From Tolkien Gateway
Kevin Ward - Cold-drake.jpg
Kevin Ward - True Cold-drake
General Information
OriginsBred by Morgoth in Angband
LocationsAngband, Northern Waste, Withered Heath, Grey Mountains
RivalriesDwarves of the Grey Mountains
Physical Description
Lifespan"Long and slow"[1]
DistinctionsCould not breathe fire
"Now the least mighty - yet they were very great beside the Men of those days - are cold as in the nature of snakes and serpents, and of them a many having wings go with the uttermost noise and speed..."
Turambar and the Foalókë

Cold-drakes were dragons that could not breathe fire. Morgoth bred and used cold-drakes in the late First Age. After the War of Wrath, some cold-drakes were found in the waste north of the Grey Mountains.

As the millennia passed, their numbers grew, until they became a serious threat in the later centuries of the Third Age to the Dwarves that mined the Grey Mountains.[2] In T.A. 2589, Dáin I, King of Durin's Folk, and his second son Frór were slain at the gates of their hall by a Cold-drake.[2] The attacks of these fearsome creatures persuaded the Dwarves to migrate eastwards from the Grey Mountains, and it was soon afterward that their realms in the Iron Hills and at Erebor were established.

Portrayal in adaptations[edit | edit source]

2018: The Lord of the Rings Online:

Cold-drakes appear throughout the northern lands of Middle-earth, particularly in the Ered Mithrin where they serve "Hrímil Frost-Heart", a dragon who consumed one of the dwarven Rings of Power. Hrímil's mightiest spawn, the Cold-drake "Vethúg Wintermind", was the one to slay King Dáin I and his son Frór in Thikil-gundu, "The Steel Keep" (otherwise known as Dáin's Halls). Unlike Tolkien's Cold-drakes, who simply could not breathe fire, the game's Cold-drakes often project icy breath.