Each of the nine Holds is governed by a Jarl. The Jarls are largely independent, but they swear fealty to Skyrim's High King.— game loading screen
Jarl is a title equivalent to king of a city. They own the forts or "Holds" in all the major cities, and command the guards. If the Dragonborn earns these individuals' favor then they receive the title of Thane in that particular city.
Cities with Jarls
Depending on the result of the negotiations during the Season Unending quest, these positions can change. The affiliation of the Jarl is shown in parentheses after their name.
- Dawnstar, Skald the Elder (Stormcloak) or Brina Merilis (Imperial)
- Falkreath, Siddgeir (Imperial) or Dengeir of Stuhn (Stormcloak)
- Markarth, Igmund (Imperial) or Thongvor Silver-Blood (Stormcloak)
- Morthal, Idgrod Ravencrone (Imperial) or Sorli the Builder (Stormcloak)
- Riften, Laila Law-Giver (Stormcloak) or Maven Black-Briar (Imperial)
- Solitude, Elisif the Fair (Imperial)
- Whiterun, Balgruuf the Greater (Imperial) or Vignar Gray-Mane (Stormcloak)
- Windhelm, Ulfric Stormcloak (Stormcloak) or Brunwulf Free-Winter (Imperial)
- Winterhold, Korir (Stormcloak) or Kraldar (Imperial)