Quenya 


place name. Grinding Ice

The ice-filled strait between Araman and Middle-earth (S/80). Its name was translated in a speech by Angrod (S/129): “Wherefore should we that endured the Grinding Ice bear the name of kinslayers and traitors?” It is a compound of helca “icy, ice-cold” (SA/helca) and caraxë “jagged hedge of spikes” (Ety/KARAK).

Conceptual Development: This name first appeared as ᴱQ. Helkarakse in the earliest Lost Tales, though at this early stage it was glossed “Icefang” (LT1/167), and Christopher Tolkien suggested its second element might be aksa “waterfall” (LT1A/Helkaraksë). In Silmarillion drafts from the 1930s, the translation of ᴹQ. Helkarakse was changed to “Grinding Ice” (SM/95, LR/125). The name also appeared in this form in The Etymologies (Ety/KARAK), where the derivation noted above is found. It was changed to Helcaraxë (Helkaraxë) in Silmarillion revisions from the 1950s-60s after Tolkien changed the orthographic representation of Quenya to be more like Latin (MR/194).


helca“icy, ice-cold”
caraxë“*jagged hedge of spikes, [ᴹQ.] jagged hedge of spikes, [ᴱQ.] row of spikes or teeth”


  • Helkaraxë ✧ MR/194; MRI/Helkaraxë; PMI/Helkaraxë; WJI/Helkaraxë
Quenya [LBI/Helcaraxë; LotRI/Narrow Ice; LT2I/Helcaraxë; MR/194; MRI/Helkaraxë; PMI/Helkaraxë; S/134; SA/carak; SA/khelek; SI/Grinding Ice; SI/Helcaraxë; SMI/Helkaraksë; UTI/Helcaraxë; WJI/Helkaraxë] Group: Eldamo. Published by


jagged hedge of spikes

caraxë ("k, ks")noun "jagged hedge of spikes"; compare Helcaraxë (KARAK)


icy, ice-cold

helca ("k")adj. "icy, ice-cold" (misprint "helk" in the Etymologies as printed in LR, entry KHELEK; both the Silmarillion Appendix and LT1:254 have helka, and VT45:21 finally confirmed that there is a final -a in Tolkien's Etymologies manuscript as well). In Helcar, the Inland Sea in the north-east of Middle-earth, and Helcaraxë, the Grinding Ice between Araman and Middle-earth_ (SA; spelt "Helkarakse" in the Etymologies, stem KARAK)_



In the Etymologies, the second element in Helkarakse is said to be the Quenya word karakse ("jagged hedge of spikes"). Helge Fauskanger has suggested that the first element (hel-) derives from the root KHELEK ("ice"). Also in the Etymologies, Tolkien experimented with Noldorin translations of Hekarakse: elcharaes, helcharaes or Helcharach.

Quenya [Tolkien Gateway] Published by