Last night was rough for Daenerys Targaryen. We haven't seen our silver-haired warrior-queen quite this helpless since season 1. No army, no dragons, no advisers, no subjects: zero leverage to speak of. In case you're confused as to why exactly Khaleesi's life is being made so goddamn miserable right now, here's a quick refresher to offer some more clarity on Sunday night's Game of Thrones.
Basically, this whole situation is rooted in the shitty backwardness of the Dothraki culture. Life revolves around "The Great Khal(s)" in their world. So when the unthinkable happens and a Khal dies, his wife must in a sense die with him. Once your Khal hubby is no more, you must go to the Temple of the Dosh Khaleen in the holy Dothraki capitol city of Vaes Dothrak. Why? You just do. Apparently that's part of the bargain when you become a khaleesi, and the Dothraki take those codes and traditions very, very seriously. So when Khal Moro finds out Dany is a widow to Drogo (RIP), he sends her to join the depressing-as-shit widows club known as the Dosh Khaleen, which translates to "council of crones."
The Dosh Khaleen are an interesting group. In a way, they seem utterly powerless. They're forced to live out their lives in mourning and misery in a gloomy temple and grubby little huts, with all the other miserable mourners. But they are also spoken of as if they hold a certain power, which, in a way, they do. The Dosh Khaleen are a kind of religious council that interprets omens and guides the fate of the Dothraki people. (We actually met them in season 1, but you were probably too distracted by Khaleesi chowing down on that horse heart. The Dosh Khaleen ladies were the ones who said noshing the heart would make her and Drogo's baby strong, egging her on and chanting in the background.)
Upon her arrival, Dany receives a super-warm welcome that includes not only a public stripping but a big, fat shaming. Problem: Dany has already fucked up here. According to strict tradition, when Drogo kicked the bucket, she was supposed to drop everything and go straight to the Dosh Khaleen temple. The head crone asks her, "Why didn't you come to us after Khal Drogo died?" Well, as we all know, she instead walked through a fire, bore dragons, gathered an army, freed a city, and kicked ass in multiple other ways. But the Dosh Khaleen seem to be a pretty single-minded bunch of gals. So as it turns out, Dany might not even be allowed to enter the Dosh Khaleen.
Whether this is better or worse for our Khaleesi isn't clear. But something tells us they're not just going to let her run free after she broke the rules. Her fate will be decided at an upcoming Dothraki council meeting, the Khalar Vezhven. Oh, great! Daenerys' fate rests in the hands of a bunch of warrior men with black kohl eyeliner, God complexes, and a lax attitude about rape. Yikes.
So, how will Khaleesi escape? Will her dragons rescue her? Or will Jorah finally prove his loyalty to his queen (again) and save her from widow hell? Judging by the trailer for episode 4, he knows exactly where she is. Now would be a really good time to step up to the plate, dude.