The Moot is a council made up of the jarls of each hold in Skyrim that is convened upon the death of the High King of Skyrim to formally choose the successor to the throne from any qualifying members of the royal family. In the absence of a legitimate heir, the Moot instead chooses a successor from among the jarls. The Moot can reconvene during a living High King's reign if he breaks some taboo which makes the jarls lose confidence in him, such as refusing a challenge made in the old traditions.
In 1E 369, the War of Succession began in Skyrim after the death of High King Borgas. Imperial historians attribute the war to the Moot's failure to appoint "the obvious and capable" Jarl Hanse of Winterhold. The war, which lasted until 1E 420 and resulted in the collapse of the First Empire of the Nords, was brought to an end with the Pact of Chieftains, which dictated that the Moot only be convened when the High King died without any direct heirs. The Moot served in this limited role well, and was only called upon three times until at least the late Second Era.
The first of these occasions came with the death of High King Olaf One-Eye, the very man who was crowned at the conclusion of the War of Succession. Olaf's rule was marked by great strife among the Nords, and amid fears of another contentious Moot, each of Skyrim's holds sent a mage to a special convocation to craft a magical artifact capable of testing the worth of potential rulers. The result was the Crown of Verity, which replaced the lost Jagged Crown as the symbol of Skyrim's monarchs. When the Moot selected the warrior and chieftain Asurn Ice-Breaker to be the next High King, they mandated that he also don the Crown of Verity. Upon Asurn's unequivocal rejection by the crown, he threatened to kill the Moot, but one member challenged Asurn to lawful combat. Asurn was swiftly struck down, and the duel's victor, Kjoric the White, was then accepted by the Crown of Verity and pronounced High King by the Moot.
The Moot continued using the Crown of Verity to determine the worthiness of candidates for the throne, and the practice was accepted without question until the assassination of High King Logrolf in 2E 431. Logrolf's daughter, Freydis, was in line to succeed him as High Queen, but Jarl Svartr of Solitude denied her legitimacy and demanded a Moot be called to choose a successor. Freydis was accepted by the Crown of Verity, subsequently renamed the Crown of Freydis in her honor, and crowned High Queen in Windhelm, but a partial Moot convened in Solitude and declared Svartr to be High King. This marked the division of Skyrim into eastern and western kingdoms, a schism that lasted for many years afterwards.
By the late Third Era, the Moot still gathered to recognize the new High King, but it had been reduced to a formality. This was due to Skyrim's capital becoming the city most directly influenced by Imperial culture and politics, meaning the Jarl of Solitude typically served as High King without dispute. This held true up until the reign of High King Torygg in the early Fourth Era..
The Great Moot
In the Second Era, the Ebonheart Pact was governed by a separate body called Great Moot, wherein decisions were ratified by representatives of the Pact's members. The Great Moot convened in the Pact's capital of Mournhold. In 2E 572, Jorunn the Skald-King of Eastern Skyrim was named acting High King of the Great Moot after he thwarted an Akaviri invasion, with the aid of Dunmer and Argonian forces. In 2E 582, Jorunn's rule was again ratified at the summit of Skuldafn following his brother Fildgor Orcthane's failed attempt to usurp the throne.
- Skyrim's Rule — Abdul-Mujib Ababneh
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: Skyrim — Imperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
- Dialogue of Sybille Stentor
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: Aldmeri Dominion — Imperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
- The Crown of Freydis — Taleon Mythmaker
- Olaf and the Dragon — Adonato Leotelli
- Ask Us Anything: Ebonheart Pact (Part 2)
- Jorunn the Skald-King — Helgreir Lute-Voice, Bard of Windhelm
- Events of ESO