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Helcaraxë

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Fingolfin Leads the Host Across the Helcaraxë by Ted Nasmith.

Helcaraxë (pron. N [ˌhelkaˈrakse], V [ˌxelkaˈrakse]) was the perilous icy wastes that formerly lay between Araman (a region in the north of Aman) and Middle-earth in the far north of Arda.[1] Here met the Encircling Sea and the Belegaer, creating "vast fogs and mists of deathly cold, and the sea-streams were filled with clashing hills of ice and the grinding of ice deep-sunken."[2]

At the beginning of the First Age, Morgoth and Ungoliant, escaping from the pursuit of the Valar, fled to Middle-earth across the treacherous wastes of the Helcaraxë. Later, Fingolfin and his people also made their way into Middle-earth across the Helcaraxë.[2]

Helcaraxë was also referred to as the Grinding Ice.[3][4] Another name for this region was perhaps also the Narrow Ice, used by Bilbo Baggins in his poem Song of Eärendil.[5]

Etymology

In the Etymologies, the second element in Helkarakse is said to be the Quenya word karakse ("jagged hedge of spikes").[6] Helge Fauskanger has suggested that the first element (hel-) derives from the root KHELEK ("ice").[7]

Also in the Etymologies, Tolkien experimented with Noldorin translations of Hekarakse: elcharaes, helcharaes or Helcharach.[6][8]

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor"
  2. 2.0 2.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Flight of the Noldor"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Return of the Noldor"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Noldor in Beleriand"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "Many Meetings"
  6. 6.0 6.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part Three: The Etymologies", p. 362 (entry KARAK-)
  7. Helge Fauskanger, "English-Quenya Wordlist (Quettaparma Quenyanna)" at Ardalambion (accessed 25 June 2011)
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Addenda and Corrigenda to the Etymologies — Part One" (edited by Carl F. Hostetter and Patrick H. Wynne), in Vinyar Tengwar, Number 45, November 2003, p. 19