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The Greyjoy contenders during the kingsmoot
by Mathia Arkoniel©

The kingsmoot was a traditional ceremony held by inhabitants of the Iron Islands in which kings were chosen by longship captains. The kingsmoots which chose the High King of the Iron Islands were held on Nagga's Hill on Old Wyk.[1] According to Archmaester Haereg's History of the Ironborn, there has not been a kingsmoot in four thousand years. According to Questions, it has been two thousand years.[2]



In antiquity, each of the Iron Islands was ruled by a rock king and a salt king chosen in a kingsmoot by the island's captains. The kings were usually from the same noble house and were often father and son, but sometimes they were from rival houses.[3]

Eventually, the prophet Galon Whitestaff called all of these petty kings and captains to Nagga's Hill on Old Wyk to choose a high king to rule all of the ironborn. Urras Ironfoot was thus chosen as the first High King of the Iron Islands since the Grey King. Some of the famous driftwood kings chosen at the Old Wyk kingsmoots include Urras Ironfoot, Sylas Flatnose, Harrag Hoare, and the Old Kraken, Loron Greyjoy.[1] When a high king died, his driftwood crown was broken and returned to the sea, and his elected successor would then create a new crown.[3]

Once a candidate put himself forth, he was bound to the kingsmoot's decision. Only once in the history of the Iron Islands has a kingsmoot been declared unlawful. When King Urragon III Greyiron died, the king's family called a kingsmoot while Torgon Greyiron, the deceased king's eldest son, was off at sea raiding. The kingsmoot raised up Urrathon IV Goodbrother, whose first act was to put all the present kin of the old king to death. Torgon the Latecomer returned two years later and claimed the kingsmoot was unlawful since he, the previous king's son, was not present to put forth his candidacy as was his right. Since Urrathon was bloodthirsty and his cruelty made him many enemies, the priests and ironborn denounced him and raised Torgon to be the new king.[3]

Torgon and his son, King Urragon IV Greyiron, both ruled without being chosen by a kingsmoot. The drowned men insisted upon a kingsmoot when Urragon IV died, however. This last kingsmoot turned into a bloodbath. Urron Greyiron gathered his men and killed all the other attendees. Urron Redhand declared himself the King of the Iron Islands and set up the rule of House Greyiron, who wore an iron crown instead of individualized driftwood crowns.[4] His line lasted a thousand years until the arrival of the Andals. Urron Redhand's kingsmoot was the last kingsmoot for anywhere between two thousand and four thousand years.[2]

Recent Events

Euron Greyjoy was elected the new Iron King - by Zippo514 ©

A Feast for Crows

Aeron Greyjoy declares a kingsmoot as the proper way to raise the next King of the Iron Islands after the death of King Balon.[1] This move is made by Aeron to end a potential civil war between the ironborn and to prevent Euron Greyjoy from taking the Seastone Chair.

Several ironborn put themselves forward as a possible candidate.

See also

References and Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 1, The Prophet.
  2. 2.0 2.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 11, The Kraken's Daughter.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 The World of Ice and Fire, Driftwood Crowns.
  4. The World of Ice and Fire, The Iron Kings.
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