low and gave her to his khal, and Jhaqo gave her to his other bloodriders. They were six. When they were done with her, they cut her throat." This indicates that Khal Jhaqo has seven bloodriders at the moment of the formation of his khalasar.