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Sea of Helcar

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The Sea of Helcar (also spelled Helkar) was a great inland sea which existed in the north of Middle-earth during the Years of the Trees and the First Age.

In the beginning of Arda, the Valar created the Two Lamps and two great towers on which to place them. Due to Melkor's deceit these were destroyed, and where Helcar, the northern tower, had stood a great inland sea was formed. This became the Sea of Helcar.

Cuiviénen, where the Elves first awoke, was a gulf in the Sea of Helcar. Later, during the Great Journey, the Elves travelled to the north of the Sea through Wilderland on their way to Beleriand.

After the War of Wrath at the end of the First Age, the Sea of Helcar was drained through the Great Gulf and disappeared.


Christopher Tolkien and others have speculated that the Sea of Rhûn might "be identified with the Sea of Helkar, vastly shrunken" (The War of the Jewels). In The Atlas of Middle-earth, Karen Wynn Fonstad assumed that the lands of Mordor, Khand, and Rhûn lay where the Sea of Helcar had been, and that the Sea of Rhûn and Sea of Núrnen were its remnants. In The Peoples of Middle-earth there are references to the Sea of Rhûn existing in the First Age, but no indication as to whether it should be equated with the Sea of Helcar or not.