The High King or High Queen is the leader of Skyrim. Governing the province, those holding this office become a member of the Elder Council of the Empire of Tamriel. High Kings are selected by a moot or vote conducted by the current Jarls of each of the nine Holds. Votes occur most commonly when the previous High King dies, but an emergency vote can be called to order if the High King is bested in a duel. According to Elisif the Fair, a Jarl of Solitude and the widow of the late High King Torygg, a High King cannot refuse a duel requested by a Jarl. Traditionally, The Jagged Crown was worn by High Kings and Queens of Skyrim. 
The High King or Queen typically inherits the throne by birth and rules for life or until abdication. In the event that no direct heir to the throne exists, a specially convened council of all the Jarls, called the Moot, meet with the express purpose of choosing Skyrim's High King..
The High King swears fealty to the Emperor, and as Solitude is the city most directly influenced by Imperial culture and politics, the Jarl of Solitude has served as High King for generations. The Moot, therefore, is more formality and theater than anything else.
Conflicts with who should ascendEdit
In the Fourth Era, upon the death of High King Torygg, the Jarls could not agree on the next High King. Torygg's widow, Elisif the Fair, Jarl of Solitude, had a legitimate claim to the throne, although according to Ulfric, Ancient Nord tradition dictates that when the High King is bested in battle, the winner can call a Moot to have a new High King chosen. Ulfric Stormcloak, Jarl of Windhelm, believed this gave him a stronger claim to the throne, erupting in Civil War because the Empire considered the duel unfair and an act of murder. It is strongly implied that Ulfric initiated the challenge, plotting to intimidate the other Jarls into naming him High King.However, if the city of Solitude is taken by the Stormcloaks and the war resolved, Ulfric rescinds his earlier statement, saying he supports the decisions of the Moot, whether he is crowned King or not.
Previous high kings and queensEdit
The following is a list of kings who have ruled Skyrim and their respective reigns.
- Ysgramor - late Merethic Era.
- Harald (1E 143 - 1E 221) 
- Vrage - (1E 221 - 1E 2?) 
- Gellir - (1E 2? - 1E ?) 
- Borgas - (1E ? - 1E 369)
- Olaf One-Eye (1E 420 - 1E 452) 
- Kjoric the White (1E ? - 1E 478) 
- Hoag Merkiller (1E 478 - 1E 480 ) 
- Wulfharth (1E 480 - 533) 
- High Queen Freydis (2E ? - 2E?) 
- Erling (? - ?) 
- Jorunn the Skald-King (2E 583 - 2E ?) 
- Istlod (4E ? - 4E ?)
- Torygg (4E ? - 4E 201) 
Not all kings and queens within the province of Skyrim attain the mantle of High King. While many people outside of Skyrim consider Jarls of the Fourth Era to be pseudo-kings and queens they are often not royalty.
However, there have been several individuals who have been recorded as monarchs of individual city states throughout the history of Skyrim:
- King Mantiarco of Solitude (3E ? - 3E 99) 
- Amodetha, Queen of Solitude - Late Third Era 
- Potema, Wolf Queen of Solitude - (3E 81 - 3E 137)
- Pelagius Septim III - King of Solitude (3E 137 - 3E 153) 
- Jolethe Septim - Queen of Solitude (3E 145 - 3E ?) 
- King Thian of Solitude - late Third Era 
- Queen Macalla of Dawnstar - late Third Era 
- In Early Medieval Ireland, the high king (Ard Ri) was a symbolic ruler who professed to have lordship over the whole of Ireland. However, most high kings power rarely extended past their native tuath (a territorial region similar to a hold in Skyrim or real-life Scandinavia).
- ↑ Ulfric GetIsID == 1 NordRace MaleUniqueUlfric CW CWHighKing
- ↑ Dialogue with Galmar Stone-Fist
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Skyrim's Rule
- ↑ Dialogue with Ulfric Stormcloak - "But the Moot has not yet met to name her High Queen. And they won't. Not as long as I have any say in it.
- ↑ Dialogue with Ulfric Stormcloak - "And what of his widow? Doesn't she claim the throne? But the Moot has not yet met to name her High Queen. And they won't. Not as long as I have any say in it."
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Dialogue with Ulfric Stormcloak - "Not until the Moot declares that title should adorn my shoulders will I accept it. "Until" is a sure thing."
- ↑ Dialogue with Sybille Stentor
- ↑ Dialogue with Ulfric Stromcloak - When asked, "Do you desire to be the High King?" He responds with, "It's time we had a real king. One of our own making."
- ↑ Dialogue with Elisif the Fair
- ↑ Dialogue with Ulfric Stormcloak - "Not until the Moot declares that title should adorn my shoulders will I accept it."
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 Plaque outside of the Palace of the Kings
- ↑ Frontier, Conquest
- ↑ Pocket Guide to the Empire, First Edition: Skyrim
- ↑ King Edward, Book X -a work of fiction.
- ↑ The Aetherium Wars
- ↑ A History of Daggerfall
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 Rislav the Righteous
- ↑ The Five Songs of Wulfharth
- ↑ Dialogue with Oengul War-Anvil
- ↑ Walking the World, Vol XI
- ↑ Events of The Elder Scrolls Online
- ↑ Nords Arise!
- ↑ 22.0 22.1 The Wolf Queen, Book II
- ↑ The Wolf Queen, Book VIII
- ↑ 24.0 24.1 The Madness of Pelagius
- ↑ 25.0 25.1 Pocket Guide to the Empire, Third Edition: Skyrim