In this edition of Who’s Who, we’re asking “Who Is Khotun Khan?” Khotun Khan is the primary antagonist throughout Ghost of Tsushima. He’s a character you wont interact with directly too often, but someone you see a lot of. He is the commander of the Mongol Forces invading Tsushima and ultimately the driving factor behind them.
Ghost of Tsushima is a fantastically broad game with an amazing cast of characters. Each character plays a vital role in Jin Sakai’s journey throughout Ghost of Tsushima‘s main storyline, while also offering the player the opportunity to explore Tsushima further through character-specific tales.
Khotun Khan is the ruthless embodiment of the Mongol Khans who came before him. He is a cunning antagonist who is both a physical and mental threat to Jin Sakai and the people of Tsushima.
Who Is Khotun Khan?
If the name sounds some-what familiar, there is good reason for that. Khotun Khan is Kublai Khan’s cousin and the grandson of the great Genghis Khan. Domination and ruthlessness is in his blood.
Khotun Khan is the main antagonist of Ghost of Tsushima for good reason. As the leader of the Mongol Invaders, he is ultimately the cause for all your problems. In the opening sequences, Khotun Khan is presented as a fierce warrior with ruthless efficiency. The first battle you face in Ghost of Tsushima shows him killing Harunobu Adachi, allegedly the greatest swordsman in the Samurai Ranks.
Not only this, but rather than kill him honourably… He decapitates Adachi and lights him on fire. This, knowing, disrespect towards the Samurai Code of Bushido is just the first step in Khotun Khan’s manipulation of Ghost of Tsushima‘s cast of characters. He is a master at what he does, to put it plainly, and a fierce threat.
Throughout the first act of the game, he has Lord Shimura as his prisoner. This provides the game’s first major objective: Free Lord Shimura. As Jin Sakai words towards this goal, at certain points we get to “check in” on Khotun Khan and Lord Shimura. Here is where we see the true force of Khotun Khan. It isn’t in his physical dominance and Mongol hordes… But in his psychological battles. He is shown to continually attempt to break Lord Shimura’s will. Again and again, he asks Lord Shimura to join him and overthrow the Shogun.
This tactic is then turned on Jin himself, when he is captured by Khotun Khan and Ryuzo. The Khan asks Jin Sakai to join him in overthrowing Lord Shimura and denouncing the Shogun. However, much like Lord Shimura, Jin refuses. Taka, Yuna’s brother, is also captive at this point and Khotun Khan orders him to kill Jin in order to go free. It’s an impossible ask and an attempt, again, to break Jin’s will.
Khotun Khan beheads Taka when he refuses, simply stating that he will need to find another “Friend” to try again. Jin is horrified, as is Yuna, and the two swear vengeance on Khotun Khan.
As you may expect, this vengeance is ultimately acted upon. However, that does not take away from the sheer force Khotun Khan has throughout Ghost of Tsushima. He is greatly feared and respected by his men and his lack of honour makes him a fierce warlord. This, however, is only one-dimension of his characteristics. He is pragmatic and knows how to utilize mercy when it is appropriate, such as his dealings with Ryuzo. He also expresses, and demonstrates, his knowledge of Japanese and Japanese culture throughout. He repeatedly calls upon the Samurai Code and uses his knowledge of it against Lord Shimura, Jin, and their forces.
Every Great Hero needs a Great Villain and the fearsome Khan is exactly that.
Khotun Khan is portrayed by Patrick Gallagher, also known for portraying Attila the Hun in the Night At The Museum Series.