Windhelm served as the capital of the First Empire of the Nords.

The Ysgramor Dynasty, sometimes called the Ysgramoor Dynasty,[1] was a Nordic dynasty that ruled over much of Skyrim, and later, significant sections of High Rock, Morrowind, and Cyrodiil during the early First Era. The dynasty can be traced back to the late Merethic Era when Ysgramor first set foot on Skyrim at Hsaarik Head and continued until the death of Borgas in 1E 369. The capital of the empire was located in Windhelm, where the Palace of the Kings still dominates the center of the ancient city.[2]


Ysgramor's reignEdit

The origins of the Ysgramor dynasty date back to the late Merethic Era when Ysgramor and his sons escaped the slaughter of the first human city of Saarthal by the native elves. He returned to Skyrim with an army known as the Five Hundred Companions and lead a reprisal campaign against the elvish population. The city of Saarthal was retaken and eventually rebuilt.[3] Ysgramor then ordered the construction of Windhelm, which would serve as the capital of the Empire.[4]

In the following years, Ysgramor and his army hunted the remaining Elves to near extinction. Once Skyrim had been purged of Snow Elves, the ancient Nords turned their attention to Solstheim where a great number of skirmishes were said to have taken place.[5]

Harald's reignEdit

Harald's Plaque

King Harald's plaque in Windhelm.

Harald was born in 1E 113 and rose to High King in 1E 143. He was the thirteenth of the line of Ysgramor, and is remembered as being the first King to relinquish all holdings in Atmora. Thus it was he that truly made the Nords a separate people.[2] He was also the first High King Skyrim ever had.

In 1E 139 he ordered a campaign against the remaining Snow Elves of Skyrim in the region near Lake Honrich.[6]

After a reign of 78 years, he died in 1E 221 at the exceptional age of 108 years. He outlived all but three of his sons.[2][7][8]

Hjalmer's reignEdit

Hjalmer was the second known ruler of Skyrim. Hjalmer became king of Skyrim in 1E 221, after his father Harald died, when the first ever Moot was called. He didn't stay long as king because he died in 1E 222, of unknown reasons. His younger brother Vrage (sometimes said to be his son) became the next High King.[9][2][1]

Vrage's reignEdit

In 1E 240, King Vrage the Gifted began the ruthless military expansion from Skyrim into other provinces. The campaign was later called the Skyrim Conquests and within a span of fifty years, the Empire ruled all of northern Tamriel, including most of present-day High Rock, a deep stretch of the Nibenay Valley in Cyrodiil, and the whole of Morrowind.[2]

Gellir's reignEdit

Gellir continued Vrage's legacy of expansion and conquest. Historians have attributed him as a master tactician in his wars against the Dwemer, where several Dwemer cities all across Skyrim fell to his armies.[10]

Borgas' reignEdit


King Borgas was the last monarch to wear the Jagged Crown.

Borgas of Winterhold was the last of the Ysgramor Dynasty.[2] He was perhaps best known for outlawing the old Nordic pantheon of deities.[11] He is also believed to be the last monarch to wear the legendary Jagged Crown.[12]

He was killed during the Wild Hunt of 1E 369.[13] His body was secretly returned to Skyrim and buried with the crown in the Nordic tomb of Korvanjund.[12]

Following his death, Skyrim was plunged into the War of Succession, during which Skyrim lost control of its territories in High Rock, Morrowind, and Cyrodiil, never to regain them.[2]

Previous kingsEdit

The following is a list of kings from the Ysgramor Dynasty and their respective reigns.


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