A History of Skyrim: The High King, the Jarls, and the Free Peo


    The Seal of Skyrim


    Power in Skyrim does not flows like the snows of the mountains to the rivers in the valleys: downwards but upwards, like the flowers in spring. The rulers of Skyrim does not claim legitimacy from blood or divine right as in the other provinces of the Empire but by the support and will of free people of Skyrim.


    Each Hold of Skyrim, independent from one another plays host to a Jarl whom the people pays allegiance. In return for resources and loyalty, the Jarls will defend the interest of their people. While it is not unheard of for Jarls to descend from a single bloodline, it is also not unheard of for things to change and our history is rife with tales of humble farmers and brave adventurers who would eventually sit on the throne of the Hold. Some bloodlessly, some bloodily.


    Above the Jarl is the High King or Queen who is in essence, the most powerful or popular of the Jarls. The High King’s word bears more weight than the Jarls and he is able to enact laws or pass decrees in spite of disagreements from the Jarls but the High King will only sit on his throne as long as the Jarls give him their support.


    On the death of the High King, the Jarls of Skyrim convene in the Kingsmoot, a council for which the Jarls gather to discuss and elect one among them to be the next High King. It is not an uncommon sentiment among our neighbours to be confused by our ways – when the High King, he who ought to bend Skyrim to his will to ask for the support of ‘lesser’ men to legitimise his rule but we know better for a king with no subjects is no true king.


    - From A History of Skyrim: The High King, the Jarls, and the Free People by Agni Bittersteel



    Author's Notes: Image credits to achaley.


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