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Haafingar, or Haafingar Hold, is a relatively small, mountainous, coastal hold in northwestern Skyrim. Its capital is the famed city of Solitude, and the two are sometimes treated as one and the same. Solitude is perched atop a large rock outcropping towering high above the end of the Karth River and the massive Karth delta. However, Haafingar is far more than just Solitude. The Karth River allows for a great deal of commerce in Solitude and the town of Dragon Bridge (mostly in timber and fish), and the long coastline with the Sea of Ghosts is littered with frozen shipwrecks and treasures. The mountain ranges are filled with caves and ruins where bandits and creatures make their homes. The hold shares borders with two other holds, the Reach to the south and Hjaalmarch to the southeast, and the province of High Rock borders it to the west. The mountains of Haafingar are only the tapered end of the Druadach Mountains, an enormous range of jagged mountain peaks to the south which rise up among the clouds of the Reach.
Given Solitude's obvious importance as a major city, many forts and castles were established around the hold to deter and defend from attackers. Most have fallen into disrepair or have been completely demolished.
In 3E 127, after the death of Uriel Septim III, his mother, Potema, turned Haafingar for the next 10 years to the land of death. Stories of the ancient Wolf Queen being waited on by rotting skeletal chambermaids and holding war plans with vampiric generals terrified her subjects.
In 3E 145, the Jarl of Solitude, Pelagius Septim III was declared Emperor. Unlike most Emperors he ruled mainly from Solitude and not the Imperial City. Almost from the start of the reign of Pelagius III, the eccentricities of his behavior were noted. He embarrassed dignitaries, offended his vassal kings, and, on one occasion, marked the end of a grand ball by attempting to hang himself. His madness is speculated to have been caused by Potema the Wolf Queen, whose own insanity was said to have been infused in Castle Solitude, infecting the next king to rule there.
- For game-specific information, see the Skyrim article.