From Tolkien Gateway

Qerkaringa, the Chill Gulf, was a narrow sound between Helkaraksë and the Great Lands. The region only appears in The Book of Lost Tales.

History[edit | edit source]

In the days in which the Noldoli fled from Valinor, a neck of ice called the Helkaraksë stretched out from the western lands across the water that divided them from the Great Lands. It came almost to the eastern shore, but was separated from it by the Qerkaringa, a treacherous passage of water. The gulf around the isthmus and narrow sound was full of ice floes and dangerous currents.

After arriving at the shores, the Noldoli tried and failed to cross the gulf in boats. The could not cross the Helkaraksë because of the Qerkaringa, where water and ice crashed through the strait, making it impassable. While they were camped on the shores, the cold increased, and the Qerkaringa became jammed with ice, stopping the current. Over this ice the Noldoli made the dangerous crossing of the Qerkaringa onto the eastern shore, though many of them were lost.[1]

Etymology[edit | edit source]

The first element in the Qenya name Qerkaringa is likely qerka ("throat").[2] It also contains ringa ("damp, cold, chilly").[3]

Other versions of the legendarium[edit | edit source]

In an earlier draft of the text describing this region in The Book of Lost Tales, Qerkaringa refers to the neck of land, although it is stated the name is also sometimes applied to the sound of water by extension. Tolkien later decided Qerkaringa was the water, and called the neck of land Helkaraksë. He made a note specifying which name belonged to which in the margins.[4]

In the published Silmarillion, the dangerous ice-filled strait between Middle-earth and Araman was the Helcaraxë. It was crossed by Fingolfin and those of the Noldor left behind by Fëanor.[5]

See also[edit | edit source]