Kingsmoot was a traditional ceremony held by the ironborn, where the captains of longships conveyed to choose a King of the Iron Islands. The kingsmoot tradition lasted for many years on the Iron Islands until House Greyiron took the throne for themselves. After ruling for about a thousand years, they got overthrown by the Andals who reached the shores of Westeros.
Though Aeron planned on making his candidate King, things do not go according to plan as an exile steals the show, becoming King; this forces Balon’s daughter, Asha Greyjoy, to go into hiding.
The kingsmoot is a traditional ceremony held in Old Wyk on Nagga’s Hill, a hill crowned by the bones of a mysterious legendary sea creature. After the death of a King, the prominent drowned priest calls the captains of longships to Old Wyk because every ship captain is a King. The only way a King will get chosen is if the captains chant his name. To ensure they win, many candidates give gifts and make rousing speeches about restoring the glory of the Iron Islands.
After the arrival of the First Men in Westeros, some people settled in the Iron Islands and quickly formed a kingdom. The Iron Islands got ruled by two types of Kings, the Rock and Salt Kings. Though most times, both Kings came from the same house, other times, they came from rival houses. When a king died, the priests of the Drowned God called a kingsmoot.
Before the first King of the Iron Islands, Prophet Galon Whitestaff called the petty Kings of the Iron Islands for the first kingsmoot. From the ceremony, Urras Greyiron got chosen as the first High King of the Iron Islands since the Grey King. After Urass’ death, his son Erich I Greyiron tried claiming the crown, but Galon objected, and Regnar Drumm became King instead. The kingsmoot sentenced Erich to death, but to avoid his fate, he broke his father’s crown; this led to the practice of a dead King’s crown getting destroyed and discarded into the sea.
When Urragon III Greyjoy died, his family called a kingsmoot while Torgon Greyiron, Urragon’s eldest son was away; this led to Urrathon IV Goodbrother becoming King, and for his first act, he killed Urragon’s kins. When Torgon returned, he claimed the kingsmoot was illegal as he did not attend and put his candidacy, and because of Urrathon’s cruelty, the drowned priests denounced him as King.
Torgon ruled the Iron Islands until his death, and his son, Urragon V Greyiron, became King without a kingsmoot. After Urragon IV’s death, his son Urron Greyiron led one of the bloodiest kingsmoots in Iron Island history as he ordered his men to kill everyone in attendance. After the act, he cemented House Greyiron’s position as King of the Iron Islands. For a thousand years, the Greyirons ruled the Iron Islands until the coming of the Andals.
Relevance in A Song of Ice and Fire
After the mysterious death of Balon Greyjoy at Pyke, his brother Aeron Damphair calls the kingsmoot to choose the next King. With a hidden agenda to make his brother Victarion Greyjoy King and prevent a bloodbath over the Seastone Chair, he vocally proclaims that Victarion should get chosen as he is religious and would restore the Iron Islands to the Old Way.
Many argue that Theon Greyjoy should be King. Theon’s support quickly dies due to his getting arrested by Ramsay Snow. During the Kingsmoot, Euron Greyjoy, Balon’s immediate younger brother, shows up. He shows the captains a dragon horn that will command the power of the dragons and states he is the bravest man alive as he has sailed to the ruins of Old Valyria. The captains overwhelmingly support Euron’s claim as the next successor, and he becomes King.
Relevance in Adaptation
In HBO’s Game of Thrones, the kingsmoot gets held after Balon’s death. Though his daughter Yara Greyjoy tries becoming King, stating she will rebuild the Iron Fleet, her claim fails, and Euron gets crowned. He eventually sides with Queen Cersei Lannister against the Targaryens and Starks.
Kingsmoot: The Throne of Salt, Stone, and Sea
Though the kingsmoot was supposed to portray the Iron Islands’ independence, it showed their violent nature. As most kingsmoots were disorganized and Kings got chosen by speech and words rather than talent and principle, the Iron Islands remained a desolate and backward region where violence ruled.
What happened to Asha Greyjoy after the kingsmoot?
Who became King from the kingsmoot held after Balon Greyjoy’s death?
After Balon Greyjoy died, Aeron Greyjoy organized a kingsmoot to make his brother Victarion Greyjoy King. Asha steps forward as a contender, claiming her father wanted her to be his heir. As she and Victarion struggle for power, Euron crashes the meeting and states his claim to the throne. He brings dragonbinder, an ancient horn from Valyria, and claims he is the bravest captain in the Iron Islands. He gets the support of the longship captains and becomes King.
Why was the kingsmoot always disorganized?
Most kingsmoot in Iron Island history were bloody, rowdy, and seemingly disorganized. To earn the support of longship captains, a contender had to state his claim and get others to support him; this led to many fights and quarrels.
What happened to Victarion after losing to Euron?
After losing to his Euron, Victarion’s resentment grew. When he got sent to Meereen to deliver a wedding proposal to Daenerys on Euron’s behalf, he planned to make the Queen fall for him instead.