Behind the scenes
- In the real world, zorses are specifically the offspring of male zebras and female horses, and like most hybrid species, are infertile and cannot reproduce.
- It's also mentioned that Zebras do exist (in a form) in Sothoros and are black on white striped. Zorses are believed (or do) have white stripes on black, conversely.
In the books
In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, zorses are striped black-and-white equines native to Essos who are known to be fierce and foul-tempered. They were originally created by breeding horses with a striped, horse-like animal found in southern Yi Ti and on the island of Leng, but later came to be bred as their own species. They are supposedly capable of surviving for many months on weeds and devil grass and travel over long distances without food or water. For these reasons they are the favored mounts of the Jogos Nhai, as the plains of their homeland are far less fertile than the Dothraki Sea to the west, and thus cannot support large bands of nomads.
Members of the Brave Companions, the sellsword company led by Vargo Hoat, likely transported zorses to Westeros as their personal mounts when they were brought over by Tywin Lannister. Hoat ties Jaime Lannister and Brienne of Tarth to the pommel of his saddle and drags them around the fortress with his zorse.
Zorses seem to be unknown in Westeros even among the most well-educated. Arya Stark, who sees the Brave Companions riding them at Harrenhal, is unfamiliar with them despite having a good education and being well acquainted with horses. However, maesters are aware of them.
Daenerys Targaryen sees zorses being sold in the Eastern Market of Vaes Dothrak. She is later given one as a gift by the Jogos Nhai in Qarth, though she later sells it along with other gifts in order to gather enough wealth to petition the Pureborn.
Basilisk · Bear · Cat · Dog · Direwolf · Dragon · Horse (Dornish sand steed) · Lion · Old men of the river · Lizard-lion · Mammoth · Manticore · Raven · Shadowcat · Snow bear · Elephant · Dwarf elephant · Zorse
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